From foreign currency and travellers cheques to prepaid cards, American Express has travel money options to suit a wide range of needs.
American Express has a number of different travel money options designed to make it easier and more affordable to access funds when you’re travelling overseas or shopping online.
So whether you have been thinking about travel money cards, travellers cheques, foreign cash or even travel insurance, here you can find out more about American Express options you can use all around the world.
The American Express Global Travel Card is a prepaid option designed to give you access to foreign currency funds when you travel abroad. It is currently only available in Euros, Great British Pounds and US Dollars and can be used anywhere American Express is accepted.
Other features and benefits of the card include:
- Locked in exchange rates. Exchange rates are fixed at the time you load money onto the card, so you can avoid currency fluctuations and budget more effectively.
- No inactivity fees. American Express doesn’t charge a fee if you stop using the card.
- Exclusive offers. This prepaid card gives you access to Card Member benefits including specials on travel, dining and shopping through the American Express Selects program.
- Easy account management. Check your balance and transaction history online or over the phone, and load funds at any time using BPAY.
- Complimentary backup card. The GlobalTravel Card comes with a backup card that has it’s own PIN, so you can go on using the account even if the original card needs to be cancelled.
- 24/7 emergency travel, medical, legal and other help. Get help when you need it with the wide range of complimentary emergency services available through American Express Global Assist.
- Fraud protection. American Express will protect you against fraud and unauthorised charges with account monitoring and a zero liability policy.
- Worldwide acceptance. You can use this card overseas or with international retailers online anywhere American Express is accepted.
- Funds never expire. Keep money on the card for as long as you like without worrying about it expiring.
What to watch out for with the GlobalTravel Card
Make sure you consider the following terms and conditions before choosing this prepaid American Express debit card.
- Exclusively for purchases outside Australia. This card is designed specifically for overseas spending and can’t be used at all in Australia.
- Initial load fee. There is a fee of 1% of the reload amount or $15 (whichever is lesser) when you first load money onto the card.
- Reload fee. A fee of 1% of your reload or AUD $10 (the lesser amount) is charged for each reload.
- ATM withdrawal fee. Depending on your location, you will be charged EUR 2.20, GBP 1.25, USD 2.00 for your ATM withdrawals.
- ATM withdrawal limit. You are allowed to withdraw a maximum of USD 1,000, GBP 600, EUR 800 in any 24 hour period.
- Minimum load. This card has a minimum load of USD 200, GBP 100, EUR 1150.
- Maximum load/balance. You can have a maximum of USD 30,000, GBP 16,000, EUR 24,000 on the card at any time.
- Currency conversion costs. If you make a payment in a currency that’s not loaded onto this card, you’ll have to factor in the exchange rate. The GlobalTravel Card also charges a standard 3% Cross Currency Conversion, although this is currently reduced to 0% until 31 January 2017.
It’s a good idea to consider these factors and read through the Product Disclosure Statement before applying for the GlobalTravel Card so you can decide if it is a good option for you.
Other American Express cards for travel
There are also a wide range of American Express credit cards that you can use when you go overseas.
This gives you the option of earning rewards for your spending overseas, and also offers more flexibility with repayments. Some American Express credit cards also come with travel benefits, such as complimentary insurance and airport lounge access.
But keep in mind that using a credit card overseas could attract the following fees:
- Currency conversion fee. A fee of 3% of the total transaction will apply when you use an Australian-issued American Express card in a currency other than Australian dollars.
- Cash advance fee. If you use an American Express credit card to withdraw cash overseas, you will be charged the greater of $2.50 or 2% of the total transaction.
- Interest charges. Interest charges will apply if you carry a balance on your card while travelling. Always check the standard purchase rate and cash advance rate on your credit card before you travel so you can decide whether or not it is an affordable payment option when you’re overseas.
Depending on the credit card, there may be other fees that apply in certain circumstances when you are overseas. It’s a good idea to check with your credit card issuer before you go and to let them know your travel plans so that they can keep your account secure while you’re away.
Travellers cheques are available in a wide range of currencies and can be used for payments or exchanged for cash in many places around the world. American Express is the leading issuer of traveller’s cheques in Australia, and offers them in the following currencies:
- Canadian dollars
- Great British Pounds
- Japanese Yen
- US Dollars
You can choose the value of your travellers cheques, which also come with individual serial numbers that makes it easier to verify and keep track of your travel money. American Express will also replace or reimburse travellers cheques if they are lost or stolen, making them a more secure option than cash in many cases.
American Express sells fee-free travellers cheques online, which can then be collected from any American Express Currency Exchange store or participating Australia Post outlet. You can also buy travellers cheques through major banks including ANZ, CommBank and Westpac, although other fees and charges may apply.
It’s often a good idea to have foreign cash on hand when you arrive in a country so you can pay for things like meals or taxis without worrying if they accept cards or travellers cheques.
American Express has over 60 foreign currencies available for purchase online or at any American Express Currency Exchange Store in Australia. Like traveller’s cheques, any money you buy online can also be picked up at an American Express store or a participating Australia Post outlet, usually within two days of the purchase.
Keep in mind that exchange rates for foreign currencies can vary from day to day and may even be different depending on if you buy cash online or from a store, so it’s important to make sure you have up-to-date details before finalising your purchase.
Redeem your American Express Membership Rewards Points for travel money
If you have an American Express credit card with American Express Membership Rewards, you can also redeem your points for foreign cash or travellers cheques.
This service is available exclusively at American Express Currency Exchange stores, with 12,000 Membership Rewards points equalling AUD$100 worth of foreign currency or travellers cheques.
You can also redeem your American Express Membership Rewards Points for credit on your American Express credit card at the following rates:
|Points required||Credit on your card|
American Express also has a wide range of travel insurance options to give you peace of mind whenever you go overseas. You can choose from coverage for specific things such as vehicle rental or winter sports, as well as comprehensive options for you, your partner or your whole family.Back to top
Frequently Asked Questions about American Express Travel Money
Can I change the PIN on my GlobalTravel Card?
Yes, you can change your PIN by calling Customer Service on 1800 057 234. You can also view your PIN online by logging into your account.
My GlobalTravel Card has expired but still has funds on it. What can I do?
While the available funds on the American Express GlobalTravel Card do not expire, you cannot use your card after the "Valid Thru" date located on the front of your card. To continue using your card and access remaining funds, contact American Express on 1800 057 234.
What fees does American Express charge for their different travel money services?
There are no fees for travel money services ordered online, but American Express does charge the following fees for their travel money services in store.
|Purchasing foreign cash||1% of the transaction value or $8 per currency, whichever is lower.|
|Purchasing travellers cheques in a foreign currency||1.1% or $22, whichever is lower. A $8 fee applies per transaction as well.|
|Purchasing travellers cheques in Australian dollars||1.1% or $22, whichever is lower. A $8 fee applies per transaction as well.|
|GlobalTravel Card||Initial load fee of 1% of the reload amount or $15 (whichever is lesser). A reload fee of 1% of your reload or AUD $10 (the lesser amount) applies too.|
I’ve returned from a trip with foreign cash. Can I exchange it?
Yes, American Express buys foreign cash as well as selling it. Keep in mind the exchange rate and any fees or charges will vary depending on when and where you sell it.
I’ve ordered travellers cheques online and paid for them, but the currency is not available. What happens now?
American Express will be in touch with you to discuss your options for ordering foreign cash.
How do I pay for foreign currency or travellers cheques I buy online?
You can pay for your foreign currency order using BPAY or over the phone. Once the order has been completed, you will be given a quote with the transaction reference number and the American Express BPAY biller code, as well as instructions if you want to pay by phone.
When will my foreign cash order be available to collect?
When you place your order online, you can select a location to pick it up. When this happens, you’re given a time when you can come and collect the cash. American Express have to receive your payment via BPAY by 4pm (AEST) on the day the order was placed. If the payment is processed after 4pm, add an extra day to the collection date.
Can someone else pick up my foreign cash order for me?
No. The person who orders the foreign cash online must be the person who collects it.