Travel Money Guide: Southeast Asia

Rates and fees last updated on

Baht, riels, dollars and kip: a travel money guide to take the confusion out of taking and spending your money on a Southeast Asian adventures

Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore are among the most popular holiday destinations for Australians. But there’s more to Southeast Asia than these tourist meccas: hands up if you’ve ever visited Brunei? Different travel money rules apply depending on where you’re going, so use this guide to take some of the confusion out of organising your Southeast Asian holiday.

While US dollars are widely accepted in Southeast Asia, each country in the region has its own currency. Card payments are common in the capital cities, especially in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines but you will need cash if you’re going off the beaten track. We give you the skinny on how to take and use money in Southeast Asia, a region of tropical beaches, delicious food at affordable prices.

Which option is right for your next trip?

ANZ Travel Card

ANZ Travel Card

  • Load up to 10 currencies
  • Lock in your exchange rates
  • No overseas transaction fees

ANZ Travel Card

The ANZ Travel Card is a prepaid card that can be loaded with up to 10 currencies to make purchases overseas at over 38 million merchants and over 2.3 million ATMs worldwide.

  • Lock in your exchange rates and know how much money you have to spend
  • No transaction fees for electronic purchases when using foreign currency
  • Multiple reload options - online, over the phone or in person
  • Manage your money online or over the phone 24/7
  • Spare card if in case one is lost or stolen

Go to site

Compare travel cards for Southeast Asia

Rates last updated October 24th, 2017
Description Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
ANZ Travel Card ANZ Travel Card Hold up to ten different currencies and you'll get the ability to lock in your exchange rate before you travel. No transaction fees on purchases with the benefit of a backup card in case one is lost or stolen. AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 3.50, USD 2.50, GBP 2.00, EUR 2.20, NZD 4.50, CAD 3.00, HKD 20.00, SGD 4.00, THB 95, JPY 260 1.1% $0 Go to site More
Qantas Cash Qantas Cash You can load and hold up to eleven currencies on the Qantas Cash Mastercard with a locked-in exchange rate. A travel card to be used at home as well as overseas, rack up Qantas Points on all eligible purchases. Debit cards incur a 1% reload fee. AUD, AED, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50 $0 $0 Go to site More
NAB Traveller Card NAB Traveller Card The NAB Traveller Card allows you to load up and lock in up to 10 currencies. Benefit from no fees for reloading funds. Comes with a secondary card for added security. AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD

Overseas: $0 per withdrawal via international ATMs

Domestic: $3.75 fee applies

$0 $0 Go to site More
Australia Post Multi-currency Cash Passport Australia Post Multi-currency Cash Passport You can load and hold up to ten currencies on the Multi-currency Cash Passport with a locked-in exchange rate. Pay no transaction fees for purchases or withdrawals and and access emergency cash through 24/7 global emergency assistance. AUD, NZD, USD, EUR, GBP, THB, SGD, CAD, HKD, JPY Overseas: $0

Domestic: 2.95% of the amount withdrawn

$5 $0 Go to site More
Rates last updated October 24th, 2017
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$5
The greater of 2% or $4
$0 p.a.
Receive complimentary international travel insurance, access to a 24/7 concierge service and 0% foreign transaction fees.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$0
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Designed for travel, benefit from no international transaction fees on purchases and no currency conversion fees.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$5
2% or $4, whichever is greater
$160 p.a.
Enjoy a high credit limit with complimentary travel insurances and earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Westpac Lite Card
0% of transaction value
$0
$108 p.a.
Keep credit card costs low with a maximum credit limit of $4,000 and no foreign transaction fees.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$5
Greater of 2% or $4.00
$99 p.a.
Offers an introductory balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for 13 months with a 2% BT fee, plus platinum perks.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$5
2% or $4, whichever is greater
$160 p.a.
No fees on overseas ATM withdrawal, no foreign transaction fees and earn 75,000 bonus More rewards points.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated October 24th, 2017
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
$0 Overseas ATM withdrawal fees charged by Bankwest. Third party ATM fees and international transaction fees may still apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Otherwise, a $6 monthly fee applies. Unlimited Free withdrawals at Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. Go to site More
Westpac Choice
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network. International transaction fee still applies.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at St.George, Westpac, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Go to site More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network. International transaction fee still applies.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Go to site More

How much money do I need to bring to Southeast Asia?

Southeast Asia is a budget holiday destination compared to Australia and other parts of the world. You’ll find that developed economies such as Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and especially Singapore are more expensive than emerging destinations such as Cambodia, Burma and Laos. You will be able to spend as much money as you can afford in Southeast Asia, you can get an idea about budget prices in the table below.

Bangkok (Thailand)SingaporeVientiane (Laos)Hanoi (Vietnam)
sleep

Hostel dorm bed

$10 - $20 per night

Hostel dorm bed

$10 - $25 per night

Hostel dorm bed

$7 - $15 per night

Hostel dorm bed

$5 - $15 per night

street food

Khao Gang (curried rice / street food)

$1 - $3

Chicken and fish dumpling noodles (street stall)

$8

Lao Sausage / Sai Oua (street food)

$3

Budget meals at a cafeteria

$1.50

Marketing shopping on Koh Sahn Road$0.50 - $7.50Visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens TripFree

Visit the Lao People’s Army Museum

$0.80 admission fee

Sightseeing at Hoan Kiem Lake and Turtle tower

Free

*Prices are approximate and are subject to change.

Exchange rate history

YearAverage annual exchange Australian Dollat (AUD) to
Thai baht (THB)Singapore Dollar (SGD)Vietnamese Dong (VND)
2012 32.180391 1.29416 21705.192425
2013 29.679087 1.210308 20312.858604
201429.317864 1.143276 19075.28059
201525.720695 1.033175 16474.467814
201626.23762 1.026709 16634.405486
201726.2212781.06300717317.830256

*Exchange rates are accurate as of 4 September 2017

Some of the major Southeast Asian currencies include:

CountryCurrencyCode
brunei-smlBruneiDollarBND
cambodia-smlCambodiaRielKHR
east-timor-smlEast TimorDollarUSD
indonesia-smlIndonesiaRupiahIDR
laos-smlLaosKipLAK
malaysia-smlMalaysiaRinggitMYR
myanmar-smlMyanmarBurmese kyatMMK
philippines-smlPhilippinesPesoPHP
singapore-smlSingaporeDollarSGD
thailand-smlThailandBahtTHB
vietnam-smlVietnamDongVND
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Which travel card, debit card or credit card?

Visa and Mastercard branded credit cards, debit cards and travel cards have wide acceptance in Southeast Asia. If you have an American Express, you’ll need to take a Visa or Mastercard card too. In the cities, you’ll find ATMs are easy to find, but in smaller towns and off the beaten track there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get cash from an ATM (ATMs can be scarce and frequently run out of cash). Card acceptance in these areas is also sketchy at best, so make sure you have enough cash to cover you for the times you’re venturing outside of urban centres.

Travel money options for Southeast Asia at a glance

Travel Money OptionProsConsiderations
Debit Cards for Travel
  • Visa and Mastercard provides money back guarantee if victim of card fraud overseas
  • Protected by PIN & chip
  • Debit cards will not incur an interest rate as it uses your own money from your transaction account
  • International ATM withdrawal fees may apply
  • Most of the debit cards will charge an additional currency conversion fees
  • Not a credit product. No emergency funds available though a cash advance facility.
Prepaid Travel Money Cards
  • Holds multiple foreign currencies at the same time
  • Currency conversion fees can be avoided if you spend in the currency of your destination
  • Ability to lock in the exchange rate for the funds that you 'load' on to the card before you go
  • Secured by PIN & chip technology
  • Emergency card replacement and backup cards
  • Easily reloadable via a secure online platform
  • Cards which don’t charge for currency conversion might charge for international ATM use
  • Travel cards are fee-heavy products — card issue fees, initial load fees and reload fees may apply
  • Travel cards without names embossed on the front may cause issues with acceptance in Southeast Asia
Credit Cards for Travel
  • Protected by PIN & chip
  • Accepted worldwide
  • Some credit cards offer complimentary travel insurance
  • Interest-free days when you pay your account in full
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Withdrawing cash can be considered a "cash advance" and can charge you fees and high interests
  • Card scheme anti-fraud guarantees don’t apply in a credit card with a positive balance
  • Higher spending limit (depends on your approved credit limit)
  • Attracts an annual fee
Traveller's Cheques
  • Can be cashed in Thailand and Cambodia
  • Have the added security of needing ID to be cashed
  • Availability to cash at banks
  • Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
  • Card schemes such as Mastercard give you a money back guarantee if you’re a victim of card fraud
  • You can't cash any cheques in the Philippines
  • Expect to be charged a commission when cashing your cheques
  • Currency exchange rate varies over time
Cash
  • US dollars can be used throughout Southeast Asia
  • Greater payment flexibility
  • Convenience
  • Exchange rates are to look out for
  • More difficult to manage expenses
  • Higher risk of theft

This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.

How each travel money option works in given country

Using travel money cards

A travel card allows you to hold a number of different foreign currencies at the same time. Spend in the currency of your destination and you can avoid the fee for currency conversion. Thai baht and Singapore dollars are supported currencies on a number of products, and the Commonwealth Bank Travel Card lets you load Vietnamese dong as well. Brunei dollars, Cambodian riels, Indonesian rupiah, East Timor dollars, Laos kip, Malaysian ringgits, Philippine pesos and Burmese kyats are not supported currencies.

If you’re travelling to the aforementioned countries, a travel card with no currency conversion fee (eg, Qantas Cash) is suited. However, travel cards are fee-heavy products, so you’re going to pay for international transactions one way or another. For example, cards which don’t charge for currency conversion might charge for international ATM use. You’ll also have to pay front end fees when you purchase, load or reload the card.

  • Tip: These accounts are dual card accounts. You get a backup card to use incase your lose the first card or it’s stolen.
  • Tip: If you purchase a travel card at a branch, there’s a chance it won’t have your name embossed on the front. This may cause issues with acceptance in Southeast Asia.

Using debit cards

The Citibank Plus Transaction Account is the only travel friendly debit card on the market. The Citibank Plus comes with a Visa Debit card which can be used all over the world without paying the additional fee for currency conversion and Citibank do not charge international ATM fees for making withdrawals at overseas ATMs. And the best part? It costs nothing to open the account and there’s no monthly charge either.

  • Tip: Visa (Mastercard too) provide a money back guarantee if you’re the victim of card fraud overseas.

List of Citibank ATM locations worldwide

Using credit cards

Both Bankwest (platinum credit cards only) and GE Money (28 Degrees) don’t charge for currency conversion and international ATM withdrawals. It’s generally not a good idea to use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM — cash advance interest and the cash advance fees apply when these products are used for this purpose. These fees can be avoided by preloading these products with your own money. Note that a local ATM operator fee may still apply and GE Money will charge a cash advance fee regardless. Using a credit card with a positive balance also voids the anti-fraud guarantees from Mastercard and Visa.

  • Tip: Some credit cards provide complimentary international travel insurance when you charge the cost of your return overseas travel ticket to the account.
  • Tip: Make sure you tell your bank about your travel plans if you don’t travel frequently, they may block your card if they see a ‘suspicious’ overseas transaction.

Using traveller's cheques

An almost obsolete form of travel money, traveller’s cheques can be cashed in more places in Thailand and Cambodia compared to other parts of the world. In Thailand, traveller’s cheques may be cheaper to cash at a bank than when withdrawing baht from an ATM. A number of Thai banks will cash cheques for a fee of 33 baht (compared to 150 - 200 THB for ATM withdrawals). If you’re travelling to the Philippines, anecdotal evidence suggests cheques can not be cashed at any place.

Taking cash with you

Although each country in the region uses different currencies, US dollars can be used throughout Southeast Asia. In some places (Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos especially) you’ll see prices quoted in US dollars, and some businesses such as hotels may prefer payment in US dollars. If you do take US dollars to Southeast Asia, make sure you have an eye on the exchange rates so you know how much you should be paying. In the rural areas of Southeast Asia, debit, credit and travel cards will not be accepted. Make sure you have enough cash to cover your planned expenses (and then some).

Using an ATM

Cities in Southeast Asia are well serviced by ATMs. You won’t have a problem using Visa and Mastercard branded products. Be prepared to pay an ATM operator fee, the vast majority of ATMs in Southeast Asia charge a fee when you make a withdrawal.

  • Tip: Pick an odd number when you withdraw cash from an ATM. This will give you smaller bills which are easier to use.
Exchange cash

It’s best to get the currency of the destination you’re visiting. Australian dollars can be easily changed to the local currency in tourist centres and international airports throughout the region. In Cambodia and Burma, and to a lesser extent Laos, where US dollars are the currency of the street, you’ll get the local currency in change when you pay with US dollars.

  • Tip: If you have the opportunity to withdraw US dollars from an ATM, get some extra cash to use throughout the region as you travel to different countries.
  • Tip: Thai baht is accepted in areas of Laos.
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Interview with Kelly Vieira about travel money for Southeast Asia

Kelly visited Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Singapore on her one month trip to Southeast Asia. In Laos, she visited Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Vang Vieng. She was in Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam and visited Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand.

What cards did you take with you?

Why did you take these cards?

Kelly applied for the 28 Degrees Mastercard specifically for her trip to Southeast Asia. She chose this account because it has no annual fee and she didn’t get charged for currency conversion. The 28 Degrees Mastercard also doesn’t charge for international ATM withdrawals. She transferred her travel budget onto the card and used it to withdraw from ATMs each time she visited a new country.

The Bankwest Easy Transaction Account is Kelly’s everyday transaction account in Australia. She used this card for a cash withdrawal once she used the money she originally transferred onto the 28 Degrees Mastercard.

Where could you use these cards?

Kelly says there were no issues with card acceptance, either at ATMs or over the counter. She says outside of Singapore she didn’t really use her card at the point of sale except when she used her 28 Degrees Mastercard to pay for her hotels and online at travel or booking agencies.

Did you withdraw from ATMs? What were the fees?

  • Vietnam: $241.11AUD (5,000,000.00 VND) $7.20 AUD (cash advance fee) + $3.50 Citibank ATM fee
  • Thailand: $300AUD (8024.56 THB) $9 AUD (cash advance fee) + 150THB / approx. $5 AUD Aeon ATM fee
  • Laos: $50AUD - (310551.55 LAK) $4 AUD (cash advance fee) + 20,000 LAK / $3 AUD
  • Singapore: $40.69 (50.00 SGD) $4 AUD (cash advance fee) + local ATM fee

What’s your travel money recommendation?

Kelly says she should have applied for the Citibank Plus Transaction Account instead of using the 28 Degrees Mastercard preloaded with a positive balance. The cash advance fee ended up costing her about $20 in the end. She says this is $20 she could have saved by depositing funds on the Citibank account instead. She also says a travel card could have been useful, especially the Commonwealth Bank Travel Card as it allows cardholders to load Thai baht, Vietnamese dong and Singapore dollars.

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A guide to Thai Baht

Did you know?

Thai banknotes all have the image of the king on them. It can be seen as disrespectful to put your wallet in your back pocket as you might end up sitting on the king!

thai-baht-banknotes

Buying currency in Australia

If getting the best rate is your main concern, it’s better to wait to exchange your Australian dollars till you arrive at your destination — you’ll get more for your dollar exchanging money at a bank or exchange office in Southeast Asia. Laos kip (LAK) and Burmese kyat (MMK) are difficult to find in Australia. The following financial institutions can sell you foreign cash.

BankCurrencies
BNDIDRMYRPHPSGDTHBVNDUSD
American ExpressYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ANZYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Australia PostNoNoYesNoYesYesNoYes
Commonwealth BankNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
NABYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
TravelexYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
WestpacNoYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
  • Tip: Travelex and Australia Post have outlets at international airports. You can order your cash and collect it from the airport before you leave the country.

Why you’ll need a combination of travel money options

Make sure you’ve spread your travel budget across a couple of cards. For example a travel card, debit card or credit card. Carry Australian dollars and US dollars cash too. This will give you more options if you’re travelling between countries, conditions can change between countries and ATM availability is not guaranteed outside Southeast Asian cities.

If you have any questions about travel money for Southeast Asia, get in touch with us using the form at the bottom of the page.

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Find travel insurance for Southeast Asia

Australians are lucky to be situated in the South Pacific and within spitting distance of Southeast Asia. In fact, six of Australia's top 10 favourite international destinations are located in Asia.

However, even though these holiday destinations are in our backyard, it's important to make sure you are protected.

Travel insurance is the best way to make sure that both you and your family are financially protected against the unknown while you're away. Travel insurance protects against situations such as:

  • Emergency medical and dental
  • Cancellations
  • Additional accommodation expenses
  • Repatriation
  • Personal liability
  • Lost travel documents

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This page was last modified on 5 September 2017 at 5:51pm.

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30 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    TomHMay 8, 2017

    Is there an Australian travel card that is guaranteed to work on ATMs in Myanmar and is there a source of fresh, new, unfolded and unmarked $US in Australia?

    • Staff
      HaroldMay 9, 2017Staff

      Hi TomH,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      At present, we don’t have specific travel money for Myanmar. However, you may want to consider checking the offer for Travel Money in Southeast Asia as they cover some of the major Southeast Asian currencies including Myanmar. Also, as you compare it would be nice to check directly with the provider if you can use the card in Myanmar.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  2. Default Gravatar
    May 16, 2016

    i have a Qantas cash master card , i use it in vietnam , i have only Australian dollars on the card, i use it at ATM’S, and pay $1.95 fee plus local Vietnamese bank ATM fee of usually $3.oo, what are the fees Qantas cash master card are charging me for using this card , what are the currency conversion fees and any other fees I am paying, as I rang Qantas cash about these fees associated with the withdrawals and they were no help at all, I just feel im getting ripped off , but am I ?

    • Staff
      SallyMay 17, 2016Staff

      Hi Macca,

      Thanks for your question.

      The Qantas Cash card doesn’t charge a currency conversion fee, but it does charge ATM withdrawal fees. If you’re withdrawing in an unsupported currency (e.g. Vietnamese dong), you’ll incur an AUD 1.95 ATM withdrawal fee. How much you’ll be charged will depend on the currency you’re withdrawing in.

      You can compare the fees and costs of the Qantas Cash card using our review page.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

    • Default Gravatar
      May 17, 2016

      On my Qantas cash card I use in Vietnam , what exchange rate is Qantas giving me, as all their exchange rates are all below the real rate. I use my card loaded with Australian dollars, but what exchange rate to the VND am I receiving, as they make no effort to even show me on my statement.

    • Staff
      MayMay 18, 2016Staff

      Hi Macca,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      When you used your Qantas Cash card which was loaded with AUD abroad, Qantas did not charge currency conversion fees but they applied the Qantas Cash Daily Rates used in the currency converter that can be found on their page. I’ve sent to your email the link to their converter for your reference.

      Please keep in mind though that the foreign exchange (FOREX) rate changes and varies daily. So the rate you got last time (AUD vs. VND) settled on the closing FOREX rate on the date you withdrew VND from your card.

      I hope this has answered your question.

      Cheers,
      May

  3. Default Gravatar
    willDecember 17, 2015

    Hi, I am going overseas to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. I am going to use the Commonwealth Banks’ travel money card for Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia and I will use the Citibank debit card to withdraw cash in the Philippines. Does that sound like a good plan? Especially RE withdrawing cash in the phillipines at the lowest cost?

    • Staff
      SallyDecember 18, 2015Staff

      Hi Will,

      Thanks for your question.

      Just to confirm, as a financial comparison service we can’t provide specific recommendations as the ‘best’ option will depend on your financial situation, travel budget and spending habits.

      However, as the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card doesn’t charge currency conversion fees and the Citibank debit card doesn’t charge ATM or foreign transaction fees, so you could stand to avoid some costs by using both of these cards. Make sure to compare the other fees associated with both of the cards and consider how else you may need to use the cards to determine whether they’re the right choice for you.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  4. Default Gravatar
    May 20, 2015

    Hi, we are going to Vietnam and Cambodia, for 14 days on a tour, first time over there. What is the best form of currency to use, as there seems to be no travel cards available for these countries? thanking you.

    • Staff
      SallyMay 21, 2015Staff

      Hi Mon,

      Thank you for your question.

      As well as Cambodian riel, US Dollars are also widely accepted throughout Cambodia. In the west of the country, Thai Baht is also widely used. Most travel cards accept US dollars and there are a select few that also support Thai Baht.

      Please visit our Travel Money Card comparison page to view your options.

      I hope this was helpful.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  5. Default Gravatar
    monMay 20, 2015

    hi,my husband and I are going to Vietnam for 7 days and Cambodia for 7 days holiday. Whats the best option for using their currency as I cannot find a travel card.

    • Staff
      SallyMay 22, 2015Staff

      Hi Mon,

      Thank you for your question.

      Unfortunately, as we do not know your current financial position or your travel plans, we cannot suggest a specific product for you.

      However, US Dollars are widely accepted in both Vietnam and Cambodia and could be used on your travel card. However, if you try to complete a purchase or transaction where US dollars are not accepted (such as ATMs in Vietnam), you will incur a currency conversion fee.

      A travel credit card is another option, however you will also be charged a currency conversion fee if you complete a purchase in a currency that is not supported by the card.

      I hope this has answered your question.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  6. Default Gravatar
    weeMarch 16, 2015

    If i use my malaysia’s bank master card, can i apply travel money card?

    • Staff
      ShirleyMarch 17, 2015Staff

      Hi Wee,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that finder.com.au is an Australian comparison site and we only compare products issued in Australia.

      In most cases you’ll need to be an Australian resident or hold a relevant Visa to be eligible for a credit or debit card, though you don’t need to be an resident to apply for the prepaid travel cards.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  7. Default Gravatar
    lizFebruary 2, 2015

    I am going on a cruise from Singapore calling in at Malacca, Penang, Phuket,Rangoon, Langkaw, Ko Samui, Bangkok,Phu My, Nha Tang, Da Nang, Halong and Hong Kong, what is the best currency to take. I was thinking to take American Dollars.

    Thanks Liz

    • Staff
      ShirleyFebruary 2, 2015Staff

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for your question.

      The decision is ultimately up to you regarding which currency you’d like to take. You may want to consider taking some SGD, THB and HKD as well.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  8. Default Gravatar
    ElizaJune 23, 2014

    Hi,

    Why do you not recommend American Express Global Travel Card for cards in south east Asia? They have a deal at the moment with 0% cross currency conversion fee at the moment….

    Thanks

    • Staff
      ShirleyJune 24, 2014Staff

      Hi Eliza,

      Thanks for your question and bringing this to our attention.

      At the time of writing the information was different, but we have noted what you said and are preparing a new page to reflect this.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  9. Default Gravatar
    KarenMay 23, 2014

    We are travelling to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma and Singapore. We are thinking about applying for a Citibank debit card. Problem is Burma where a lot of payment is expected in Us$ crisp notes. Should we purchase these in Thailand of Australia.

    • Staff
      ElizabethMay 27, 2014Staff

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for your question.

      There’s no difference whether you choose to purchase US Dollars in Thailand or in Australia, as the exchange rate is all relative, so the choice is up to you.

      Hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  10. Default Gravatar
    TrevorMarch 13, 2014

    Which card for use in Philippines

    • Staff
      MarcMarch 14, 2014Staff

      Hi Trevor,
      thanks for the question.

      I can’t recommend one particular account or card for use in the Philippines, but I recommend reading our guide and comparing the products on this page to find some options which might suit your travel plan, and the way you wish to spend your money while overseas. A good recommendation is to take more than one card option when travelling, and keep one as a backup.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

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