Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards let you make transactions overseas and perks like 0% currency conversion fees and complimentary travel insurance.

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Choosing the right way to take money abroad is essential whether you're a regular jet-setter or planning a rare getaway. Travel credit cards allow you to access the daily exchange rate, which may be more competitive than loading currency onto a prepaid travel card, giving you better value for your money.

This guide compares travel credit cards and explains the potential benefits of using one overseas on your next holiday.

Bankwest Credit Card Offer

Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers
$0 annual fee for the first year

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Bankwest Credit Card Offer

A platinum card offering a 0% introductory balance transfer rate, a $0 first-year annual fee waiver and complimentary insurance covers. Plus, 0% foreign transaction fees.

  • $0 first-year annual fee ($69 p.a. thereafter)
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months with 2% BT fee
  • Standard interest rate of 10.99% p.a. on purchases | 21.99% p.a. p.a. cash advance rate
  • No foreign transaction fees on overseas purchases
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Promoted

Compare Travel Credit Cards with 0% Foreign Fees

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Foreign currency conversion fee Overseas ATM withdrawal fee Purchase rate Annual fee
Coles Rewards Mastercard
0%
$5
19.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy $100 off a Coles Supermarket, a $0 first-year annual fee and a 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months (1.5% fee applies). Ends 31 Jan 2021.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0%
$0
10.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($69 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% interest on balance transfers for 26 months, a $0 first-year annual fee, complimentary travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
NAB StraightUp Card
0%
N/A
$0
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
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Credit cards for travel

How it works: Credit cards provide more liquidity and access to cash overseas for peace of mind. Credit cards also allow you to access the exchange rate of the day, which may be higher than the rate you could have secured beforehand with prepaid travel cards.

How a credit card can suit your travel money needs.

  • Receive the exchange rate on the day. Not being able to lock in the exchange rate can work to your advantage. If your domestic currency appreciates against the destination's currency when you are travelling, you can exchange your money for a better rate.
  • Travel now, pay later. Credit cards can provide up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and 0% purchase offers. These features provide extra funds and flexibility for your travel money needs.
  • Rewards and frequent flyer points. Earn points with rewards programs and frequent flyer programs while you travel.

Things to note when using credit cards for travel.

  • No backup cards. Credit cards only provide additional cards instead of backup cards. As a result if your credit card is lost overseas it may take 1-2 weeks for a new card to be sent to your whereabouts.

Frequent Flyer and Rewards Credit Cards

Frequent flyer and rewards credit cards are designed with the traveller in mind and can enhance your next travel experience. This type of card lets you look forward to frequent flyer program benefits, airport lounge passes, complimentary travel insurance and bonus points offers so you can upgrade your flights and redeem for rewards.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
130,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points (100k when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months). Plus, a reduced first year annual fee.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
120,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.24% p.a.
$425
Collect 120,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, complimentary lounge passes.
Qantas Premier Platinum
100,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months (with a one-time 1% BT fee).
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
70,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Earn 70,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months and complimentary insurance covers.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas
70,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Receive 70,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $1,500 each month for the first 3 months and earn up to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
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Purchase Credit Cards

Interest free purchase credit cards provide you with an interest-free period upon account activation, allowing you to make purchases now and repay later. This type of credit card can provide you with extra spending power for your holiday. After the purchase promotion has ended the revert purchase interest rate will take effect.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee Interest-free period Amount saved
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 11.99% p.a.
13.99% p.a.
$45
Up to 55 days on purchases
Get 0% p.a. on purchases for 15 months and a $150 Woolworths Supermarket gift card when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. Ends 31 Jan 2021.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. Ends 31 January 2021.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
$99
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with 0.9% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Features an introductory 0% p.a. purchase rate, $49 first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance covers.
Citi Simplicity Card
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$0
Up to 55 days on purchases
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 6 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
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Gold, Platinum and Black credit cards

Gold, platinum and black credit cards cards offer the holder a range of premium benefits including large bonus points offers, higher rewards points earnings per $1 spent, free flights and complimentary travel insurance.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
American Express Platinum Card
N/A
$1,450
Earn 150,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Additional 50,000 points in the second year. Ends 27 Jan 2021.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months (with a one-time 1% BT fee).
Citi Rewards Card
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Save on interest with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
$395
Get 120,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, 30,000 points in the second year. Ends 27 Jan 2021.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
$375
Get 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 for the first 3 months. Plus, 100 Status Credits and luxury travel perks.
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Ultimately, choosing the right credit card for travel means understanding your money personality and choosing a card that suits your budget, your lifestyle, your travel plans, and your spending style. Compare the features available and ask yourself how the card you are looking at would benefit you.


Frequently asked questions about travel credit cards

  • What is a currency conversion fee?

A currency conversion fee (sometimes called a foreign or international transaction fee) is a fee that is normally charged by your bank when you spend money in a foreign currency. Every time you make a transaction in a foreign country with your Australian-issued credit card, the amount you spend needs to be converted to the local currency in order for the payment to be processed. Banks charge a fee for this, usually 2 or 3 percent, every single time you transact.

Over time, this charge can add up, especially if you are using your credit card as your main source of spending money and make frequent payments for things like hotels, restaurants and buying train tickets.

Credit cards that do not charge a fee for currency conversion are very popular with travellers. Bear in mind that while some cards will advertise ‘no currency conversion fee’ as their main selling-point, this feature may also be available on other cards.

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JenMay 15, 2017

    What does your article mean by “travel credit card”? Is this different from my normal Australian Visa credit card? Can I use my normal credit overseas or do I have to get a “travel” credit card?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMay 16, 2017Staff

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, generally, you may use your normal or regular credit card overseas. However, most credit cards attract high currency conversion and other international transaction fees. Travel credit cards on the other hand may have features that are ideal for overseas travel such as low or zero foreign transaction fees.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    AbelMay 4, 2015

    Hi,

    What’s the best 0% credit card for travelling overseas with? I missed out on the BankWest offer which was 12 month 0% interest free and no foreign transaction fees. Is there anyway I can apply for this card with these perks?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethMay 5, 2015Staff

      Hi Abel,

      Thanks for your question.

      There really is no one ‘best’ credit card, as it depends what features you’re looking for in a travel card, where you’re going, how much you’re going to spend, the financial situation you’re in, etc. As you can see from this page there are a few cards available, some with other features such as complimentary insurances, frequent flyer points and more. It can help tp decode wjay features are important to you and then look at what rates and fees are competitive.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

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