Travel Money Credit Cards

Rates and fees last updated on

Travel Credit Cards let you make transactions overseas and offer various travel perks including no currency conversion fees and complimentary travel insurance. Compare and find a travel card for your needs today.

Whether you're a regular traveler or planning a rare getaway, choosing the right way to take money abroad can seem like a daunting task. Travel credit cards allow you to access the daily exchange rate, which may be higher than preloading currency giving you more value for your money.

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

Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

$0 foreign transaction fee with a $0 annual fee.

  • $0 p.a. annual fee
  • 17.99% p.a. on purchases
  • 2.99% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.99% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free

Compare Travel Credit Cards

Rates last updated June 27th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Complimentary Travel Insurance Annual fee Minimum Income
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
An introductory offer on balance transfers, plus complimentary travel insurance & access to a 24/7 Concierge service.
0
0
Yes
$0 p.a.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard
Enjoy a high credit limit with complimentary travel insurances and earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
0.5
0
Yes
$160 p.a.
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and access to a 24/7 concierge service.
No
$0 p.a.
Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard
Earn uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and receive complimentary travel insurance.
0.66
0
Yes
$270 p.a.

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Compare different types of travel credit cards


 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 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.

No Currency Conversion Fee Credit Cards

Avoid getting charged a fee for currency conversion when making purchases overseas or online.

Rates last updated June 27th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
An introductory offer on balance transfers, plus complimentary travel insurance & access to a 24/7 Concierge service.
0% of transaction value
$0
The greater of 2% or $4.00
$0 p.a.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard
Enjoy a high credit limit with complimentary travel insurances and earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
0% of transaction value
2% or $4.00, whichever is greater
$160 p.a.
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and access to a 24/7 concierge service.
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard
Earn uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and receive complimentary travel insurance.
0% of transaction value
$270 p.a.

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Frequent Flyer and Rewards Credit Cards

Frequent flyer and rewards credit cards are designed with the traveller in mind 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.

Rates last updated June 27th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
Collect 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening.
50,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$195 p.a.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
75,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter)
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement and earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.
60,000 bonus points
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$199 p.a.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent in the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
100,000 bonus points
0
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.

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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.

Rates last updated June 27th, 2017
$
Name Product Product Description Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Free Period Interest Saved
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Includes complimentary overseas medical and travel insurance and the ability to use Apple Pay and Android Pay.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
Receive complimentary overseas travel insurance and transit accident insurance, plus a 24/7 personal concierge service.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Westpac Low Rate Card
Get an additional cardholder at no extra cost and take advantage of Visa PayWave and Samsung Pay.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$59 p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Earn 0.66 Velocity Rewards points per $1 on purchases and receive a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 6 months
$129 p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases

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No annual fee credit cards

These cards are pretty self-explanatory, and tend to also be described as no-frills cards, or everyday days. No annual fee cards do not charge the cardholder an annual account or card holding fee. They also come without ‘bells and whistles’ and will tend not to have features which are useful for travel.

Typically, no annual fee credit cards will charge for currency conversion and will not entitle the user to rewards or come with travellers freebies. On the other hand, if you are only taking your credit card as an emergency card, don’t plan to use it frequently, or think that you won't benefit from rewards, not having to pay a high annual fee could be enough incentive to take this type of credit card with you on holiday.

Rates last updated June 27th, 2017
Name Product Annual fee Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
$0 p.a.
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance when you pay for your phone or contract.
Citi Simplicity Card
$0 p.a.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
Receive access to complimentary purchase insurance and free bottles of wine with the Citibank Dining Program.
St.George Vertigo Visa
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
Get up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and an additional card for $0.
Coles Platinum No Annual Fee Mastercard
$0 p.a.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
Receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop if you apply, are approved by 30 June 2017 and make a purchase within the first 30 days.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
Get up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and an additional card for $0.

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Benefits.

  • No annual fee. Pay nothing to keep this card in your wallet.
  • No annual fee credit cards also come with up to a number of interest free days if you pay your account in full each month. This means you can make interest free purchases between statement periods during your holiday. Some no annual fee credit cards also feature a low ongoing purchase rate of interest or purchase rate promotion when the account in opened.

Considerations.

  • If you are planning a trip away and will be transacting overseas, make sure you are aware of the charges for international transaction on your no annual fee card. Because these cards are ‘no frills’, often they don’t offer features or entitle the cardholder to benefits that are useful when abroad.

Gold, Platinum and Black credit cards

On the other side of the spectrum to ‘no annual fee’ credit cards are gold, platinum and black credit cards. These types of 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 in exchange for a higher annual fee.

Rates last updated June 27th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
Collect 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening.
50,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months with a 1.5% p.a. balance transfer fee.
1
0
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers offer with a 2% p.a. balance transfer fee.
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent on eligible transactions within the first 3 months.
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 T&Cs apply.
0
0
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)

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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

  • Q. 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 around 2 or 3 percent, every single time you transact.

Overtime, 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. Bare in mind that while some cards will advertise ‘no currency conversion fee’ as their main selling-point, this feature may be available on other cards, also.

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This page was last modified on 21 June 2017 at 7:54pm.

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4 Responses to Travel Money Credit Cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    Jen | May 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?

    • Staff
      Anndy | May 16, 2017

      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

  2. Default Gravatar
    | May 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?

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | May 5, 2015

      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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