Travel Credit Cards

Travel Credit Cards let you make transactions overseas and offer various travel perks including no currency conversion fees and complimentary travel insurance. Compare your options 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 onto a prepaid travel card, giving you more value for your money.

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

Compare Travel Credit Cards

Latitude Financial Services Credit Card Offer

28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard

$0 annual fee

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Latitude Financial Services Credit Card Offer

Enjoy up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, no annual fee and no international transaction fees.

  • $0 p.a. annual fee.
  • 21.99% p.a. on purchases
  • Cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free
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Rates last updated November 16th, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$99 p.a.
Receive a 0% p.a. interest rate on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months, complimentary travel insurance and 0% foreign transaction fees.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$5
$0
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, 2 yearly Virgin Australia lounge passes, plus enjoy $0 overseas purchase transaction fees.

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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 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.

Rates last updated November 16th, 2018
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Qantas - Exclusive Offer
90,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
0.5
20.24% p.a.
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive:
Up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria with this dual Visa (issued & serviced by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
90,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$295 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Earn Qantas Points on your everyday spending, take advantage of complimentary overseas travel insurance and a 24/7 concierge service.
Qantas Premier Everyday
40,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of up to 40,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $0 first year annual fee plus complimentary overseas travel insurance.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Velocity Points and enjoy complimentary lounge passes, a domestic return flight and insurance covers.
Qantas Premier Platinum
60,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$299 p.a.
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points and a $300 Qantas Flight Voucher when you spend $4,000 within the first 90 days.

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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 November 16th, 2018
$
Name Product Product Description Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Free Period Amount Saved
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
finder Exclusive: Save on credit card costs with half the annual fee for the first year and a 0% p.a. interest rate on purchases for 14 months.
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 6 months
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 44 days on purchases
Citi Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
finder Exclusive:
Save with 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a discounted $49 annual fee for the first year.
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 20.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 13 months
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
Receive purchase and balance transfer offers of 0% p.a. for 13 months, a low ongoing rate and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$79 p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
St.George Amplify
Take advantage of 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 14 months. Plus, earn 1 Amplify Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases, uncapped.
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 19.49% p.a.)
$79 p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Card
Take advantage of 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 14 months. Plus, your choice of Amplify or Qantas Points.
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 19.49% p.a.)
$79 p.a.
Up to 55 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 cards. 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 November 16th, 2018
Name Product Annual fee Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
ME frank Credit Card
$0 p.a.
11.99% p.a.
Save money with an ongoing $0 annual fee, the same low 11.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases and cash advances, and up to 55 days interest-free.
Qantas Premier Everyday
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
19.99% p.a.
4.9% p.a. for 24 months
Take advantage of up to 40,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $0 first year annual fee plus complimentary overseas travel insurance.
Citi Simplicity Card
$0 p.a.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 6 months on balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($45 p.a. thereafter)
11.99% p.a.
A no-frills card with a low variable purchase interest rate of 11.99% p.a. and a $0 first year annual fee.
CUA Low Rate Credit Card
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 13 months
Take advantage of a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 13 months, $0 first year annual fee, and a low ongoing 11.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases.

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Benefits.

  • No annual fee. Pay nothing to keep this card in your wallet.
  • Interest free days. 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 transactions 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 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 November 16th, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Citi Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 20.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 13 months
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive:
Save with 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a discounted $49 annual fee for the first year.
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% p.a. for 14 months balance transfer and $0 first year annual fee. Plus, insurance covers and Citibank Dining Program perks.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Exclusive Offer
20.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive:
$0 first year annual fee & up to 90,000 bonus Altitude Pts when you meet T&C with Visa (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex)
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card - Exclusive Offer
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months
$90 p.a.
finder Exclusive: Take advantage of 0% p.a. interest for 25 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Velocity Points and enjoy complimentary lounge passes, a domestic return flight and insurance covers.

Compare up to 4 providers

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 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. Bare 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

  1. 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?

    • finder Customer Care
      LouMay 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

  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?

    • finder 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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