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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.

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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

Bankwest Credit Card Offer

Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers
with a one-time 2% balance transfer fee

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Bankwest Credit Card Offer

A platinum card offering a balance transfer and complimentary insurance covers. Plus, 0% foreign transaction fees.

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months, with 2% balance transfer fee
  • $49 first year annual fee ($99 p.a. thereafter)
  • Ongoing interest rate of 12.99% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees on overseas purchases
Promoted
Updated April 7th, 2020
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM withdrawal fee Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
ING Orange One

2.5%
$2.50
11.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Keep costs low with $0 annual fee and 100% foreign transaction fee rebates. Available when you hold or open an Orange Everyday account.
ING Orange One Platinum

2.5%
$2.50
16.99% p.a.
$149 p.a.
Enjoy up to $30 cashback per month and 100% foreign transaction fee rebates. Available when you hold or open an Orange Everyday account.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card

0%
20.24% p.a.
$225 p.a.
Receive a complimentary flight and 2 Virgin lounge passes / year, complimentary international travel insurance, plus 0% foreign transaction fees.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

0%
$0
17.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
Westpac Lite Card

0%
9.9% p.a.
$108 p.a.
Keep credit card costs low with a maximum credit limit of $4,000, a 9.9% p.a. purchase interest rate and no foreign 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.

Updated April 7th, 2020
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
100,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Amex
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations. Ends 14 Apr 2020.
Qantas Premier Platinum
100,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Visa/MC
1
19.99% p.a.
$299 p.a.
Get up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for the first 18 months and complimentary lounge passes.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
flybuys
Visa/MC
2
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
140,000 bonus points
Qantas Business Rewards
Amex
1.25
N/A
$450 p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get up to 140,000 bonus points, 3x points on eligible Qantas flights & 2 lounge passes per year.
American Express Platinum Business Card
150,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards
Amex
2.25
N/A
$1,750 p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 150,000 bonus points and up to 2.25 points/ $1 spent on eligible business purchases.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Amex
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 for the first 3 months. Plus, 100 Status Credits and luxury travel perks.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Amex
0.75
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Qantas Points on your purchases and pay $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Amex
0.75
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Velocity Points on purchases and save with a $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards
Amex
2
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the Amex Lounge.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Membership Rewards Ascent
Amex
1
20.74% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Receive a yearly $200 Travel Credit and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance, plus earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Amex
1
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
American Express Velocity Business Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Amex
1
N/A
$249 p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. A business charge card offering Velocity Points per $1 spent and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
David Jones American Express Card
30,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Membership Rewards
Amex
1
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Not just for David Jones shoppers, receive 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 15,000 Qantas Points on eligible spend. Ends 8 Apr 2020.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
60,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Membership Rewards
Amex
1
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
DJ's shoppers and Qantas travellers earn 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 30,000 Qantas Points on eligible spend. Ends 8 Apr 2020.
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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.

Updated April 7th, 2020
$
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee Interest Free Period Amount saved
Commonwealth Bank Low Rate Gold Credit Card
0% for 15 months, reverts to 13.24% p.a.
5.99% p.a. for 5 months
$89 p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
Keep interest costs low with a 0% p.a. introductory rate on purchases for 15 months. Plus, access to complimentary insurance covers.
Bank First Visa Classic Credit Card
0% for 6 months, reverts to 12.79% p.a.
12.79% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with a $0 annual fee for life and enjoy 0% p.a. introductory rate for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers.
Commonwealth Bank Low Fee Gold Credit Card
0% for 15 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
5.99% p.a. for 5 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($89 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and an ongoing annual fee waiver when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, included insurances.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card
0% for 14 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with 0% p.a. for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers and a $49 first year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel insurance.
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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.

Updated April 7th, 2020
Name Product Annual fee Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
$0 p.a.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
ING Orange One
$0 p.a.
11.99% p.a.
Keep costs low with $0 annual fee and 100% foreign transaction fee rebates. Available when you hold or open an Orange Everyday account.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card - Online Offer
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
16.99% p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus points and a $0 annual fee for the first year. Plus, complimentary insurance and lounge passes.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
$0 p.a.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Earn uncapped Qantas Points on your purchases and pay $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
$0 p.a.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Earn uncapped Velocity Points on purchases and save with a $0 annual fee for life.
ANZ Low Rate
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 22 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
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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.

Updated April 7th, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations. Ends 14 Apr 2020.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$299 p.a.
Get up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for the first 18 months and complimentary lounge passes.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
N/A
$450 p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get up to 140,000 bonus points, 3x points on eligible Qantas flights & 2 lounge passes per year.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 for the first 3 months. Plus, 100 Status Credits and luxury travel perks.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
DJ's shoppers and Qantas travellers earn 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 30,000 Qantas Points on eligible spend. Ends 8 Apr 2020.
American Express Platinum Card
N/A
$1,450 p.a.
Receive 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points, a $450 annual Platinum Travel Credit, dedicated personal service and luxury travel perks.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$395 p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the Amex Lounge.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$195 p.a.
Receive a yearly $200 Travel Credit and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance, plus earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
20.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 0% p.a. for 18 month balance transfer offer and a $0 first year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
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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 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?

    • 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

  2. 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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