You can use your Westpac credit card overseas without any problem because MasterCard, Visa and American Express are readily accepted right across the globe.
AMEX acceptance is less than the other two, most people will have either a Visa or MasterCard with them, and this assures that purchases can be made at more than 28 million locations worldwide, and cash withdrawn from over 900,000 ATMs worldwide.
The only thing you need to remember when using your Westpac credit card overseas is that it's a slightly more expensive affair. This is not unique to Westpac - this is standard with any credit card. There are costs involved when using a credit card outside its country of issue, and those costs are born by the cardholder.
What fees can I expect to pay when using Westpac cards overseas?
- Westpac charges a fee of 3% for Visa/ MasterCard and 3.5% for American Express for purchases and cash advances made overseas. This fee is charged on the total amount of the transaction.
Always pay in local currency
The rule when using your Westpac credit card abroad is always to make sure that you pay in local currency. Don't try to be patriotic and pay in Aussie dollars because this will attract the dreaded Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) fee. This is a fee charged by the merchant for making the conversion and will be far higher than MasterCard, Visa or Amex will charge for doing the same when the transaction reaches them. Always pay in local currency, and remember that it is your right in international law to choose which currency you pay in. Merchants cannot insist that you pay in Aussie dollars, so if you are ever presented with a bill that has been totalled up in Aussie dollars, refuse it and insist you pay in the local currency.
This also applies when using your Westpac credit card overseas in ATMs. Generally, you will be charged in local currency, but some banks can be sneaky and present you with a screen that asks which currency you wish to be charged in. Read this carefully and choose the "YES" or "NO" option that means you are not charged in Aussie dollars.