travel-money-companion_v2

What is your ideal travel money companion?

Rates and fees last updated on

Your One-Stop Guide to Travel Money

In this day and age of too much choice and variety, choosing the right travel money option to take with you on holiday can be difficult. Travelling with money has become hassle-free nowadays, and there are now an abundance of options for those who prefer not to travel with cash or traveller’s cheques. We explore the benefits and features of travel money cards, with comparisons between the different types. Here are a few to get you started:

These cards can be preloaded ahead of travelling, which can be ideal when organising your travel budget.

  • ANZ Travel Card. The good thing about this card is that you can lock in the exchange rate ahead of time, knowing exactly how much money you have upfront. While there are no transaction fees, the reload fee is 1.1%.
  • NAB Traveller Card. You can load up to 10 foreign currencies and move funds from one currency to another via internet banking. The reload fee is , but there are no fees on withdrawals from NAB international ATMs.
  • Travelex Travel card. You can load up to nine foreign currencies, save with zero overseas ATM fees. However, there is a reload fee of AUD$15 each time you load funds onto your card.
Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
NAB Traveller Card
NAB Traveller Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD

Overseas: $0 per withdrawal via international ATMs

Domestic: $3.75 fee applies

$0 $0 Go to site More
ANZ Travel Card
ANZ Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 3.50, USD 2.50, GBP 2.00, EUR 2.20, NZD 4.50, CAD 3.00, HKD 20.00, SGD 4.00, THB 95, JPY 260 1.1% $0 Go to site More
Qantas Cash
Qantas Cash
AUD, AED, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50 $0 $0 Go to site More
Cash Passport Mastercard
Cash Passport Mastercard
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD USD 2.50, EUR 2.50, GBP 2.00, NZD 3.50, THB 80.00, CAD 3.50, HKD 18.00, JPY 260.00, SGD 3.50, AUD 3.50 $0 $0 Go to site More
Australia Post Multi-currency Cash Passport
Australia Post Multi-currency Cash Passport
AUD, NZD, USD, EUR, GBP, THB, SGD, CAD, HKD, JPY Overseas: $0

Domestic: 2.95% of the amount withdrawn

$5 $0 Go to site More
Compare Prepaid Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards are like any other credit card but with bonus features such as frequent flyer programs and zero fees on foreign transactions.

  • Coles Rewards Mastercard. With no foreign transaction fees for online shopping and overseas travelling, this card also racks up 2 flybuys points for every $1 spent. The annual fee is $99, and it has a cash advance rate of 19.99% p.a.
  • Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard. This card offers complimentary travel insurance and a 24/7 concierge service, with $0 annual fees and foreign transaction fees. The cash advance rate is 21.99% p.a.

Travel Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 26th, 2017
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
$0 p.a.
Receive a $50 credit when you apply online, are approved and spend $750 on your new card within the first 3 months of card membership.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
$195 p.a.
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
American Express Platinum Card
$1,200 p.a.
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, membership to an elite tier of partner programs and access to more than 1,000 VIP lounges.
David Jones American Express
$99 p.a.
Receive benefits through David Jones including complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events.
American Express Gold Business Card
$169 p.a.
Take advantage of no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds to MYOB accounting software and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Platinum Business Card
$1,500 p.a.
Enjoy a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and luxury hotel benefits.
American Express Business Explorer® Credit Card
$395 p.a.
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you meet the requirement and 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card - Qantas Frequent Flyer
$295 p.a.
Fly faster with up to 3 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance when travel is booked on your card.

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare Travel Credit Cards

Travel debit cards allow you to access your own funds overseas and limit holiday costs by reducing fees at eligible international ATMs.

  • Citibank Plus Everyday Account. This card is fee-free and helps you save with free international money transfers and $0 fees on Citibank ATM withdrawals. Plus, you can enjoy a bonus bottle of wine when dining at eligible restaurants.
  • Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account. You can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Points on purchases and enjoy no monthly maintenance fees when you deposit 2000 into your account each month.
  • Westpac Choice. Cut your travel money costs with no ATM fees at eligible ATMs overseas and no monthly service fee as long as you deposit 2000 a month.

Compare Travel Debit Cards

Rates last updated September 26th, 2017
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
St.George Complete Freedom Account
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
$5
$0 / $1
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network. International transaction fee still applies.
Westpac Choice
0.00%
0.00%
$5
$0 / $0
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network. International transaction fee still applies.
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
0.01%
0.01%
0.00%
$6
$0 / $0
$0 Overseas ATM withdrawal fees charged by Bankwest. Third party ATM fees and international transaction fees may still apply.
Macquarie Transaction Account
2.30%
2.30%
$0
/
$0 International transaction fees. Overseas ATM fee still applies.
Macquarie Platinum Transaction Account
2.30%
2.30%
$0
/
$0 International transaction fees. Overseas ATM fee still applies.
Citibank Plus Everyday Account
0.00%
0.00%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
$0 International transaction fees and $0 overseas ATM withdrawals fees if you use a Citibank ATM overseas.

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare Travel Debit Cards

How to select the right combination of travel money options

There’s no such thing as the one perfect travel money card. When it comes to securing your holiday budget, it’s best not to put all of your eggs in one basket. The ideal option will depend on your financial situation, spending habits and holiday plans.

For example, if you travel frequently, a debit and credit card could be a good way to earn points as you spend. If you’re a student traveller, a prepaid travel money card could be a better way to access your own funds across multiple currencies.

While one travel money option may be preferable over another, you may wish to select a backup in the case of emergencies. So, if you’re using a prepaid travel money card, you might like to consider carrying a credit card in the case of emergencies. Consider your financial situation and how you’d like to use your cash when you’re on holidays to determine which combination of travel money possibilities is right for you.
Guide to Travelling With Money Overseas

Mistakes to avoid

  • Relying on one option. It’s better not to rely on just one option, for “just in case” situations. A backup debit or credit card could come in handy if your prepaid card is misplaced or stolen,.
  • Reloading time. If you’re using a prepaid travel money card and need to use BPAY or an online bank transfer to load funds on the card, keep in mind that it could take 1-3 business days to process (not taking into account bank holidays or weekends).
  • Fees. Make sure you’re aware of all the fees involved, including overseas interest charges, so you don’t encounter any nasty surprises on your next bill.
  • Accepted currencies and worldwide access. Check ahead of time whether the countries you are planning to visit will accept your card as an acceptable form of payment. It’s also important to confirm whether the local currency is supported by your card or if you’ll have to fork out currency conversion fees and foreign transaction fees each time you make a transaction.

Ultimately, your choice of card for travelling comes down to what you feel would work best for you and your requirements. Although some may prefer one option for convenience, others may decide on a combination of options. Comparing your options will ensure that you know what’s available on the market and which is the right choice for you.

Happy travelling!

Back to top

Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is a journalist at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
feedback