What is your ideal travel money companion?

Rates and Fees verified correct on October 25th, 2016

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 CardThe 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% of the value purchased.
  • NAB Traveller CardYou can load up to 10 foreign currencies and move funds from one currency to another via internet banking. The reload fee is 1%, 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.

Prepaid Travel Money Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 25th, 2016
Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
Flight Centre Key to the World Currency Card
Flight Centre Key to the World Currency Card
AUD, USD, SGD, NZD, JPY, THB, GBP, EUR, HKD, CAD 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 1.1% of the total amount $0 Go to site More
Travelex Travel Card
Travelex Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD Travelex does not charge an ATM withdrawal fee when you use your Travelex Multi-currency Cash Passport to withdraw currencies that are loaded on the card at overseas ATMs where MasterCard is accepted. The greater of 1.1% of the initial load / reload amount or AU$15.00 $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 two flybuys points for every $1 spent.  The annual fee is $89, and it has a cash advance rate of 19.99% per annum.
  • Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard. This card offers complimentary travel insurance and a 24/7 concierge service, with zero annual fees and foreign transaction fees. The cash advance rate is 21.99% per annum.
  • Bankwest Platinum MasterCard. This card offers 50,000 Bonus Qantas Points on signup, travel and accident insurance, and payment protection. You can save with zero fees on online or foreign transactions, although the cash advance rate is 21.99% per annum.

Travel Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 25th, 2016
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
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Product nameInterest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
$0 $395 p.a. 95% More info
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 AccountThis card is fee-free and helps you save with free international money transfers and zero 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 $2,000 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 $2,000 a month.

Compare Travel Debit Cards

Rates last updated October 25th, 2016
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
Westpac Choice
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
0.00% 0.00% $5 $0 / $0 Open More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
0.00% 0.00% 0.00% $5 $0 / $1 Open More
Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
0.00% 0.00% $3 $0 / $1 Open More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest), 3rd party ATM fees and international transaction fees may still apply.
0.01% 0.01% $6 $0 / $0 Open More
Citibank Plus Everyday Account
No international transaction fees and no overseas ATM withdrawals fees if you use a Citibank ATM overseas.
0.00% 0.00% 0.00% $0 $0 / $0 More
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!

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Sally McMullen

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

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