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.
Prepaid Travel Money Cards Comparison
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
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
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.
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