travel-money-companion_v2

What is your ideal travel money companion?

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 $0.
  • 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 $0, 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

Updated December 14th, 2018
Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
AUD, USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB
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
0%
$0
Hold up to 10 currencies and lock in your exchange rate. No load, reload or transaction fees on purchases and part of a worldwide ATM alliance.
AUD, USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, AED
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, AED 10.00
0%
$0
Get discounted rates on USD in Cash Passport's rates sale. Plus free global Wi-Fi and more. Offer ends on 13 December 2018.
AUD, USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, AED
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
1%
$0
Get the chance to win a share of 1 million Qantas Points for every $100 in foreign currency you load onto your Qantas Travel Money card plus earn up to 5000 bonus points.

Compare up to 4 providers

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 December 14th, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle
3%
3%
of transaction value
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
$49 first year annual fee & up to 75,000 bonus Altitude Pts when you meet T&C with Visa (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
3%
of transaction value
$395 p.a.
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you meet the spend criteria. Plus, 2 yearly entries to the American Express Lounge.
David Jones American Express
3%
of transaction value
$99 p.a.
Not just for David Jones shoppers, receive 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points or 15,000 Qantas Points. Plus, uncapped points potential.
American Express Essential Credit Card
3%
of transaction value
$0 p.a.
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with this card. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.

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 December 14th, 2018
$
Name Product Product Description Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Eftpos Fee
ING Orange Everyday Account
Receive a rebate on any international transaction fees and international ATM fees when you deposit at least $1,000 a month and make at least 5 card purchases.
Visa
$0
$2.50
2.5%
NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card
$10 cashback on contactless purchases, $0 foreign transaction fee and complimentary travel insurance.
$10 monthly account fee.
Receive $10 cashback when you spend $1000 on contactless purchases. Complimentary travel insurance, transport accident insurance, purchase protection insurance and more when you meet eligibility criteria.
Visa
$0
$5
0%
HSBC Everyday Global Account
No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.
Visa
$0
$0
$0
Citi Global Currency Account
Hold up to 10 currencies.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free. Earn up to 2.25% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
Mastercard
$0
$0
$0

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!

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards and frequent flyer expert by day and music maven by night.

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