*Best credit card for overseas travel

Information verified correct on September 26th, 2016
overseas travel credit card

Spend with ease using a travel credit card on your next overseas trip.

Travelling overseas requires a lot of planning and there’s almost nothing more important than getting your finances sorted before your trip. You don’t want to be caught out paying excessive conversion fees when travelling, so it’s best to find a credit card that suits your needs and will help you avoid financial hassles on your next holiday.

Although there is no such thing as one best card, you can now use credit cards designed specifically for travelling overseas. This is great news for travellers who want to get more from their credit card when travelling. Travel credit cards usually offer:

  • No currency conversion fees
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Access to a frequent flyer program.

Travel credit cards are suitable for those who frequently travel overseas or for those who want the option of using credit overseas.

Comparison of credit cards for overseas travel

Rates last updated September 26th, 2016.

HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card

Bonus points offer has been changed from 40,000 to 60,000 and extended until 31 December 2016.

September 1st, 2016

American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

Standard 10,000 bonus points offer has replaced the 30,000 bonus points exclusive offer.

September 1st, 2016

Commonwealth Bank Business Platinum Awards credit card

First year annual fee waiver has been extended until 31 October 2016.

September 2nd, 2016

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Earn up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points after you make your first eligible purchase within 3 months of card approval plus earn 1.5 points per $1 spent. Easier payments with Apple Pay.
19.99% p.a. $425 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Earn bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months. Plus receive a free Virgin Australia $129 Gift Voucher each year. Available from mid-2016.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and receive a complimentary Virgin Australia domestic economy return flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $195 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. Enjoy access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases and receive complimentary domestic return flight and lounge passes each year you hold the card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
20.24% p.a. $225 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Card - Cashback Offer
Earn $250 cashback on eligible spend, plus enjoy 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 12 months, discounted annual fees for the life of the card and a complimentary travel insurance.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Commonwealth Bank Business Platinum Awards credit card
Earn up to 3 Awards points per dollar spent, enjoy complimentary insurances and $0 annual fee for the first year.
20.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($300 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info

How do the *best credit cards for overseas travel work?

It’s important to note that the best card is subjective and will depend on your travelling preferences, and what you want out of your card. The best cards work by helping you save money and receive rewards while using your card overseas. Travel credit cards can help you avoid fees and charges such as currency conversion fees and ATM fees. They can also provide additional value beyond a normal credit card through complimentary travel insurance and reward programs. However, these additional features usually come at the cost of a higher annual fee than your standard credit card.

They can also provide additional value beyond a normal credit card through complimentary travel insurance and reward programs. However, these additional features usually come at the cost of a higher annual fee than your standard credit card.

What are the *best types of credit cards for travelling?

  1. Frequent Flyer credit cards - Frequent Flyer credit cards are linked to frequent flyer programs such as Velocity and Qantas Frequent Flyer. When you use your card overseas, you accumulate points that you can use on flights, upgrades and gifts. Great for those who are constantly travelling.
  2. Rewards credit cards - Reward credit cards are just what the name implies, they reward you for your use. Using your card, especially overseas, will gain points that you can use in various reward programs. Overseas transactions tend to be worth more points than regular domestic transactions.
  3. Business credit cards - Business credit cards are designed for business use rather than personal use. If you travel overseas for business, or have employees travelling overseas for business, using a business credit card for all business transactions overseas is a good way to track spending and separate personal and business travel spending.
  4. Platinum credit cards - Platinum credit cards also include Black and Gold cards. They have more features and service than a regular credit card. For this reason, the annual fee is much higher. Platinum cards reward you for travelling overseas and often provide complimentary travel insurance and support while travelling.

What to look for in the *best credit card for overseas travel?

  • No currency conversion fees - Converting funds to your desired currency typically attracts a fee. The most effective credit cards for overseas travel won’t involve a currency conversion fee and can help you save in additional fees. You can’t avoid converting money overseas so it’s crucial you compare this feature.
  • No overseas ATM withdrawal fees - Withdrawing money overseas from ATM’s can also involve fees, which can end up being quite expensive. The ideal credit cards will offer low or no ATM withdrawal fees. This is another important feature to consider, as it can help you save while travelling.
  • Complimentary travel insurance - When you’re travelling overseas, travel insurance is crucial protection. Complimentary travel insurance can help you save significantly in insurance cover and can protect you against unexpected setbacks and emergencies. The travel card for you could be based on complimentary travel insurance and whether your needs are met by this service.
  • Linked to a frequent flyer program - With some overseas travel credit cards, using your card can help you gain frequent flyer points. You can earn these points while travelling and then use these points for flights, upgrades and gifts. Each credit card will be linked to different reward programs so compare and find one that suits you.
  • Earn more points for overseas purchases - Some credit cards may also offer you the opportunity to earn more points when making overseas purchases. This is a great way to build up your points and earn rewards. Each credit card will have different conditions around earning points for overseas purchases so it’s important you compare your options.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Be rewarded for travelling - Credit cards for overseas travel will reward you just for travelling. You can be rewarded for making purchases overseas and earn points for loyalty or reward programs. Simply using your credit card overseas will give you more from your credit card.
  • Save money - Credit cards can also help you save money. You can save money by avoiding conversion and ATM withdrawals fees, along with complimentary travel insurance. All of these things can help you save hundreds.
  • Acceptance - Credit cards will also be widely accepted in most locations so you can use your card wherever you travel.

Cons

  • Fees - Depending on what type of credit card you have, you may be charged with fees and surcharges in certain locations for using your card.
  • Higher annual fees - If your card comes with premium features,  such as complimentary travel insurance or concierge services, they will likely come at a cost of higher annual fees.
  • High interest rates - Overseas travel credit cards tend to attract much higher rates than regular credit cards.
  • Excess interest - If you don’t pay off your balance on time, you can incur excessive interest.

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FAQs

What are the most widely accepted credit cards overseas?

Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards and you can use them in millions of locations around the world.

Can I get a cash advance with my credit card for overseas travel?

In most cases you can, however, they do tend to attract a high interest rate.

What types of reward programs are available?

Virgin’s Velocity, Qantas Frequent Flyer, FlyBuys and each provider’s own reward programs are some that are offered. The reward program on offer will vary depending on the credit card and bank.
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Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 26th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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