Commonwealth Bank today released the new “Travel Money MasterCard’, the first card of its kind which allows consumers to fix up to 6 exchange rates for international travel.
The aim of the card is to help travellers organise their expenses when they’re overseas, as they can predict their costs and foreign currency fees with relative ease. It also gives Commbank customers the opportunity to take advantage of locking in cheaper exchange rates before they travel.
Executive Manager of Retail Products of Commonwealth Bank Michael Cant stated the card will improve the way travellers transact internationally.
Travel money card comparison
‘We are committed to offering services and products which make banking easy for our customers. The Travel Money Card is cost effective, accessible throughout the world and has the flexibility to load and transfer between multiple currencies, which has never been seen before Mr Cant said.
‘The Travel Money Card can be loaded with US dollars, British pounds, Euros, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars so people don’t have the hassle of changing money at their destination and can better manage their spending given the card is prepaid and the currency locked in. ‘This is a great option for anyone who travels, from backpackers, business and seasoned travellers, or parents preparing their children for their first travel experience.
Executive Vice President of MasterCard Australasia Eddie Grobler claims the Travel Money Card will provide a solid global payment solution while overseas.
‘MasterCard prides itself on offering its customers convenience and peace of mind when it comes to travelling internationally, and that benefit is now extended to Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card customers” Mr Grobler said.
‘A world first for MasterCard, travellers can now access multiple currencies on the single card and know the card will be accepted across MasterCard’s vast global network.
Key Travel Money Card features:
- As it’s a MasterCard, it has worldwide acceptance where ever Visa or MasterCard are normally accepted.
- No foreign purchase fees. A flat $3.50 ATM fee is imposed.
- $200 minimum and $25,000 maximum funds for preloading. There is a flat $15.00 fee for adding funds.
- Funds last up to 3 years. After this, any remaining balance expires on your behalf.
- No interest accumulates on your balance, as it is technically a prepaid card, not a credit card.
- Reload at any Commonwealth Bank bank branch, online, or via phone.
- You receive an extra card for backup free of charge. If you lose it however, it’s a $60 fee for replacement.
- You don’t need to be a Commonwealth Bank customer to receive a card. You don’t need a credit check or lengthy application either, mainly just an identity check.
What’s the difference between the Travel Money Card and a regular credit card?
When you make a purchase overseas on a regular credit card, you are often charged a flat 2-4% on your transaction amount. This is called a ‘foreign currency exchange fee’ or ‘overseas transaction charge’. Cash advances can be even more expensive.
A prepaid credit card allows you to add funds to your card at a flat fee. You have no access to borrowed money i.e ‘credit’, any money on a prepaid credit card is solely your own. Commonwealth Bank’s Travel Money Card is a prepaid credit card designed for travellers who want to cut costs on their international trips and provides a solid alternative to overseas credit card usage.
Credit Credit vs Travel Money Prepaid Card
The current foreign currency transaction fee for Commonwealth is 2.95%. The flat fee for preloading your Travel Money Card is $15.
Therefore, if you spent $509 on a Commonwealth Bank credit card overseas, you would have to pay $15 in foreign fees (2.95% of 509 = 15.0155).
In most scenarios, it’s unlikely someone will spend less than $509 in purchases overseas.
This demonstrates the dollar value of the Travel Money Card vs a regular Commonwealth card.
However, one of the risks of travelling is the unpredictability of expenses. You never know when you might suddenly run out funds, which is normally covered by having credit at hand.
If you constantly need to call up and transfer more funds to your Travel Money Card, that’s a flat $15 fee everytime.
If you don’t have any of your own funds left, then you may be in even more trouble. Carrying a credit card is general advice for travelling internationally.
The Commonwealth Bank Gold Card has a host of luxuries and overseas benefits, such as free international travel insurance. Find out more about the Commonwealth Bank Gold Card here.
The full Travel Money Card Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) can be viewed here.
For more information about credit card travel fees, view our foreign currency and international transaction table.