Access your own funds around the world with a Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card.
Easy access to your funds and low fees are a must when it comes to travel money options. The Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card is designed to reduce some of the costs and inconveniences that can come from accessing money overseas. Here we look at the benefits, features and drawbacks of the card to help you decide whether it is the right travel money option for you.
What’s the difference between a Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card and a credit card?
While a credit card allows you to access funds almost anywhere in the world, international transaction fees and other costs usually apply when you travel. Travel money cards, on the other hand, are prepaid options that allow you to load and spend money in a number of different currencies. With that in mind, some of the benefits of using a CommBank Travel Money Card include:
- Spending your own funds
If you use a credit card when travelling overseas, either to make purchases or to withdraw funds from ATMs, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ll have to start paying interest from day one of the transaction. You could also end up with debt that you find hard to repay later. With the Travel Money Card, you don’t have to worry about either of these problems because you’re accessing your own money.
- Avoid currency conversion and foreign transaction fees
Most Australian credit cards charge a fee when they are used for transactions made overseas or online with an international retailer. This fee is usually around 3% of the total you spend, which quickly adds up. But if you load the currency you’ll be spending on a CommBank Travel Money Card, you can avoid these fees when you travel or shop online.
- Access to multiple currencies
The Travel Money Card allows you to load funds in up to 13 currencies. If you have the local currency loaded on the card, your funds will automatically be taken from that wallet, allowing you to avoid currency conversion fees.
- Locked-in exchange rates
By pre-loading foreign currency on the Travel Money Card, you can lock in a competitive exchange rate before you go overseas. This gives you a chance to avoid fluctuating exchange rates when you travel and can help with budgeting because you’ll know how much you have to spend when you’re overseas.
How does the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card work?
The Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card has some features that are similar to a credit card and some that are similar to a debit card, but is specifically designed for convenience when travelling. For instance, while it gives you easy access to funds globally and does not link to a transaction account, you’re still using your own money and not paying any interest. The fact that you access your own funds, and not credit, can help you reduce fees and stick to a budget.
As of 3 October 2016, the Travel Money Card is issued as a Visa product and can be used in-store or online anywhere Visa is accepted. Prior to this date, the card was issued as a Mastercard product, and can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. This means you are able to make payments with a Travel Money Card at millions of locations all around the world.
The Travel Money Card also offers NetBank account access and management, which means you can load funds at any time, anywhere in the world providing you have Internet access. You’re also issued with a backup card that you can use if your primary card is lost or stolen. Blocking the primary card is easy; you simply have to contact Commonwealth Bank.Back to top
Managing your funds
How do I load and reload funds onto my card?
- Initial load. If you purchase your Travel Money Card at a CommBank branch, you can load cash in Australian Dollars directly into the account. You can also add funds to your card via direct debit using an eligible Commonwealth Bank account, with BPAY, or using a credit card cash advance. There is a minimum load of AUD$1 and a maximum of $100,000. Once you’ve loaded the funds onto your card, you can then transfer them to the other relevant supported currency wallets available on your card. You can do this online or over the phone and there is no fee to load or reload the card.
- Reload. You can choose to reload your card at any time. Your options include using NetBank or the CommBank app to transfer funds from your eligible CommBank account, adding funds using BPAY, and transferring funds from your CommBank account by calling the Travel Money Customer Service Centre. Remember that the loaded money goes towards the first currency in your currency order, which you can then transfer to the relevant wallets.
What currencies can I load onto the card?
The Travel Money Card allows you to load and spend in the following currencies:
- United States Dollars
- Great British Pounds
- Australian Dollars
- Japanese Yen
- New Zealand Dollars
- Hong Kong Dollars
- Canadian Dollars
- Singapore Dollars
- Thai Baht
- Vietnamese Dong
- Chinese Renminbi
- U.A.E. Dirham
How do I change the currency order?
If you have multiple currencies on your card, a currency order applies in the following circumstances:
- If the currency of a transaction you make is not loaded on your card, or you have insufficient funds in that currency to pay for that full transaction
- If you are reloading your card via BPAY(reloads made via BPAY will be automatically credited to the currency on your card that is highest in the currency order which is your primary currency
- If a replacement card fee applies and you do not have AUD on your card
In these circumstances, the funds used are based on the currency order. By default, this order is the same as the order of the currencies listed above.
So, for example, if you were in London and had no Great British Pounds, funds would automatically be taken from your US Dollars wallet (if you had funds in US Dollars available). Once that money was used, funds would be taken from your Euro wallet balance, then your Australian Dollars wallet and so on. You can change the order of your currency listings by logging into your Travel Money online account or by calling the Travel Money Customer Service Centre.
The currency order also comes into play if you try to make a purchase in a currency that isn’t loaded or supported by your card. In such a scenario, the card automatically accesses funds from the first currency on your card’s currency listing order. Depending on the exchange rates wherever your travelling, your Travel Money Card currency order could be extremely important.
Can I manage my account online?
Managing your Travel Money card account is easy via NetBank or the CommBank app. You can use these platforms from just about any Internet-enabled computer or smartphone, and they allow you to do the following:
- Check transaction history and account balance
- Reload for free using locked-in exchange rates
- Transfer balances between currencies
- Use eligible CommBank accounts for transferring funds to and from your Travel Money Card
- Change currency order (only through NetBank)
- Change PIN (only through NetBank)
- Lock and unlock your card for security (only through NetBank)
First-time users have to register to login to NetBank, which you can do online or over the phone when you get your Travel Money Card. Just make sure you have your account details handy, and provide the six-digit registration code you are prompted to choose when purchasing the card.
Fees and charges
The fees and charges you can expect to pay over time include the following:
|Fee type||Fee charged|
|Card issue fee||$15 AUD (upon purchase of card)|
|Load and reload fee||Free|
|Transfer between currencies||Free|
|Purchase transaction fee||Free|
|Cash withdrawal fee||This fee depends on the currency you are withdrawing. Here’s the full list: AUD 3.50, CAD 3.00, EUR 2.20, GBP 2.00, HKD 17, JPY 220, NZD 3.50, SGD 3.50, THB 80.00, USD 2.50, VND 50000|
|Replacement card fee||$15 AUD|
|Card closure fee||Free|
Note that full-time primary, secondary, or tertiary students don’t have to pay the card issue fee as long as they purchase their cards at a CommBank branch. If you’re a Gold, Platinum or Diamond credit card customer or a Platinum Debit MasterCard customer, CommBank will also waive the card issue fee for you in branch.
What do I do when I return from my holiday?
If you’ve got some money left over on your Travel Money Card when you return to Australia, you have the following options:
- Use the remaining funds for online shopping. If you like shopping through international websites, you can use your Travel Money Card to pay in currencies charged by international websites. This means you can avoid overseas transaction fees and currency conversion fees charged by many regular credit cards and debit cards.
- Withdraw the cash. You can withdraw the money from a CommBank or Bankwest ATM with no ATM fee. No matter which currency in your accounts holds funds, you will get it all in Australian dollars, at the prevailing exchange rate.
- Transfer remaining funds to your bank account. You can also transfer the left over funds to an eligible CommBank account via NetBank.
- Close the account. You can close your account at any time by visiting a Commonwealth Bank branch. You can get cash or ask CommBank to transfer the remaining funds to a bank account with a different financial institution by providing its BSB number and your account number. Remember that if you cancel your card and then wish to get one again later on, an issue fee would apply.
What you do with your funds and your Travel Money Card after your trip is up to you. Bear in mind, though, that this card does not attract any ongoing account-keeping fees, so it may be worth keeping on hand for future trips or for online shopping.Back to top
What are the pros and cons of using a CommBank Travel Money Card?
- Global acceptance. The Travel Money Card is accepted at over 36 million locations worldwide.
- Access to funds in multiple currencies. With the Travel Money Card, you can pre-load funds and make payments in 13 different currencies, without having to worry about fluctuating currency conversion costs. This can be much more convenient than travelling with a lot of cash, especially if you are going to several countries during your trip.
- Save on fees. Unlike a credit or a debit card, you don’t have to worry about paying overseas transaction fees and currency conversion fees when you use your Travel Money Card and have the correct currency loaded on your account.
- Card issue fee. This card has an issue fee of $15, while some other options don’t apply a charge.
- Card replacement fee. If you request a replacement charge, a $15 fee applies.
- Cash withdrawal fee. When you use this card to withdraw cash at ATMs, you have to pay a cash withdrawal fee, which varies from one currency to the next.
How to apply for the CommBank Travel Money Card
You can purchase a Travel Money Card in person by visiting any Commonwealth Bank branch. Existing Commonwealth Bank customers can apply for one online by logging in to NetBank. Note that you must be at least 14 years of age to apply for this card. If you’re not an existing Commonwealth Bank customer, make sure you also have the following documents handy:
- An identification document with a photograph, like your passport or driver’s licence
- Two identification documents without photographs, like your birth certificate and a Tax Office notice
The Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card is designed to give you affordable and secure access to your money wherever you are in the world. With up to 13 currencies available, and a changeable currency order, it offers both convenience and flexibility when you travel. But there are other travel money cards that offer similar features, so make sure you compare a few options before deciding which one is right for you.Back to top
Frequently asked questions
Why can’t I log into Travel Money Card account online?
Why can’t I see my Travel Money Card transactions in my Commonwealth Bank NetBank account?
If you can’t see your transactions via your NetBank account, check to make sure you have activated and registered the card. If you have, contact the Travel Money Customer Service Centre on 1300 660 700 to resolve the situation.
Can I only use ATMs that dispense the same currencies I have on my Travel Money Card?
You can use any ATM that accepts Visa cards. If you don’t have the local currency on your card, the card will convert the first currency on your card’s currency listing order and the ATM will dispense its equivalent value in the local currency.
If your card was issued before 3 October 2016, you can use any ATM that accepts Mastercard cards. The same currency order details as outlined above will apply.