Access your own funds around the world courtesy of the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card
If you’re after a stress-free trip, easy access to your funds and low travel money fees are a must. The Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card can be a worthwhile way to avoid some of the costs and inconveniences that come with accessing your own funds overseas. Here we unpack the benefits, features and drawbacks of the card to help you decide whether it is the right travel money option for you.
Why should I use a Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card instead of a credit card?
A number of Australians use the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card, with good A number of Australians use the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card, with good reason. As an international traveller, you can look forward to the following benefits when using this card:
- Spend 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. Besides, you could also end up with credit 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
When you use an Australian credit card to pay in a foreign currency, there’s a good chance you’ll have to pay currency conversion and foreign transaction fees. Using your Travel Money card to pay in the desired currency gives you the ability to avoid both these fees.
- Access to multiple currencies
You can load funds in as many as 13 currencies on your card at any given time. If you have the local currency of your holiday destination loaded on the card, your funds will automatically deduct from that wallet to avoid currency conversion fees.
- Locked-in exchange rates
If you’re worried about fluctuating exchange rates when you travel, don’t be. With the Travel Money Card, you benefit from locked-in exchange rates before you travel.
How does the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card work?
The Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card brings with it the features of a credit card and a debit card. 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 work rather well aiming to stick to a budget.
This card comes with a MasterCard affiliation, so you can use it at any ATM or EFTPOS terminal in the world as long as you see the MasterCard symbol. If you end up using all the loaded funds at any point, you can always load more funds. This card comes with a backup card that you can turn to if you end up losing your primary card. 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 Commonwealth Bank 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. Keep in mind that there is a minimum of $200 for the first load.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, with a minimum of one Australian Dollar or its equivalent in a foreign currency. 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, as mentioned, gives you the ability to load up to 13 currencies in your account at any one time, and the currencies you can add include the following:
- 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?
The order of the above listed currencies is also default order, where any funds you load on your card would convert to the first currency on the list, which, in this case, is United States Dollars. If you have multiple currencies on your card, this feature requires your attention.
For example, if you’re staying in London but you have US Dollars, Euros and Great British Pounds loaded on your card, you’ll want to change the default currency to GBP. If you don’t then, the funds will automatically be deducted from the highest wallet in the currency order (in this case, US Dollars). 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.
If you end up with unused currency after any trip, you can covert the same to any other currency in your account, and the exchange rate depends on the given day’s exchange rate. If you have insufficient funds in a given currency when making a payment, the card automatically takes the remainder from the first currency on your card’s list.
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.
Can I manage my account online?
Managing your Travel Money card account is easy, thanks to NetBank and 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. So make sure you have your Travel Money Cards along with the corresponding six-digit registration codes they choose upon purchasing their cards.
Fees and charges
The fees and charges you can expect to pay over time include the following:
Transfer between currenciesFreePurchase transaction feeFree
|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||Depends on currency|
|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 Commonwealth Bank branches.
What do I do when I return from my holiday?
If you’ve got some money left over in your Travel Money Card account upon your 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 that international websites charge. This gives you the means to avoid overseas transaction fees and currency conversion fees.
- Withdraw the cash. You can visit closest Commonwealth Bank ATM and withdraw the money. No matter which currency in your accounts holds funds, you get it all in Australian dollars, at the prevailing exchange rate.
- Transfer remaining funds to your account. You can also transfer the left over funds to an eligible Commonwealth Bank account using the NetBank platform.
- Close the account. You can decide to close your account at any time, and you can do so by visiting any Commonwealth Bank branch. You can get Commonwealth Bank to transfer remaining funds to a bank account with a different financial institution by providing its BSB number and your account number.
What you do with your funds after your trip is up to you. Bear in mind, though, that this card does not attract any ongoing account keeping fees, and if you wish to get one again, you would have to pay the card issue fee again.Back to top
What are the pros and cons of using a CommBank Travel Money Card?
- Global acceptance. Given its MasterCard connect; you can look forward to using this card just about everywhere in the world, at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals alike.
- Access to funds in multiple currencies. Travelling overseas requires that you make payments in foreign currencies, which can involve confusing calculations. With the Travel Money Card, you can pay in 13 different currencies, without having to worry about the math. Even if you choose to pay in a currency not loaded on your card, the payment is automatic, and you don’t have to carry out any calculations.
- 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.
- 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 is person by visiting any Commonwealth Bank branch. Existing Commonwealth Bank customers can apply for one online by logging in to NetBank. If you’re not an existing Commonwealth Bank customer, make sure to 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
Getting the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card makes sense if you’re a traveller who is looking to cut down on travel costs. Access to 13 different currencies via MasterCard gives you access to your cash around the world. Remember, though, that there are other cards that offer similar features, so compare a few before deciding.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?
Existing Commonwealth Bank customers registered for NetBank can use this platform to apply for a new Travel Money Card, but its transactions won’t show on your regular NetBank account. To view its transaction and other account related details, you have to login to Travel Money Online.
Can I only use ATMs that dispense the same currencies I have on my Travel Money Card?
You can turn to any ATM that displays the MasterCard logo, and 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.