Access your money overseas without paying extra charges and fees by choosing the right credit card.
Using your credit card can be a very handy way of paying when you’re holidaying overseas. However, foreign transaction fees, international ATM charges and cash advance fees can leave a big hole in your holiday budget. Choosing a card that doesn’t charge those fees leaves you with extra money to enjoy your trip. It’s also useful if you want to shop online using overseas sites.
Use the tables below to compare cards that don’t charge foreign currency conversion fees or international ATM fees, and learn more about travel money expenses and how to minimise them.
Comparison of No Foreign Currency Exchange Fee Credit Cards
Rates last updated August 25th, 2016.
- Bankwest More Platinum MasterCard
Interest-free period changed from 55 days to 44 days.
June 21st, 2016
- Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
Interest-free period changed from 55 to 44 days.
June 21st, 2016
- Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
New offer of $0 annual fee in the first year + a low ongoing purchase rate of 8.99% p.a.
August 1st, 2016
How 0% foreign fee credit cards can save you money - What you need to know to choose the right card
- Currency conversion fees. Most credit cards charge 2-3% for converting currency. Outstanding offers will charge 0% for currency conversion.
- Overseas ATM withdrawal fees. Typically a percentage of the total cash advance amount or a set charge for withdrawing cash overseas. Competitive cards will provide $0 fees for overseas withdrawals to access your cash. It is important to note unless you have loaded your account in credit, you will be charged the cash advance interest rate. Choosing a card which doesn’t charge for international ATM withdrawals can allow you to avoid this charge.
- Check all applicable fees. Even if a card doesn’t charge a foreign currency conversion fee, it may charge an overseas transaction fee or a fee for international cash advances. Also look at the annual fee for the card; on 0% cards, this is often higher than regular cards.
- What’s the interest rate on purchases? If you’re using your card to make overseas purchases but won’t be paying back your balance in full each month, you’ll need to take the purchase rate into consideration.
- Are there other travel benefits? Some cards offer additional travel benefits, such as complimentary travel insurance when you purchase your trip on your card, or bonus frequent flyer points.
How does foreign currency conversion work?
When you make a purchase/ transaction in a foreign currency, this amount must be converted to Australian Dollars (AUD).
What exchange rate will I receive?
You will receive the exchange rate set by MasterCard, VISA or American Express. Depending on which credit card network your bank is using, the conversion process can vary. The following diagram explains how Australian credit cards convert currency:
- MasterCard and American Express. All transactions made in a currency other than United States Dollars (USD) will be converted to USD before it is converted to AUD.
- VISA. Transactions made in the following currencies will be converted directly to Australian Dollars (AUD):
- United States Dollars (USD)
- Canadian Dollars
- New Zealand Dollars
- Singapore Dollars
- Pounds Sterling
- Japanese Yen
As a result if the Australian Dollar is not favourable against the United States Dollar, using a VISA credit card may incur less currency conversion fees.
Is there a calculator to find out how much foreign currency I will receive when converting my money?
- MasterCard. Provide a currency conversion calculator. Simply select your settlement date, base currency (AUD) and MasterCard will show you the daily exchange rates.
- VISA. Also provide a currency conversion calculator. Select the country which your credit card was issued from, the currency which you require and VISA will provide you with the daily exchange rates.
- American Express. Unfortunately American Express have not released a currency conversion calculator at this point of time.
What is ‘Dynamic Currency Conversion’?
Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) allows you to pay directly with AUD at the point of sale, instead of converting the foreign currency. If you have travelled overseas you may have been offered the choice of paying in the local currency or in Australian Dollars. By choosing to pay directly with Australian Dollars you will attract the DCC fee. Learn more about Dynamic Currency Conversion.
- How much is the DCC? The DCC ranges from 3-10%.
- Is it a good idea to use DCC overseas? If the Australian Dollar has improved significantly against the foreign currency, you may still save money after incurring the DCC fee.
Prepaid travel money cards – Secure your currency
If you don’t qualify for a credit card or don’t want to risk running up extra interest bills, a prepaid travel card still gives you the convenience of paying with plastic and loading your funds before you leave.
ANZ Travel Card
The ANZ Travel Card is a prepaid card that can be loaded with up to 10 foreign currencies to make purchases overseas at over 36 million locations.
- Lock in your exchange rates and know how much money you have to spend
- No transaction fees for electronic purchases in Australia and overseas
- Multiple reload options - online, over the phone or in person
- Manage your money online or over phone 24/7
- Spare card if in case one is lost or stolen