Foreign Currency & International Fees for Credit Cards

Posted January 16th, 2009 and last modified October 21st, 2014
foreign currency Think twice before using your credit card abroad. The foreign currency conversion fee and overseas transaction charge might shock you when you receive your monthly statement.

One of the most common questions sent to us is ‘Where can I find the international and foreign currency conversion fees for each provider?’

The credit card is a great travelling companion. It’s welcome when paying for flights and hotels, can offer perks both in the air and on the ground, and it’s a secure way to take your money overseas. But what’s not so welcome are the fees and charges that come when you transact in a currency other than Australian dollars.

There’s a number of these fees: currency conversion fees, foreign transaction fees, international ATM charges and cash advance fees, and we’re accustomed to paying them. Forking out to cover currency conversion fees, for instance, is pretty much ingrained in the in the experience of using your credit card in a foreign country.

It’s your hard earned money you’re giving to your card provider, so it’s important to know how much you’re getting charged and why.

To help in your education, we’ve stockpiled all the major bank’s currency conversion fees and international ATM charges.

Pretty much every financial provider will change you when you use your card overseas, but there are a few products out there that do not charge currency conversion and international ATM fees. Following our comparison of these fees and charges, we’ll have a quick look at the cards that are suited to overseas travel.

Comparison of No Foreign Currency Exchange Fee Credit Cards

Rates last updated October 31st, 2014

Interest rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
$0 foreign transaction fee with a $0 annual fee. 17.99% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $0 p.a. 21.99% p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard - Exclusive Offer
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard - Exclusive Offer
Exclusive Offer to finder.com.au.
A low interest rate offer of 0% p.a. for 13 months.
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.24% p.a.) $99 p.a. 21.99% p.a. Go to site More info
28 Degrees MasterCard
28 Degrees MasterCard
Benefit from no international transaction fees on purchases, no currency conversion fees and no annual fee. 20.99% p.a. $0 p.a. 20.99% p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
Low interest rate on balance transfers and purchases. Plus no foreign transaction fees on online and overseas purchases. 12.24% p.a. 0% p.a. for 4 months $99 p.a. 21.99% p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
Enjoy all the extra special benefits including complimentary overseas travel insurance and emergency travel assistance 24/7 with no foreign transaction fees. 19.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months $130 p.a. 21.99% p.a. More info

Overseas transaction fees & charges comparison

Credit
Card
Overseas Transaction Charges & Foreign Currency Conversion Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas ATM Balance Check Overseas Cash Advance Fee
Bankwest

Compare Bankwest Credit Cards

(0% Foreign Transaction Fees for Bankwest Platinum Cards, including the Bankwest Zero Platinum) $4 $0 Greater of 2% or $4.00 (whichever is greater) Bankwest

Review of 28 Degrees MasterCard

0% $0 $0 $3 Bankwest
ANZ

Compare ANZ Credit Cards

3% for Visa and MasterCard

3% for American Express

$4 $0 The greater of 2% of the cash advance amount or minimum $0

 

ANZ
Commonwealth Bank

Compare Commonwealth Bank Credit Cards

3% for MasterCard and Visa

2% for American Express

2.00% for transaction overseas in Australian dollars

$4 $1.25 $2.50 or 2% of the transaction amount (whichever is gre (whichever is greater) Commonwealth Bank
NAB
Compare NAB Credit Cards

3% multi currency for Visa

3% multi currency for MasterCard

3% multi currency for American Express

$4 $0 1.75% of the cash advance amount or minimum fee of $1.75 (whichever is greater) NAB
St.George

Compare St.George Credit Cards

for Visa or MasterCard $5 $0 2% of the cash advance amount or $2.50 (whichever is greater) St.George
Suncorp

Compare Suncorp Credit Cards

3.4%

1.0% is paid to Visa; and

2.4% is paid to Citigroup

$5 $0 $1.50 Suncorp

Bendigo Bank

Compare Bendigo Bank Credit Cards

2% $5 $1.50

$ (whichever is greater)

Bendigo Bank
Westpac

Compare Westpac Credit Cards

3% Visa & Mastercard

3.5% AMEX Credit Cards

$5 $0 $2 (whichever is greater, capped at $150) Westpac
HSBC Australia

Compare HSBC Credit Cards

3% $4.50 $0 (whichever is greater) HSBC

GE Money

Compare GE Money Credit Cards

3% $4 $0

$3 (whichever is greater), plus international cash advance fees of $4.00 ATM / $5.00 over the counter

GE Money

Bank of Queensland

Compare Bank of Queensland Credit Cards

3.4% $5 $2 $2 (whichever is greater) Bank of Queensland
American Express

Compare American Express Credit Cards

3% $1.50 $1.50 Cash advances currently not available on American Express credit cards American Express
Citibank

Compare Citibank Credit Cards

3.4% for MasterCard
3.3% for Visa
$5 $0 $5 Citibank
ME Bank

Compare ME Bank Credit Cards

1.5% $4 $0 $ ME Bank

What is a foreign currency conversion fee?

This is the largest charge you’re going to incur when you use your card overseas. A cross currency conversion fee is a charge for converting Australian dollars into a foreign currency when you make a purchase — usually somewhere between 2 and 3% of the value of the transaction depending on your card provider.

Why is it charged?

Since you own an Australian credit card, your balance and credit is automatically in Australian dollars. When you transact in a foreign currency, the money must be charged from one currency to the other. Your financial institution and the card scheme (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) will handle this conversion for you, but they’ll charge you a fee for doing so.

Visa and MasterCard automatically charge a 1-2% fee on foreign currency exchange, so this minimum can at least be expected. Anything in excess is generally a small margin of profit for the bank.

What is an overseas transaction charge?

Regardless of the currency and whether it’s a purchase or cash advance, a couple of providers impose an overseas transaction charge, which takes a clean 1-3% figure off the total transaction amount. This is generally listed separately from the currency conversion fee.

ATM fees

Even if you are using your own money when you withdraw cash from your credit card, there will still be a charge for using an ATM. International ATM fees and local ATM operator fees can cost up to $5 for each transaction and have the potential to blow the budget, but they can be avoided with a little planning. Some major Australian banks have a range of ‘global alliance partners’ that allow Australians to withdraw money from international ATMs without incurring a fee. Westpac, for instance, are partnered with Barclays Bank, which has a robust international ATM network. All you have to do is take some time to plan where you’re going to be and look out for your bank or lender’s global ATM partner.

What is a cash advance fee? (international)

It’s general credit card knowledge that cash advances are expensive, even domestically. Once you begin using your credit card overseas, withdrawing cash will only increase the amount you get charged. On top of the normal interest rate and lack of interest free days, you can be imposed a $1-$10 / 1%-4% fee (whichever is higher) every time you carry out an overseas cash advance. You will also be charged the standard cash advance rate for your credit card (as well as the international cash advance fee).

Before you go overseas make sure you check what rate your credit card issuer will charge you for foreign transactions and currency conversion. Make sure you do a thorough comparison before you jet off to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.

What fees will I pay when I…

To help our users understand exactly what they’ll be up for when they use their card overseas, we thought we’d break down the fees and charges when you use your card in a couple of different situations. The actual fees and charges will vary depending on the card you use, but you can refer to the comparison table above to calculate your expenses.

Withdraw cash from an ATM?

If you use your credit card to withdraw from an overseas ATM, the following fees and charges will apply:

  • International ATM fee (see above);
  • Cash advance fee (Some lenders will waive this fee if you’ve preloaded your own funds onto the card); and
  • Currency conversion fee (this amount is calculated based on the total of the international ATM fee and the amount being withdrawn).
  • Local ATM operator fee (this can be avoided by using an ATM with your bank’s overseas ATM Alliance [if they have one]);
  • The cash advance rate of interest will apply from the day the transaction takes place.

Make a purchase?

Purchases are a little more forgiving on the hip pocket than an overseas cash advance.

This applies to everything from booking a hotel or a flight while abroad through to buying goods from overseas from the comfort of your living room back home.

  • Currency conversion fee;
  • Purchase rate of interest (excluding interest free days).

American Express International Fees

  • "Foreign Currency Cash Conversion fee of 3%"

  • Cash advances are currently not available on AMEX credit cards

 

ANZ International Fees

  • "A fee of 3% of the value of any foreign currency transaction will be charged to all ANZ Visa and MasterCard Credit Card Accounts."

  • 3% of the transaction value will be charged for American Express transactions

  • Overseas cash advances incur a 2.00% of the cash advance amount or $4 (whichever is greater) as a transaction fee

 

Bankwest International Fees

Foreign Currency Exchange Fees:

  • "Visa accounts ‘2.95%Payable for each transaction posted to the account in a foreign currency, calculated as a percentage of the foreign currency amount."

  • "MasterCard accounts ‘2.95% Payable for each MasterCard transaction occurring outside Australia, whether in foreign currency or Australian dollars."

  • For cash advances, the greater of 2% or $4.00 (maximum $50) applies, on top of any foreign currency fee involved.

 

Bendigo Bank International Fees

Foreign Currency Exchange Fees:

  • 2% Foreign Currency Conversion fee.

  • For cash advances, the greater of 0.5% or $4.00 applies, on top of any foreign currency fee involved.

 

Citibank International Fees

Foreign Currency Exchange Fee:

  • MasterCard – 3.4% of transaction amount.

  • Visa – 3.3% of transaction amount.

  • International cash advances are subject to the foreign currency exchange fees, as well as $5 per transaction.

 

Commonwealth Bank International Fees

Foreign Currency Exchange Fee:

  • MasterCard & Visa – 3% of transaction amount.

  • American Express – 3% of transaction amount.

  • Overseas cash advances incur a $4 or 1.75% fee (whichever is higher) on-top of the regular foreign currency exchange rate.

 

Bank of Queensland International Fees

Foreign Currency Exchange Fee:

  • International Transaction Fee (also referred to as Foreign Currency Exchange Fee) – Visa and MasterCard

  • 3.4% of transaction amount "An International Transaction Fee of 3% on the Australian dollar conversion of any credit card transaction made in foreign currency, of which a 1% service and assessment fee is payable by us to Visa or MasterCard. This will be charged to your account when you transact via your credit card overseas."

  • International Cash Advance Fee – 2.00% of transaction amount outside of Australia. Minimum amount of $4.00 – maximum amount of $30.00

GE Money International Fees

  • Foreign Currency Exchange Fee – 3% of the total currency amount converted.

  • Cash advances: 3.00% / Min. fee of $1.95 plus international cash advance fees of $4.00 ATM / $5.00 over the counter

 

Members Equity International Fees

  • International Transaction Fee – total 2.0%

  • 1.5% of the amount of any foreign currency transaction converted into Australian dollars and payable at the time the currency conversion is made. This fee is payable to Members Equity Bank.

  • MasterCard Fees: 0.2% of the amount of any foreign currency transaction converted into Australian dollars and payable at the time the currency conversion is made. This fee is payable to MasterCard International.

  • 0.8% of the amount of any transaction where the merchant account is not held in Australia. This fee is payable to MasterCard International.

  • International Cash Advance: $4.00 per cash advance

 

NAB International Fees

NAB have a more complicated system of overseas charges which is subject to the country of origin of the payment processing merchant.

Single Currency Transaction: "A transaction carried out in Australian dollars with an internationally-designated merchant."

Multi Currency Transaction: "A transaction carried out in a currency other than Australian dollars with an internationally or Australian-designated merchant."

  • Visa – Single Currency: 2.30%

  • Visa – Multi Currency: 3%

  • MasterCard – Single Currency: 2.30%

  • MasterCard – Multi Currency: 3%

  • American Express – Single Currency: 2.50%

  • American Express – Multi Currency: 3%

  • Overseas cash advances impose a 1.75% of the cash advance amount or $1.75 (whichever is greater), on-top of any related currency conversion fees.

HSBC International Fees

  • Total charge of 3%

Overseas Transaction Charge:

  • 2.0% of the total value amount of each such transaction

Foreign Currency Conversion:

  • 1.5% in Australian dollars charged for payments made in foreign currencies.

  • Overseas cash advances impose a 2% or $2.50 fee (whichever is higher) on-top of any related foreign fees.

 

St.George International Fees

Foreign Currency Conversion:

  • 3% to exchange Australian dollars between foreign currencies.

  • For overseas cash advances, a 1.50% fee (min charge of $1.25) is charged on-top of any related foreign fees.

  • Note that BankSA is a subsidiary of St.George, and the same fees apply.

Suncorp International Fees

Foreign Currency Conversion:

  • 3.4% of the converted Australian Dollar transaction amount of any foreign currency transaction made or charged to your credit card

  • Overseas Cash Advance: 1.50% of the cash advance value

Westpac International Fees

Foreign Currency Conversion:

  • 3.5% for any purchases which require a currency conversion.

  • Overseas cash advances impose a 2% fee. The maximum you can be charged is $150.

OzForex Travel Card

Looking for a prepaid travel card

The OzForex Prepaid Travel Card is a complete online solution to your travel money needs. Easy access to your money with up to 9 currencies on one card with the ability to load money and convert currencies 24/7 on the secure customer portal.

  • Choose from US Dollar, Euro, Great British Pound, New Zealand Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen.
  • Locked-in exchange rates for multiple currencies and low and transparent fees.
  • CHIP and PIN security and is easily blocked if lost or stolen.
  • Ability to load money and convert currencies 24/7 on the secure customer portal.
  • Accepted electronically – at over 32 million locations worldwide, including 1.9 million ATMs across more than 60 countries.
  • You can load money onto your OzForex Card using BPAY, on the internet or over the phone with your bank.

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    59 Responses to Foreign Currency & International Fees for Credit Cards

    1. Default Gravatar
      Alan | October 3, 2014

      Hi
      I have a Westpac MasterCard and an American express qantas card. I am trying to work out which is the best to use when buying from overseas via the web. Both cards charge 3% conversion fee, but I can’t seem to find their exchange rate listed on their sites.
      Are all cards exchange rates about the same?
      What is the best card for web purchases.
      Thanks
      Alan

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | October 3, 2014

        Hi Alan,

        Thanks for your question.

        Banks update their exchange rates regularly and so are harder to compare as they tend to fluctuate. The main fee you need to worry about is the foreign currency conversion fee, although if you are looking for a credit card or travel money card with minimal foreign currency conversion fees to make online or overseas purchases, you can compare your options on this page.

        I hope this has helped.

        Thanks,

        Elizabeth

    2. Default Gravatar
      Colin | August 26, 2014

      Looking at getting a travel card to use in USA . Is there a transaction fee on Amex purchases in the USA like there is in Australia .
      I plan to have it loaded with USA dollars

      • Staff
        Shirley | August 27, 2014

        Hi Colin,

        Thanks for your question.

        The transaction fees will depend on your travel card you use. If you load it with USD and make purchases in USD then its likely no fees will be charged.

        Please note that reload fees and exchange rates will apply instead.

        All the best,
        Shirley

    3. Default Gravatar
      Ana | August 10, 2014

      I am traveling to Cuba and Incase of emergency would like to take a credit card to do a cash advance.
      I was rejected for the bankwest platinum so looking at the Aussie platinum MasterCard.
      Will I be charged the cash advance interest rate if my card is in credit?
      What cash advance fees, atm & currency fee will I be charged if I take a withdraw $1000 over the counter in a bank ?

      • Staff
        Shirley | August 11, 2014

        Hi Ana,

        Yes the cash advance rate is still charged if your card is in credit.

        You can find our review on the Aussie Platinum Low rate here.

        The cash advance fee, ATM and currency fee is stated on that page. Please apply those amounts to your $1,000 transaction. There is no fee for international transactions on this card.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

    4. Default Gravatar
      Sandy | June 25, 2014

      Hi, when using my credit card overseas is there any difference in bank/exchange fees if I choose AUS Dlrs or currency of country I am in? Appreciate response

      • Staff
        Shirley | June 27, 2014

        Hi Sandy,

        Thanks for your question.

        If you use your credit card to purchase items in a foreign currency, then usually you’re charge a currency conversion fees. Some card don’t charge this fee.

        As well, your transaction will be subject to exchange rates. Generally, most credit cards from Australia only hold AUD.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

    5. Default Gravatar
      Osman | March 23, 2014

      I purchased goods on the web, which were in US dollars but I was not overseas. I did it from here, Australia.. Citibank still charged me transaction overseas fee ? Can they do that, to apply overseas transaction fee, when I am not overseas?
      Regards.
      Osman.

    6. Default Gravatar
      | March 12, 2014

      Morning,

      I don’t want this to come cross as naive or unrealistic. I do need the help of somebody who is far more informed and educated in this realm of things.

      I’ve never taken credit, except for my school HECS, which is a system used in Australia for Uni goers who do not pay upfront. It’s a commonly used form of borrowing from the gov., and then repaying when one has a full time job. There is interest.
      I’ve re payed a small amount.

      Though, my current predicament is this. I received a Working/Holiday Visa for France. I’m from Australia. I’ve been with Commonwealth since 2009, I think, and before leaving for France, I got an ANZ travel card. All was well and good.
      However. Now, I’m travelling and there is less than 10€ left in my bank account. I don’t have a form of income, since I was working in a restaurant and quit before travelling through Europe. I refuse to return to Australia, it’s too early, and I’ve not yet seen fashion week in Paris. So. What do you suggest? What are my options?

      I searched for credit cards online, and figured 28 degrees was the best, though I haven’t applied since I have no form of current income, and I don’t want to cause any damage to my current score. I don’t know anyone who is willing to take the credit card under their name and share it with me.

      What do you suggest? Would I be able to take any form of credit with Commonwealth or ANZ since I already have 2 cards with them? Or, am I able to, in some way, receive a loan from a company?

      I appreciate any response, though I hope it’s not a dead-end.

      By the way, I’m a 23 year old female, if that is of any importance.

      Thank you, deeply.

      Rose

      • Staff
        Jacob | March 13, 2014

        Hi, Rose.

        I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but without a form of income, you’re stuck in a tight spot.

        When I was in Europe, I was in a similar situation to yourself. I had a credit card with St.George and I went to apply for a credit limit increase. They had been my banking institution since birth. Although I was employed full time on a working visa (teaching English as part of a government program), they could not offer me anything since I did not have an Australian taxable income which could be verified by the bank.

        I hope this helps and best of luck. I hope you make it to fashion week.

        Regards.

        Jacob.

    7. Default Gravatar
      Reine | March 4, 2014

      How much would it cost me to withdraw £1000 ($. 2000) from my ANZ credit card while in the UK?

      • Staff
        Jacob | March 5, 2014

        Hi, Reine.

        Thanks for your question.

        ANZ currently charge a foreign currency conversion fee (overseas transaction fee) of 3% of the total value of the transaction when carrying out a transaction in a currency other than Australian dollars. This applies to Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards. There will also be a international ATM withdrawal fee, which is currently $5 charged by ANZ, and a local ATM operator fee charged by the ATM owner. The local ATM fee will be advised at the time of the transaction.

        I hope this helps. Have a good trip.

    8. Default Gravatar
      dennis | February 22, 2014

      Don’t you just love the fact regardless of the amount,all these parasites give you a lousy 4or 5 % over twelve months,but charge you 3% in a blink of an eye to give you your money which they have been using to make more money from in the first place.Their is no limit to a gluttons hunger?

    9. Default Gravatar
      Ben | January 28, 2014

      Was
      Wondering what the conversion fee is when exchanging aus dollar to indoisian rupiah

      • Staff
        Shirley | January 29, 2014

        Hi Ben,

        Thanks for your comment.

        You can see the currency conversion fee of each credit card in our reviews. When you’re reading a review, please refer to the ‘Foreign Currency Conversion Fee’ row in the product table.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

    10. Default Gravatar
      NaughtyNanny | January 22, 2014

      I applied for a Bankwest Platinum on this site for overseas travel and was rejected, their letter stated I was a bad credit risk. I believe this is now a black mark against me. I own my own home drive a current year ford ranger 4×4, own a 35 grand boat and am a self funded retiree. I have had a 28 degree MasterCard with a 10 grand limit for 15 years which was excellent for overseas travel. The only reason i left them was because i could not identify myself on the phone after clearing myself on the automation pin change (I made a mistake and hung up on myself) To say that I am a bad debt risk after not doing a legislated credit check is both very bad for them and scandalous against me. Be wary of what you apply for anywhere.

    11. Default Gravatar
      Gisele | January 13, 2014

      While I am travelling, I will be changing my sim and will have problems receiving the balance and account details. How do I solve this problem?

      • Staff
        Jacob | January 14, 2014

        Hi, Gisele.

        You may need to contact your financial institution with your updated contact information. You can find international contact details for different lenders on their website.

        Thanks for your question.

    12. Default Gravatar
      R | January 5, 2014

      What is the most cost effective credit card when travelling overseas?

      • Staff
        Jacob | January 6, 2014

        Hi, R.

        Thanks for your question.

        You can find more information on travel related products on this page. There are a number of different ‘travel friendly’ cards in the market, each with it’s own strengths and weaknesses. These features are reviewed in the above linked page.

        Much of the suitability of a particular product depends on where you’re going. Some cards are great to use in Europe, for instance; while others are suited towards Asian countries. Some cards are great for holidays visiting a number of countries; while others are only suited to a single destination journey. There are also other factors to consider, like whether you’re looking to earn rewards points on take advantage of the complimentary international travel insurance that is offered with some credit cards.

        I hope this helps.

    13. Default Gravatar
      Bin | October 7, 2013

      What is a Foreign Currency Conversion fee?

      Since you own an Australian credit card, your balance and credit is automatically in Australian dollars. When you make a purchase overseas, say $50 US, it will not only convert to roughly $80 AU. Hope not on that one!

      • Staff
        Jacob | October 7, 2013

        Hi Bin.

        Thanks for your question.

        When the bank of lending institution processes a transaction in a currency other than Australia dollars, they will charge a fee for the currency exchange service. This is a currency conversion fee. It’s expressed as a percentage and charged on the total value of the transaction. This fee is listed in the table at the top of each of the credit card, debit, travel and store card review page.

        I hope this helps.

    14. Default Gravatar
      Sean | September 10, 2013

      I have moved to Australia and would like to move my credit card from a UK bank to an Australian one allowing me to pay month debits from my Australian bank account rather then using accounts in each country. Is it possible to transfer a balance from a UK to an Australian credit card on a interest free balance transfer credit card deal?

      • Staff
        Jacob | September 10, 2013

        Hi Sean.

        Thanks for your question.

        Balance transfers will only be accepted from an Australian account.

        Jacob.

    15. Default Gravatar
      Phil | July 22, 2013

      Going to Hawaii next month and will spend about $10,000 AUD over there. Believe the Bankwest Platinum Credit Card has no foreign transaction fees. Can you tel me what currency exchange commission they charge. Is it cheaper to use this card than to buy AUD over here thanks. Phil.

      • Staff
        Jacob | July 22, 2013

        Hi Phil. Thanks for your question. I can’t comment on the rate you’re likely to receive overseas; however, you can check Bankwest’s consumer foreign exchange rate by visiting their website. Payments involving MasterCard are converted to USD when a transaction between two different countries is processed. There may be a small margin applied to this transaction, you can find out by comparing rates found on exchange providers websites. I hope this helps. Jacob.

    16. Default Gravatar
      Gloria | June 21, 2013

      What is the difference between a single currency and a multi currency retailer. NAB charges different rates for these but they are unable to tell me how to determine the difference before I make an online purchase

      • Staff
        Jacob | June 24, 2013

        Hi Gloria. Thanks for your question. The main difference between a single and multi-currency retailer is whether or not they accept Australian currency. A good example to use is duty free shops at the airport. They will ask you whether you would like to pay in AUD or the local currency. If you pay in AUD, then this is a single currency transaction. A multi-currency transaction is more expensive and is when you convert AUD on your card to the local currency to complete the transaction. The transaction is taking place overseas, so you’ll still get charged a fee by the lender, but the size of the charge will depend on whether the merchant will accept AUD as a form of payment (single currency transaction) or wether they require you to pay in the local currency (multiple currency transaction). I hope this helps. Jacob.

    17. Default Gravatar
      Adam | May 29, 2013

      I am looking to exchange my US dollars to AUD and was wondering where the best place/places were to get the best exchange rate with the lowest fees/charges?
      Cheers.
      Adam.

      • Staff
        Jacob | May 29, 2013

        Hi Adam. Thanks for your question. If you’re a consumer, there are a number of places where you can get currency exchanged, and the rates you’re likely to get are all quite similar. Banks and foreign exchange offices will apply a margin to the interbank rate (the figure you hear quoted on the evening news), but the rate you get here is likely to be far better than rates offered by exchange offices at airports. You can check out Citibank’s exchange rates, and open a Citibank Plus Transaction Account. This provides fee free international transfers between American and Australian Citibank accounts. If you would like to discuss this further, please provide some more information about your situation and we can look into this in a little more depth. Jacob.

      • Default Gravatar
        Adam | May 29, 2013

        Thanks Jacob as you’re a legend!! I will look into opening a Citibank account and will send u the relevant details if I need any more assistance! rock n roll and have a great day!

      • Default Gravatar
        adam | May 29, 2013

        okay so I will ask for your assistance (if that’s okay?). so here’s my situation – I am currently working o/seas and get paid (not a lot mind u) in us dollars. as I usually come bak home to aus every say 3-6 months I tend to hold onto this money and change it over to aus dollars wen I get here rather than putting it into a bank/account over there. so in saying that wat do u think my best option would be?? Citibank does sound like a good choice. I am currently a cba client so I don’t know if they would give me any special privileges?? cheers…

      • Staff
        Jacob | May 29, 2013

        Hi Adam I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for special privileges from your bank, but having said that it can’t hurt to ask – the worst they can do is say no. My thinking was that you would open a Citibank Account in the States and transfer the funds to your Australian Citibank Plus Transaction Account. How have you been changing the money previously? And how much has it been costing you?

      • Default Gravatar
        Adam | May 29, 2013

        Yeah I know what you mean in respect to not holding my breath. Currently I haven’t exchanged any money over as I have just been holding onto it as this is the first time I’ve been back home with any money to deposit. So not quite sure what they would have charged me. It seems like the best rates are around $1.05 AUD for $1 US dollar (without the fees/charges) which as u know can fluctuate pretty heavily. So is the Citibank option only really viable if I transfer the money from overseas or is it still a god option if I just deposit it every time I come home?

      • Staff
        Jacob | May 29, 2013

        HI Adam. It’s only really going to be a good option if you’re depositing the money in the US in to a US Citibank Account and then transferring it back to your Australian Citibank Account and withdrawing it. If you’re looking to deposit US funds in to an Australian account back home, you will be subject to the normal fees and charges that come with foreign exchange.

      • Default Gravatar
        Adam | May 29, 2013

        Sweet! I will look into what the best option is and will take it from there? Thanks for all your help as its been really helpful and hope u enjoy the rest of the day!
        Cheers.

      • Staff
        Jacob | May 29, 2013

        Hey Adam. No problems buddy. Enjoy America and let us know if there’s anything else you need a hand with. Jacob.

    18. Default Gravatar
      Carl | May 15, 2013

      I have an ANZ Visa credit card. Can you please tell me which foreign conversion rate will it be converted at, ANZ’s sell foreign exchange rate (where the difference is huge compared to the spot rate) or at the spot exchange rate which is more on par, if I tranfer money from a overseas ATM?
      Thanks,

      Carl

      • Staff
        Jacob | May 15, 2013

        Hi Carl. Thanks for this one. The rate is taken from the inter-bank rate. The spot rate is the same I believe? – A consideration here – Visa and MasterCard (American companies) apply a margin to this rate. So I believe the currency is actually being converted to US dollars first, and then in to the currency of the transaction. So the exchange rate you hear quoted on the evening news is not the rate you get from the bank when you make a purchase in a foreign currency. Jacob.

    19. Default Gravatar
      Mark | May 14, 2013

      If I buy something in Hong Kong for $1000HKD how many AUD will my 28 degrees mastercard be charged?

      • Staff
        Jacob | May 15, 2013

        Hi Mark. Thanks for your question. This depends on what the exchange rate is at the day you make the purchase. Jacob.

    20. Default Gravatar
      tara | April 2, 2013

      hi, Im about to purchase my first credit card. Ive saved $20,000 which i will be spending in Europe over 4 months. I will be able to always pay the bil on time and will never gain interest bu ti ant to know what is the best card for foreign currency conversions? also which one has the best rewards and points systems?? and free travel insurance??? thank you

      • Staff
        Jacob | April 2, 2013

        Hi Tara. All good questions.
        So if you want to look at cards that are good to take overseas, you definitely want to consider either the Aussie Platinum Low Rate Credit Card, the Bankwest Platinum Range of Credit Cards or the 28 Degrees MasterCard. These cards have no foreign currency conversion fee . The Aussie Card and Bankwest Cards do offer complimentary international travel insurance, while the 28 Degrees MasterCard does not. The Bankwest Platinum Cards allow you to earn rewards, while the others don’t, and the 28 Degrees MasterCard offers no international ATM fee — the others do charge a fee. There’s a lot to consider, but the card that is right for you will depend on how you plan to use the card when you’re overseas. Hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions, otherwise, Bon Voyage! Jacob.

    21. Default Gravatar
      Samantha | March 22, 2013

      Hi,
      I am going travelling for 7 months – which is the best credit card for me to use to avoid high fees for South and Central America and I have an Australian bank account?
      Thanks

    22. Default Gravatar
      Sue | March 19, 2013

      Is Travel Card a good idea.What are the fees for different currencies on the card or is it your own Bank only that charges any fees on this card and what are the fees.Thanks Sue PS going overseas soon.

      • Staff
        Jacob | March 19, 2013

        Hi Sue. Travel cards are a popular choice for people going overseas as they come with a backup. And they’re not directly linked to your main savings / transaction account. Travel money cards do have fee – there’s a fee for loading money onto the card, but unlike credit cards and debit cards, there is no foreign currency conversion fee if you have the right currency loaded onto the card – say you want to spend in Europe, make sure you have Euros loaded onto the card and you won;t get charged a conversion fee. Other advantages of travel money cards include: Lock in an exchange rate. When you first load the card, it locks in the exchange rate for the money you load on to the card; Low cost upfront. The cheapest initial cost is $11; and increased Security: these cards generally don’t have your name printed on them so if they’re ever lost or stolen overseas there are reduced chances of identity theft/fraud.

        Having said that, there are a number of other options. The Citibank Plus Transaction Account is also a popular option among travellers. The type of plastic you take overseas with you will depend on how you plan to spend while you’re overseas. If you plan to make lots of purchases, you will want a card that has no cross currency conversion fee: Bankwest Platinum Cards and Aussie offer products like this if you want a credit card.

        I hope this has helped.

        Jacob.

    23. Default Gravatar
      Sue | March 19, 2013

      Tell me about different currencies on Travel Card and is this a good way to go for a nervous O/Seas person’s Trip?

      • Staff
        Jacob | March 19, 2013

        Hi Sue. Good question. Different cards have different currencies. Can you please check our travel money comparison page. If you still have questions after reading this page, don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks.

    24. Default Gravatar
      Kenneth | April 14, 2012

      ANZ:

      3.00% for Visa and MasterCard
      1.50% for American Express

      Note that it is in fact 3.00% for American Express, but the bank explains that they charge 1.50% for American Express and then add an additional 1.50%

    25. Default Gravatar
      Dee | August 23, 2011

      i would like to know if you make an overseas purchase and the AUD is $1.04 on the stock exchange for USD – do you get that same rate when you make a purchase on the credit card on that day – or do you get a lower rate (like you do when you convert currency at the bank)?

      • Staff
        Jacob | August 5, 2012

        Hi Dee. The rate you see on the news is not the rate you get on your transaction. MasterCard, Visa, American Express and your lending institution all make a cut each time a foreign transaction is processed. It may not much, but world-wide it adds up.
        To give you an idea: here’s ANZ exchange rates page, and Visa. Cheers.

    26. Default Gravatar
      Kylie | June 9, 2011

      And this is why travellers should use Global Travel Cards .. We are also so ‘default position’ trained by the banks to rely on our plastic, but you pay for that convenience and often more than once ! BUT, do your homework on the Travel Cards as well as many of them (especially the banks ones still have a number of ‘fine print’ conditions on them that cost you in the end ..) One of the best is the AMEX GTC, no expiry, no ongoing fees, travel assistance included. If you can’t get any good customer service at point of sale on these (although the Post Offices sell them, many of their staff are not appropriately trained ..)

    27. Default Gravatar
      Rob | September 9, 2010

      … and NAB – I’ve just been charged an International Transaction fee of 2.3% (they term it a “Single Currency Transaction”) for making a donation to Parkinson’s Australia via their website. NAB’s response is that Parkinsons are an “internationally-designated merchant” although you have no idea of this at time of purchase!

    28. Default Gravatar
      Brent | April 14, 2010

      Be wary of ANZ, they changed their system in late 2009. You can get charged international transaction fees for purchases that appear to be domestic. I’ve been stung a few times with unexpected international transaction fees when purchasing in AU$ with Australian based companies (like JetStar).

    Credit Cards Comparison

    Rates last updated October 31st, 2014
    Interest rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
    ANZ Low Rate
    ANZ Low Rate
    A low rate on purchases, balance transfer and a low annual fee. 13.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months $58 p.a. 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
    Citi Simplicity Card
    Citi Simplicity Card
    $0 annual fee credit card with a long term balance transfer offer. 19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. 19.99% p.a. Go to site More info
    HSBC Platinum Credit Card
    HSBC Platinum Credit Card
    Earn rewards points plus a balance transfer offer. Access to prestige services including a personal concierge service and VISA Platinum reward program. 19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 8 months $0 p.a. 21.99% p.a. Go to site More info
    Westpac Low Rate Card
    Westpac Low Rate Card
    A low interest rate credit card with a low annual fee and balance transfer offer. 12.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $45 p.a. 21.49% p.a. Go to site More info
    HSBC Credit Card
    HSBC Credit Card
    No annual fee for the life of the credit card. Plus a low balance transfer offer. 17.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. 21.99% 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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