Foreign Currency & International Fees for Credit Cards

Information verified correct on December 1st, 2015
foreign currency Think twice before using your credit card abroad. Overseas transaction fees might shock you when you receive your monthly statement.

Avoid foreign currency conversion fees and international transaction fees with No Foreign Currency Exchange Fee Credit Cards

A credit card can be a great way to fund your holiday. However, the costs that come with travelling overseas can quickly eat away at your travel budget. Charges such as currency conversion, foreign transaction fees, international ATM charges and cash advance fees are some of the fees you can expect if you use your credit card overseas.

Cards that offer no foreign transaction, currency conversion or overseas ATM fees, can be a useful way to avoid these extra costs.

Use our comparison table below to find the no foreign currency conversion and international transaction fee credit card that’ll help you save on your next holiday.

Comparison of No Foreign Currency Exchange Fee Credit Cards

Rates last updated December 1st, 2015.

Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard

Increased bonus points offer of 50,000 for new customers who apply before 10 December 2015.

September 28th, 2015

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Cash advance rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Coles Rewards Mastercard
Earn 2.00 flybuys points for every $1 spent and no foreign transaction fees for online purchases and overseas trips.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.) 19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $89 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
Complimentary travel insurance & 24/7 Concierge service and Zero Foreign Transaction fees.
17.99% p.a. 21.99% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
20.99% p.a. 20.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
Earn 50,000 bonus Qantas Points. No fees on foreign transactions and enjoy free travel and accident insurance.
20.49% p.a. 21.99% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $160 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
Enjoy Platinum card benefits offering no foreign transaction fees on online and overseas purchases, complimentary travel insurance and an introductory interest rate of 0% p.a. for 3 months on purchases with $0 annual fee for the first year.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.) 21.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
No fees on overseas ATM withdrawal, no foreign transaction fees and earn 28,000 bonus More rewards points.
19.99% p.a. 21.99% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $130 p.a. Go to site More info

Overseas transaction fees & charges comparison

Overseas Transaction Charges & Foreign Currency ConversionOverseas ATM Withdrawal FeeOverseas ATM Balance CheckOverseas Cash Advance Fee
Compare Bankwest Credit Cards
(0% Foreign Transaction Fees for Bankwest Platinum Cards, including the Bankwest Zero Platinum)$0$0Greater of 2% or $4.00 (whichever is greater)Bankwest

Review of 28 Degrees MasterCard
0%$0$03% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)Bankwest
Compare ANZ Credit Cards
3% for Visa and MasterCard3% for American Express$4$0The greater of 2% of the cash advance amount or minimum $0ANZ
Commonwealth Bank
Compare Commonwealth Bank Credit Cards
3% for MasterCard and Visa2% for American Express2.00% 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
Compare NAB Credit Cards
3% multi currency for Visa3% multi currency for MasterCard3% multi currency for American Express$5$11.75% of the cash advance amount or minimum fee of $1.75 (whichever is greater)NAB
Compare St.George Credit Cards
3% for Visa or MasterCard$5$02% of the cash advance amount or $2.50 (whichever is greater)St.George
Compare Suncorp Credit Cards
3.4%1.0% is paid to Visa; and2.4% is paid to Citigroup$5$01.50% of Transaction amountSuncorp
Bendigo Bank
Compare Bendigo Bank Credit Cards
2%$5$1.50$3.25 or 0.5% of the transaction amount (whichever is greater)Bendigo Bank
Compare Westpac Credit Cards
3% Visa & Mastercard3.5% AMEX Credit Cards$5$02.00% of the cash advance amount or $2.50 (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 (whichever is greater), plus international cash advance fees of $4.00 ATM / $5.00 over the counterGE Money
Bank of Queensland
Compare Bank of Queensland Credit Cards
3.4%$5$22% of the cash advance amount or minimum of $4 (whichever is greater)Bank of Queensland
American Express
Compare American Express Credit Cards
3%$1.50$1.50Cash advances currently not available on American Express credit cardsAmerican Express
Compare Citibank Credit Cards
3.4% for MasterCard3.3% for Visa$5$0$5Citibank
ME Bank
Compare ME Credit Cards
1.5%$4$0$4ME Bank
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A better understanding of foreign currency & international fees

  • 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. The use of overseas and/or local ATM’s would normally come at a cost, and can be up to $5 for each transaction and have the potential to blow the budget, these international ATM fees 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. In addition to 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 big bang for your buck.

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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).

Are you looking to travel prepaid?

If you’re interested in keeping your travelling budget within your current or future savings, you might be interested in considering the prepaid option.

ANZ Travel Card

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

    A comparison of travel money cards

    Rates last updated December 1st, 2015
    Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
    ANZ Travel Card
    ANZ Travel Card
    AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD, AUD 3.50, CAD 3.00, EUR 2.20, GBP 2.00, HKD 20.00, JPY 260, NZD 4.50, SGD 4.00, THB 95, USD 2.50, 1.1% of the value purchased $0 Go to site More
    NAB Traveller Card
    NAB Traveller Card
    AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD $0 NAB international ATM fees on withdrawals and balance checks, and $3.75 AUD per withdrawal at Australian ATMs. 1% $0 Go to site More
    Multi Currency Cash Passport
    Multi Currency Cash Passport
    AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD $0 for International ATM withdrawal and 2.95% of the amount withdrawn in Australia $5 $0 Go to site More
    Travelex Travel Card
    Travelex Travel Card
    AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD Travelex does not charge an ATM withdrawal fee when you use your Travelex Multi-currency Cash Passport to withdraw currencies that are loaded on the card at overseas ATMs where MasterCard is accepted. The greater of 1.1% of the initial load / reload amount or AU$15.00 $0 Go to site More

    You can learn more about prepaid travel money here

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    109 Responses to Foreign Currency & International Fees for Credit Cards

    1. Default Gravatar
      denice | November 26, 2015

      I am going to use my Australian credit card for a purchase of 16000 in one transaction in Thailand. What would the international fee cost be approximately please

      • Staff
        Sally | November 26, 2015

        Hi Denice,

        The fees you will incur will vary depending on the card you’re using.

        If you could please confirm the card you’re using, we could provide you with a more specific response.

        Otherwise, the fees you can look out for are the foreign transaction fees and currency conversion fees.

        Please keep in mind that many credit cards have a daily transaction limit, so you may not be able to spend $16,000 within one transaction or one day.

        If you have any more specific enquiries, you may need to get in touch with your credit card provider.



    2. Default Gravatar
      georgebl | October 29, 2015

      We will be travelling to Usa/Canada/Europe/UK and Hong Kong next year over a 3 month period
      we need a card that covers travel insurance and of course has low or minimal fees Also is there a site for finding out which banks/credit unions have Alliances or partnerships with other large international banks,so hoping to get zero international ATM fees

      • Staff
        Jonathan | October 30, 2015

        Hi Georgebl, thanks for your question!

        You can compare credit cards that cover international travel insurance here and credit cards with no overseas ATM withdrawal fees on this page.



    3. Default Gravatar
      damo | October 19, 2015


      I NEED:



    4. Default Gravatar
      Peter | September 8, 2015

      I am looking for a credit card that will charge me no transaction fee for overseas cash withdrawals, as well as a credit card that will work in both Thailand and Laos.

      • Staff
        Sally | September 9, 2015

        Hi Peter,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        If you scroll all the way up on this page and look more closely, you’ll see that there’s a comparison table for cards that don’t charge international transaction fees just right below the subtitle “Comparison of No Foreign Currency Exchange Fee Credit Cards”. You might also want to take a look at our “No Annual Fee Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees” page here.

        As for your query on which card to bring in Thailand/Laos, kindly see our “Travel Money Guide: South-East Asia” page here and our “Travel Money Guide: Thailand” page here.

        I hope this has helped.



    5. Default Gravatar
      Jack | August 5, 2015

      How can I find out what exchange rate (not the conversion fee) my credit card provider uses on overseas credit card purchases and which providers use the most favourable rates (e.g. visa or american express?)

      • Staff
        Jonathan | August 6, 2015

        Hi Jack, thanks for your inquiry!

        Please refer to the links I have sent to your email for the exchange rates for MasterCard and Visa.



    6. Default Gravatar
      Kerry | June 30, 2015

      My daughter (16 yo) is going to Japan for 5 month on student exchange. I want the most cost effective way of providing her with money. Eg travel card, etc.

      • Staff
        Jonathan | June 30, 2015

        Hi Kerry, thanks for your inquiry!

        Please refer to the following link for a Travel Money guide for Japan.

        I hope this helps,


    7. Default Gravatar
      Wolftalker | March 20, 2015

      Trying to compare all these cards over the past couple of days has been so complicated it is useless.

      So, are you able to please, tell me which card has:

      0 annual fee
      0 international transaction fee
      0 currency conversion fee
      0 atm withdrawal fee in australia
      0 atm withdrawal fee internationally
      0 late fee
      0 overdue payment fee

      I look forward to an easy to understand answer, thanks!

      • Default Gravatar
        joanne | April 5, 2015

        I was wondering about the cards. The Citibank one sounds good which is the Simplicity Card.

        I think that is the
        No Late Fees
        No Annual Fee
        Never ever rethink banking

        Or the St George one

        Or which one would you fee would be best for me. I just want a small amount.


      • Staff
        Jonathan | April 7, 2015

        Hi Joanne, thanks for your inquiry!

        Depending on your personal needs the type of card will vary. It is important to note that the Citibank Simplicity has a minimum credit limit of $6,000. You may like to consider low rate credit cards which have smaller amounts/ credit limits, available on this page.



      • Staff
        Jonathan | March 20, 2015

        Hi Wolftalker, thanks for your inquiry!

        Please note that is a comparison service and is not able to recommend any specific products. It is up to the individual to compare and determine which product would be most suitable to their personal needs.



    8. Default Gravatar
      Maria | March 16, 2015

      Hi we are travelling overseas soon (Fiji) and I know that there is a 3% currency conversation charge on transactions but l cannot find if there will also be a transaction fee charged on our Bank Of Melbourne Vertigo MasterCard. Can u help me with this?

      • Staff
        Jonathan | March 17, 2015

        Hi Maria, thanks for your inquiry!

        The foreign transaction fee is 3% of the value of the transaction.



      • Default Gravatar
        | March 17, 2015

        Ok so there is no other charge on top of the 3% for and international transaction?

      • Staff
        Jonathan | March 18, 2015

        Hi Maria, thanks for your response.

        That is correct, ANZ will charge 3% of the value of the transaction.



    9. Default Gravatar
      Jenny | March 15, 2015

      What is the cheapest way to use money in Fiji?
      Is a travel card with Aussie/US dollars an option?
      Open to suggestions please.

      • Staff
        Jonathan | March 16, 2015

        Hi Jenny, thanks for your inquiry!

        Please see this page for travel money options. We have listed features and benefits for each travel money option along with the fees and charges you should expect.



    10. Default Gravatar
      Art | March 14, 2015

      I thought when I used my ANZ bank Visa card overseas in past years the conversion rate was the mid rate with the 3% transaction fee.

      I have just used my ANZ Visa card online in Australia to pay for accommodation overseas and the bank has used the selling rate plus the 3%.
      has it changed or have I got it wrong in “old” age?


      • Staff
        Jonathan | March 16, 2015

        Hi Art low, thanks for your inquiry!

        Banks methods for executing foreign exchange can vary. As per the terms and conditions, overseas transaction’s attract a fee of 3% of value of purchase. It would be best to contact the bank directly for any specific inquiries with which rate the bank uses in completing currency conversions.

        I hope this helps.



    Credit Cards Comparison

    Rates last updated December 1st, 2015
    Purchase rate (p.a.) Cash advance rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
    St.George Vertigo Platinum
    A platinum card with a low interest rate on balance transfers and purchases with a low annual fee.
    0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 21.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
    NAB Premium Card
    Long term balance transfer offer with premium benefits such as travel insurance.
    0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 21.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $90 p.a. Go to site More info
    HSBC Platinum Credit Card
    Earn 1 Rewards Point per $1 spent plus a balance transfer offer. Access Platinum benefits with personal concierge service, complimentary travel insurance.
    19.99% p.a. 21.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 8 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
    Citi Rewards Credit Card - Classic Card
    Earn up to 20,000 bonus points with 2 points for every dollar spent in the first three months. Also enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
    20.99% p.a. 21.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($89 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
    American Express Velocity Escape Card
    Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points and earn 2.00 points for every $1 you spend, together with a $0 annual fee. Also receive 0% for 12 months on balance transfers. Offer ends on 2 February 2016.
    20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info

    * The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards 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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