Access your money overseas without paying extra charges by comparing credit cards with 0% foreign fees.
Using your credit card can be a very handy way of paying when you’re holidaying overseas or shopping online. However, foreign transaction fees, international ATM charges and cash advance fees can leave a big hole in your holiday budget. Choose a card that doesn’t charge those fees and use the extra money to enjoy your trip.
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 October 27th, 2016.
- Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
Interest-free period changed from 55 to 44 days.
June 21st, 2016
- Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
Bonus points and balance transfer offer have been extended until 30 November 2016.
September 28th, 2016
Compare International Credit Cards with No Annual Fee
Compare international credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees or annual fees. These cards also have no currency conversion fees and overseas ATM fees.
|Credit Card||Currency Conversion Fee||Overseas ATM Fee||Annual fee|
|Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard||0% of transaction value||$0||$0 p.a.|
|28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard||0% of transaction value||$0||$0 p.a.|
|Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard||0% of transaction value||$0||$0|
How to compare and choose the right 0% foreign fee credit card for you
- 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.
- Annual fees. 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 or transaction in a foreign currency, your Australian Dollars will be converted to the local currency at the exchange rate that’s in place on the day. Please note that most banks use an exchange rate that’s less competitive than the standard rate.
What exchange rate will I receive?
Depending on the card you’re using, you will receive the exchange rate set by MasterCard, VISA or American Express. The following diagram explains how Australian credit cards convert currency with American Express, MasterCard or Visa:
MasterCard and American Express will convert the foreign currency amount to USD before converting it to AUD (unless your transaction is already in USD). Both of these conversions will transfer at the daily exchange rate.
VISA will convert your foreign currency amount directly to AUD at the daily exchange rate.
- 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.
Foreign currency exchange calculators
- 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%, which is why you’re generally discouraged from opting for it.
- 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. Generally, though, it’s best not to use the DCC.
Want to lock in exchange rates, avoid foreign currency conversion fees and spend in multiple currencies? Prepaid travel cards may suit your travel money needs.
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. Most Australian prepaid travel cards let you load the card with Australian dollars and move it into any of the supported foreign currency wallets, meaning you can spend your own cash and avoid currency conversion fees.
Flight Centre Key to the World Currency Card
The Key to the World Currency Card is a prepaid travel card from Flight Centre, which lets you load up to 10 currencies in just one card.
- Pay no card issue fees, initial load fees and inactivity fees.
- This card lets you transfer between currencies, load more funds and check your balance and transactions online.
- You can choose up to 10 currencies to load onto your card.