Foreign Currency & International Fees for Credit Cards

Information verified correct on February 8th, 2016
foreign currency Think twice before using your credit card abroad. Overseas transaction fees might shock you when you receive your monthly statement.

Access your cash overseas without paying extra charges and fees with No Foreign Currency Exchange Fee Credit Cards. These credit cards let you avoid foreign currency conversion fees and international transaction fees. Compare and choose a credit card with no foreign currency exchange fees or foreign transaction fees.

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 February 8th, 2016
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
Complimentary travel insurance & 24/7 Concierge service and Zero Foreign Transaction fees.
0% of transaction value 17.99% p.a. $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.
0% of transaction value 20.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
Earn 8,000 bonus Qantas Points. No fees on foreign transactions and enjoy free travel and accident insurance.
0% of transaction value 20.49% p.a. $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 a promotional balance transfer of 0% p.a. for 21 months.
0% of transaction value 12.99% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
No fees on overseas ATM withdrawal, no foreign transaction fees and earn 80,000 bonus More rewards points.
0% of transaction value 19.99% p.a. $140 p.a. Go to site More info

Overseas transaction fees & charges comparison

Credit
Card
Overseas Transaction Charges & Foreign Currency ConversionOverseas ATM Withdrawal FeeOverseas ATM Balance CheckOverseas Cash Advance Fee
Bankwest
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
ANZ
Compare ANZ Credit Cards
3% for Visa and MasterCard3% for American Express$4$0The greater of 2% of the cash advance amount or a minimum of $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 2.00% of the transaction amount (whichever is greater) (whichever is greater)Commonwealth Bank
NAB
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
St.George
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
Suncorp
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
Westpac
Compare Westpac Credit Cards
3% Visa & Mastercard3.5% AMEX Credit Cards$5$02% 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 $4.00 (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
Citibank
Compare Citibank Credit Cards
3.4% for MasterCard3.3% for Visa$5$05Citibank
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.

NAB Traveller Card

NAB Traveller Card

  • $0 NAB international ATM fees on withdrawals and balance checks, and $3.75 AUD per withdrawal at Australian ATMs.
  • $0 initial load fee
  • 1% Reload fee
  • 4% currency conversion fee
  • $45,000 maximum load amount

    A comparison of travel money cards

    Rates last updated February 8th, 2016
    Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
    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
    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
    Qantas Card with Qantas Cash
    Qantas Card with Qantas Cash
    AUD, AED, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50 $0 $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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    113 Responses to Foreign Currency & International Fees for Credit Cards

    1. Default Gravatar
      Kim | January 17, 2016

      Hi, we have the coles platinum mastercard. It says there are no international transaction fees but it doesn’t mention the currency conversion fee. I just called them and of course I get an overseas call centre, who tells me that there is no currency conversion fees but I can’t locate those words. Do you know if this card charges a currency conversion fee? Many thanks.

      • Staff
        Ally | January 20, 2016

        Hi Kim,

        Thanks for reaching out.

        Foreign currency conversion fees and international transaction fees are just about the same.
        The Coles Platinum card doesn’t charge any.

        For your reference, you may read through our Coles Platinum review page here.

        I hope this has helped.

        Cheers,
        Ally

    2. Default Gravatar
      Jennifer | December 28, 2015

      With some change occurring in Cuban US relations can you please supply very current information re card use in Cuba? We usually travel with a 28 degrees MasterCard and QANTAS travel card. From research neither appear usable in Cuba. Any assistance would be much appreciated.

      • Staff
        Sally | January 4, 2016

        Hi Jennifer,

        Thanks for your question.

        You should be able to use a Visa or MasterCard issued in Australia so long as it’s not affiliated with a US bank (for example, American Express, Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and 28 degrees as they’re all associated with US General Electric). Please note that you’ll have trouble finding an Australian travel card (such as the Qantas travel card) that’ll work in Cuba.

        I hope this has helped.

        Cheers,

        Sally

    3. 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.

        Cheers,

        Sally

    4. 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.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    5. Default Gravatar
      damo | October 19, 2015

      IM JUST WONDERING WHAT THE BEST CREDIT CARD WOULD BE?

      I NEED:

      -0% ON INTERNATIONAL PURCHASES
      -IF POSSIBLE COMPLEMENTARY TRAVEL INSURANCE
      - EXTENDED INTEREST FREE ON PURCHASES(MINIMUM 6 MONTHS)

      THANKS

    6. 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.

        Thanks,

        Sally

    7. 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.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    8. 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,

        Jonathan

    9. 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.

        Thanks
        Joanne

      • 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.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

      • Staff
        Jonathan | March 20, 2015

        Hi Wolftalker, thanks for your inquiry!

        Please note that finder.com.au 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.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    10. 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.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

      • Default Gravatar
        | March 17, 2015

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

      • Staff
        Jonathan | March 18, 2015

        Hi Maria, thanks for your response.

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

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    Credit Cards Comparison

    Rates last updated February 8th, 2016
    Complimentary Travel Insurance Cover Bonus Points Points per $ spent Purchase 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.
    6 months VISA/MC: 0 AMEX: 0 0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
    American Express Essential Credit Card
    Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card.
    1 14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
    NAB Premium Card
    Long term balance transfer offer with premium benefits such as travel insurance.
    6 months VISA/MC: 0 AMEX: 0 0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months $90 p.a. Go to site More info
    HSBC Platinum Credit Card
    Receive $0 annual fee every year if you meet the spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
    4 months VISA/MC: 1 AMEX: 0 19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $0 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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