Travelling Overseas With Your Commonwealth Bank Credit Card

Posted November 27th, 2009 and last modified October 18th, 2013
Without a MasterCard or a VISA credit card, you will not be able to use your credit card overseas. Even if you have, you should notify your bank to activate your Commonwealth Bank credit card abroad. Without a MasterCard or a VISA credit card, you will not be able to use your credit card overseas. Even if you have, you should notify your bank to activate your Commonwealth Bank credit card abroad.

A common problem with overseas travel is the confusion people find by using their credit card overseas. Find out how to use your Commonwealth credit card when travelling overseas, and the pitfalls to watch out for.

Where credit cards are concerned, travelling overseas can cause a few problems unless you are clued up about how best to use your credit card abroad, and what precautions you should take before and whilst travelling.

What card to take when travelling overseas:

MasterCard and Visa are most widely accepted around the world, so either one would be ideal to take travelling overseas. American Express credit cards enjoy less coverage, but carry a little more kudos where they are accepted. Taking a MasterCard or Visa and an Amex would cover all the bases.

Where are Commonwealth credit cards accepted?

  • MasterCards are accepted at any ATM displaying the MasterCard and/or Cirrus logos, and at any merchant location displaying the Maestro logo.
  • Visa credit cards are accepted at any ATM displaying the Visa or Plus logo, and at any merchant location displaying the Visa or Visa Electron logo.
  • American Express credit cards are accepted at any ATM displaying the American Express logo, and at any merchant location displaying the American Express logo.

Not all foreign ATMs will provide you with a receipt when abroad so it is advisable to make a note of any transactions. Your available daily withdrawal limit when travelling overseas is the same as it would be in Australia.

Credit cards and linked accounts:

If your credit card is linked to your main savings or cheque accounts, you can access these with your Commonwealth Bank MasterCard or Visa card through any overseas ATM that displays the MasterCard, Cirrus or Maestro logos. However, this does not apply in Europe, where you can only use your credit card to access your credit card accounts. Whatever selection you make on-screen at an ATM or merchant terminal – savings, cheque, or credit account – your withdrawal will be treated as a cash advance.

Credit card advice when travelling overseas:

Activate your PIN

Many places abroad use PIN verification rather than signature, so you should make sure you have a PIN on your card or you may not be able to use it at certain merchants abroad.

Tell Commonwealth you are travelling overseas

Note your card details

Make a note of your credit card numbers, including emergency contact numbers in case you quickly need to contact Commonwealth Bank should your credit card be lost or stolen. Visa, MasterCard and American Express all offer a zero-liability guarantee, but you should still inform the bank the moment a credit card goes missing.

Foreign charges:

A foreign transaction fee will be applied when travelling overseas with your credit card.

  • Transactions converted by MasterCard or Visa – 3.00% of the total transaction
  • Transactions converted by American Express – 2.00% of the total transaction
  • Transactions overseas, but in Australian dollars – 2.00% of the total transaction

American Express transactions are also subject to a 1.50% American Express currency conversion factor which is included in the converted transaction amount.

Be careful of Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) when travelling overseas with your credit card. This is where you are charged in Australian dollars rather than the local currency. Transactions made in Australian dollars will attract a DCC fee of 4% or upwards from the foreign retailer or bank. Which currency you are charged in is 100% your choice by law.

Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card

Earn rewards points on your purchases when travelling

The Commonwealth Bank Awards credit card will allow you to increase your earning potential with both an AMEX card and a MasterCard for global acceptance.

  • $89 p.a. ($59 for qualifying customers) annual fee
  • 20.24% p.a. on purchases
  • 5.99% p.a. for 5 months on balance transfers
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.24% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free
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4 Responses to Travelling Overseas With Your Commonwealth Bank Credit Card

  1. Default Gravatar
    Garry | July 25, 2013

    Hello. I am in Europe. I have forgotten my pin for my credit card as we never use it in Australia. I need to have my pin number sent to my email address. Regards. Garry.

  2. Default Gravatar
    Aaron | February 15, 2013

    Hi, my name is Aaron, I am a 27 year old male from Australia. I came to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil a week ago. I have both a Commonwealth debit MasterCard and a Commonwealth credit card. I have been trying to book flights within South America over the last few days, and I am having a lot of trouble. When I book the flight online, I am told that the payment is being processed, but shortly after I am told that the transaction has been cancelled. I have tried the process multiple times with both cards, and I am assuming that is why the transaction cannot be completed. Please contact me as soon as possible so I can fix this problem…

    • Staff
      Jacob | February 15, 2013

      Hi Aron. There are a couple of things you need to consider. First – have you contacted CBA and told them about your travel plans? They may have put a block on your cards when they picked up on overseas use. If that’s not the case, try another booking website. If that doesn’t work, you will have to contact Commonwealth directly. Thanks.

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