Top credit cards for overseas shopping and holidaying

Top credit cards for overseas shopping and holidaying

Whether you’re planning on online shopping or heading overseas this Christmas holiday season, now is the time to get travel money savvy and avoid paying high interest rates and foreign transaction fees on your credit card.

And because we know that it’s far more exciting to be spending your time looking at sites with 50% off Italian leather shoes and luxury spa treatments than credit card product disclosure statements, we’ve rounded up some of the the best credit and debit cards for the upcoming travel and shopping season.

1. Pay no overseas transaction fees.

With some cards charging up to 4% on every foreign transaction this can add up to hundreds of dollars in extra charges on an average 2 week overseas holiday or overseas online shopping spree. Skip fees by getting one of the following fee free cards:

Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard

Why we like it:

  • no foreign exchange fees on international purchases

  • 0% on purchases for 10 months

  • Complimentary international travel insurance

But consider… You’ll need to use your credit card to purchase your overseas flights for the free insurance to kick in.

28 Degrees Mastercard


Why we like it:

  • no overseas transaction fees (ATM, online or purchases)
  • no annual fee
  • Australia’s best exchange rates for credit cards

But consider… 28 Degrees Mastercard has now introduced a cash advance fee of 3% so if you do want to use this card for ATM cash advances keep this in mind.

Citibank Transaction Plus


Why we like it:

  • no foreign exchange fees

  • no account fees

  • it’s a debit card, so you don’t have the temptation of getting into debt

2. Enjoy an interest free holiday.

Want a helping hand to cover the cost of Christmas or simply like the idea of enjoying an interest free holiday? Getting a card that doesn’t charge you interest on purchases could save you a fortune.

NAB Low Rate Card


Why we like it:

  • 0% on purchases for 14 months

  • Up to 55 days interest free on purchases

  • $59 annual fee

But consider… Just because there is no interest on purchases, it doesn’t mean you should max out your card. Have a clear plan to pay off what you spend.

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card


Why we like it:

  • 0% on purchases for 6 months

  • 2-for-1 flights 4 times a year

  • $129 annual fee in first year

But consider… After you spend $1500 a month the earning rate drops to 1 point for every $2 spent.

3. Earn rewards for your spending

We all love something for nothing so if you pay off your balance in full each month why not get something back for it? Here are some top deals: 

American Express Velocity Platinum Card


Why we like it:

  • 50,000 bonus Velocity points on first spend

  • Complimentary domestic return flight every year

  • Earn 1 point per dollar on overseas transactions

But consider… The $349 annual card fee. It might seem a little steep but if you travel frequently the cost of the free travel insurance and free domestic flight each year more than make up for this. 

HSBC Platinum Qantas


Why we like it:

  • 20,000 bonus Qantas frequent flyer points

  • Earn 1 point per dollar on overseas transactions

  • $0 additional cardholder fee

But consider… Paying off your balance in full each month to avoid the 19.99% interest rate on purchases. 


Bankwest Rewards Transaction Account


Why we like it:

  • Earn 10 points per dollar spent on overseas and online overseas purchases
  • No overseas ATM fees
  • Australia’s first rewards transaction account
  • Earn points for a wide range of goods and services including retail, flight and shopping rewards

But consider… There is a $6 monthly account fee but you can avoid paying it by depositing at least $2000 a month into the account.


MORE in this month’s Moneyzone

small-airlines-v-banks-prepaid-cardsAirline V Bank: Which travel cards come out on top?

Qantas and Virgin Australia have launched prepaid travel cards of their own. But how do they stack up against the competition? See which travel cards come out on top >>


small-money-traps5 travel money traps (and how to avoid them)

Is your hard-earned attracted to holiday rip-offs? 5 ways to have fun without the traps >>


small-tips-and-tricksTips and tricks for a regret-free holiday

Don’t let post-vacation money blues ruin a good time. Top tips to beat holiday spending hangover >>

Top credit cards for overseas shopping and holidaying was last modified: July 27, 2015 by Mozo

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7 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Just so I can understand this information about the 28 degrees card better – if I load up the card with MY cash, and then withdraw it at an atm overseas, I’m going to get slugged a 3% cash advance fee to use my own money? You’ve got to be kidding me!
    Well 28 degrees, you’re great for purchasing goods from overseas, but I’ll try to think of a better way to carry my $$, Velocity and Qantas wallets here I come

    1. Mozo

      That’s right Jenn,
      At the beginning of 2014, the 28 Degrees introduced a 3% cash advance fee which means cash withdrawals at ATM are no longer free of charge. Though the Qantas Cash card and Virgin Velocity wallet are great alternatives by having no cash advance fees, it’s important to note that these cards charge a flat rate of €1.50 (or equivalent) per ATM withdrawal. So if you were to use these cards for your next holiday Jenn, make sure you make sizeable ATM withdrawals to avoid excessive ATM fees!

      Team Mozo

  2. Hi, just wondering if there are any cards that combine these features? I am looking for a zero/low foreign currency conversion cost card, but with rewards features.

    …Does such a card even exist?

    1. Mozo

      Hi James,

      A rewards credit card with zero annual fee and low currency conversion fees would be the holy grail of credit cards! Although such a credit card does not exist on the market, the closest product to the holy grail would probably be Bankwest’s Qantas Transaction Account. This debit card earns you Qantas Points on your everyday banking, charges no overseas ATM fees and has no account fee when you deposit $2,000 or more a month. You can read more about this product here.

  3. Best way not to get caught with credit card debt is DONT GET A CREDIT CARD. I use a Visa Debit card when overseas; the charges are minimal. No 1.5-3.8% interest charged on every transaction or cash out, only a flat fee which might range from a few cents to a couple of dollars depending on the transaction. Plus I use my own cash only; I’m not paying a bank back every month. People need to get away from relying too much on credit, it saves a lot of stress later on if you find you can’t repay 1 or multiple cards. Australians need to be more responsible with using this type of finance. If you can’t afford it, don’t get yourself into a financial hole by using it.


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