It’s that time of year again – travel season. When countless Aussies stuff their suitcases with everything from Havaianas to Banana Boat Sunscreen for a stint overseas.
Sound like you? Whether your destination of choice is the tropical paradise of Bali or you’re simply hopping next door to our neighbour New Zealand, you’ll need to ensure you pack the right travel money for your trip.
And what better time to start comparing deals than when you’re the most motivated, at the beginning of the week?
So in this week’s Monday Moneyvator, we’ve rounded up some of the top travel money cards across prepaid cards, credit cards and debit cards to help you choose your spending weapon of choice for your upcoming holiday.
Prepaid travel cards
- NAB Traveller Card: This prepaid travel card offering from NAB has a lot of positives packed within its features including a $0 purchase rate, no overseas ATM withdrawal fees and the ability to load up to 10 currencies. We should mention though, there is a bite if you come home with money left on the card and don’t use it for a while in the form of a $4 inactivity fee after 12 months.
- Cash Passport Prepaid Currency Card: Another prepaid travel card worthy of a mention is the Cash Passport Prepaid Currency Card with no purchase fee, $0 ATM withdrawal fees overseas and 10 currencies available for upload. To top things off at the moment there is currently a $25 load bonus offer up for grabs when you load over $1,500 and register online. Sounds great right? But keep in mind there is a 5.95% currency conversion fee.
- Velocity Frequent Flyer Global Wallet: Are you a Velocity Frequent Flyer point lover? If you answered “yes” then you’ll absolutely love this prepaid travel card, which will earn you 1 point per $1 spent overseas. A great feature considering racking up rewards points is usually only available through credit cards! On top of this the Velocity Frequent Flyer Global Wallet comes with no purchase fee or reload fee and 10 currencies are available. But you’ll have to already be or become a Virgin Frequent Flyer customer to take out this card.
Quick tip: If you decide a prepaid travel card is for you, make sure you only spend the currency that you load onto the card because many prepaid travel cards come with high currency conversion fees.
Travel credit cards
- 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard: This is definitely a swipe worthy travel credit card with no overseas transaction fees, a $0 annual fee and offers one of the best exchange rates of any credit card down under. Tick, tick, tick! While there’s a generous 55 interest free days, be mindful if you are late on your repayments you’ll be charged a high 20.99% purchase rate.
- Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard: It’s called the Zero Platinum for a reason, with $0 annual fees and no currency conversion fees, as well as a range of features that are usually reserved for premium cards like complimentary travel insurance and concierge. With this travel credit card, you’ll also need to make sure you can pay the balance in full and on time or you’ll be slapped with the 17.99% purchase rate.
Quick tip: Credit cards specifically designed for overseas transactions can be a savvy way to save yourself from hefty exchange fees and poor currency conversion rates found with other credit cards but one thing they are not made for is ATM withdrawals. So if you think you’ll need to be withdrawing cash from an overseas ATM, make sure you also pack another travel money option with you like a prepaid or debit travel card with low or no ATM withdrawal fees.
Travel debit cards
- Citibank Plus Transaction Account: No account keeping fees and $0 overseas ATM withdrawal or over the counter fees make the Plus Transaction Account great value for any overseas jetsetter. Plus the bank account comes with the perk of a free bottle of wine every time you dine at Citibank Dining Program partner restaurants and pay with your Visa Debit card.
- Bankwest Rewards Transaction Account: The reason this travel debit card has earned a place on our top travel money list is due to the fact it comes with no ATM withdrawal fees and allows you to earn 10 points per dollar spent overseas. While the bank account comes with a $6 account keeping fee, it’s wiped if you deposit $2,000 each month (e.g your salary).
Quick tip: Taking a debit card with you is ideal if you only want to spend your own money and avoid the bite of credit card debt, but we always recommend bringing more than one money option – like a bit of cash on a prepaid card – so if your card is lost or stolen you have a backup.
So that’s our roundup of some of the top travel money cards in the market, to compare more deals head on over to our travel money section here.