How to save on international shopping this Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Kelly Emmerton

20 Nov 2018

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Everybody loves a bargain, and everybody loves online shopping - so it’s no wonder Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become such big hits down under.

Data from ING shows that 70% of Aussies have shopped online at international retail sites in the past 12 months, racking up a $6.6 billion bill. In fact, Aussies have made an average of 5.6 purchases at overseas retailers in the year, averaging a spend of about $492.77 each.

Most Aussies said they shopped online because it’s cheaper - and it’s especially so during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales - but Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont said these bargain shoppers should be aware of not only their cart total, but the method they use to pay.

“One thing shoppers should be wary of is the exchange rate, but it’s also worth paying attention to the international transaction fees a credit or debit card might charge, especially if you’re shopping up big,” she said.

Mozo’s database shows that the average international transaction fee on a credit card is 2.82% - a fee you don’t have to pay.

“Whether you’re shopping with credit or debit, finding a card that allows you to avoid international transaction fees can shave precious dollars off your bill,” said Lamont.

So if your bargain hunting is taking you across borders, check out these online shopping friendly pieces of plastic.

CREDIT CARDS

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28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
  • $0 annual fee

  • $0 overseas fees on purchases

  • Pay with any mobile or wearable device

With a 21.99% purchase rate and no annual fee, the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard is the perfect companion for online shoppers who won’t carry a balance and will be spending overseas regularly. Plus, with access to free, 28 Degrees global WiFi, it’s great for overseas holidays too.

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ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card
  • 0% foreign exchange margin

  • 2018 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner

  • $225 annual fee

With a steeper annual fee but plenty of rewards on offer, the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventure card is a great pick for online shoppers who are keen to rack up rewards points for their spend, but don’t want to pay unnecessary charges.

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Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
  • 0% purchase rate for first 13 months (12.99% p.a. after)

  • 0% foreign exchange margin

  • $99 annual fee

Make your bargain shopping a breeze with this premium option from Bankwest. Not only will you skip out on any international transaction fees, but you’ll also have 13 months interest free when you first get the card - plenty of time to pay off your Black Friday splurge.

DEBIT CARDS

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ING Orange Everyday
  • No international transaction fees when you deposit $1,000 and make 5 card purchases

  • Free ATMs in Australia and ATM fee rebate around the world

  • Everyday round up feature

No account fees and no international transaction fees as long as you meet the conditions - what could be simpler? The ING Orange Everyday is a great companion for online shoppers who don't want to get tied up in the bells and whistles of plastic.

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NAB Classic Banking Account
  • No foreign currency fee on international purchases

  • Up to $10 cashback on contactless purchases per month

  • Pay with Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin, Fitbit, PayTag

If you want to stick with a big bank, the NAB Classic Banking Account with Platinum Visa Debit card comes with no foreign currency fee and 7 complimentary insurances. However, keep in mind there is a $10 monthly account fee to budget for.

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HSBC Everyday Global Account
  • Keep up to 10 currencies in your account

  • $0 overseas transaction and ATM fees

  • Pay with Google Pay and Apple Pay

Built for travel but also handy for online shopping around the world, the HSBC Everyday Global Account is pretty unique. You can store up to 10 currencies in your account, and then pay like a local, in the local currency, wherever you’re shopping.

Tips for a successful bargain hunt

Pick the best timing

Black Friday in Australia is the 23rd of November, and Cyber Monday is the following Monday 26th, but keep in mind that retailers often run sales in between these dates, as well as before and after. Plus, if you’re shopping at international retailers, make sure you keep in mind time zones when timing your shopping. Don’t miss out on what you really want because you didn’t realise the sale had started yet!

Strategise before you shop

Speaking of getting what you really want, it's important to have a shopping list before you dive headlong into the sale frenzy. Do your research on which retailers and products are participating, then work out what items you want to buy, where to get them, and when they go on sale. It also pays to prioritise your list - popular buys could sell out, so start with the things you most want, or that you think you’ll snag the biggest discount on.

Don’t get stuck with bargain hunter’s remorse

With so many deals on offer, it's easy to buy things you don’t really need or even want, just because they’re available and have a big sale sticker on them. But remember, if you buy a $250 item on sale for $175, you didn’t save $75, you spent $175! Ask yourself if that’s money you genuinely want to spend on that item.

Check out more debit cards or credit cards.

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