Compare debit cards to avoid exchange rate fluctuations

Australian consumers can avoid losing out in currency exchanges by making use of special travel debit cards, it has been suggested.

An editorial on noted that travellers planning to venture overseas may soon find the exchange rate slipping away from the Australian dollar.

"In this kind of scenario it's tempting to get foreign cash and travellers cheques, then stuff them under your mattress until your trip," it added.

However, the article stated that there is a worthwhile alternative. It urged budding travellers to instead compare debit cards or bank accounts in search of special options for depositing currency. noted that once such accounts are opened and loaded with foreign currency, the exchange rate is locked in.

"After that you don't need to worry about exchange rate fluctuations," it said.

The website also observed that the products, usually called travel cards, travel money cards or cash passports, are not linked to personal banks accounts, and carry only the amount you have put on the card.

At present, the cards are available from most banks, while Australia Post outlets also issue Travelex cash passports.

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