Up joins exclusive club by ditching debit card fees for international travellers

By Tom Watson ·

Flights, accommodation, food and sightseeing - the list of expenses for an international trip can really add up, so the last thing travellers will want to see on their bank statements is a list of fees for using their debit card abroad. 

Well in good news for Up Bank customers, the neobank has become the latest in a growing number of Australian banks to ditch pesky, travel-associated fees altogether. 

While the Up EveryDay Account and linked Mastercard Debit card already featured a 0% foreign exchange commission, Up has now removed the $5 international ATM withdrawal fee that’s been in place since the account was launched. 

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That means Aussie travellers using an Up debit card won’t be hit with a fee from Up when withdrawing money from an overseas ATM, though it’s worth noting that ATM providers themselves may still charge a fee. 

“It’s encouraging to see more and more banks, including Up, making it easier and cheaper for Australian travellers to spend their own money abroad without being penalised,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.  

“After all, as anyone who’s travelled overseas will know, the fees for regularly using a debit card to make purchases or withdraw cash can quickly start to add up over time.”

The fee-free travellers club 

As Lamont stated though, Up are just the latest Australian bank to offer 0% foreign exchange commission as well as free international ATM withdrawals for Aussie travellers on select debit cards. It still remains a relatively exclusive club. 

Of the 178 bank accounts currently being tracked in the Mozo database, just ten (including the Up Everyday Account) offer both of these travel-friendly features. The current list includes:

BankAccount
CitiGlobal Currency Account
CitiPlus Transaction Account
HSBCEveryday Global Account
INGOrange Everyday
INGOrange Everyday Youth
MacquariePlatinum Transaction Account
MacquarieTransaction Account
UBankUSaver Ultra Transaction Account
Up Everyday Account
XinjaBank Account

To put that into perspective, the average foreign exchange commission in the Mozo database (for bank accounts) is 2.71% while the average fee for a withdrawal using an international ATM is $3.37.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Big Four banks all fare worse than the Mozo average. 

Australian travellers using a debit card linked with an ANZ Access Advantage Account, Commonwealth Bank Smart Access Account, NAB Classic Banking Account or Westpac Choice Account can expect to fork out a 3.00% foreign exchange commission and a $5 international ATM withdrawal fee.  

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Tom Watson
Finance journalist

Tom Watson is a financial journalist at Mozo, specialising in fintech, property and business banking. Whether it’s reporting on banking trends or uncovering the latest product innovations, Tom’s mission is to keep our readers up to date with breaking Australian financial news. His work is often sourced in the media and across social media channels. Tom has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.