Could your travel money card be costing you a holiday?

Monika Gudova

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Australians aren’t picking the right travel money card and could be paying over $1000 in bank fees, Mozo research has found. 

Australians aren’t picking the right travel money card and could be paying over $1000 in bank fees, Mozo research has found.

Mozo’s team of experts looked at 314 travel money products from 89 providers for its annual Mozo Experts Choice Travel Money Awards and found that credit card fees on a $10,000 spend can range from $0 to $1089. 

“While a credit card can have lots of travel benefits like free travel insurance and frequent flyer points, travellers should always look out for the annual fee as this is where you can get really slugged,” said Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont. 

Mozo also reported that poor exchange rates and ATM foreign transaction fees were listed as two of the most common money-draining traps when travelling. 

RELATED: Travelling abroad? Save with these unusual travel money hacks 

“It pays to always keep an eye on the foreign exchange margin on overseas transactions, which can range from 0% to 5% on a debit card and 0% to 3.65% on a credit card. Also keep in mind that most overseas ATM withdrawals come at a cost of $5 per withdrawal,” said Kirsty Lamont. 

“Just as you plan out other aspects of your holiday like where to stay and where to eat, it pays to plan out your travel money choices beforehand so that more of your travel budget will go towards your holiday and not the bank in fees.”   

So what travel money card will save me the most? 

  • Everyday ATM card. Whilst some might opt for using their everyday ATM card overseas, this could see you paying 2-4% in transaction fees as well as overseas ATM fees. Mozo’s travel debit card fee finding tool breaks down the costs of using your everyday ATM card internationally, so before you jet off make sure to check your cards overseas ATM and purchase fees.   
  • Prepaid travel card. A prepaid travel card offers the option of locking an exchange rate in before you travel. It’s good for those keeping a careful budget and who don’t want to be blindsided by unpredictable exchange rate fluctuations. Use Mozo’s prepaid travel card comparison table to find competitive rates with the lowest fees. Watch out for tricky purchase and reload fees, as well as inactivity fees to get your remaining money off the card at the end of your trip. 

RELATED: How can you avoid the travel money mistake Commonwealth Bank says is costing Aussies $4.6 billion?

  • Travel debit card. Travel debit cards only convert your money into foreign currency when you use it to make purchases and have the convenience of worldwide acceptance. Just be aware that fluctuations in exchange rate could differ depending on the day of your purchase and when it gets processed so you might need to factor this in when working out how much AUD you’re spending to avoid bank statement shock when you get home. 
  • Travel credit card. Travel credit cards offer great flexibility, security and with some the extra benefit of rewards points such as frequent flyer. They’re perfect if you travel often and make big purchases overseas. “Don’t succumb to slick marketing though - some travel credit cards have annual fees that could cover a return trip to fiji,” said Kirsty Lamont. Compare travel credit cards on Mozo to find competitive rates with an annual fee that suits your budget. 

Before you jet off on your next adventure, browse through Mozo’s travel money hub to find a great deal for you. Need more help? The 2018 Mozo Experts Choice Awards makes it easy for you by showcasing the best travel cards for your next big trip.

Compare today's top travel money

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