The perfect plastic to match your travel money personality this holiday season

If you’re like a host of other adventurous Aussies, you’ve probably spent the last few months booking flights, organising accommodation and sorting out car hire and now you’re eagerly awaiting the day you head abroad.

But there is one last thing to consider before you head overseas: which travel money option best suits your holiday spending habits?

Considering that recent data from the ABS revealed that the average Aussie household spends approximately $4000 on holidays each year, it’s a big decision.

So to make it that little bit easier, we’ve chalked up five common travel personalities and married them with a piece of plastic that will work well for each of them abroad - which one are you?

The prepared planner - Prepaid travel cards

You love a good, old-fashioned plan and when you head abroad you’re no different. If you’ve set a budget and have carefully curated a list of destinations on your holiday itinerary, a prepaid travel card will deliver you the structure and peace of mind you crave.

With this particular breed of plastic, you’re able to lock in an exchange rate ahead of time. This means you won’t have to spend time worrying about any Aussie dollar fluctuations or foreign exchange fees while trekking through the Inca Trail in Peru or ordering another sangria in Spain.

Plastics to look out for

TOP TIP: Don’t use these cards in Australia, even if it’s just at the airport. Most of these cards come with costly domestic ATM withdrawal fees, so stash it away in your wallet until you’re out of the country.

The resort relaxer - Travel debit cards

You’ve slugged it out for the whole year and all you want to do is head to a tropical destination, bathe in the afternoon sun by the side of a pool at some luxurious resort, charging any extra expenses to your room.

If this sounds like you, you could be in the market for a travel debit card. These particular plastics will only let you spend the money you’ve worked all year to earn, meaning you can avoid the dreaded post-holiday debt and if you choose carefully, pesky overseas ATM fees or foreign exchange commissions.

Plastics to look out for

TOP TIP: Keep your transaction account nice and full. The last thing you want is to have your card declined when sliding it across the counter for your second (or third) pina colada.

The country hopper - Travel credit cards

You’re a free spirit and have the trip of a lifetime lined up. You want the flexibility to use as many currencies as humanly possible during this huge overseas adventure without having to pay any cross currency conversion fees.

With a travel credit card, (if you’ve kept your credit history clean) a comfy credit limit will mean you never have to skimp out on any travel costs and there are even a few options that’ll waive foreign exchange fees. Plus some even come with the added benefit of complimentary travel insurance!

Plastics to look out for

  • 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard - no foreign exchange commission, $0 annual fee, 20.99% purchase rate with 55 interest free days.
  • Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard - no foreign exchange commission, $0 annual fee, 17.99% purchase rate with 55 interest free days, complimentary travel insurance for you and your family.

TOP TIP: While you don’t want to be held back, you don’t want to come home to an insurmountable amount of credit card debt either. So set a budget and track your travel expenses while making the most of your foreign surroundings.

The serious overseas shopper - Rewards credit card

You’re heading abroad not only to see some stellar landmarks and immerse yourself in cool and quirky cultures but to nab a bargain as well.

If Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue are featured on your long-list of destinations, a rewards credit card might be worth packing. Using this points-accumulating piece of plastic, you can be fuelling your next overseas adventure while on your current one and, in some cases, avoid international purchase fees while doing so!

Plastics to look out for

TOP TIP: There might not be a foreign exchange fee but you’ll still be slapped with a hefty cash advance fee and interest rates on money you withdraw from overseas ATMs so only take this card out at the checkout.

The impulse traveller - Interest free credit card

You didn’t have enough time to scramble together the savings to fuel this particular adventure, but you’re determined to make the most of your impromptu trip, and so you should be!

You need to buy yourself some time to pay off the credit card bill you rack up abroad, and for that reason, a piece of plastic that comes with a lengthy interest free period on purchases could do the trick.

Plastics to look out for

  • Virgin Money Velocity Flyer Card - 0% p.a. on purchases for 14 months then reverts to 20.74%, 3.30% foreign exchange margin, $129 annual fee.
  • NAB Low Rate Platinum Card -  0% p.a on purchases for 9 months then reverts to 13.99%, 3.75% foreign exchange margin, $100 annual fee, complimentary travel insurance.

TOP TIP: While nine, or even 14 months might seem like a while, time certainly flies, so start paying back your credit card debt ASAP. You don’t want to be left paying the purchase rates from your holiday after the interest free period ends.

No matter which travel personality you think you are, you can find a travel money match to fuel your upcoming overseas holiday by heading to Mozo’s travel money hub, where we compare prepaid, credit and debit travel cards.