The travel money rip-off: Banks charging hundreds more to Aussie travellers

Aussie travellers who fail to shop around for a suitable travel money card could easily wind up paying hundreds of dollars more, according to the latest Mozo research.

Banking data experts analysed 183 credit cards, 11 prepaid travel cards and 101 bank accounts across 83 providers, only to discover that many of them were grossly unsuitable for overseas spending.

“Travel credit cards are often decked out with all the bells and whistles like frequent flyer points and complimentary travel insurance which makes them an enticing option for those who travel frequently,” said Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont.

“However these perks can come at a high price with some travel credit cards having annual fees the equivalent of a return flight to sunny Thailand.”

In light of the findings, Lamont urged Aussies with wanderlust to watch out for steep foreign exchange rates too, which can climb all the way up to the 3.65% mark.

“On a $10,000 holiday, this is as much as $365, which is cash better kept in your pocket than your bank’s,” she added.

But the buck doesn’t stop there with some prepaid travel cards - that are supposed to provide cardholders with convenience, security and cost effectiveness - setting Aussies back as much as $50 if they choose the least competitive product compared to the best.

The good news is, that it isn’t all doom and gloom for those who simply take a moment to compare travel money products carefully.

Mozo recently announced the winners of its Expert’s Choice Awards in bid to help jetsetters save money. The non-major provider, Bankwest, was crowned the Travel Credit Card Bank of the Year as it won no less than four travel credit card awards. Browse through the list of winners here.