Travel cards prove popular amongst travellers.

Prepaid Visa and MasterCard debit cards are fast becoming the popular choice of travel money for Australians heading overseas.

The Australian Payments: Consumer Trends and Behaviour report by technology provider HP, found that although cash is still the number one way for Australians to pay for purchases when overseas, its popularity is declining fast. In March 2013, just 40 percent of travellers chose cash as their primary payment method when heading overseas, compared to 51 percent back in September 2012. The report found that travellers are fast turning to credit and debit cards as their main method of payment when overseas.

Just 2 percent of travellers surveyed chose travellers cheques as their choice of travel money, while paying by 'mobile wallet' or NFC empowered mobile devices and smart phones was found to be an emerging trend. 

Card issuers have identified the removal of international transaction fees as a successful means to capturing a larger percentage of online spending. However when choosing between a credit card or debit card as a means of travel money  the results were skewed by age.

The fact that travellers between the ages of 18 and 24 chose debit cards as their primary choice of travel money was found to be a result of destination choice and the lower levels of credit card ownership amongst the age group.

The advantage of paying by Visa or MasterCard debit card while overseas is that travellers can avoid the risk associated with cash or the debt of a credit card. Travellers are able to preload multiple currencies on to one card that is recognised by a large number of merchants around the world, reducing the hassle and often high conversion fees that can be associated with exchanging cash in many countries.

However travellers should pick their preloaded travel money cards wisely to avoid paying a wide range of unnecessary fees and charges that can vary greatly between providers.. Travellers can compare and find the best travel money options for their trip on Mozo.

Have any destination specific travel money tips? Share them with us here.