Where to find the best travel money cards

Wednesday 06 April 2016

Article by Mozo

Australians are known for having itchy feet and the stronger Aussie dollar at the moment is good reason to hunt around for an international travel deal. To help people find the best travel money cards for overseas travel, Mozo today announced the winners of the Experts Choice Awards for best prepaid travel card, best travel credit card and best travel debit cards in Australia.

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For the Awards, Mozo compared 12 prepaid travel cards, 173 credit cards and 99 bank accounts in its database to name the travel cards that deliver best value for Australians travelling overseas.

Overall winner of the prepaid travel card category was the Travelex Cash Passport, which has no purchase fee and doesn’t charge for overseas ATM withdrawals. Prepaid travel cards are a popular money choice as users are able to lock in their exchange rate before they travel and are accepted at thousands of locations around the world through the Visa or MasterCard network.  

Travel money scenario of the AU dollar dropping:

Say you are planning to travel to New Zealand for a mid-winter skiing trip and load $8,000 into Mozo Experts Choice Big 4 winner, the NAB Traveller Card that has no signup or ATM fees. With the current exchange rate to the NZD at 1.0562 at the time of writing, this would equal $8,449.60 spending money.

But if you waited another month and hypothetically the exchange rate dropped by 2.4%, the balance on your prepaid travel card would be quite different. In fact, you would have $202.80 less! It might not seem like that much but wouldn’t you rather have the extra cash to go towards another night’s accommodation in the snow?

Among the winners in the travel credit card category were the 28 Degrees MasterCard, BankWest Zero MasterCard, and Coles Rewards MasterCard all of which do not charge any fees for overseas purchases.

Winners in the debit card category include the Citibank Transaction Plus Account, UBank Ultra Transaction Account and Gateway Credit Union’s Edge Account.

See the full Experts Choice winners list here.

Some of the biggest travel money traps for Australians overseas according to the Mozo money experts include:

  • Cross currency conversions on prepaid travel cards. Only ever use a prepaid travel card in a currency loaded on the card. Cross currency fees can be as much as 5.95% of your transaction amount.
  • Making cash withdrawals on a credit card. You will start paying interest immediate for any cash withdrawal plus pay a percentage fee of the purchase amount, usually around 4%.
  • Making too many ATM withdrawals. Many banks have overseas withdrawal fees of $5 per withdrawal. If you’re using the ATM withdraw larger amounts to help you cut down on fees.
  • Foreign exchange fees. Most credit cards have foreign exchange fees around 3%. On a $5000 holiday, this is an extra $150 you have to budget for.

If you liked this try reading: Aussie dollar climb a win for those travelling overseas

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