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Aussie Money - Travel Card

Sydney
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Aussie Money - Travel Card

Wanting to know what fellow Aussie are doing in regards to Money?

I curently bank with ANZ and they have told me if I use my Debit Card I will be hit with a $2.50 ATM fee plus whatever the ATM I am withdrawing from charges, then 3% fee of the amount i have withdrawn.

looking at both the ANZ & Commbank Travel card they list on their websites it takes 3-4 working days for any money loaded to appear since I am only going for 12 days reloading does not seem practical

Anybody have any tips on what other Aussies do for money or have been charged for fees?

Sydney
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1. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

I think you will find most banks charge similar. I enquired with Citibank and it is cheaper to just use the Visa (credit or debit) as there is only a 2.5% fee and no conversion fee or ATM.

We have bought a wad of US cash when the dollar first went up so will use that and when that is gone just use the visa.

Sydney
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2. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

When I was there last year I took a mixture of US cash and US travellers cheques.

The cheques were great as our hotel exchanged them free of charge and they are a very safe option.

The travel cards are a waste of money as the fees are way too high.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

have a look at the 28 Degrees MasterCard.This card had been renamed, which was formerly known as Wizard Master Card. What you do is pre load your own funds onto the card.What I like about this card is that it is fee free for overseas transaction, no commission and the exchange rates are higher than other cards.

The other benefit of this card is that you may withdraw cash internationally from all ATMs that accept mastercard. There is no cash advance or bank fee, or interest charged as long as you load up the card with cash before withdrawing from an ATM locally or overseas. Again the rates from the ATMs are higher than exchange rate for cash over the counter, meaning you get more money. I found out about this card on the Trip Advisor Phuket forum, a lot of Aussies recommend this card, and did a lot of research on other travel forums, everyone was saying the same thing, when going overseas this is the card to use.  I had no problems using it in Thailand and Malaysia, and will be using it this time for Hawaii. On our last trip to Hawaii I did use the ANZ travel card, but the fees and conversion rates were crap, and some days it would take about 4 days for your money to load on the card.

Edited: 3:05 am, July 05, 2011
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Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Sydney
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499 posts
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4. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

It depends on the card you get as to the fees etc I guess, and then in comparison to your own bank's fees on your ATM or VISA debit card etc.

My VISA debit card charges 3% currency conversion fee for overseas transactions and a $5.00 fee for an overseas ATM cash withdrawal. (which also incurs the %3 fee) - plus any withdrawal fees the bank that owns teh ATM you are using charges. So say I pay for a brand new pair of $100 sunnies while in Hawaii I'll also be charged an extra $3, and if I decide to withdraw the cash instead of an instore transaction, at least $5 is added on, possibly more. Thats nearly an extra $10 for the sunnies.

My travel money card has an initial $15 issuing fee, yes. But, the other fees are cheaper. Charges 1% upon each load. And then its $2.50 for cash withdrawal from ATM. Plus any withdrawal fees the bank that owns the ATM you are using charges. As the dollars are already preloaded in US dollars there is no foreign currency conversion fee. As I use the card for trip after trip, that intial $15 issuing fee isn't paid again and can be spread across every purchase and ATM withdrawal I may make- over 4 trips to the US, I think it works itself out really.. Oh and there is no fee for instore transactions. So if I buy those same pair of sunnies with this card, it will cost me nothing at the time of purchase, but the cost of the sunnies ($100). If I decide to withdraw the cash, and buy the sunnies that way, it would cost me an additional $2.50 plus any extra ATM fees. All up the fees including the 1% reload charge, and its share of the $15 card issuing fee works out to be half that of my VISA debit card. But they've already been taken out so you are not hit with those fees at the time or purchase.

In my situation, the travel card is definitely the best option.Especially if I use it to make purchases and not get a lot of cash out. I don't like to have a lot of cash on me- I've been known to misplace $20 notes at times never to be seen again! Plus the safety issue, plus I am a spender, if its in my wallet I will spend without thinking. Am a much better budgeter without cash in hand! And I dislike the inconvenience of traveller's cheques. So for me the fees are not high at all on my travel money card. I have a bit of US cash when I arrive, and usually don't have to get any more out until halfway through my trip, because I use my card instore for all purchases.

Unfortunately, with travelling overseas some kind of fee is always going to hit you. I much prefer to have most of my fees charged before I get there (the 1% reload fee for example) and then I know that all my money is mine to spend and won't be hit with anymore fees, except if I withdraw cash from an ATM.

Kellyboof can you not just put all your money on a travel money card before you go? If not, you might just have to suck up the fees your ANZ card charges- just pull out a lot of cash in the one go so you only get hit with the ATM fees once.

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Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Sydney
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499 posts
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5. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

razzarmartaz, you must have replied while I was typing my response lol, just saw your repsonse.

That 28 Degrees Master Card does look good, ( i just read up on it all) If you dare own a credit card lol. Credit cards are no good for someone like me, its just too enticing to spend money I don't have! Even preloading it will my own money wouldn't work for me, in the back of my head I'd always be thinking "its okay, I can buy this that and the other, there is always credit there!" If I was better with credit cards that would definitely what I'd go with over a travel money card for sure!

Lake Macquarie...
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6. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

What's even better is a travel card if you work in the banking sector, because there's NO fees for you!

What works for me? Credit cards and a bundle of USD bought at a good rate. Worried about it? Well, split it up and store some in the hotel safe.

Sydney, Australia
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77 posts
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7. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

SydneyNicstar, totally agree you have to be very disciplined not to use the credit. I originally got approved for 5k, but what I did was I phoned them and asked them to lower my limit to $1000.00 to avoid the temptation of overspending lol.

nwf
NSW Australia
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910 posts
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8. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

Hi there,

I bought $U.S cash in Sydney and a pair of insider money pouches

and refused to use the credit card outside of Australia....NWF.

Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

We have been researching travel cards etc and have just recently applied for a 38 degree Mastercard. Pleased to hear postive feed back. It does look good.

Sydney, Australia
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35 posts
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10. Re: Aussie Money - Travel Card

Hi Kellyboof

Just a side note, if you aren't already aware and want to take some cash with you, if you purchase from Australia Post they don't charge any commission. Only downfall I found was you can't select the denominations but their exchange rate was very competitive.

Have a great trip!

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