If you’ve ever travelled overseas or bought something online, chances are you’ve bought something in a foreign currency. But most credit cards charge high fees for international transactions. Obtaining cash in a foreign currency can also be expensive, with banks charging large commissions and high margins.
But did you know that you can save hundreds of dollars on your next overseas trip by avoiding all foreign exchange fees?
Instead of exchanging cash at the bank or airport, our members recommend opening a Citibank Plus account. This is a regular transaction account that comes with a Visa Debit card, and it has some very handy features. There are no international transaction fees, nor any fees for overseas ATM withdrawals, and the account itself is entirely fee-free. So, you can withdraw cash from an overseas ATM on arrival without paying any fees!
For overseas purchases, our members also have a number of credit card recommendations. The 28 Degrees credit card is popular as it has no annual fee and no international transaction fees. The Bankwest Platinum card also has no international purchase fees, and you can even earn Qantas points – although there is an annual fee.
Most other credit cards charge a 3% international transaction fee, but the Amex Explorer card will at least give you 2 points per dollar in return.
Our members do not recommend the travel money cards spruiked by banks and airlines, due to the poor exchange rates offered.
A final piece of advice from our members is to always pay in the local currency. Sometimes when paying by card overseas, you’ll be offered the option to pay in Australian dollars. This is known as “dynamic currency conversion” and is almost always a rip-off.
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