Best card for travelling overseas?

Discussion in 'CitiBank Rewards Program' started by Danster, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. Danster

    Danster Intern

    Apr 16, 2007
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    Hi all,

    First time poster - long time guest & browser...

    Thanks to advice in this community & got a Citibank Gold Visa credit card with no annual fee ever. So far so good.

    I will be travelling to UK and Europe some time soon & want to use a card & cash as cost-effectively as possible. I'Ve looked at other posts here & it appears that forex transaction fees will apply if I use my Citibank Gold Visa card. I don't want to be charged any fees or additional charges - or at least reduce them as much as possible.

    I'm therefore on the lookout for the best card to take with me overseas. It will be used for over-the-counter transactions as I do here for just about every single purchase on my Visa, and I also want to use it for getting local cash at ATMs. I don't really care about brand or bank, I'm just after a few recommendations as to the best way to go. And the less fees the better!

    cheers

    Danster
     
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  2. Danger

    Danger Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2006
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    I've looked into similar and the best option seems to be travellers' cheques, particularly if you can get them commission free (eg. ANZ Visa Platinum, Gold). Travellex promote their cash card but from what I can work out it costs about A$3 each time you withdraw cash. I have an AMEX Gold and ANZ Visa Platinum and they both charge 2.5% transaction fee for each foreign transaction, on top of the foreign exchange rate (which is often not as good as what you might get a bureau de change).
     
  3. auriga

    auriga Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    773
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    wizard clear advantage mastercard?

    no foreign currency fee.
     
  4. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    As posted by auriga, the Wizard Clear Mastercard generally appears to be the least expensive way of accessing money overseas.

    There a good general thread including some useful advice and disussion of a couple of pitfalls and their resolution here:

    Wizard Mastercard Cash Advances while overseas

    If you have a Westpac account that can be used "Fee Free" as well with one of their "Global Alliance" Partners (Barclays/Deutsche in UK/Europe).

    More: Westpac Internet -Accessing your accounts overseas
     
  5. zig

    zig Established Member

    Apr 9, 2007
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    I use the Wizard Advantage MC o/s to avoid extra fees and have had no problems with it - of course you don't earn any points on purchases, it is a basic card, but you avoid fees. Definitely check it out.
     


  6. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Generally no points for cash advances. Also the fees can hit hardest with cash advances.

    A minimum two card attack is suggested, three preferably.

    i.e. Take your wizard card with a point earning Visa and/or Amex card. Use the Wizard for cash and the others for point earning purchases as appropriate.
     
  7. Danster

    Danster Intern

    Apr 16, 2007
    58
    6
    Beaut replies. Thanks all.

    Think I'll go for the Wizard Mastercard.

    If I take my Citibank Gold Visa & use it for credit card puirchases, I'm still charged a forex fee, right? In which case, even though I earn no rewards points with Wizard it seems like more fee-free card.

    cheers

    Dantser
     
  8. Sn00py

    Sn00py Junior Member

    Apr 10, 2005
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    Brisbane / Gold Coast
    earth - Home

    Earth Gold Card has no international transaction fee and rewards points to transfer to QFF.
     
  9. PlutekPlutek

    PlutekPlutek Member

    Jul 5, 2006
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    I am going overseas as well in 2 months, and have the Citibank Gold For Life, and American Express Rewards Maximizer. I rang both Citibank and Amex to find out the transaction fees for foreign transactions. Citibank Gold is 3.4%, and Amex is 2.5%. I signed up yesterday for the Earth+ Card, which has 0% fees for foreign transactions, and you still get 1 point for every dollar with Amex, and 0.5 points for Mastercard. Pretty good deal, given no fees for the first year, and a free Qantas FF Membership if you don't have one already.
     
  10. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    The Earth card might have no "fees" for foreign purchases. But there will be a "commission" charged as a percentage of the transaction applied to the exchange rate.

    Some cards charge a flat fee (say $4.00) plus a percentage commission on the exchange rate, and other (like Amex and Citibank) just apply their commission to the exchange rate.

    So don't be confused by the Earth claim of no fees for foreign purchases. They just mean there is no separate fee charged, but I can assure you that they will be using an exchange rate that is in their favour by at least 1.5% and possibly up to 3% or more.
     
  11. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

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    My understanding is that it actually Mastercard or American Express that convert the foreign currency amount to Australian Dollars, and they select the exchange rate. They charge a fee and it is passed on (and in the case of Westpac cards, the fee passed on is usually disclosed somewhere on the statement).

    On most cards, Westpac then charge there own foreign currency conversion fee, and it is this fee that is waived in the case of Earth+. Thus there is no Westpac Fee charged on the transaction (although MCI and Amex still do charge a fee)
     
  12. Alanslegal

    Alanslegal Senior Member

    Jun 22, 2007
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    Wizard Clear Advantage MC is a simple card but it beats any card for cash advance or purchases when used overseas.

    No transaction fees, conversion fees, no fees on cash advance, no hidden charges, no annual fees, IN fact, there are no charges at all.

    This card does not earn you any points, so if you want your points, use another card and pay up to 4% conversion fee!

    Although I have this card, I never use it whilst in Australia and just keep it on the side, no annual fees means no worries. I only use it overseas as it's the best in terms of value.
     
  13. Cyberdog100

    Cyberdog100 Intern

    Dec 29, 2006
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    Trying to earn points overseas on Australian cards is just not worth it with all the fees you have to pay, since the fees far outweigh the value of the points. So the Wizard card is by far the most attractive option.
     
  14. kkfan

    kkfan Newbie

    Aug 20, 2007
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    hi,

    I will be traveling to Asia in the coming months, I was wondering if anyone had any experience using the wizard card in Japan, Singapore or Taiwan? thanks.
     
  15. auriga

    auriga Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
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    Have used it to withdraw cash in Singapore and Bangkok without any problems.
     
  16. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
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    There are no fees charged by Wizard but you are still paying the Mastercard conversion fees.This is the same as Westpac's earth card.
    There is never a free lunch.
     
  17. serfty

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    #17 serfty, Sep 4, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2007
  18. Alanslegal

    Alanslegal Senior Member

    Jun 22, 2007
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    that's right! where's the thumbs up icon?
     
  19. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

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    On the Earth+ card there are no Westpac fees, though there are the fees charged by Mastercard. These are Mastercard Issuer Cross Border Assessment - 0.8% and MasterCard Currency Conversion Assessment - 0.2%.
     
  20. pongie

    pongie Intern

    Feb 14, 2007
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    How lond does it normally take for bpay transfer to appear on the online account transaction?

    I applied for the wizard clear advantage card earlier in the year but never used it. Now that I'm going overseas so I thought I'll test out the transfer first. Just in case I got the numbers wrong...

    I deposited $40 this tuesday and it hasn't appeared yet. Double checked the numbers and it looks okay.

    I'm flying out on the 23rd os if it takes more than a week I'll have to transfer the rest of hte amount before the 16th right? Otherwise if I spend the card before the transfer clears I'll be coping the interest rates for those days?
     

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