Best card for travelling overseas? | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Best card for travelling overseas?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Danster

Intern
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
58
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
 

Danger

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
6,131
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).
 

auriga

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2005
Messages
814
wizard clear advantage mastercard?

no foreign currency fee.
 

serfty

Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
40,703
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
Flights
My Map
auriga said:
wizard clear advantage mastercard?

no foreign currency fee.
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
 

zig

AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
1,536
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.
 

serfty

Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
40,703
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
Flights
My Map
zig said:
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.
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.
 

Danster

Intern
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
58
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
 

PlutekPlutek

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
375
Danster said:
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
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.
 

NM

Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
15,810
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
PlutekPlutek said:
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.
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.
 

oz_mark

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 2002
Messages
17,778
Flights
My Map
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)
 

Alanslegal

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
5,231
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.
 

Cyberdog100

Intern
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
70
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.
 

kkfan

Newbie
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
2
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.
 

auriga

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2005
Messages
814
Have used it to withdraw cash in Singapore and Bangkok without any problems.
 

drron

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2002
Messages
19,662
Alanslegal said:
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.
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.
 

serfty

Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
40,703
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Last edited:

oz_mark

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 2002
Messages
17,778
Flights
My Map
serfty said:
With wizard, there are no fees. You get a commercial exchange rate which works out (IIRC) about ½% worse than the XE.com quotes.

Note that there are none of those "currency conversion" fees charged.

More here: http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/community/general-credit-card-discussion/wizard-clear-advantage-free-international-7865.html

Earth may be similar ...
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%.
 

pongie

Intern
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
68
Flights
My Map
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?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

AFF on Air Podcast

  • Choosing a Rewards Program – AIR017
    Sat, 10 Aug 2019 13:32:24 AEST
      If you’re new to the world of frequent flyer points – or moving to a new country – it can be difficult to know where to start. In this episode, Matt discusses the con ...
  • Travel Insurance – AIR016
    Sat, 27 Jul 2019 07:34:12 AEST
      They say that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel! In this episode, Matt chats to James Green about the importance of travel insurance, and ...
  • The Qantas Oneworld Award – AIR015
    Sat, 13 Jul 2019 02:07:50 AEST
      Learn how to fly around the world using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points as Matt chats to James Green, an award travel consultant at Frequent Flyer Solutions. This episode ...
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer Changes – AIR014
    Sat, 29 Jun 2019 00:40:35 AEST
      Last week, Qantas announced a major shake-up to its Qantas Frequent Flyer program. In this episode, former Head of Loyalty at Malaysia Airlines, Mark Ross-Smith, joins Matt ...
  • jb747’s Stellar Career with Qantas – AIR013
    Sat, 15 Jun 2019 03:00:41 AEST
      In this special edition of the podcast, Matt chats to John Bartels (a.k.a. jb747) about his flying career with Qantas, the A380, the QF30 incident, flight training, retirem ...

Community Statistics

Threads
82,459
Messages
1,909,677
Members
50,242
Latest member
Lindsay Shuttleworth
Top