Foreign Currency credit cards

Discussion in 'Foreign Exchange / Travel Money' started by plrarm, Apr 25, 2011.

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  1. plrarm

    plrarm Junior Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    Over a number of years of international travel, I have watched bank fees on overseas credit card purchases skyrocket !!

    I hear recently that one of the credit card companies or banks is now offering a card that you can "load up" with Pounds, Euros, US Dollars etc. This seemed like a good idea, particularly when the Aussie is so strong. I guess it depends on what up front fees you pay.

    Problem is I cannot find a card. Are any of our members using such a card and how does it work ? Is it better that just using an Aussie card o's ?

    Look forward to hearing

  2. TonyHancock

    TonyHancock Senior Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    East Cheam
    • Like Like x 2
  3. zig

    zig Established Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    What you describe sounds more like a travelcard rather than a credit card. All the banks offer a travel card these days which you load up with a variety of currencies so the rate is locked in. You then can access the money via ATMs for a withdrawl fee, or fee at point of purchase. Just check out any of the bank websites, there are also a few threads on this site.
  4. david-au-2000

    david-au-2000 Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Tony Hancock is right, the 28 Degrees Card is far and away the best value credit card for travellers!

    As for the 'travel money cards', yes those are a bit like a prepaid mobile phone, you load up your card's account with as much foreign currency you need, use the card at ATM machines or like a credit card an then top if up again when your balance goes low.

    I am looking at getting one of these for my parents who are going to Europe next month because they always use a normal Commonwealth bank credit card attached to their bank account and the fees are too high, especially if you withdraw money from an ATM.

    Commonwealth has a travel money card that you can load up with several different currencies, each in their own 'account', compared to other cards that only let you have one currency on each card. You can also move money between the card's accounts without any penalty, so if you come back from London with a lot of pounds let over but are running short of Euros or US$ you can move the pounds to Euros or dollars.

    The Travelex card is very popular but their fees are very steep and also if you don't use your card they can start to take money off it as an 'inactivity fee', yes, how insane is that, it doesn't cost them anything if you decide not to use your card so why should they charge you? Also when the card reaches its 'expiry date' Travelex and all the rest except for Amex will take ALL of the money from your account, yes, you read that right, they will take ALL of YOUR money for themselves!

    So there are a lot of tricks in this, do a Google search for 'travel money cards' and read up as much as you can!
  5. Danger

    Danger Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2006
  6. vitagen

    vitagen Established Member

    Apr 16, 2011
    Perth (Wait Awhile)
    I agree, I also have the 28 degrees card and works wonders on every trip I go on.

    You can cash advance overseas or load and withdraw from any ATM, there is no foreign transaction fees so you get the exchange rate very close to the spot rate...

    Also there are no fees with withdrawing from ATM, with purchases you also get very good exchange rates.
  7. Fantic125

    Fantic125 Established Member

    Apr 16, 2010
    #7 Fantic125, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
    With most of the Travel Cards you are charged a fee to open one, a fee to deposit money and a fee to withdraw. And if you don't use it on a regular basis, a fee for not using it. With some of them (from memory), if it's not used for a long period of time you may actually end up losing the remaing money in the account. The only advantage I see is that you can 'lock in' the exchange rate, but even that is usually lower than market rate.

    The 28 Degrees card (previously Wizard) is good for loading up with cash and then withdrawing OS for no fee or using for credit purchases. INGdirect Orange Card is a good back-up as well (low international charges/exchange fees). I use both of these when travelling rather than a Travel Card. :cool:

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