Debit Cards/travel cards


#1

Has anyone used a debit card/travel cards when traveling around Europe?


#2

I’ve only used it once or twice while I was in NZ, and they charged me an $8 ATM fee. I imagine it would be quite expensive with all the ATM and conversion fees. I suggest getting an ANZ travel card.


#3

Thanks, We were just thinking about the costs of using it and that a travel card would be better


#4

I also heard from my travel agent that Travelex cash passport cards are good. You load your money onto it prior to your trip via a bpay sort of method. I am thinking of using that.

Only thing I don’t know is, how do we access our funds that aren’t loaded onto the card whilst overseas, like when we get paid - we would have money sitting there waiting in our normal accounts.


#5

If you have access to the web you can access your Australian back account. You can then top up your travelex card (with a fee) with that money.


#6

Usually the banks travel cards are the best

Travelex cash passport card works pretty much the same as the banks travel cards, but the fees are a little higher.

I woud use a travel card, & then take a credit card for back up.

Debit card fees are high when used overseas (even the visa/mastercard debit)

To be sure ask you bank for there fee’s and charges brouchue


#7

If you use the Travelex card and load online, there aren’t any fees. You can load via BPay anywhere in the world and you can have more than one currency on the one card.

I’ve travelled overseas pretty much every year for the last 10 years and I’ve only taken two cards - the Travelex card and my Visa Debit card. If you’re accessing your savings account but pressing credit then fees are usually pretty minimal. Check with your bank/credit union and they’ll be able to tell you.

For buying cash before you get there, the two cheapest places are online - Westpac and Travelex.com

With both these sites if you pay via Bpay there isn’t any commission and the rates are usually 2-3eurocents higher than at a booth.

Hope this helps. :0


#8

Have you looked into the Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard? It’s a credit card that you can add cash on there to make it a debit card. There aren’t any ATM withdrawel, exchange rate or commission fees. Apparently the exchange rate they use is the daily rate from www.xe.com. You can also easily top up cash on the card via BPAY through online banking.

The only draw back is that you can’t lock in the exchange rate like the travel cards do


#9

Can I just clarify something about this Wizard card that everyone is suggesting? So basically it’s all three money access options in one, is that correct? It’s:

  • a credit card (should you get desperate enough to need one)

  • a debit card, in that you load money on and use it like a debit card (ie you spend your own money)

  • and you can use it to withdraw cash from atms

These three options all with NO fees??? Or is it MINIMAL fees?

If this is all correct, then obviously this really is the way to go, because you get all three options, whereas with the travelex and bank travel cards you cant use them as credit cards. And if you use your normal debit card to withdraw cash from atms theres massive fees.

Thanks,
Kristy


#10

[quote=15984]Can I just clarify something about this Wizard card that everyone is suggesting? So basically it’s all three money access options in one, is that correct? It’s:

  • a credit card (should you get desperate enough to need one)

  • a debit card, in that you load money on and use it like a debit card (ie you spend your own money)

  • and you can use it to withdraw cash from atms

These three options all with NO fees??? Or is it MINIMAL fees?

If this is all correct, then obviously this really is the way to go, because you get all three options, whereas with the travelex and bank travel cards you cant use them as credit cards. And if you use your normal debit card to withdraw cash from atms theres massive fees.

Thanks,
Kristy[/quote]

Hi Kristy!

I haven’t used my card yet but I think what you have said above is correct. With the third point… you would only withdraw cash if you have your card in debit… and all the above 3 points with NO ATM withdrawel fees. You still have the usual late payment fee, interest charges, overdrawn fees like any other card but as long as it is in debit, my understanding is, you don’t get charged ATM or exchange rate fees.

I did find out 2 draw backs about using this option…1. Is that you can’t lock in an exchange rate…so if your currency takes a dive, it won’t be good. The other thing is that because the card is meant to be used as a credit card, and if it gets stolen and used up, [v] the bank will only reimburse you for up to your credit limit - NOT the amount extra you have chosen to put on it.

I’m leaving at the end of next month so I’m hoping that the exchange rate will still be in my favour at that time. (though I will be changing some GBP and Euro now at the post office). I feel the travel cards don’t give good exchange rates to start with…guess the finance institute need to make money somehow. As for people stealing it…they won’t be able to withdraw any cash from the ATM without a pin…they would have to purchase everything over a counter…which I’m hoping would be traceable.

Hope this helps! :slight_smile:


#11

Hi there

I have also looked into the ANZ travel card and heard that one is good too. You buy the card for $15 and what ever cash you put on the card the day you buy it, the exchange rate is locked in for the entire time you are overseas. That’s all the fees apparently and you load up the card. I thought about taking one of those, my visa debit westpac card and small amount of cash.

Hope that was helpful.

Cheers


#12

[quote=15993]Hi there

I have also looked into the ANZ travel card and heard that one is good too. You buy the card for $15 and what ever cash you put on the card the day you buy it, the exchange rate is locked in for the entire time you are overseas. That’s all the fees apparently and you load up the card. I thought about taking one of those, my visa debit westpac card and small amount of cash.

Hope that was helpful.

Cheers[/quote]

Hi Amanda,

I’ve looked into the ANZ travel card option aswell. A few things that I found was

  1. I need to buy two cards - One for Euro and One for Pounds.
  2. The first time to reload the card it’s free but if you want to top up - you get charged 1.1% of the value you put on the card.
  3. The exchange rate ANZ gives you compared to the daily rate is terrible.
  4. Each withdrawal costs (on top of the foreign bank’s ATM fees) 1.25 Pounds and 2.10 Euro.
  5. If any other currency was needed on the trip (Swiss Francs etc…), the bank will charge the ATM fee (on top of foreign bank’s fee), Exchange rate fee and use a terrible exchange rate.

The positive thing about the Travel Card is that the exchange rate is locked in, so if you’re travelling 6 months to a year later…probably a safe option to go for to take advantage of current exchange rates (as Aussie is quite strong at the moment esp. against the pound).


#13

Wow thanks for everyones help! Things are a little clearer now ;D

Kristy


#14

I’ve also been looking into the Commonwealth Bank’s travel card. I just had a look out of curiosity since how that’s where my account is, but you don’t have to have an account with them to apply for the card. I thought I’d mention it since how alot of people are mentioning the ANZ travel card. It would appear that the Commonwealth one is slightly better for these reasons:

  • It was mentioned that you can only have one currency per card, whereas with the Commonwealth you can have up to 6 currencies at the one time on your card.

  • When you reload you get charged 1% of the reload amount (as opposed to 1.1% with ANZ - not alot but still…)

However the ATM withdrawal fees are slightly higher (2.20 EUR and 2.00 GBP), and there is also the same application fee as ANZ of $15.

You can also lock in the exchange rate. As for how good it is, I was hoping someone else might be able to help out with this? At the moment it’s:

  • 0.63 EUR (XE’s is 0.67)

  • 0.58 GBP (XE’s is 0.58)

Is this good or not?

Thanks,
Kristy


#15

Thanks Sue for investigating further on the ANZ card… now I am really not sure what to do. Maybe I will just stick with my Westpac Visa debit and have some cash with me. :slight_smile:


#16

Hi Kristy,

it’s really hard for someone else to say whether the exchange rate is good or not. It’d be all in perspective really… If you bought money through a travel card now, it would be seen as good if the AUD goes down when you travel but it could also be seen as bad if AUD gets stronger. Right now, the AUD is generally quite strong.

Hi Amandam,

No worries! Just make sure you check out what the fees and charges are on the Westpac Visa debit card also. You might find that that the Travel Cards do work out better.


#17

Thanks heaps for your help Sue!

Kristy


#18

Read a few things on this discussion which are incorrect.

With Travelex cards you need to have a separate card for each currency, with ANZ and CBA travel money cards you dont.

ANZ and CBA do not charge you for regular EFTPOS transactions but you get charged a small fee for cash withdrawals.

Travelex charge you for both EFTPOS transactions AND cash withdrawals.

Best to check exchange rates at both ANZ and CBA before buying, but the difference would be a not much to worry about unless you are exchanging $20,000+.


#19

Travelex don’t charge for both EFTPOS and cash withdrawals.
Using EFTPOS is absolutely free with a Travelex card. ATM withdrawals cost 2.20 Euros or 1.50 GBP per withdrawal.


#20

Hi eveyone,

I’ve been having a look at the different option to and because I am a NAB customer i’ve been looking at their NAB Gold account. It’s $10 per month but you don’t get charged any curreny conversion fee when you take out money in other countires. Normally this fee is either 2% or 2.5% of the amount you take out. Plus NAB don’t charge you additional atm fees. You only get charged the fee the atm company charges you. Not sure what this will be tho. But NAB charges you nothing to use eftpos!

I’ve been looking at the cashpassport too… the only problem is that when I asked about the last week at Travelex the rate for GPB was 0.61 and they were only going to give me 0.55 at the locked in amount!

I think I will go with NAB. I’d rather keep my money in my own bank account safe and take out enough money to last we about a week so i’m only going to the atm a couple of times on the tour. I’m doing the 36 day Pioneer your.

Miranda :slight_smile: