I’m wondering about the best way to access funds. What I am planning on doing is getting a certain amount of cash in euros. Then also having my debit card. Problem is, my tour (Grand European) goes to Switzerland and Croatia, both of which do not use the euro. Speaking to the lady at the bank today she said for exchanging money they have a minimum of 500AUD. Thats fine for the euro, but what would everyone suggest for Switzerland and Croatia, I’m not in these two places for long so wont need anywhere near that amount of money converted. I can remember reading somewhere that 30 swiss francs is okay per day.

Also I got a really handy leaflet from my bank about using my debit card overseas, and it has a a list of their global alliance partners for atms. Most of the countrys im going to are covered, bar Switzerland, Croatia - so if I use my card there I get a 5 aud international transaction fee.

I’m just trying to work out whats best, but the more I process it through my head the more confussed I get. Anyone have any suggestions?



If you only want to change over a small amount of money you can use the independent currency exchange places, Im not sure which city your from but in Melbourne they have them all over the place and you can generally find ones that don’t charge a commission and also they have higher exchange rates than the banks. But I have heard that on your tour they usually give you the opportunity to change over some money for the country that you need to be in. I am going through Switzerland as well but I probably wont change any money over until France.


I’m in Perth, so I might have a poke around and see what I can find. Thanks.


u can also go 2 australia post… n change sum money… without being charged any commission on changing the money


Do they have a minimum they will change?



Trip i did was mostly Euros however had some cash beforehand for Czech republic (Koruna), most didn’t tho but the First Petrol station we stopped at took Euro’s and worked out the exchange rate (was actually quite good). The trip leader gave info out as to what would be an acceptable rate to change at so don’t fret, always access to cash.


If you get a money travel card from one of the banks (for exp ANZ travel card is quite good) … You can put an amount in Euro’s on it & you can withdraw in Switzerland & Croatia at an ATM & they will converted the Euro & give you the local currency for you so you only need to withdraw what you think yu may need.




If you use an ATM in Croatia, it will withdraw funds in Croatian currency. You will be charged a minor fee from your bank (usually 1-3%, plus sometimes a $1-2 free, all of which varies by bank).

This minor fee is almost nothing when you consider that you dont have to risk carrying large amounts of cash around europe with the chances of losing it or having it stolen.


hi mishmuch

the mininum the post office will change is 200… so you need 2 purchase at least 200 pounds or euros!!
hope this helps… because i saved a lot of commission fees by changin it thru the post office!!


Check the other forum relating to ANZ vs Travelex!

Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard seems like the best option! :smiley:


[quote=15871]hi mishmuch

the mininum the post office will change is 200… so you need 2 purchase at least 200 pounds or euros!!
hope this helps… because i saved a lot of commission fees by changin it thru the post office!! [/quote]

Hi Ashley, I have heard a trader recommend this option to me. What are the exchange rates like? Does the post office exchange according to the daily rate? (I’m only hoping…) ;D


Can someone help me with the whole money issue also? It would be very much appreciated! It’s very hard to get peoples un-biased opinions on the best way to go. So confusing!!

Basically I don’t really want to be carrying cash around…how widely used are cards in Europe? Do you really need to carry much cash on you? I mean in Australia if you plan on going to the bar you need cash.

Sooo…cancelling out the idea of cash for now I’ve heard about:

  • travelex cash passport

*using my own mastercard debit card-not credit card but ‘debit’ card (so basically using the same card/method as I do at home)

  • then I’ve also heard about the wizard travel mastercard (and I think other banks offer a similar thing)

What is the best way to go in regards to fees/commisions, security, and how widely accepted each method is in Europe?

I really hope someone can help me as I can’t even get help from my travel agent, because there is a travelex office in the same office as my agent. So that’s all she talks about - obviously there is some sort of commission in it for her if I sign up… >:(

Thanks in advance!

#13 (the online site) allow you to buy funds for as little as 250AUD and this includes Swiss francs. For Croatia and others not using a major currency, the easiest way is to exchange euros in that country. A travelex money card is really secure and has the least amount of fees and charges.

Hope this helps.


Hi Everyone

I went on my first overseas trip in 2009 and was very nervous about how much money to take and whether to purchase a travelex type card. I went to UK for 2 weeks and Europe (incl Switzerland) for 4 weeks, so I pre-bought 300 pounds and 600 Euros in cash before leaving Australia. Some of it was bought from one of those kiosks (which was a mistake because of their commissions charged) but most of it was bought from the Post Office (a cheaper option for exchanging cash if you want to take cash with you). For example, at the kiosk I bought Euros where the Aus $ was worth 56.13 Euro cents. After taking into a/c the commission, the Aus $ was worth 52.89 Euro cents. I then bought at the Post Office for 56.605 Euro cents and no commission.

My credit union ATM card also acts as a Visa Debit card, so I didn’t buy any other travel cards. The only problem with just one card is I became quite paranoid with keeping it protected as I would have nothing to fall back on if I lost it, so I would tend to keep withdrawing cash just in case.

I used it to withdraw at any ATM which accepted VISA. Before going to Switzerland I withdrew Euros in another country so did not withdraw any Swiss francs. I recall a lot of things in Switzerland were priced in both Swiss francs and Euros although I was only there for 2 nights.

As far as being charged fees. My bank only charged me fees for making additional number of withdrawals above the monthly maximum. They seemed to allocate the relevant exchange rate to each withdrawal so was not ripped off by paying any commission. With the recent changes to bank fees in Australia, I wouldn’t be surprised if my bank has changed things around as well.

I am going to Croatia in 2010, so will probably look to purchase some Kuna before leaving Australia as I am flying into Croatia and prefer to have the local currency for the taxi or transport into the city and possibly the hotel and restaurant for that first night. The only thing is, I’m not sure the post office sells Kuna. It looks like ANZ bank does though.

Hope this post is of some assistance.




The post office’s rate is slightly different 2 the rate u c on the news or in the newspaper… so if in the newspaper the rate is 0.61 for the pound, the post offices rate mite b 0.58 for example and its the same for all other currencies u can buy at the post office

hope this helps


I am going to change some AUD over to Pounds possibly today or tomororw, the rate at the moment is the highest its been in a very long time, and since Im only in London for 3 days I dont need that much in so I will probably just use cash.

For the tour I will be placing a heap of money onto my Wizard Clear Advantage mastercard as you can put money on the card and be in credit and they dont charge you any fees to use the card overseas.

I will have my normal ANZ mastercard and debit card for emergencies, but due to the rates that they charge, usually an atm fee as well as a rate to change the currency its about 5 bucks each time to withdraw cash so I will try and use those as little as possible.


I dont know much about currency conversion…but cos the exchange rate isnt very exciting with NZ-GBP would it make any difference converting to a different currency and then converting that to GBP? is there any currency thats good at the moment! Or is it gna be same difference…


If you buy over $250 IN TOTAL of one or more than one currency through then you don’t pay commission. Remember to take the BPay option though or you get hit with the 1.5% credit card fee. You can then pick up the cash at any Travelex kiosk, including the airport.

Do if you only wany 50GBP or 100EUR or 100CHF then you can get small amounts AND get the one of the higest cash rates I’ve been able to research.

Stacey :slight_smile:


Matthew’s right-- Debit Cards are where it’s at. Chat with your local bank before you leave and negotiate fees. OR get a VISA/Mastercard Debit Card. They act like a debit card, but are prepaid and won’t add up a tonne of extra fees. You can also look into a Global Chequing Card-- again, acts as a Debit Card, but doesn’t rack up the fees. (saves my life while abroad!)


I’ll be bringing by Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard too but won’t be loading too much money for security reasons. I’ll just set up a direct debit fornightly or something. I’m also going to bring an ANZ travel card as a back up and also to exchange money soon because as it’s been mentioned, the AUD is quite strong. It only costs $11 and I don’t want to risk my credit card not working and dealing with transaction/conversion fees with my debit card.