Travel card or Debit card?


Am going on exchange in England and going on a 2 week European tour before :). Am wondering whether to just use my debit cards (1 with ANZ and 1 with Bendigo Bank) or to get a travel card?

Would like to hear what people have used and what their thoughts are?

Thanks :slight_smile:


Use a travel card, because ATM fee’s don’t cost as much and you can load more then one currency on it! depending on the bank


Be careful as travel cards can have a combination of ATM fees, loading fees (1 or 2%), card creation fees, sometimes bad conversion rates, etc. I would only use one to lock in an extreme high like the $1.10USD.

Maybe at 0.83 against the Euro and 0.66 against the pound right now it’s worth considering for at least some of your spending money… however for such a long period of time it would suck to have all your money immobile on a travel cash card.

Coming from Australia I would recommend the 28 Degrees Mastercard (a credit card), and the Citibank Plus VISA (a debit card)… both with zero fees and a great exchange rate if you use them correctly.

I have one of each - currently in Egypt with no fees on major bank ATMs, no interest for 55 days on the credit card (that I use like a debit card anyway), and both cards use the base VISA/Mastercard trading rate. Should be the same in Europe, and other parts of Africa when I get there.


the one we got from the commonwealth bank was pretty good,


after some comparisons… i will be using the multicurrency cash passport (mastercard travelcard)


[quote=37175]after some comparisons… i will be using the multicurrency cash passport (mastercard travelcard)[/quote]

This is the one I am using this time round, also have a credit card for backup… used the Travelex Cash Passport last time I traveled and it was great, the Multi Cashpassport should be better as the rates are a lot better…


Have you guys heard of the 28 degrees MasterCard? Looks a winner and I’ve got mine ready.

Lots of positive reviews from my friends who have used it overseas…


^ I’m using the 28 degrees right now. Other than the fact it takes 3-4 days for transactions/payments to process on the card it works a treat.


Thanks for all your help guys ;D

I would like to avoid using a credit card but I’ve heard you can use the 28 Degree Mastercard as a debit card. Is that true?

Also any ANZ or Bendigo Bank travel card users?


[quote=37203]Thanks for all your help guys ;D

I would like to avoid using a credit card but I’ve heard you can use the 28 Degree Mastercard as a debit card. Is that true?

Also any ANZ or Bendigo Bank travel card users? [/quote]

Any credit card will act as a debit card if the value in the account is positive (ie, you haven’t drawn into the credit amount).

Where the travel cards are good is that you can lock in the exchange rate, the day you load money onto it you get that day’s rate locked in for that amount of money. The Multicurrency Cash Passport standard is a 1% loading fee (1c per dollar, which is next to nothing), it also has free ATM withdrawl’s and Mastercard Transactions. The only fee’s payable is if there is a third party ATM fee.

The principle is the same with other cards, but most charge higher fee’s (loading, currency conversion and withdrawl).

The 28 Degree Mastercard is good value and worth getting, but always make sure you have more than one form of access to money while your away.


What are you folks doing about Swiss Frances? Where can we exchange??


Last time I was there I just withdrew swiss francs from the ATM from my VISA card… only there a short amount of time and only withdrew money once so wasn’t an issue…


i saw on the topdeck website to bring atleast 30 swiss francs. but i’ll definitely just take it out of the atm when i get there :slight_smile:


28 degrees mastercard is harder to get. I got rejected with them, even though Commonwealth Bank gave me $5000 limit straight away. You can definitely use it as a debit card if you deposit money into the account/card so that there is a surplus of funds, rather than using the “credit” that is on it.

The cash passport as mentioned above was named the best canstar travel money card in 2012, so I guess it’s the best one around…

If you’re with westpac, you can withdraw cash for free at their partner ATMs throughout europe, such as deustche bank, etc. there are quite a few. Commonwealth bank has no parter atms. I’m not sure about other banks though. Definitely check with your bank, or it might even be worth it to open up another bank account with free overseas withdrawals such as Westpac. If you’re a student, the account is free anyway.

I’ll be bringing some cash (up to $1k), withdrawing cash from the ATM for daily expenses, and use credit cards for shopping, hotels, and larger payments. I can always exchange a bit for the lesser used currencies like swiss francs.


Has anyone tired the Australia post load & go travel card?
I’m thinking of using it because it seems to have the lowest fees for a travel card.


I was also thinking of getting the Australia post load & Go travel card. I am not sure about the fees and charges though. I was told it had less fees than the banks but when i researched it it looks like it is similar to the banks.

If anyone who has used the load an go card your advice is much appreciated.


thanks for the info guys, im heading to canada in sept and im thinking of trying out the mastercard mutli mentioned above and its really the only one ive seen that has the Canadian dollar as an option.


I used the 28 degrees MasterCard when I did Europe last year. Just got one with $3000 limit and put extra money on it before I left, it was really easy to get, I applied online. It was perfect, I was able to use it as credit or debit and withdraw money at ATMs. I would definitely recommend it. I also took my usual visa/debit card with me as a backup but didn’t need to use it.


Thanks to some research (and recommendations on this forum) - I’ve decided on; 28 Degrees MasterCard (credit card) and Multicurrency Cash Passport (debit card) as they seem to have the best deals in terms of additional fees etc.

I also think it’s best to have more than one form of payment and a back up card kept with your luggage should anything go missing!


I went with the ANZ multicurrency Cash Passport. It only cost $11.00 to set up. You get a back up card to keep in your luggage. It is also loaded in the currency you want so you don’t get any currency conversion fees or initial load fees. There is a 1.1% reload fee which isn’t too bad. There is a 3% currency conversion fee but that is only if you have to convert the currency that is already on the card. E.g. Euro to USD vice versa or you don’t have enough currency to cover a transaction so they have to convert another currency. It only took half an hour to set up and with in a few hours of the first working day (I set it up on a Saturday) it was activated and ready to use. Not sure how it works overseas as I am not quite there yet but I have heard nothing but good things about it.

Hope this helps people decide what to do. I am also taking a credit card for emergencies or more expensive purchases.