Travelex Card or Visa Direct Debit from my bank


What do you recommend? I’m not really interested in getting a credit card - would rather use my own money

Has anyone used Travelex/ Visa Direct Debit overseas?

What are your thoughts?


Used the ANZ visa overseas - it works, no probs, no hidden charges apart from the exchange over to Euros. Has a three year limit too!


I’ve been doing a fair bit of research about money cards etc for travel, so i’ll share with you what I have learnt…

I used the ANZ travel card for my last trip, and generally had no major problems with it. However, you still get fees everytime you withdraw from an ATM, and loading fees etc (not as expensive as using your normal ATM card overseas, but they still add up!) I believe the fees on the ANZ cards are slightly lower than the Commonwealth ones (plus I had a friend who had a Commonwealth one for her Contiki trip and all the money disappeared from it and had to get her family to wire her some money!). The other good thing about these travel cards is that you get two, so if you lose one, you have a backup.

However, the downsides of these cards are they only have one currency, so if you’re going lots of places you might want more than one card. Also, the biggest drawback was that these cards dont don’t have chips in them! Chip credit cards and chip debit cards are the norm especially in the UK. I had few problems in some shops with my ANZ travel card because I needed to swipe the card, not do the chip & pin thing. Also, the machines in the London Tube stations that you use to buy tickets/top up oyster cards only accept chip cards, so I had to find a machine that took cash or had to wait in line for a window. I guess it’s not a huge deal, but a bit annoying!

This time, I have done more research and I have discovered the 28 Degrees Mastercard (used to be called the Wizard Clear Advantage mastercard, but has had a name change but still has the same features). It has no international tranaction fees, no annual fee and no cash advance fees, and it has a chip. Ok, so I know that you may not be interested in getting a credit card, BUT if you’re smart with it, what you actually do with this card is pre-load it with money and USE IT LIKE A DEBIT CARD, so you’re spending your own money, not using credit. You use cash advances to take money out (normally this would cost a fortune in fees on a regular credit card, but not with this card if it’s preloaded with your money). You can also use it to make purchases in shops like a normal card. It doesn’t cost you a cent to own, and you just apply online. It’s also a good credit card for buying things online from overseas as you don’t get currency conversion fees. So with this card, you can travel overseas and use your own money virtually fee free! It also has very competitve currency rates. :wink:

Ok so I’m gonna stop blabbing about it, but if you’re interested, here is site for it:

Also, this site has a whole forum from people who have used this card overseas:

Also, my recommendation for getting some foreign currency to take overseas with you is to get it from your bank, or Australia Post (sorry I don’t have advice for people in other countries). You can usually order it, and pick it up the next day. Getting currency from the airport can be a rip off.

Also, my other suggestion is spread all your money and cards out. I’ll be taking my 28 Degrees card with me most of the time, with enough cash for the day, then in other bags I’ll stash some other cash and my regular debit card and credit card as a backups.

p.s. I’d love to hear from anyone else who has used the Wizard/28 Degrees card overseas before :slight_smile:


Thanks backpackgirl.
That information is fantastic. I was going to go for the Commonwealth travel card because you can load up to 6 currencies on the 1 card, but after what you said about your friend, I definitely wouldn’t want that. I also don’t think the Commonwealth card has a chip. My normal Commonwealth debit mastercard has a chip, but the fees are extremely high to use it internationally.

Thanks heaps


Hey MattT89, I’m also taking a Commonwealth Travel Money card with me when I go on the European Pioneer in May. It does not have a chip, but can still be used in most places that accept Mastercard, as it is supported by them. You will find that a flat fee applies to ATM withdrawals, but when used to purchase on EFTPOs in a shop in the currency on your card, it is free. You will find that it is a much cheaper options that your Debit Mastercard as it is AUD$5 plus 2% for every ATM withdrawal. I took a Commonwealth Travel Money card with me last time I went to Asia and had no problems anywhere. Hope you find the same! :slight_smile:


I went and got a travel card mastercard debit card from National bank today.

What like about this card is that is pre loaded with the currency of the country you are visiting and can be used like a credit card. It has a micro chip in so can be used just like a normal credit card. You can also use it in other countries which is not loaded in your currency they just take the money out and covert it to the current exchange rate.

The good thing is that is only accessing money that you have pre loaded not money from your everyday bank account.

I had used a travel ex card last year for my trip to the states but came home with money still on it. I did not use it that often as found it easier to use my credit card when buying in shops. With a travel ex card you use like an eftpos card from an atm. I didn’t like carrying to much cash and found it annoying.


I just opened a bank account with NAB today that for $10 a month you could get free transactions and withdraws overseas and no currency conversion fee also it comes with a visa debit card didn’t really look into it but that seems alright :slight_smile: