Types of travel cards-my research for Aussies


#1

Hi all. [br]I had a very hard time trying to decide how to take my money.[br]I was leaning towards the ANZ travel card but changed my mind once I did some research so thought I would share my research to make everyone else’s choices a bit easier! This is the information I received from the banks themselves by going in person and asking lots of questions-something I recommend you do before making your decision.[br][br]The ANZ travel card is great in that you can lock in your Exchange Rates on the day you purchase the card. You also receive the card on the day you purchase it. [br]There is an $11 fee to open the account, nothing to close it once you get back. Once closed they will send the money directly to your ANZ account if you have one, if not via cheque-which can take up to 3 weeks to receive.[br]It restricts the amount you can reload depending upon your choice of currency, and charges a 1.1% fee of the recharge amount. You can only reload twice a day. For example if you reload ?2000, ie roughly $3,500 Aus there will be a reload fee of $38, so total of $3538-this can add up if you are travelling for a while.[br]In regards to making purchases- it is free to use in shops, etc. However to withdraw money from ATM’s there is a fee roughly $3-$5 Aus every time you withdraw money, check balances etc.[br]This could add up quite a bit over time.[br]You can also use this account as a credit card as it has the Visa component.[br]Internet Banking is very easy to set up and use for ANZ so easy to check balances and send money across.[br][br]Travelex cards are similar to using an ATM card. They have said amount of funds applied to each card and like the ANZ you are charged between $3-$5 Aus every time you make a withdrawal.[br]They also exchange by the exchange rates of the day and then also charge a conversion fee of 2% Aus! This also adds up very quickly.[br][br]I went with the NAB Gold Visa Debit Card-not the Gold Credit Card as some are suggesting.[br]This works as a Debit card but you also get the Visa component if you need a credit card in case you overspend-and it is then treated as a credit card.[br]The NAB Visa Debit does not charge any conversion fees for any withdrawal in any ATM throughout the entire world. You also do not get charged a fee to withdraw money or check your balance. You also have unlimited use of EFTPOS/ATM’s anywhere in the world.[br]So that this is clear (and the reason I picked this card) no matter how many times a day, wherever you are in the world, you wish to withdraw money or make a balance enquiry- there is no fees to withdraw (as opposed to $3-$5Aus EACH time by other banks) and there is NO CURRENCY CONVERSION fees when you do so.[br]With this card you are not able to lock in the currency rate as with Travelex or ANZ-however watching the Aussie dollar over the last year it hasn’t changed too much but it is the gamble you take. [br]You treat this card as you do a debit card and spend your own money as you would with your keycard at home-ie the money you put in you spend.[br]You are able to withdraw up to $2000 a day and if you pay for all your airfares with this card then you get complimentary travel insurance. May not help for this trip but you will know for next trip.[br]There is a $10 per month servicing fee to the account-which is waived if you deposit $5000 per month. This is also easy to do-provided you have $5000. What I did was open a iSaver account also. You put all your money in the iSaver account and transfer the $5000 every month to your Gold Visa Debit and then the following day or when you get the chance, you transfer the money back to the iSaver account via internet banking-and you’ve just saved yourself $10 a month. [br]However if you forget to do this- the $10 charge a month is much cheaper than the $3-$5Aus fee you get charged every time you use it for the ANZ, plus the conversion fees with the Travelex. [br]The other catch is unless you can set up an Australian phone number and have your Australian mobile on international roaming whilst you are travelling, then you are limited to only transferring $2500 a day total between accounts-so you just have to do it over 2 days.[br]The other bonus with the iSaver account is that it is a interest account-the more you have in it then the more interest you receive. The current rates are 2.75% paid monthly. However if you open this account before 16/8/09 then you receive the introductory rate of 4.40% for the first 4 months (every little bit helps!)[br]One downside is that once you have signed the paperwork it is sent in the mail-which can take up to a week so get organised before you head off.[br]I have started using the NAB internet banking and it is fairly simple to use-no harder than any other I have used.[br][br]Hope this helps to all those struggling to decide which way they will take their money.[br][br]Happy travels![br]Beth[br][br]European Pioneer Sep 17-Oct 22[br]PS I do not have any affiliation with any of the above banks, I am just sharing the information that I have found. Please check that whichever you choose that it suits your needs the best which may or may not be the same as mine! I suggest do lots of your own research.[br]


#2

Thanks so much Beth. I, like you, have been doing lots of research and came to the same conclusions as you. I will be opening the NAB Gold Visa Debit Card in the next week or so for my trip.[br][br]Tina[br]Bravo Italia[br]27 Sept, 2009


#3

Ranks heaps I put up a similar post thats entitled how are u taking your money?[br]Im struggling to but thinking ill just use my everyday atm card which is a mastercard debit and if used at selected atms i only pay conversion fee, and pay no fees using it as eftpos. Just taking a lil bit of money for food taxi etc, But as i need 4 diff currencies travel cards were not going to work all that well for me,[br]


#4

That’s a terrific review of travel card options Beth.[br]I’ve also gone the NAB Gold Banking debit card option. The no conversion fees or overseas ATM fees was the major point.[br]I don’t think the exchange rate not being locked in is such an issue. If anything, the Aus dollar has been rising in the last few months.[br][br]One thing though, in this thread:[br]
http://www.topdecktours.co.uk/topdeckforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2229
[br]someone who used the NAB Gold debit and just got back mentioned that:[br][br]“BUT you cannot get a balance from ANY ATM. So make sure you know your internet banking details. I was spending blind”[br][br]so that would be really the only problem with it.[br][br]cheers[br][br]Warren[br][br][br][br]---------------------------------------------[br]Spirit of Europe 18th Aug 2009


#5

travelex cards do not charge you conversion rates when you get money out - it cost me about 1.50 to put 3,000 dollars on to it and you can easily check your balance online. They are also locked in to the exchange rate of the day you put it on - you are not subject to it going up and down! Plus you get two cards just in case you misplace the first one - or if your travelling with you partner you both have one![br]Jo


#6

Thanks all.[br]I read that topic about not checking balances but I figured it would be pretty easy to check online-I’m sure people will be checking their fb’s often enough! [br]I have found NAB online banking pretty easy to use and am now considering closing off my other accounts.[br][br][br]Thanks for the confirmation JoJords re conversion fees. I asked the person behind the counter and she believed you did-but I also got the conclusion that she wasn’t very well informed about the card. [br]I know that you still get charged the $3-$5Aus everytime you withdraw funds though. I don’t like to carry too much cash around and decided this option was going to cost me way too much money.[br][br]Any corrections please feel free to make-like I said I had to do a lot of research-and that sometimes meant going to the same bank to different branches a few times to ask different people because even the staff are not always very helpful.[br][br]Beth[br][br][br]


#7

Yeah thats cool - i only know cause I used them last year in Europe in Euros and I had one in pounds for the UK - they are really handy cause I had out credit cards aswell and also my visa debit! Im going to use travelex for Egypt this year - I can only get it in Aus dollars though but at least I wont get charges from my bank!!


#8

hi. me and my partener leave for Europe next week and we were having trouble deciding on how to take our money, so we went with travellex. my girlfriend went in yesterday to organise it and there was a problem. while the exchange rate from dollars to euros was 0.59, we were only offered 0.55 with travellex. now we were putting on alot as we are going for 3 months, so i went to the commonwealth bank and they were offering 0.57 (as were all the banks i checked with). so while it was only 0.02 difference, on 10k it worked out to be $200! plus travellex charges 1% of the initial reload, but with the commonwealth cash card the 1st reload is free. that was a saving of another $100! The commonwealth cash card was $15 to buy and the travellex was free. so all up we saved $285 straight up. Everything else was similar… both had a 1% charge of the reload amount (after the 1st with commonwealth), both were roughly $3.50 everytime you withdraw from an atm overseas, both locked in the exchange rate. The only other thing is that the commonwealth cash card can be used as a debit card as well, like at hostels and over the counter in shops and online to book accomodation and things.[br]hope this helps :)[br]


#9

Thanks Beth for the excellent information on the NAB Visa Gold Debit.[br][br]I just ordered mine over the phone, have to pop into branch to show ID etc… but should be ready for my trip.[br][br]I might keep my ANZ travel card with Euros and GBP as a backup, but after hearing about $3-$5 aussie dollar fee per transaction… that stinks…[br][br]I also opened an isaver account at the same time.[br][br]Cheers[br]Bianca[br][br]Europe Oct 10 onwards


#10

Hi Beth,[br][br]I grabbed one of these NAB Gold Visa debit Cards, but i would like to warn everyone about the travel insurance it says is free. It DOESNT cover medical issues at all.[br][br]SO I would advise getting travel insurance elsewhere.[br][br]It’s all written in the hard to find… I found it eventually product discloseure document.[br][br][br][br][quote]Originally posted by bethstoren[br]
Hi all. [br]I had a very hard time trying to decide how to take my money.[br]I was leaning towards the ANZ travel card but changed my mind once I did some research so thought I would share my research to make everyone else’s choices a bit easier! This is the information I received from the banks themselves by going in person and asking lots of questions-something I recommend you do before making your decision.[br][br]The ANZ travel card is great in that you can lock in your Exchange Rates on the day you purchase the card. You also receive the card on the day you purchase it. [br]There is an $11 fee to open the account, nothing to close it once you get back. Once closed they will send the money directly to your ANZ account if you have one, if not via cheque-which can take up to 3 weeks to receive.[br]It restricts the amount you can reload depending upon your choice of currency, and charges a 1.1% fee of the recharge amount. You can only reload twice a day. For example if you reload ?2000, ie roughly $3,500 Aus there will be a reload fee of $38, so total of $3538-this can add up if you are travelling for a while.[br]In regards to making purchases- it is free to use in shops, etc. However to withdraw money from ATM’s there is a fee roughly $3-$5 Aus every time you withdraw money, check balances etc.[br]This could add up quite a bit over time.[br]You can also use this account as a credit card as it has the Visa component.[br]Internet Banking is very easy to set up and use for ANZ so easy to check balances and send money across.[br][br]Travelex cards are similar to using an ATM card. They have said amount of funds applied to each card and like the ANZ you are charged between $3-$5 Aus every time you make a withdrawal.[br]They also exchange by the exchange rates of the day and then also charge a conversion fee of 2% Aus! This also adds up very quickly.[br][br]I went with the NAB Gold Visa Debit Card-not the Gold Credit Card as some are suggesting.[br]This works as a Debit card but you also get the Visa component if you need a credit card in case you overspend-and it is then treated as a credit card.[br]The NAB Visa Debit does not charge any conversion fees for any withdrawal in any ATM throughout the entire world. You also do not get charged a fee to withdraw money or check your balance. You also have unlimited use of EFTPOS/ATM’s anywhere in the world.[br]So that this is clear (and the reason I picked this card) no matter how many times a day, wherever you are in the world, you wish to withdraw money or make a balance enquiry- there is no fees to withdraw (as opposed to $3-$5Aus EACH time by other banks) and there is NO CURRENCY CONVERSION fees when you do so.[br]With this card you are not able to lock in the currency rate as with Travelex or ANZ-however watching the Aussie dollar over the last year it hasn’t changed too much but it is the gamble you take. [br]You treat this card as you do a debit card and spend your own money as you would with your keycard at home-ie the money you put in you spend.[br]You are able to withdraw up to $2000 a day and if you pay for all your airfares with this card then you get complimentary travel insurance. May not help for this trip but you will know for next trip.[br]There is a $10 per month servicing fee to the account-which is waived if you deposit $5000 per month. This is also easy to do-provided you have $5000. What I did was open a iSaver account also. You put all your money in the iSaver account and transfer the $5000 every month to your Gold Visa Debit and then the following day or when you get the chance, you transfer the money back to the iSaver account via internet banking-and you’ve just saved yourself $10 a month. [br]However if you forget to do this- the $10 charge a month is much cheaper than the $3-$5Aus fee you get charged every time you use it for the ANZ, plus the conversion fees with the Travelex. [br]The other catch is unless you can set up an Australian phone number and have your Australian mobile on international roaming whilst you are travelling, then you are limited to only transferring $2500 a day total between accounts-so you just have to do it over 2 days.[br]The other bonus with the iSaver account is that it is a interest account-the more you have in it then the more interest you receive. The current rates are 2.75% paid monthly. However if you open this account before 16/8/09 then you receive the introductory rate of 4.40% for the first 4 months (every little bit helps!)[br]One downside is that once you have signed the paperwork it is sent in the mail-which can take up to a week so get organised before you head off.[br]I have started using the NAB internet banking and it is fairly simple to use-no harder than any other I have used.[br][br]Hope this helps to all those struggling to decide which way they will take their money.[br][br]Happy travels![br]Beth[br][br]European Pioneer Sep 17-Oct 22[br]PS I do not have any affiliation with any of the above banks, I am just sharing the information that I have found. Please check that whichever you choose that it suits your needs the best which may or may not be the same as mine! I suggest do lots of your own research.[br][br][/quote][br][br]Europe Oct 10 onwards[br]Thailand 2007,2008,2009[br]NT 2008[br]


#11

Hello. thanks bethstoren! you confirmed my decision in getting the NAB Gold Visa Debit - (we are leaving in 2 weeks!) [br]I was tossing up between the NAB card and the Travelex card - but, as you mentioned, there are less charges. [br][br]I was just curious as to what all of your backup plans were… did you take your regular Aus bank card with - just in case- or a credit card?[br][br](you may have mentioned that, so i’m sorry if i missed it!)[br][br][br]thankyou! :slight_smile:


#12

Hi all, [br][br]just my 2 cents worth…[br][br]Every time I travel overseas (which is almost every year with my job), I ALWAYS use the travelex card. The facts are pretty much spot on, you get charged euro 2.20 to withdraw out of an ATM, but if you use it as a credit card in stores, resturants, accommodation etc, you dont pay ANY FEES! In my experience, i will withdraw money out once a week (for sightseeing, quick food purchases etc) and use it as a credit card as often as i can. [br][br]In terms of the cost to start up, well i payed nothing (my best friend is a travel agent, so dont know whether you actually do have to pay something or if she just waived it), but once you have the card, you have it for life. You can continually re-charge it and cash out if you want to close the card at the end of your holiday.[br][br]Loading money on the card charges a 1% fee (ie $10 for every $1000 you put on the card, which is not much at all), and it gets locked in at whatever the exchange rate is that day, so if the euro crashes when you are overseas, you wont be affected at all! You get two cards, and if you misplace BOTH cards, they guarantee that they will get a replacement card to you ANYWHERE in the world within 24 hours. [br][br]I personally think this is one of the best options, mind you, i am slightly naive about this NAB debit card. [br][br]


#13

For what it is worth…[br][br]I ended up getting a Travelex Debit Card yesterday at the rate of 0.557 Euros for $1AUD. I am happy to know that the exchange rate is locked. If I use my card for over the counter purchases I get charged nothing, only ATM withdrawals there is a 2.20 Euro fee.[br][br]Reckon it is pretty good![br][br]See you in Europe all :)[br][br]Prague to Munich Explorer Sep 8-17[br]Oktoberfest camping Sep 17-21[br]Generator Hostel London Sep 6 and 7


#14

Thanks so much Beth! This will save me hours of googling