As many of us know when it comes to travelling, there’s a lot to tick off the “to do list.” Whether you’re chasing a summer or winter holiday, it’s important to make sure you have all the essential items to ensure your trip is a fun and successful one. More often than not, travel money cards are left to the last minute to sort out. That’s where Oiyo has got you covered. Let’s find out which top travel money cards are currently on the market, and what to look out for when choosing the right card for you and your travels.
What are travel money cards?
Essentially, their main purpose is to allow you to load up your card with multiple foreign currencies prior to travelling. Using your everyday credit or debit card on a holiday can incur countless bank fees, and that’s where travel money cards come in handy. The ball is in your court when it comes to converting your money as you can decide when the exchange rate is at its best and most favourable. Also, spending money in the local currency will prevent you from having to pay continuous currency conversion charges. Whether you’re travelling to one or several countries, a travel money card helps reduce the stress of carrying cash and gives you the freedom of using ATM’s to withdraw money when need be.
What should I look out for?
The key factors to check for when considering using a travel money card are:
- Who’s got the best exchange rates – compare your options
- Cash withdrawal fees
- Subscription fees – some cards have yearly charges
- Initial and reloading fees
Top 10 Travel Cards
So, after finding out the important features, it’s time to see which top 10 travel cards are best to use in 2020 based on your holiday destination.
With no hidden fees, Revolut is one of the most sought after travel money cards in the world. Only officially available to Aussies in 2020, Revolut is easy to join – just download the app and create an account. In terms of currency exchange, Revolut offers free international money transfers for up to $9,000 per month and no cash withdrawal fees from ATM’s (standard subscription). However, if you’re a frequent traveller, it may be worthwhile to opt for a higher subscription such as the Premium or Metal, or, choose a travel money card that doesn’t charge a percentage based fee.
One of Revolut’s main features is its mid-market exchange rate. The standard subscription allows you to hold and exchange up to 27 currencies with no exchange rate margin or mark-up when you convert money on Monday to Friday. However, exchanging currency on the weekend can incur a two-percent mark-up fee.
Whether you’re travelling to Europe, the UK, USA, Canada, or NZ, the Revolut travel money card is a great option.
Available to use in the UK, USA, Europe and NZ, travel money card, TransferWise allows you to hold currency in 40 + countries with their borderless account. Similar to Revolut, TransferWise offers a mid-market exchange rate, however, you won’t be charged mark-up fees on the weekends. Also on offer is the ability to freeze your card in case of theft or loss from the simple app. Though, this travel money card does charge small transaction fees on every currency conversion (note – fee amount depends on the currency).
Travelex Money Card
The Travelex Money Card is ideal for those who are travelling to popular holiday spots such as the US or Europe. There are many important features within this travel money card including: free WIFI and a smartphone app, $0 international cash withdrawal fees, emergency card available in case of theft or loss, and extremely competitive exchange rates. Additionally, Travelex supports 10 currencies:
- New Zealand dollars
- US dollars
- Canadian dollars
- Great Britain pounds
- Singapore dollars
- Thai baht
- Japanese yen
- Hong Kong dollars
- Australian dollars
Keeping in mind that there is a $4 monthly inactive fee when you have not made any transactions in the last 12 months, and a $10 closure and cash out fee.
NAB Traveller Card
The NAB Traveller Card is a pre-paid Mastercard that offers 10 currencies at a locked in rate, equivalent to the Travelex money card. Furthermore, this travel money card won’t charge you for: purchase fee, initial load fee, reload fee, secondary card fee, international ATM withdrawal fees, and closure/cash-out fees. A currency conversion fee of 4% is applicable when you make a transaction and the card does not hold that particular currency. So, check before make an overseas transaction that you have that currency on your card and also how much.
Latitude 28 Degrees
The Latitude 28 Degrees Global Platinum Mastercard is unlike any other travel money cards as it is designed to offer its customers no fees on overseas purchases, no international transaction fees, no annual fees, free global WIFI, free replacement cards in case of emergency, and most importantly no currency conversion fees. However, this does come at a cost as the Latitude’s card purchase interest rate is 21.99% p.a. Although this is quite high, this travel money card addresses issues such as fees, that other travel cards do not.
Qantas Travel Money Card
With 11 currencies available to load, the Qantas travel money card is perfect for those travellers who are with the frequent flyer club. Travellers will benefit from no purchase fees, exchange fees, or reload fees, and can acquire 1.5 Qantas points per equivalent Aussie dollar spent overseas. Additionally, the card offers a minimum load of $50 and a maximum of $100,000. Unlike the NAB traveller card or Travelex card for instance, the Qantas traveller card does charge ATM fees, however at a considerably low rate.
Citibank Plus Everyday
The Citibank Saver plus is one of the top bank travel cards on the market. With this travel money card you can:
- Benefit from no foreign exchange fees
- Can load up to 10 different currencies on the card
- No fees for all transactions made at overseas ATMs
- No monthly or minimum loading balance charges
- Highly competitive conversion rates
- Minimum transfer amount of $10, and maximum of $10,000
- Countless currencies available
On the downside, similar to that of NAB, the Citibank traveller card also incurs a 4% conversion fee when you make a transaction that is not available on your card.
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Voted as a 5-star rated travel money card in both 2019-2020 by Canstar, the HSBC Everyday Global Account has strong features to keep in mind when figuring out which travel card will best suit you and your holiday destination. Important aspects such as no international ATM fees, no overseas transaction fees, and lock in exchange rates are all included along with no maximum total balance – a feature that sets it apart from other travel cards. Also, the HSBC Everyday Global Account offers Visa Zero Liability, the same security method as a credit card.
Australia Post Travel Platinum Mastercard
The Australia Post Travel Platinum Mastercard is a versatile travel money card which has plenty of benefits to look out for. Unlike most debit and credit cards, the Australia Post Mastercard allows you to lock in exchange rates for up to 11 different currencies. Furthermore, this one also offers domestic and international transfers from card to card, and has 24/7 global assistance. So, if you find yourself with a lost or stolen card, you may be entitled to emergency funds.
However, it is worth noting that this travel card does incur a $3.50 AUD foreign ATM charge for every withdrawal.
Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card
Unlike some of the other prepaid bank travel cards, the CommBank travel money card allows you to store up to 13 currencies at any given time, the highest of any card currently on the market. Also, it is one of the only prepaid travel cards to have the Chinese Renminbi and Vietnamese Dong readily available to preload onto your card. The CommBank card also has usual travel card features such as, no purchase fees, no reload or closure fees, no inactivity fees so you can keep your card for your next travels, and low ATM withdrawal fees.
However, be sure to note that a 4% cross currency conversion fee is applicable if you make a purchase in a foreign currency that is not readily available on your card.
Therefore, choosing the right travel money card depends on your personal preference and situation, including your destination of travel, the duration of your holiday, and the features that appeal most to you.
Want to learn more?
At Oiyo, our daily mission is to provide Australians with the helpful information they need to make informed decisions. If you’re looking for more information on what to bring or what to remember on your holiday, why not check out some of our other articles on travel money.
Oiyo is a consolidated online resource, we are not financial advisors. We work with a range of industry professionals and compliance check our articles to ensure factual accuracy. However, we do not provide professional financial advice. Consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented in this article relate to your unique circumstances.