There have never been more choices when it comes to using a card on an overseas holiday. Unfortunately, with so many choices, it’s hard to work out which is the best option. Here is a practical guide to the different types of travellers and which card is most useful.
Traveller Type: The Planner
Travel Card: Prepaid Travel Card
The best feature of prepaid travel cards is being able to buy your currency ahead of time and lock in your exchange rate. It provides you with certainty of your exchange rate and it is a safer option than carrying cash. These features do come at a cost though.
Almost every bank and airline offer a prepaid card but they all come with their own fees and exchange rates but here are the most common
- Purchase Fee
- Load Fee
- Reload Fee
- Exchange Rate Margin
- ATM Fee
- Inactivity Fee
- Closure Fee
Our pick of the bunch is the NAB Traveller Card. It has the least fees and a good selection of currencies and payment options.
Traveller Type: Frequent Jetsetter
Travel Card: Travel Credit Card
If you are travelling overseas more than once a year, you might consider a Travel Credit Card.
A travel credit card doesn’t have many of the fees included in a prepaid travel card and it often offers better exchange rates. The significant difference is that credit card interest rates are imposed if you don’t pay off your balance in time. Some are also subject to an annual fee.
Our best in class is the 28 Degrees Mastercard. It’s been a favourite of the savvy traveller for years and for good reason. The exchange rates are excellent and the fee structure is low, provided you pay your balance on time and avoid the ATM.
Traveller Type: Care Free and Card Free
Travel Card: Debit Card
If you are the kind of traveller that prefers to buy most of your travel money in cash, then using a debit card may be the best option.
Most debit cards have comparably high fees. However, if you are using the card only once or twice during your trip, then it can be a much easier option than having to apply for a prepaid or credit card.