4 Best Ways to Take Travel Money to Fiji in 2023
Fiji is a popular destination for Australian tourists - in fact, in 2022 the number of Australian visitors to Fiji had risen over 50% above pre-Covid levels. According to Tourism Fiji, visitors are now staying even longer and spending even more compared to pre pandemic, too.
There are great deals to be had for a visit to Fiji, plus an excellent climate and friendly people - but if you’re planning your trip you’re still going to need to think about how to pay for things while you’re there. This guide walks through 4 popular ways to take money to Fiji, so you’ll be able to conveniently spend, without excessive fees.
Best ways to take money to Fiji
In this guide we’ll walk through 4 of the most practical and popular ways to take money to Fiji, including our top picks for providers to look at, pros and cons. Here are the common ways to pay overseas that we’ll investigate:
Prepaid travel cards to use in Fiji
Ideal for: topping up in AUD, for convenient payments and withdrawals in FJD on arrival, with low fees and good exchange rates
Prepaid travel money cards can be picked up from online specialist services, or by calling into a branch of Travelex or the Post Office. Travel money cards usually support several currencies - and in some cases, dozens. However, as a relatively minor currency you’ll usually find that FJD is supported for spending, but not for holding. That means that you’ll top up in AUD and then the card will automatically convert your payment using the live exchange rate.
It’s important to check the way your chosen card calculates exchange rates - if the rate used includes a large markup on the mid-market rate, you’ll find your money doesn’t go quite as far as it should. Looking for a card that offers the mid-market rate or as close as possible to it is the best way to avoid hidden fees and unnecessary expense. It’s also worth looking out for a card with no inactivity fee and no ongoing charges, so you can just top up and use it again on your next trip to a country which uses a supported currency.
Wise - our pick for prepaid travel card
With this card:
- Hold and exchange 40+ currencies in your linked Wise account
- No annual or monthly fees to pay, and no minimum balance requirement
- Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with no markup
- Some free ATM withdrawals available every month
- Virtual and physical cards available
|Wise card pros||Wise card cons|
|✅ Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate
✅ No foreign transaction fees apply
✅ Free to hold and spend 40+ currencies
✅ Receive payments to your Wise account in a selection of global currencies
✅ No minimum balance or ongoing fees
|❌ 10 AUD fee to get a card in the first place
❌ Free ATM withdrawals are limits to 2 per month, to the value of 350 AUD. Fees of 2% + 1.5 AUD after that
❌ Express delivery fees if you want to get your card as soon as possible
Pros and cons of taking money to Fiji with a prepaid travel card
- Fijian dollars are supported for spending with most cards
- Many cards support multiple currencies so you can use them again on your next trip
- Safe to use, as your prepaid card isn’t linked to your main everyday account
- Cards are available with no minimum balance or ongoing fees to pay
- Currency exchange may have better rates than a bank will offer
- FJD not usually supported for holding, so you can’t convert your money in advance of travel
- Exchange rates may include a markup on the mid-market rate
- ATM fees may apply, depending on the card you pick
Travel debit cards to use in Fiji
Ideal for: convenient spending in Fiji with low fees and no chance of blowing your budget and running up credit card debt
Travel debit cards are available from specialist services, and from some banks. They work much like any other debit card, but often come with travel perks and benefits, like insurance or airport lounge access, plus low or no foreign transaction fees.
Getting a travel debit card from a specialist provider usually also means you’ll get a multi-currency digital account which can hold and exchange dozens of currencies. FJD isn’t usually supported for holding and exchange, but your card can automatically calculate the conversion from whichever balance you hold. Your card isn’t linked to your main AUD account, so even if you’re unlucky enough to have your travel card lost or stolen you can simply freeze the card without worrying about anyone accessing your primary AUD funds.
We’ll go into more detail about our top pick for a travel debit card - Revolut - next, and you can also read more about the best travel debit cards in Australia here.
Revolut - our pick for travel debit card for Fiji
With this card:
- Hold and exchange 25+ currencies, free to spend currencies you hold
- Choose the account plan that suits your needs and spending, including some with no monthly fees
- Some fee free ATM withdrawals and currency exchange with the mid-market rate, based on the account tier you choose
- Extra perks like accounts for under 18s, plus cash back on card spending for top tier account holders
- Travel benefits offered for some account plans
|Revolut card pros||Revolut card cons|
|✅ Hold and exchange 25+ currencies, spend currencies you hold for free
✅ Choose from different account tiers to suit different customer needs
✅ Get some free ATM withdrawals every month, depending on the plan you pick
✅ Get some currency exchange every month which uses the mid-market rate - limits vary by account plan
✅ No card order fee
|❌ Ongoing fees apply for some account tiers
❌ Out of hours fees push up currency exchange costs on the weekend
❌ ATM fees of 2% apply once you exhaust your free withdrawals
Pros and cons of taking money to Fiji with a travel debit card
- Top up in AUD and spend in FJD - the card will calculate the costs using the card provider’s live exchange rate
- Spend and make ATM withdrawals with no interest, cash advance or penalty fees
- Many cards from specialist services are linked to multi-currency accounts you can use on future trips too
- Not connected to your main AUD account, adding a layer of security when you’re overseas
- Some transaction fees usually apply
- You may pay a fee when converting from one currency to another, which may be split out transparently, but which is often just rolled up in the exchange rate you get
- Some cards have monthly fees to pay to get full feature access
Taking cash in Fiji
Ideal for: spending outside of tourist resorts or larger urban areas
You’ll want to have some cash on you when you’re in Fiji. While cards are accepted in tourist areas and in the bigger urban areas, smaller places will expect cash, and you won’t always be able to find an ATM if you’re off the beaten track.
You can get your FJD before you travel through a service like Travelex, or you could choose to take some AUD to convert when you’re there. Be aware though that converting in your hotel may mean a bad exchange rate - while hunting for a currency exchange store isn’t much fun when you’re supposed to be relaxing.
If you’ll be in tourist areas, making ATM withdrawals in Fiji as and when you need to, and carrying a backup in the form of some AUD cash might be the best option as a balance of security and convenience. You can use your card where possible but won’t need to worry about being stuck if you’re spending somewhere that cards aren’t accepted.
Do I need cash in Fiji?
Having cash in FJD is a good idea, as you’ll find cash is the only accepted payment method in smaller places and off the beaten track. Generally having more than one payment option with you is a smart plan, so taking some cash plus one or more cards should mean you’re prepared for anything.
One of the most convenient options is to use a prepaid card or travel debit card to make ATM withdrawals in Fijian dollars once you arrive in Fiji, often with low or no fees, depending on the card you pick.
|Cash pros||Cash cons|
|✅ Cash is the only accepted payment method in smaller places
✅ Convert in advance so you know exactly what you have to spend
✅ Use travel debit cards to make cash withdrawals when you can, which often offer better rates than buying cash
|❌ Carrying a lot of cash isn't particularly safe
❌ Using a card where it’s possible can be cheaper and there’s no ATM fee to pay
❌ Exchange rates vary widely and usually include a markup - an extra fee
How to buy Fijian dollars on arrival in Fiji?
If you carry Australian dollars in cash when you travel to Fiji, you can exchange them with currency exchange stores in popular tourist areas. You may not be able to find anywhere to exchange your money once you leave the major islands though, so plan in advance if you’re heading off somewhere more remote.
How to buy Fijian dollars in Australia?
You can also exchange AUD to Fijian dollars in cash in Australia before you travel. Options like Travelex often let you order FJD online and collect your cash later in a branch. Fees and exchange rate markups may apply.
Best place to get Fijian dollars from
There’s no single best place to get your travel cash. Using a combination of carrying some FJD and AUD in cash, and making some cash withdrawals when you’re in more populated areas is usually a good bet to balance security and convenience when travelling in Fiji.
Best way to withdraw money overseas?
Withdrawing money from a local ATM once you arrive in your destination is convenient, and can be safer than carrying a lot of cash all at once - but it can also be expensive.
The exact costs you incur will depend on the specific card you use, including whether it’s a credit or debit card. With either card type you’ll need to check what foreign transaction fee is levied - this is often about 3% every time you withdraw. If you’re using a credit card you’ll usually also pay a cash advance fee which is a further percentage charge, and you may start to accrue interest instantly, too.
Getting a travel debit card, like the Wise card, can be a good option for taking money out from ATMs in the local currency. With Wise you get some fee free withdrawals every month, with low costs after that - plus there’s no foreign transaction fee, and you’ll get the mid-market rate every time.
How much cash can I take overseas
There’s not actually a cash limit for overseas - but you’ll need to report to AUSTRAC or at the border if you’re exporting currency (AUD or any other currency) of 10,000 AUD or more in value.
In reality, the more cash you carry, the more you’re risking if you’re unfortunate enough to be the victim of crime. Carrying a small amount of cash, plus one or more cards to make withdrawals as and when you need to, is usually a more sensible option.
Travel credit cards to use in Fiji
Ideal for: spreading the cost of your holiday over several months and earning extra reward points as you spend
Travel credit cards are offered by pretty much all major banks and card networks, and often have low or no foreign transaction fees. Travel reward cards will also let you earn points, cashback or miles faster when you spend in foreign currencies. However, there are also usually fees to pay to use a travel credit card - such as an annual fee, cash advance fees, interest and penalties if you don’t clear your bill regularly.
Bear in mind that relying on a credit card in Fiji won’t work unless you’re planning to exclusively stick with high end places and tourist areas. While there are some situations when having access to a credit card as a payment guarantee can be a good option, you’ll usually need at least some cash for spending, and using a credit card at an ATM is a very expensive option, with cash advance fees and interest mounting up quickly.
Learn about the best travel credit cards in Australia here, and read on for more on our top pick.
28 Degrees - our pick for travel credit card
With this card:
- Order online and start spending with your virtual card instantly if approved
- No annual or monthly fees
- No foreign transaction or currency conversion fees
- Make ATM withdrawals overseas - fees apply for this service
- Unlock perks like discounts on travel bookings and internet roaming packages
|28 Degrees pros||28 Degrees cons|
|✅ No annual or monthly fees
✅ No foreign transaction fees - your payment is converted to AUD using the Mastercard exchange rate
✅ Repay your bill in full monthly to avoid interest or penalty fees
✅ Travel perks and partner discounts available
|❌ Cash advance fee of 3% or 4 AUD (whichever is greater), plus interest, when making an ATM withdrawal
❌ Interest charges apply if you don’t repay your bill in full monthly
❌ Subject to eligibility and credit checks
Pros and cons of travel credit cards to Fiji
- Earn rewards and discounts, or get travel perks - depending on the card you pick
- Spread your costs out over a few months
- Some cards have low or no foreign transaction fees
- Credit cards are useful as a payment guarantee in some situations
- Interest and fees usually apply if you don’t pay back your bill immediately
- Cash advance and interest costs apply when using an ATM
- Eligibility rules apply
Travel requirements from Australia to Fiji
Generally if you’re heading to Fiji with an Australian passport you can enter for tourist reasons with no need to apply for a visa in advance. Bear in mind that entry requirements can change rapidly, so checking before you travel is always advised.Check the government’s Smart Traveller website to learn more.
Does Fiji accept Australian dollars?
No. You won’t be able to spend AUD anywhere in Fiji. If you’re carrying dollars with you you'll need to exchange them for Fijian dollars when you arrive.
Best currency to take to Fiji
You’ll only be able to spend in Fijian dollars in Fiji, so you can choose to either carry AUD in cash with you and convert on arrival, or to order your travel cash in Fijian dollars before you leave. Bear in mind that exchange offices will be hard to find in more remote areas.
How much money do I need per day in Fiji?
Exactly what you’ll need to pay for your visit will depend a lot on what you like to do, and where in Fiji you’ll stay. Fiji has everything from budget hostels through to top tier resorts, which have very varied price tags. The good news though is that life in Fiji is generally much cheaper then in Australia. To put this in context, overall, a 3 course lunch for 2 will set you back in the region of 50 AUD, a cheap lunch for one will be under 7 dollars - and a domestic beer only about 3.5 dollars.
Do some detailed research to see how much things are likely to cost based on your plans and where you’re headed, so you can set your budget. Get more detailed cost information by city, from Numbeo.com.
How much does it cost to fly from Australia to Fiji?
Flight costs vary widely depending on where in Australia you’ll leave from and the time of year you’ll visit Fiji. At the time of writing (August 2023), you can find flight deals from under 500 AUD return from Sydney, for example.
There’s no single best way to take money to Fiji. As you’ll likely need cash in some scenarios - but carrying all your money in cash isn’t a smart move for safety, having a variety of ways to pay including some cash and one or more cards makes sense. That way you can make cash withdrawals when an ATM is available, pay by card when possible, and you’ll still have a back up plan if one payment method isn’t accepted.
Consider getting a travel card - such as a prepaid travel card from Wise or a travel debit card from Revolut - to use alongside your regular debit or credit card, and make ATM withdrawals on arrival. Using your specialist travel card can mean you get a good exchange rate, plus many have some free ATM withdrawals overseas. They’re also a safe option as they’re not linked to your home bank account, so even if you’re unlucky and have your card stolen the thieves can’t get to your everyday account.
Use this guide to decide which option to take money to Fiji will work best for you, based on your own preferences and needs.
FAQ - Best ways to take money to Fiji
Should I exchange money before I travel to Fiji?
You’ll need to have some cash in Fiji, so you can exchange in advance or make an ATM withdrawal on arrival at the airport. Using an ATM can also be cheaper than advance exchange, particularly if you have a travel card from a provider like Wise or Revolut.
Can I withdraw Fiji from a local ATM?
You can’t withdraw Fijian dollars at an ATM in Australia, but you can use a travel card to make an ATM withdrawal on arrival in Fiji. Depending on the card you pick, your withdrawal may even be free.
Are prepaid travel cards a good way to take money to Fiji?
Travel prepaid cards from services like Wise are a safe way to spend when abroad. With Wise you’ll also get mid-market exchange rates and low, transparent fees which can bring down the costs of your trip.
Can I use cash in Fiji?
Yes. Cash is the only payment method accepted in more remote areas, so having some cash to use alongside your cards is a smart idea.