Attention all Forum Users.
We’re working on a brand new shiny tool to make your experience as simple as possible.
Which means the community forums is now read only whilst we work on a new & improved ‘My Contiki’ space.


Debit/ Credit Cards for Aussies

14 Mar 2007 ~*Alex*~ said

Hey, can any Aussies tell me what the best credit and debit cards are for overseas purchases? I'm currently with Commonwealth (debit) and Virgin (credit), but not sure if there's a better bank to be with.<BR><BR>I'm too lazy to ring banks and check, so thought i'd check with people who have already been overseas...<BR><BR>Thanks <img src="" alt="Smiler" width="15" height="15"><!--graemlin::)-->
  • Read the responses 21 responses so far
  • 14 Mar 2007 ashleightara said


    With the commonwealth bank have you looked into travellerscash? It can’t be used in stores, but is a great way to carry cash. Like travellers cheques, but in an ATM card which you can use whenever, without the fees your normal card would get. And if you use netbank, you can easily top up your card from your everyday account (just sign up for travellers cash through netbank not a branch).
    Check out…

  • 14 Mar 2007 ~*Alex*~ said


    Hi Shan, thanks for that. Yeah, i read about the Wizard credit card and i think i might apply for it. Just wasn’t sure about the debit card…

    So you’re not taking a debit card at all??!

    Alex Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Ps – You’ll have to tell me ALL about your tour when you get back!!!

  • 14 Mar 2007 ~*Alex*~ said


    Thanks Ashleigh, i’ll check it out Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 14 Mar 2007 Shannon Emily said


    Hi Alex Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Yeah for sure! I will let you know any juicy details! I cant wait to go. I wanna try and do one of those travelogues when i get back and post my photos and that! Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

    I kinda decided not to take a debit card because you can put cash onto a credit card and not pay any charges, and it effectively works like a debit card. A debit card is only really good if you dont have a credit card (for purchases over the phone and the like) And if i accidentally happen to spend all my cash ive got on my credit card ( which is likely! Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> ) then at least ive got access to the credit on the credit card. I wont just run out! Or if i fall down the stairs and break my leg and need to go home ( touch wood this isnt gonna happen Wink<!--graemlin:;)--> ) then i can book it up on my credit card and worry about it later. I know this is what travel insurance is for, but i just want it as a back up.

    So yeah thats what ive kinda decided. Dont know what other ppls opinions are?

    Okie doke
    Shan Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> Euro Highlights May 2nd 07

  • 14 Mar 2007 ~*Alex*~ said


    I’ll look out for your travelogue when you get back Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Oh i get what you mean, with only taking credit cards…i think i’ll still take a debit card though, because i only really want to put things on credit if i absolutly have to. I’d rather spend my own money off debit, than come home from a GREAT holiday with a massive credit card bill Frowner<!--graemlin::(--> !!

    Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> Thanks

  • 14 Mar 2007 Andrea_111 said


    I’ve got a Bendigo Bank VISA debit card and i found that really handy overseas.

  • 15 Mar 2007 Shannon Emily said


    Hey Alex

    Yeah i would like to spend my own money where possible, but i think id prefer to have a bill when i get back, than to miss out on something i wanted to see because money is tight.

    Thats the idea ive had so far anyways. Anyone else heard of any better cards?

    Euro Highlights May 2nd 07

  • 15 Mar 2007 ~*Alex*~ said


    oh, i don’t plan to miss out on anything because of lack of money!!!! I’ll use my debit card when i can, but if money’s tight and i REALLY want to buy/ see something, then i’ll chuck it on credit.


  • 16 Mar 2007 Shannon Emily said


    Hey Alex

    So you get what i mean with the two credit card thing dont ya? One i will be using like a debit card anyways. Cause you can put money onto a credit card and not pay any fees. So i will effectively be using it as a debit card cause i will be spending my own money on it… I was just thinkin that might be safer so that if i do spend a little more cash than i should have, it will just run into the credit part of the card. I dont plan to try and use mine much either Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Alright well ill tell you how it all pans out anyways when i get back. Good to chat Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->


  • 16 Mar 2007 ~*Alex*~ said


    Hey Shan, yeah i get what you’re saying Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> Sounds like a good idea. I already have a debit card and i think it might be recognicsed overseas…might have to give the bank a call and check. Because i’m saving at the moment, and i don’t want to put that money on my credit card because then i’ll just spend it on useless junk :P

    Yep, i’ll be waiting to hear how your trip goes! Ttyl then Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->


  • 19 Mar 2007 GymAddict said


    with this wizard thing? if i was to say apply for one before my trip, load 3 thousand dollars, use that during my trip and cancel the card when i get back? is there any fees for loading money onto it?

  • 20 Mar 2007 kimmygeorgie said


    Hi, the wizard deal seems really good – I gave them a call and you still get 55 days interest free on overseas purchases and I also asked about loading the card up with your own money b4 you go. The man said that was fine. The only problem is the card is actually issued by GE Money (who’ve I’ve found can be quite dodgy). The man also emphasised that the overseas fee free was a current offer and may change in the future.

  • 20 Mar 2007 *nikki_adelaide* said


    im taking a travelex travel passport card…you set them up at harvey world travel and take all your cash and put it in the account before you go…its what i’ll use as a debit card for my savings.

    then im going to get a virgin credit card in case i need it…ive heard they are really good.

  • 21 Mar 2007 ~*Alex*~ said


    Ok, i spoke to my bank and they said my debit card will work o/s at any atm with the “Maestro” or “Cirrus” logo…are there lots of atm’s with these logos? (i have a feeling that was a stupid question :P)

    How much money do people generally withdraw per day/ per couple of days?

    God, i’m going to have to save MORE now so i can budget for withdrawl fees!!! haha Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 21 Mar 2007 ~*Alex*~ said


    Hey Nikki, i have a virgin credit card and they are great…just not sure what they’re like for overseas purchases (fees and charges, etc). I’ve emailed them so i’ll let you know what they say.

    Good thing with this card is there are NO annual fees Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 22 Mar 2007 BigMan79 said


    Hey guys,
    I work for Travelex and have discovered on doing my own research for my upcoming trip that there are certainly are better deals around if you plan ahead.
    I’ve found the HOME Building Society has a great deal on the Visa Debit Card.
    If you maintain a balance of $500 or have at least $500 of your pay put in each month, there are no account keeping fees.
    Overseas fees are as follows:
    $4.50 fee for ATM withdrawal, and NO margin taken off the VISA wholesale rate. (This is very important when you read below)
    Any overseas VISA purchase is fee free, but there is a 2% fee that applies after the foreign amount is exchanged into AUD.
    For example:
    You buy something worth EUR200 which is around AUD330. 2% is added to the 330 so the transaction is billed on your card as AUD336.

    With the Travelex CPP Visa Debit card:
    Overseas ATM fee is $3.75
    No fee for VISA purchases, but both of these options have a 5.95% margin applied to the visa wholesale fee.
    For example:
    You withdraw EUR200 from the ATM, you are charged $3.75AUD as a fee. Taking the above example’s exchange rate of AUD 1 = EUR 0.604, the straight exchange would be for AUD 330 + AUD 3.75 = AUD 333.75. But Travelex puts a 5.95% margin on the exchange rate, so for them AUD 1 = EUR 0.568, a much much worse exchange rate.
    So that would mean EUR 200 would be AUD 352 + AUD 3.75 = 355.75.

    This means that for every EUR 200 you take out of the ATM on a Travelex card, you are AUD $22 worse off. That can really really add up.

    Even the cards that we sell in Pounds, Euros and US$ have that 5.95% margin already included in the rate that is offered to you.

    The only real plus of the Travelex cards is:
    Free emergency assistance 24/7
    Free second card
    Free replacement of funds if both cards are lost or stolen.

    But if you plan ahead and are smart you can really make your money go further.


  • 22 Mar 2007 Bree 24aus said


    hi all

    i’m a bit confused by this too.

    i’ve got my debit card, but atm fees can be almost $5 with each ATM withdrawal (i’m with ANZ).
    I just got a virgin credit card. No annual fee. O/seas fees are 1.5% for ATM with drawals (so $15 for $1000 taken out). Not too sure about purchases.

    I think i’m gonna go check with ANZ, check with virgin, and check with Wizard.

    I would think i’d use ATM’s the most.

    Bye =)

  • 22 Mar 2007 laur-ah said


    The ANZ Visa Debit card also has a 2.5% currency conversion charge (as well as the $5 ATM fee!).

  • 23 Mar 2007 Bree 24aus said


    also i just looked up the virgin site and with the 1.5%, there are also 0.8% and 0.2% charges for something else (for conversion or something). So 2.5% i guess ($25 charged for every $1000). Oh and the charges were for ATM withdrawals and also for any purchases too.

  • 23 Mar 2007 ptooma said


    And as Shannon mentioned before

    Originally posted by Shannon Emily:
    Hi Alex Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    I kinda decided not to take a debit card because you can put cash onto a credit card and not pay any charges, and it effectively works like a debit card. (referring to Wizard Credit Card


We are no longer accepting new responses to this discussion thread.

More Discussions

Related Discussions

Discussions Details

Last response over 10 years

This comment was posted about almost 11 years ago. It has been discussed 20 times.

11 people are following this discussion.

  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • ashleightara
  • Default_avatar



Visas? Money? Where to go? Chat to us about travel.