I am sure we have all read through our credit card and bank statements after an overseas trip and been shocked at the amount of fees lumped on top of our transactions – including the foreign ATM fee (charged by your Australian bank), the local ATM operator fee AND a currency conversion fee. Ouch.
So how do you go about minimising all these extra charges next time you take an international holiday? Skiddoo have some helpful suggestions for you:
* Don’t exchange your cash at the airport
Airports are notorious for having the worst exchange rates as they take advantage of the disorganised – often you have no other choice! Overall Skiddoo recommends not exchanging larger amounts of currency before you leave as there is a risk of it getting stolen or misplaced. By all means exchange a bit of cash before you leave, but do it at one of the major banks or Australia Post for a better rate.
* Load your cash onto a prepaid travel card
While there are some fees associated with travel cards, they are a cheaper and safer method of payment as they are protected by a PIN and you can get a back-up card. Do your research and find a prepaid travel card that best suits you requirements – focus on the cross currency conversion and reload fees. A site like Mozo can help you quickly and easily compare cards.
* Get a credit card specifically designed for overseas travel
Countless travellers swear by the 28 Degrees Travel Card which attracts no fees for overseas transactions made at ATMs – it actually won the CHOICE Award winner for Best Travel Money Card. Please note as of 1st January 2014 this card will charge a cash advance fee of 3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater). Check their website for more information.