Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard—no annual and foreign exchange fees, free Global Wi-Fi access

28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard - no foreign exchange or annual fees

The 28 degrees Mastercard offers fee-free international transactions and currency conversion. It also comes with free Global Wi-Fi and is a favourite of savvy overseas traveller to help minimise payment fees abroad.

  • $0 annual fee
  • Free international transactions and currency conversion
  • Free Global Wi-Fi courtesy of Boingo
  • Complimentary worldwide concierge service, 24 hours a day
  • Insurance package including Price protection, Merchandise protection, Stolen Card Protection, Repayment Cover and Life Cover (PDS)

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks receive a maximum of $70 per applicant for this card. More about this →

The 28 Degrees MasterCard doesn’t have a linked loyalty or frequent flyer program, but is still relevant for travellers and overseas spenders thanks to some unique features.

With no annual fee, a recently adfree global wi-fi access and some platinum perks such as Concierge services, it is useful for frequent overseas jetsetters or those who make plenty of online purchases with overseas retailers.

28 Degrees MasterCard Eligibility

To be eligible for the 28 Degrees MasterCard, you must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident

There is no specific minimum income requirement.

What are the benefits of the 28 Degrees MasterCard?

The benefits of using the 28 Degrees card include:

  • No annual fee
  • No currency conversion fees
  • No international transaction fees on purchases
  • Free Wi-Fi access at more than 1 million hotspots wordwide
  • Complimentary worldwide concierge service, 24 hours a day

Is everything no fee?…. Well, almost…

The relevant fees for the 28 degrees card are as follows:

Card28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
Annual Fee$0
International transaction fees on purchasesNil
Currency Conversion feesNil
Interest rate on purchases20.99%
Interest rate on cash advances20.99%
ATM Fee3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
Payment handling fee$2.50
Late fee$20
Paper statement fee$2.00

With most other credit cards 2-4% of each transaction spent on non-AUD transactions is charged.

This does not sound like much in isolation, but it can quickly begin to add up when many foreign currency purchases are made, which would be the case on an overseas trip.

With no foreign exchange fee, the 28 Degrees MasterCard can provide substantial savings for those who frequently transact in foreign currencies, such as overseas merchants via eBay or Amazon, foreign online stores such as Macy’s or when travelling overseas.

Some other cards on the market that offer no foreign exchange fees AND points-earn are the Bankwest Platinum and World MasterCards.

For example, say you spend $100 on an overseas purchase, the currency conversion fee on a points earning credit card is 3%, and the earn rate is 1 frequent flyer point per dollar spent – then you’d earn 100 points, with per point cost of 3c (equal to the 3% surcharge, of course).

Our valuation to acquire Qantas or Velocity points is usually less than 1.5c cents per point. As a result, using a no foreign exchange fee card would usually have you come out ahead.

Platinum Business Concierge Service

Unlike other no annual fee credit cards, the 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard comes with complimentary concierge service for all cardholders which is available 24/7 worldwide. The concierge will be able to help with such things as booking concert tickets, researching hotels or making dinner reservations.

To access this service, cardholders need to contact the 28 Degrees Platinum Customer Solutions line and ask for ‘concierge’.

28Degrees MasterCard Insurance

The 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard comes with a variety of insurance options, but which come at an additional cost. These include:

  • Price Protection, which gives cardholders who uses the card to purchase a product and then sees the price of that product from the same retailer fall within 6 months after the purchase date, get a refund of the difference back on the card. The cost of this protection is 0.5% of the monthly closing balance
  • Merchandise Protection, covers purchases bought on the card if it is lost, stolen or damaged within 6 months from the date of purchase.
  • Stolen Card Protection, which provides for a $200 payment if the card is stolen, simply for the inconvenience.
  • Repayment Cover, which pays 10% of the monthly closing balance while the cardholder is off work, up to a maximum of 3 years.
  • Life Cover, where the balance of the card is paid in full should the cardholder die, up to a maximum of $20,000.

The card also partners with Southern Cross Travel Insurance, where cardholders are invited to ‘get a quote’. It is however not clear if there are any benefits for cardholders by getting cover from Southern Cross instead of other providers. You can read the 28 Degrees Mastercard PDS here.

This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this card.

You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.

Are there any downsides to the 28 Degrees MasterCard?

The main weakness of the card is that there is no rewards program attached to it. This could be considered the cost of a card that offers no currency conversion fees – but for holders of frequent flyer-linked cards who spend big on their card while overseas, the benefits of points accrual could outweigh the savings from no currency conversion fees.

The ATM fee also means that you won’t want to be making too many small withdrawals otherwise the fees can add up.

28Degrees charge interest on cash advances (for when you draw cash out of an ATM), set at 21.99%, plus the greater of $4 or 3% of the cash advance total. As a result you’re going to want to pay off that cash advance as soon as you can to avoid incurring interest charges.

There is also the convenience factor of using just one (a frequent flyer linked card, of course) rather than mixing and matching for different purposes – but this is what banks are counting on when you use a card with an overseas transaction fee.

All up, using a points-earning card vs a no foreign exchange fee card will be an individual decision, but one that should be considered.

Card Owner Foreign Exchange Feedback

Check out the Point Hacks Facebook page for some feedback from existing users on the card.

Most were very satisfied with the card’s consistently good exchange rates, ease of use, and card features such as chip/paypass/strip which allows one to use it on just about every situation. Another advantage is the Buyer protection, it is calculated based on the amount owed and if you pay your balance every month, you end up getting insurance on your purchases for free.

Although this card is a good choice for overseas travel, keep in mind that there is no complimentary travel insurance included and it charges Cash withdrawals fees. Another downside according to one user is that they are relatively strict in their credit limits.

Also, make sure to always pay in foreign currency when overseas and avoid using Australian Dollars converted at unfavourable rates by local merchants to take advantage of MasterCard’s wholesale FX rates.

Summing Up

If you’re likely to make plenty of overseas purchases, then this is worth considering. While cardholders are still exposed to fluctuating currency rates, there is no additional charge for the currency conversion to take place, providing material savings to the cardholder that can otherwise be spent on other purchases closer to home.

As a bonus, the card also comes with complimentary Wi-Fi access at over 1 million hotspots courtesy of Boingo.

The catch is that the more you spend on overseas purchases, the more frequent flyer points that you will be foregoing from using a points earn credit card.

Overall however, this card provides healthy competition in the marketplace given its unique position of offering low fees in combination with a few perks generally reserved for higher fee Platinum cards.

28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard—no annual and foreign exchange fees, free Global Wi-Fi access was last modified: May 22nd, 2018 by Keith

Jump back up to offer ↑

Point Hacks Credit Card Information

Point Hacks is published by Point Hacks Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 622 987 160), a corporate authorised credit representative (Number: 504786) of MSC Advisory Pty Ltd ACN 607 459 441 (Australian Credit License: 480649). In some instances, Point Hacks Australia Pty Ltd receives a commission or benefit for referring you to the services of a credit provider. This commission or benefit is disclosed at the point of referral to the credit provider. This website does not provide credit, assist you in obtaining credit, or advise you to apply for any particular product from a provider.

We have not taken into consideration your personal circumstances or financial situation when providing the information on this website. It is important you read the relevant PDS from the product issuer and seek the independent advice of an appropriately qualified professional before making a decision on a product.

While we invest a great deal of time and energy into ensuring we provide with you with the most up to date and accurate information, we do not warrant the accuracy of statements or information contained on the Website relating to third party goods and services, including credit card information, loyalty schemes and rewards. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability arising from any person acting on those statements or information to the fullest extent permitted by law. Where conditions or warranties are implied by law and cannot be excluded, our liability will be limited to the re-supply of information. You should confirm the accuracy of information provided on this Website with the third party product provider before acting on it.

Comments Expand Comments

  1. Craig Cartwright

    Hi Keith,
    Useful piece for my comparisons!
    I was trying to find their website main page on here but couldn’t. It’d be good if you added a link to the site where the details are and where people can apply?
    I’ve got the card now and it’s been good for cash loading and quick repayment actually!

  2. kko

    “Also, make sure to always pay in AUD when overseas and avoid using another country’s local currency to take advantage of MasterCard’s wholesale FX rates.”

    Shouldn’t that be the opposite? Paying in AUD will wipe out the benefit of the card since it’s the merchant’s bank that will convert the local currency first, using their inflated rate, and then (over)charge you the resulting amount in AUD

  3. Samantha

    Hi Keith
    The 28 Degrees Mastercard is a great card, we’ve had it for years and use it frequently while travelling. The main downside is that their fraud protection program is very antsy and any high amount transactions and/or transactions on potentially high risk website (such as the tickets sales for French TGV or Swiss rail) are usually immediately declined. We can get around this by phoning the 28 degrees team ahead of time to notify them of the transaction- but they are only open during Australian weekday business hours which is not always practical. Having said that, it saves us hundreds of dollars in fees every trip for restaurant and supermarket purchases and is our go-to card for overseas credit card purchases wherever possible. The other point to make is that the fee for ATM withdrawals is significant with 28 Degrees so we use instead an ING Orange Everyday visa debit card account – they charge the single fee of $2.50 from their end (with no foreign exchange fees) plus any overseas bank ATM fees only. How good is that?!

  4. Ash

    I picked up one of these cards before setting off on a 12 months overseas trip. It served me beautifully and, in answer to the question above, the exchange rates were very fair – generally within about 1% of the exchange rate midpoint.

    The only catch was that half way through the trip they introduced a hefty cash advance fee (even if you preloaded the card to put it in credit) so I loaded up my Citibank account and switched to the Citibank debt card for ATM cash advances, as the Citibank Plus account doesn’t have any overseas fees either.

    For regular purchases, though, I stuck with the 28 Degrees card throughout my travels and it was fantastic.

    In sum, my advice to anyone undertaking significant overseas travel is to:
    (a) get a 28 Degrees card for regular purchases; and
    (b) open a Citibank Plus account, which has no fees, and load it with cash for ATM withdrawals overseas.

  5. James

    Whilst there’s no foreign currency “fees”, I’ve noticed with a few others they offer a conversion rate at much lower than the going rate. Is this the case with 28 Degrees?

    • Keith Author

      I don’t have personal experience with their rates (anyone else?) but on other similar cards in the past I’ve noticed approaching a 1% difference to a spot rate quoted online. So there are still some margins floating around in there, probably on the MasterCard side, rather than the bank. Not sure how 28Degrees calculate their rates though.

  6. aussiejoel

    Hi Keith,

    Thanks for the article, I have been a user of this card for a little over 3 years now. Now I am on the Amex points bandwagon generally I would rather accrue points (given the overseas multiplier) where possible and cop the conversion fee but still definitely a great card to have in your wallet when traveling especially as a back up card for places not taking Amex or if you are not points hungry.

    The best benefit it used to have was for cash as I also used to load it up in credit and then withdraw cash from ATM’s with no conversion or 28D atm fee (exluding a $2 fee from the overseas ATM) but unfortunately about a year ago they introduced the cash advance fee for credit withdrawals which they never used to do so that’s now a bust and I use a Citibank Plus account for fee free overseas cash instead.

  7. Calum Hunter

    Whilst not a true Credit Card, the Citibank Plus Visa debit card also has no foreign transaction fee’s for ATM withdrawal or Visa debit purchases

  8. Renna

    Thank you Keith, your email was very timely as I have applied for this card last week.
    Your synopsis of it was great and it concreted my reasons for applying.
    Thank you

Leave a Reply