Credit cards with no overseas (or foreign) transaction fees can provide substantial savings for those who frequently transact in foreign currencies, such as when travelling overseas and interacting with the overseas versions of websites such as Amazon, eBay and Macy’s.
The going overseas transaction fee for most credit cards in Australia is 2-4% of the converted amount, meaning that a $100 USD transaction will convert to ~$130 AUD plus add on an average ~$4 AUD fee (as of early December 2017).
Using a card that doesn’t charge overseas transaction fees will reduce the cost of eating out at this restaurant in Singapore
If you travel overseas for three weeks a year and spend the equivalent of $120 AUD/day not using a card that waives overseas transaction fees, the charges would rack up to over $75, which is almost the annual fee of some cards that earn you a solid points rate.
ANZ are offering 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of approval with the Rewards Travel Adventures card. Also included is a Virgin Australia domestic return flight, two single entry Virgin Australia domestic lounge passes plus no overseas transaction fee on purchases. Eligibility criteria, T&Cs, fees, charges, flight restrictions and lounge conditions apply.
- 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of approval
- One complimentary return domestic flight each year with Virgin Australia until the card is cancelled
- Two complimentary single entry Virgin Australia lounge passes each year until the card is cancelled
- No overseas transaction fee on purchases
- Earn 1.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $2,000 per statement period, then 0.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases above $2,000 per statement period
- Annual Fee: $225 p.a.
- Spend $500 on eligible purchases in first 3 months of approval to receive bonus
- Eligibility criteria, T&Cs, fees and charges apply. Velocity member Terms and Conditions apply.
Point Hacks receive a maximum of $150 per applicant for this card. More about this →
Aside from no overseas transaction fee on purchases, the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card provides good travel benefits on Virgin Australia.
The Coles Rewards Mastercard earns an uncapped 2 flybuys points per $ on eligible purchases, with points transferable to Velocity and Etihad Guest.
Note that the no annual fee version of this card charges a 1.5% international transaction fee + 0.2% currency conversion assessment fee on overseas purchases.
The 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard offers fee-free international transactions and currency conversion. It also comes with free global wifi and is a favourite of savvy overseas travellers to help minimise payment fees abroad.
- $0 annual fee
- Free international transactions and currency conversion
- Free global wifi courtesy of Boingo
- Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay compatibility
- Complimentary worldwide concierge service, 24 hours a day
- Insurance package including price protection, merchandise protection, stolen card protection, repayment cover and life cover (PDS)
Point Hacks receives a maximum of $70 per applicant for this card. More about this →
The 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard does not earn rewards points but offers no annual fee.
The Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard earns 0.66 Qantas Point per $1 on eligible spend with no cap.
CommBank offers no overseas transaction fees on American Express variants of both the Platinum Awards and Diamond Awards cards.
Note: CommBank has announced that they will discontinue the ability to use their Amex cards from 1 November 2018, with the last day to apply for an Amex card on 31 August 2018
Finally, the Westpac Lite card has a $9 monthly fee but won’t earn you any points, and the ING Orange One card will waive the overseas transaction fee if you deposit a specified amount in an ING account and use your card a certain number of times.
When travelling overseas and a card terminal prompts you to choose whether to charge the transaction in the local currency (say, USD or EUR) or in your home currency (AUD), you’ll get a better currency conversion rate by paying in the local currency.
By adding a credit card with no overseas transaction fees to your wallet, you can minimise costs when travelling and spending in non-AUD currencies and use another card/s that earn higher rates for spend within Australia.
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