Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

No overseas transaction fees credit cards

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 US$100 transaction will convert to ~AU$135 plus add on an average ~AU$4 fee (as of early December 2018).

Using a card that doesn’t charge overseas transaction fees will reduce the cost of eating out at this restaurant in Singapore

If you travelled overseas for three weeks a year and spent the equivalent of AU$120/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.

Please note, however, that while overseas transaction fee waivers are welcome, they need to be given in conjunction with a good foreign exchange rate on the credit card. Point Hacks has run a comparison of exchange rates used by some major banks on their travel card products, which gives a guide as to the competitiveness of foreign exchange rates.

We have received this question a number of times—here, here, here and here—so below is a round-up of some of the cards on the Australian market that offer no overseas transaction fees.


Aside from no overseas transaction fee on purchases, the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card provides good travel benefits on Virgin Australia, including a free return domestic flight from select cities and two complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes.

The Coles Rewards Mastercard earns an uncapped 2 flybuys points per $ on eligible purchases, with points transferable to Velocity Frequent Flyer.

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 Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard earns 0.66 Qantas Point per $1 on eligible spend with no cap.

Non-points-earning cards

The 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard does not earn rewards points but offers no annual fee.

The no-annual-fee Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard is another good option, but note that the Classic version of this card does apply overseas transaction fees.

The Westpac Lite card has a $9 monthly fee.

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.

You may also consider a linked debit card to a Citibank Plus or UBank USaver Ultra transaction account.

Tip

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.

Summing up

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.

No overseas transaction fees credit cards was last modified: March 23rd, 2019 by Matt Moffitt

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Point Hacks Credit Card Information

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Comments

  1. Chiraag

    The Bankwest Platinum Zero Mastercard is another one that could be added to this list. No annual fee or overseas transaction fees, as well as complimentary travel insurance

  2. ZoomZoom

    When the CBA cancellls the Amex card, is Amex going to offer a replacement to the cardholders? When Westpac dumped Amex, they offered a replacement issued direct from Amex?

    Credit card Forex fees are a total ripp off..the RBA/Royal Commission should have a good hard look at the way Australian banks rip consumers off on credit card forex

  3. Owen

    Hi Matt, thanks for the article. Is it possible to pre-load any of these cards and use them for ATM withdrawals overseas?

  4. Stan

    Hi, I used 28Degrees in the beginning and after they introduced some fees, I switched to Citibank Plus debit card. Recently I decided to close my 28Degrees. This is when I faced with many surprises. There was some my money left on the card and I requested a refund. They closed my card immediately, however still no refund. They didn’t dare to return money since. It’s more than 1.5 months. I wouldn’t trust them after this.

  5. Harold Scruby

    It’s very important to analyse the Exchange Rate each Credit Card is using. They can vary a lot and mean the non-charging of the Overseas Transaction Fees are not as attractive as they may appear.

    It’s worth making a few “equal” transactions (at the same time) to see what actually ends up on your statement

    https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/convert-currency.html

    I understand Amex uses Reuters.

    Does anyone have any further information

  6. Anna

    Thanks MM for your reply re the Coles M/C, but you mention the $99 pa card and associated perks. I have the free one what is fewer FBs points etc. so, I still wonder if the freebie is also good for OS spend?

  7. Arvind

    Has anyone compared which of these cards provide better exchange rate? I have compared few times in the past with Bankwest, ANZ and 28 degrees and found Bankwest offered better rates compared to the rest.

  8. Michael Hudson

    what about Citibank Plus debit card – the only card that I know of that still offers fee free foreign cash withdrawals, after 28 Degrees started charging for it. I keep both and use 28 Degrees mostly for hotel & eating etc expenses. Hard to compare which offers better rates on purchases, possibly 28 Degrees a little better. Yes, I know Citibank really – put onto it by a friend who was working for an NGO who recommended it.

    • Matt Moffitt Author

      That’s a good option too. I use my Citibank Plus debit card for ATM withdrawals overseas. The reason we didn’t include it in this article is because we were focussing exclusively on credit cards in order to find the ones you can earn points on.

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