Find the card that’s right for you when travelling overseas

The choices are myriad, so find the one that gives you the best value.

With so many options, it’s hard to work out which is best for your personal requirements. Justin Rampono of The Currency Shop has put together a handy guide that describes the different types of traveller and which card is most useful. View the full infographic here, or read below for a summary.

Traveller type: Planner

Travel Card : Prepaid Travel Card

The best feature of Prepaid Travel Cards is being able to buy your currency ahead of time and lock in your exchange rate. It provides exchange rate certainty and is a safer option than carrying cash. These features come at a cost.

Almost every bank and airline offers a prepaid card but each has teir own fees and exchange rates. Here are the most common:

  • Purchase fee
  • Load fee
  • Reload fee
  • Exchange rate margin
  • ATM fee
  • Inactivity fee
  • Closure fee.

Our pick of the bunch is the NAB Traveller Card. It has the least fees and a good selection of currencies and payment options.

Traveller type: Frequent Jetsetter

Travel Card : Travel Credit Card

If you are travelling overseas more than once a year, you might consider a Travel Credit Card.

A travel credit card doesn’t have many of the fees included in the prepaid type and often offers better exchange rates. The significant difference is that credit card interest rates are imposed if you don’t pay the balance by the due date. Some are also subject to an annual fee.

Our best in class is the 28 Degrees Mastercard. It’s been a favourite of the savvy traveller for years and for good reason. The exchange rates are excellent and the fee structure is low, provided you pay your balance on time and avoid using an ATM while away.

Traveller type: Care Free and Card Free

Travel Card: Debit Card

If you are the kind of traveller who prefers to buy most of your travel money in cash, then using a debit card may be the best option.

Most debit cards have comparably high fees. However, if you are using the card only once or twice during your trip, then it can be a much easier option than having to apply for a prepaid or credit card.