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Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

Canberra
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Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

Hello

Im soon to travel to Europe and was wanting to lock in the exchange rate so we can effectively pay for accommodation now. What is the best card out there? I just signed up to the ozforex card but i read on a forum here that the exchange rate on the website isn't what is actually offered :(

Are there any others out there that give a better deal?

And yes, i have already tried to sign up to the almighty 28degrees card. Not everybody can get a credit card...

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

Just about all the prepaid travel cards available in Australia have high fees or a poor exchange rate or both. They are a new product intended to make more money from travellers.

You get best value taking a debit card to get money out of ATMs. Citibank has an account with no fees for overseas withdrawals.

Buy buying euros now, you are just betting that the AUD will not do better than the euro over the next month or so.

Edited: 28 May 2012, 07:37
Canberra
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2. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

Do you think it will?

Sydney/Melbourne
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3. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

If anyone knows what the AUD and the Euro are going to do over the next few months they wouldn't be here on TA, they would be out getting rich on the money market ;-)

I would agree with Nick - use your current debit card to withdraw from foreign ATMs.

Reduce your fees by withdrawing more money less often and try to find global partners of your bank so that you won't have to pay ATM fees.

Stay away from money cards - they are a total rip off. Don't just look at the exchange rates - look at the extra fees you have to pay.

In the scheme of things, considering how much and overseas holiday costs, if you lose a few cents on transactions it won't really amount to anything significant.

The Citibank debit sounds good but go into it in detail before you change banks just to save a few dollars on one trip.

Sunshine Coast...
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4. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

Actually there is no need to change banks. Simply open up a Citiplus transaction account at Citibank (you can do it online) and transfer some money into the account. Then use your new ATM card to withdraw money while overseas without paying any fees.

Keep any other bank accounts as you presently have them if you wish.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

I personally love travel cards as in the past I've managed to lock in a good rate prior to traveling.

I've used the ANZ single currency travel card in the past and have been very happy with it. Mostly because I've bought it at times of a good conversion and wanted to lock in the exchange (which worked fantastically for me because I went to USA and I 'locked in' my currency at about 1.07 a few months in advance but when I traveled, the exchange went down to 1.01.

The ANZ card also allowed me to have free transactions anywhere in the world - if I used a different currency to that on the card, it would jut be a conversion at the day I charged it. Withdrawal fees were about $2.50 USD when I was in the US, so I would withdraw a lot less frequently, but with the free transactions, I barely used cash.

On my upcoming trip I am considering the CBA travel card as it offers many currencies. I will be waiting until I am happier with the exchange rate before buying.

Edited: 28 May 2012, 10:52
Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

It should be noted that if you are a student CBAs travel card is free to acquire. There are no fees if you don't use it, and no fees to close. It is NOWHERE NEAR as bad in terms of fees as my regular Commonwealth account would be overseas.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

>>I went to USA and I 'locked in' my currency at about 1.07 a few months in advance but when I traveled, the exchange went down to 1.01.<<

But it could just as easily gone up to 1.15. We had people a while ago who were very pleased they had locked in a rate of 0.95.

If you buy a travel card in another currency, you do not get rid of uncertainty about currency exchange. Buy a card, and you are gambling that the AUD will not increase in value. Wait until you travel and get cash out of ATMs, and you are gambling that the AUD will not decrease in value.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

Even the very simple ING Orange Everyday account will charge you only $2.50 per OS withdrawal and nothing when used to purchase in shops. The exchange rate is about the same as any other card used on the same day (we tested it)

28 Degrees isn't too hard to get unless you are unemployed. I am on a very restricted taxable income because I am on superannuation retirement benefits but I had no difficulty in getting a card. However, I restricted the amount available to protect myself. I can add more money on-line as required because we travel with a laptop.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

<<If you buy a travel card in another currency, you do not get rid of uncertainty about currency exchange.>>

I agree, however it allows you to better plan your holiday money-wise before going. Knowing that I have an exact amount in whatever currency provides me with comfort, regardless of whether when I go the currency could be better or worse.

Brisbane, Australia
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10. Re: Australian Prepaid travel cards - Best one?

Jarks - we used a multi-currency version of the travel card from ANZ, about a year ago. I am pretty sure we carried pre-purchased amounts of Aussie, Euro and GBP on the same card. No charge to load the card the first time - and to avoid the re-load fee, just get a new card next time you travel. That won't work if you need to re-load on the road - but you can and it was only a few dollars I recall: a fixed charge, not a percentage of the amount of the re-charge.

We hedged our bets on the currency - locking in what seemed like a good rate while still in Oz and then supercharging our credit card with cash and drawing down on that via ATMs. This avoided the dreaded high interest charges for cash drawn as a "loan" on the credit card.