Using a credit card overseas – whether for online overseas shopping or while physically away – is common and popular, so this year for the first time CANSTAR has researched the 183 credit cards and 152 transaction accounts on the CANSTAR database in terms of how they stack up for international travellers. One of the five star outstanding value products we discovered is the Coles Rewards MasterCard; we caught up with Coles for a Q&A on the cost, security and popularity.
Q: What are the main benefits for travellers in using a credit card as opposed to, say, a travel money card?
A: The Coles Rewards MasterCard does not charge customers with an international transaction fee when they shop overseas or online with overseas merchants. Customers can also collect 2 flybuys points for every $1 they spend overseas, meaning customers can get flybuys points faster.
Q: Do customers need to inform you before they leave that they will be using their card overseas?
A: We always recommend customers to inform us when they travel overseas and what telephone number they will be contactable on. This helps our Fraud team if there are any suspicious transactions on a customer′s account to try and resolve any issues as quickly as possible.
Q: Are there any risks in using a credit card overseas? What security issues should travellers be aware of?
A: All Coles MasterCards are chip-enabled credit cards to provide an extra layer of security and flexibility for customers so customers only get billed for the purchases made on their card. It is important that customers exercise vigilant care in safeguarding their card from risk of loss, theft or unauthorised use, and upon discovery of any issues, customers should notify their card issuer immediately and without delay. If customers follow these steps and comply with their cardholder agreement, then should the worst happen there are unauthorised transactions, with secure encryption technology and Zero Liability protection, MasterCard and our security systems continue to protect customers. Customers can call us 24/7 from overseas on +61 394 204 818 if their card is lost or stolen or if they notice unauthorised use on their account.
Q: Do you know roughly what proportion of your credit card customers take their card overseas with them?
A: A large number of transactions occur on the Coles Rewards MasterCard every day both overseas and shopping online through international retailers and other overseas merchants, and we expect this volume will continue to increase since we have waived the international transaction fee on purchases to give customers better value.
Readers can download the CANSTAR Travel Credit and Debit Card Star Ratings here and can compare travel credit cards and travel debit cards here.