We all love travelling overseas whether it′s for business or pleasure but costs can get out of hand if you don′t plan thoroughly before you leave. A big part of that planning is working out how to spend your money while you′re away: cash, travel money cards, credit cards, debit cards – what′s best for you?
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. We caught up with five star travel credit card winner GE Capital, for a Q&A on the cost-effectiveness of credit cards overseas.
Q: What are the main benefits for travellers in using a credit card as opposed to, say, a travel money card?
A: Using a credit card like the 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard can be cost-effective for travellers as the traveller will avoid various fees and charges associated with a travel money card. Travel money card fees and charges can include the following:
- A fee to purchase the card
- A fee to load the card with the required funds
- A fee to reload the card if additional funds are needed during the overseas trip
- Any surcharges that might apply to different currencies that are used during the trip
- A fee to reclaim any funds that are leftover at the end of the trip
With a travel money card, one might argue a key benefit is being able to lock the exchange rate in so you’re covered against a sudden dip in the Aussie dollar. The only downside, however, is that the dollar may bounce back leaving the traveller with the lower exchange rate.
Q: What makes the 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard specifically a great travel companion?
A: The 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard offers foreign purchases with no bank fees tacked on so no international transaction fees and no currency conversion fees. In general, credit cards charge 3 to 3.5 per cent on top of any purchase made in foreign currency ($30 to $35 on a $1,000 purchase). The 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard does not apply a surcharge for international transactions, making it a money-saver for both travel and online shopping at foreign websites. There is also no annual fee and up to 55 days1 interest free on purchases making the 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard an even more cost-effective option for the traveller. The 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard also provides a complimentary concierge service for all cardholders which is available 24/7 worldwide as well as free worldwide emergency card replacement.
(1. To take advantage of up to 55 days Interest Free on credit card purchases, you must pay the full balance of the account (excluding unexpired Interest Free promotional plans) both for the statement before the purchases were made, and for the statement on which the purchases are listed).
Q: Overseas online shopping is another interesting benefit – how does that work?
A: No surcharges are applied when using the card to make online purchases making the 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard not only the perfect travel companion but also, the card of choice for online shopping at foreign websites.
Readers can download the CANSTAR Travel Credit and Debit Card Star Ratings here and can compare travel credit cards and travel debit cards here.