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Travel cards are a type of specially-designed debit card so you can spend your own money while travelling overseas. They are popular for several reasons:
The ideal card according to Canstar’s research is one that includes the following features:
It can be hard to know what travel money card is the best, so our brightest researchers at Canstar have done the hard work for you. Compare travel money cards using the comparison selector tool at the top of this page.
Canstar compares travel cards with a unique, sophisticated ratings methodology that considers both pricing and features. Travel money cards that offer outstanding value to Australian travellers overseas are awarded our 5-star rating.
Some of the features Canstar compares are:
You can read the full star ratings report for more information, or compare travel money cards to suit your destination and budget using the comparison selector tool at the top of this page.
Written by: TJ Ryan and Tim Smith
Please note that these are a general explanation of the meaning of terms used in relation to travel money cards. Your card provider may use different wording and you should read the terms and conditions of your product carefully to understand all fees, charges, and inclusions. Refer to the product disclosure statement (PDS) from your provider.
What is accommodation?
Accommodation is any type of dwelling or lodging where you pay a fee to stay overnight.
What is a ATM fee?
An ATM fee is a fee charged to your travel money card to make a cash withdrawal from an ATM.
What is a closing fee?
A closing fee is a fee charged to close your travel money card account.
What is a conversion fee?
A conversion fee is any fee charged to convert one currency into another. Usually refers to a fee charged to your travel money card to pay for something in the local currency using a different currency loaded on your card.
What is a conversion rate?
A conversion rate is also known as the exchange rate.
What is a currency order?
A currency order is the order in which the next available currency will be selected if you run out of the currency that you are using in the current transaction.
What is an exchange rate?
An exchange rate is the ratio at which one currency buys another, which determines the value of one country’s currency by comparison to another. For example, $0.72 USD to the AUD dollar means that the Australian dollar buys $0.72 in US dollars.
What is an inactive fee?
An inactive fee is a fee charged to your travel money card for not using it in that month.
What is an initial fee or issuing fee?
An initial fee or issuing fee is a fee charged to your travel money card for opening the account and issuing the card to you.
What is a limit?
A limit is when cards have a maximum limit to the amount of money you can load onto them, the amount you can withdraw in one day, and the amount you can reload onto them in one go.
What is a pre-paid card?
A pre-paid card is a card onto which you load your own money when you open the account. You cannot spend more money than you have loaded onto the card.
What is a reload fee?
A reload fee is a fee charged to your travel money card for adding an additional amount of money onto your card.
What is a secondary card?
A secondary card is an additional card that also accesses the funds on the same ‘travel money card’ account.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a form of insurance policy that covers you for various events happening to you while you are away from home. Depending on the policy, it may include medical emergencies, unexpected changes in travel plans outside your control, and lost luggage or other items. For more information, see our travel insurance page.
What are traveller’s cheques?
Traveller’s cheques are cheques or bills of exchange, available in fixed denominations of various currencies. Can be accepted as cash in many places.
At the time of writing, Canstar researches and rates travel money cards from the following providers:
Compare travel money cards for your destination and budget using the comparison selector tool at the top of this page.