If you have ever used a travel money card overseas you?ll know that they can be a terrifically useful way to buy things and to access cash when you?re travelling. One previous trap for young players though was the issue of a travel money card expiring with money still left on it. Until now, some cards included within their terms and conditions the fact that smaller amounts of money left sitting on the card could be forfeited after a certain amount of time.
As if holidays aren?t expensive enough anyway!
Following an ASIC industry-wide review though, this particular “term and condition” has now been removed and forgetful travellers won?t be at risk of forfeiting the unspent money on their neglected travel money cards.
Which travel money card providers included a forfeit clause?
ASIC reviewed 16 travel money cards by eight issuers. The cards it identified as including a forfeit clause were ANZ, Cuscal (issuer of the Westpac card) and the Bank of China (issuer of the Australia Post Load&Go China card).
How do you get your money back?
In short, jump onto the website of your travel money card provider. In addition to the three cards listed above, all providers reviewed by ASIC have agreed to:
- improve disclosure in product disclosure statements about how customers can reclaim funds after expiry
- remove or reduce some fees, including inactivity fees
- improve communications to customers at, or close to card expiry to remind customers of their available balance and explain how funds can be accessed.
If you suspect that you might have money sitting on a disused travel money card, dig the card out and contact your provider to check.
“According to ASIC, without this change up to $3.5 million in funds sitting on expired travel money cards could have been forfeited to ANZ alone three years after card expiry (where the amount was less than $500). That represents many forgetful travellers.” Mitchell Watson, Research Manager