Overseas Credit Card Fees Explained
If you’re planning to take your credit or debit card with you on your holiday, it’s worth talking to your bank to make sure you are fully aware of the fees you will be charged to make purchases and withdraw money from an ATM overseas.
We’ve put together the most common card fees as a guide to checking out what you’ll be charged.
International ATM withdrawal fee
This fee is charged per withdrawal you make from an overseas ATM and is usually a flat fee of between $5 and $10, depending on the account you hold and with which bank. If you are withdrawing money from a credit card, then you will also be charged a cash advance fee on top of your ATM withdrawal fee.
Cash advance fee
When you withdraw cash from your credit limit, you transaction is treated as a cash advance. You will be charged a fee that is usually a percentage of the value (normally between 2 and 5%) that you have taken out, plus you will pay the applicable cash advance interest rate from the moment you take out your money (no interest free period) – and this can be upward of 20%. To avoid cash advance fees, you can make a purchase over the counter in-store rather than taking the cash out from an ATM.
Currency conversion fee
This fee is usually charged regardless of whether you are withdrawing money from an ATM or making a purchase on your card, and is a percentage of the value of your transaction. Currency conversion fees can be up to 6% and are charged on top of the flat ATM withdrawal fee when you are withdrawing money from the ATM.
When using a card overseas, you receive the applicable Mastercard or Visa exchange rate at the time you are making the transaction and less any applicable fees. Whilst these rates are not too scary, you are unable to know the exact price you are paying in Australian Dollars as the rates are constantly changing throughout your holiday.
Avoid exchange rate fluctuations and pay no currency conversion fees
Travel cards are increasingly popular due to the fact that they can be loaded in foreign currency before you leave for your holiday. Not only does this lock in the exchange rate, if you pick the right travel card it means that you pay no currency conversion fees when you arrive at your destination. There are now 10 currencies available on the Mastercard Multi-currency Cash Passport Card, saving you money on fees overseas. If you’re currency is not available to load, as of the 15th July 2016 you can still load Australian Dollars and pay no currency conversion fees! Read more about the Cash Passport
We endeavour to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information for your destination. This information should be used as a guide only and does not constitute personal advice. Please refer to the relevant product disclosure statement before making the decision to purchase any product offered by Exchange Now. Consider your own circumstances before making a decision on how you will take your money with you overseas.
*You will be redirected to the Mastercard ATM Locator and the information displayed is not published or guaranteed by Exchange Now. The ATM locations have been provided to Mastercard by the relevant institutions and are subject to change.
¹Some ATM operators may charge their own fee. Please refer to the Mastercard Multi-Currency Cash Passport Card Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision to purchase a card.