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How to pick the best travel money option

Travel money. It’s easy to go with your credit card. But that option may be costing you hundreds of dollars, according to new research.

Travel money
It pays to research travel money options. Picture: Shutterstock

Money comparison website Mozo found travellers who pick the wrong travel money option could be paying up to $385 in unnecessary bank fees. That’s enough for an extra return flight to Singapore or Bali. 

Mozo’s study was based on a traveller spending $10,000 overseas, making four ATM withdrawals and 20 purchases. It found the highest fees were at overseas ATMs and foreign exchange services.

“If you’re heading overseas to beat the winter blues, it pays to research your travel money options,” Mozzo spokesperson Tom Godfrey says. 

Choose your travel money option wisely.
Not all credits are the same when it come to overseas travel fees. Picture: Shutterstock

Mozo compared 314 travel money products from 89 providers. They found sky-high fees for debit cards and credit cards. 

“For debit cards, the highest ATM withdrawal fee in our database is $5.50 AUD, while the highest foreign exchange fee is 3.65%,” the report says. “For an ATM withdrawal of $200 USD, you could be charged up to $15.40 AUD in fees.”

Want to use your credit cards? Mozo found the highest foreign exchange fee was 3.65%. For a £200 GBP purchase, you could be charged up to $13.61 AUD in fees.

Mozo also found poor value exchange rates through Australia Post and foreign exchange booths.  

“From debit and credit cards to pre-paid travel money cards, we have found packing the wrong piece of plastic could see you forking out $385 in unnecessary bank fees,” Godfrey says.

“The good news is a number of debit and credit cards don’t hit you with foreign exchange fees. So a little leg work before you leave can see you holidaying with a little extra spending money.” 

So what is the best travel money option?

Pick your credit card wisely if you are planning to travel. Mozo found five debit cards that don’t charge foreign exchange fees or overseas ATM fees and 13 credit cards that don’t charge foreign exchange fees.

Click the links above for the full list of the best travel money options. 


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