There is one thing travellers look for when they’re about to head overseas and that is the most effective way to carry foreign currency. One convenient method is the travel money card. But with so many products on the market, it’s hard to know which one is best for you. So we’ve asked our experts at comparison site, CANSTAR to do the research for you.
“Aussies love to travel; according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics we make around 800,000 short-term overseas trips each month. Southeast Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and the USA – we spread out across the globe. No matter where we go we need money once we arrive and travel money cards are becoming an increasingly popular way to exchange and store currencies when we're travelling, even more so over the past couple of years with the introduction of both the Qantas Cash Card and the Velocity Global Wallet,” says CANSTAR editor in chief, Justine Davies.
CANSTAR recently updated their travel money card ‘Star Ratings’ to reveal which cards offer outstanding value to Aussie travellers.
“If you’re heading away, here are some things to think about before you choose a travel card,” says Davies.
Getting a great exchange rate
Most travel money cards are pretty competitive, but when you're changing hundreds or even thousands of dollars, small differences in exchange rate can make a big difference to your cash in hand. Why throw away even a hundred dollars in foreign currency if you don't need to? CANSTAR awarded Travelex Cash Passport and the NAB Traveller Card top ratings in July, with Travelex Cash Passport having the top average exchange rate across all currencies considered.
How many currencies do you need?
Are you travelling to just one foreign country or are you doing a 10-countries-in-12-days extravaganza? CANSTAR's analysis found that several travel money cards allow only five currencies to be loaded at any one time, while the Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card allows up to 13 currencies. The Qantas Cash Card and Velocity Global Wallet are close behind, allowing 11 currencies to be loaded at a time.
How about rewards?
We all love being rewarded - hence the incredible popularity of credit card rewards! When it comes to travel money cards the Qantas Cash Card offers Qantas Points rewards and Velocity Global Wallet offers Velocity Points rewards (check the respective company websites for points earn rates).
Fees, fees and (hopefully) less fees
Just as your bank accounts and credit cards can have fees attached, so can your travel money card. No travel money card will be fee-free, but you can certainly keep your fees to a minimum by asking what your provider charges for things such as cash reload fees, ATM fees, currency conversion fees and replacement card fees.
“There are plenty of travel cards out there, so do a bit of homework to choose one that will leave more spending money in your holiday budget,” suggests Davies.
CANSTARs disclaimer can be viewed here.