Australian Travel Banking recommendations

If you are an Australian travelling abroad, foreign exchange fees, travellers cheques and bank fees can quickly add up. Here are a few ways you can avoid these extra charges!

Note: Your situation may vary, check first that these options are best for you. Information was correct at time of writing, but verify anything directly with the financial provider.

Accessing Cash

Never travel cards. Go straight for banks.

Citibank Australia

https://www1.citibank.com.au/banking/bank-accounts/citibank-plus

Account name: Citibank Plus Everyday Account

Fees: none. Of any kind, anywhere.

Bonuses: Free to send money to anywhere in the world. Sometimes get a free bottle of wine in very limited locations when pay by debit card.

Requirements: none.

Simple, straightforward. This is what I usually use.

ING Bank

https://www.ing.com.au/everyday-banking.html

Account name: Orange Everyday

Fees: none. Of any kind, anywhere.

Bonuses: Rebate of ATM fee (for ATMs which charge a fee, such as 3rd party ATMs, or all ATMs in Thailand and the Philippines). 50c bonus if you withdraw $200AUD or more via EFTPOS in Australia.

Requirements: Each month, transfer $1000 into the account and make at least 5 card purchases.

If you can make the requirements, ING is fantastic. Pay a bill or two and such, buy a few things – easy. Can be very difficult while overseas. NOT recommended to long-term travel, but perfect for frequent short-term travel.

Credit Cards

28 Degrees

https://www.28degreescard.com.au/

Account name: 28 Degrees Global Platinum Mastercard

Fees: none. Of any kind, anywhere.

Bonuses: 55 days interest free. Free wifi via Boingo. Card insurance is 1% (max $50/month)

Requirements: Minimum $6000 credit limit.

Also:

Flight delay pass:

https://flightdelaypass.mastercard.com/28degrees?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Register your flight, and if it’s delayed by two hours or more the drinks, nibbles and Wi-Fi are free. (You get a lounge pass for free). Don’t forget, most travel insurance covers delays of 4 or 6 hours, but none for only 2 hours.

Reasonable travel insurance: https://www.scti.com.au/affiliates/28-degrees-card/?utm_source=Latitude&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=28degreescard.com.au&utm_content=get-a-quote 

Transfering Money

Person to person transfers. Beemit is best, for Aussie to Aussie.

BeemIt

http://download.beemit.com.au/QRPF5Z

Fees: none at all.

Requirements: Australian Mastercard or Visa debit card. Can only activate and sign up which geographically, physically in Australia (or using an Australian VPN) – but once active, can use anywhere in the world.

Send money instantly to anyone else with the app. It also helps with bill splitting, can pay friends later or on the spot. App is owned by Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac.

Complete registration and enter my referral code: QRPF5Z, and you’ll get $5.

Transferwise

http://transferwise.com/u/michaelf713

Fees: varies based on country

Send money internationally for a fraction of the bank or Western Union rates. Can send from bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards and POLi.

First time is for free! (up to 500GBP sent for new users)

Indo Koala

https://indokoala.com

Fees: $9 for up to $3000 sent

One of the only ways to send money from Indonesia to Australia. Slow; it takes bank transfers only.