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Taking money overseas

Find out what options you have when it comes to paying for things while you're away. 
 

Taking multiple payment options

It's a tough question to answer - what is the best way to pay for things overseas? In general most people find that taking a combination of options is the best choice. If you take several ways to pay then you're more likely to be ready for any situation that comes your way.

Exchange rates

Firstly, you'll need to wrap your head around exchange rates. The exchange rate varies with market fluctuations. These changes are hard to predict and getting your money organised early may save last-minute headaches. Find out more about how exchange rates work

Cash

Think about carrying some cash in case of emergency and to make purchasing small items easier. Don’t carry large amounts, and keep what you carry in a safe place.

If you’re leaving Australia, you may consider getting some foreign currency before you go. You can obtain foreign currency from most banks but keep in mind it may take a few days to arrive depending on the currency. Some banks also offer cash packs - a selection of foreign currency in a convenient pack with a range of foreign currency notes.

Prepaid travel cards

Prepaid cards give you access to your own money. They work just like a credit card, however, you're using the money you have loaded onto your card. (This is not to be confused with your everyday Debit card which provides access to your everyday account.)

Check with the provider about transaction fees, ATM withdrawals and if the card is likely to be accepted in the areas you're visiting. Some cards also carry security protection which may assist in the event of the card being lost or stolen.

If you take several ways to pay then you're more likely to be ready for any situation that comes your way.


Credit cards

Travelling with a credit card means you can make purchases without carrying cash and have access to emergency funds (just remember there may be a cash advance fee if you make a withdrawal using your credit card).

There are certain things you need to think about when using your credit card on holiday like security and fees. Find out more about travelling with your credit card

Debit cards

You may be able to use your card to make direct cash debits from your savings account. You receive the money in local currency and may be able to check your account balance. Find out whether this facility is available at your destination. You should also check what fees and charges apply when your debit card is used overseas.

Other things to remember

Inform your bank

Before you leave you should let your bank know that you will be travelling. This can lower the risk of your card being unexpectedly declined. 


Keep your money and cards safe

No-one wants the nerve-racking experience of being left without funds while travelling, especially in a foreign country. Being flexible and carrying a range of payment options and keeping them all in different places will help with security.

Here are some other tips for keeping your money safe:

  • Never produce a large amount of cash in open view
  • Find out what responsibility the hotel takes before leaving anything in the hotel safe
  • Don’t leave large amounts of money in your hotel room
  • If walking, be mindful of the position you're carrying your bag - would it be easy for someone to access any of the pockets? 
  • Avoid letting your card leave your view when making purchases

The information set out above is general in nature, is for information purposes only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations.  You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.