Counting the cost of overseas fees in 2017

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Australian travellers lost $442 million in overseas bank fees and charge over 2017, according to new research from ING. At the individual level, this breaks down to paying $155 per person, per trip, for the convenience of accessing their finances internationally.

According to the ING research, one in three Aussies aren’t sure what card fees or charges they’re paying for when travelling. 

  • 44% of those surveyed admitted that they had no idea how much their bank or finance provider was charging them.
  • 53% said they had used an ATM at least once during their last overseas trip.
  • Thailand has the highest ATMs fees, having an average ATM fee of $8.47 per withdrawal, followed by the Philippines at $5.69, then the USA at $5.41.

ING Australia head of retail banking, Melanie Evans, said that the $155 the average Australian traveller lost on international bank fees and charges is enough to pay for a bungy jump in New Zealand or a photo safari in New York.

“This study brings to light just how important it is to understand all the fees and charges that can come with using your Australian bank card overseas.”

According to ING, ING customers made 3.5 million overseas purchases in 2017, including international online spending, with the most transactions (491,000) taking place in the month of December.

That said, the single biggest day in 2017 for overseas purchases was found to be the 8th of September, when $1.7 million changed hands in 23,000 transactions.

ING customers were also found to have made 402,000 overseas ATM withdrawals in 2017.

ING’s findings were based on a Galaxy survey of 1000 Australian adults, conducted in January 2018 on ING’s behalf.


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