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If you’re a world traveller or online shopping aficionado, you might be looking for ways to cut back on the fees that come with spending your money overseas.

No-foreign-transaction-fee bank accounts cut back on the charges you pay for withdrawing cash and making purchases abroad.

What are foreign transaction fees?

A foreign transaction fee is a surcharge applied by your bank when you use your card at retailers outside of your home country. This fee is usually a percentage of the purchase you’ve made. This percentage varies from card to card.

Are there other kinds of overseas fees?

Banks charge a few different types of overseas fees that are important to understand before heading on holiday. One of these fees is a currency conversion fee. This fee applies when making purchases in a currency that is different from your home country’s currency. Because your bank has the task of converting your purchase from one currency to another, they may charge this fee. A currency conversion fee can apply whether you’re shopping while abroad or shopping on an international website.

Your credit card may also charge a foreign ATM withdrawal fee. This fee tends to be higher than any ATM fee you would pay inside your home country. A foreign ATM fee applies when you withdraw cash from an ATM abroad.

What are the benefits of bank accounts with no foreign transaction fees?

Bank accounts with no foreign transaction fees are especially beneficial to avid travellers. The absence of fees means that you can make purchases and withdraw cash freely without paying bank fees on top. This will not only save you money during your time abroad, but it will also make it more convenient to spend on international websites.

Online shoppers can also benefit greatly from no-foreign-transaction-fee bank accounts. If you often make purchases on foreign websites, you might find yourself paying high surcharges on those purchases. Bank accounts with no foreign transaction fees will save you from paying extra for international products.

Where can you find a no-foreign-transaction-fee bank account?

If you have an everyday bank account, it’s unlikely that the associated card has zero foreign transaction fees.

If you’re looking for a way to make foreign purchases without high fees, you may consider a debit or credit card without overseas fees. You can find several cards that are designed for travellers and make overseas spending easy and affordable.

How do you apply for a bank account with no foreign transaction fees?

To apply for a bank account with no foreign transaction fees, you’ll first need to decide which account suits your needs.

After you’ve chosen your new bank account, you’ll complete a bank application, either online or in person, that will include your personal details and a form of identification.

After you’ve completed the application, your bank will review it and open your new account.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.

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