A trip overseas is so exciting! Whether your work or business is footing the bill for some international exposure, or you're simply on your way to a well-deserved bit of rest and relaxation, the biggest thing on your mind is money.

Overseas credit card charges and hotel bills all add up – and the last thing you want is a stressful holiday.

Likewise, if you can’t afford to shop in New York – but instead shop at New York retailers online – you still don’t want to be charged extra for doing so.

So in order to make the most of your time overseas or shopping on overseas websites, at the least cost and inconvenience, you may wish to carry out a credit card comparison specifically targeted towards low currency conversion and ATM fee credit cards.

Find and compare overseas spending credit cards

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Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$6

Estimated ATM Cost

$15

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $87

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More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$5

Estimated ATM Cost

$14

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$59

Go to site
More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$6

Estimated ATM Cost

$15

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$30

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More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3.4% on Mastercard
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$3.5

Estimated ATM Cost

-

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $149

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More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$5

Estimated ATM Cost

$14

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$30

Go to site
More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$4

Estimated ATM Cost

$13

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$129

Go to site
More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$6

Estimated ATM Cost

$15

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $30

Go to site
More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$6

Estimated ATM Cost

$15

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$425

Go to site
More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$6

Estimated ATM Cost

$15

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$95

Go to site
More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$6

Estimated ATM Cost

$15

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$375

Go to site
More details
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Visa
Overseas charges

Overseas charges

$6

Estimated ATM Cost

$15

for AU $300 withdrawal

Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$95

Go to site
More details

Learn more about credit cards

How does overseas spending on credit cards work?

There are two main costs to be concerned with when you are spending overseas – currency conversion fees and ATM charges. The good news is, there are many card providers that now recognise Australians’ growing trend to travel and shop overseas and, as such, offer lower fees and charges as a perk for choosing one of their credit cards.

While there are specific travel cards that you can purchase for your overseas trips, if you're looking for a credit card to use on a daily basis too, you may want to look at credit cards that operate primarily in Australian dollars, as they may have special introductory offers or balance transfer specials. For travellers looking for a card specifically for overseas use, international cards that have a few different ‘currency wallets’ may be an option also.

There are even options that offer the best of both worlds – keep all your money in Australian dollars and pay no conversion or international transaction fees – but these credit cards may come with other costs, such as high annual fees or limitations on who can successfully apply for them. Either way, you should conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis in order to find the card that suits your personal situation.

What are the benefits of credit cards offering overseas spending perks?

Credit cards specifically geared towards overseas travel, like frequent flyer cards, are usually kitted out with a very different set of bonus features to your standard credit cards.

For example, complimentary travel insurance, international concierge services for booking hotels and events, and memberships to exclusive accommodation clubs, all beckon the anxious traveller. But frequent flyer and reward cards usually come with higher rates and fees. These costs could be worth it for frequent travellers, but what about for overseas shoppers?

Fortunately, there are some low-rate cards that offer some great overseas spending perks also – such as low currency conversion and ATM fees – while still offering lower rates and fees. So for those that travel less often but enjoy shopping online at international retailers – you may not see value in a rewards or frequent flyer card, but may benefit from a low-rate or low-fees credit card that has overseas spending perks.

What fees do you need to look out for?

When carrying out an overseas spending credit card comparison, make sure you consider the following fees:

  • ATM withdrawal fees
  • Charges from the foreign ATM provider
  • Cash advance fees
  • International transaction charges
  • Currency conversion fees
  • Charges by Mastercard or Visa on top of those from your provider
  • Interest rates and annual fees

Common travel money questions

This all sounds like a lot of money – and it can be. So why not use cash?

Well, any trip over a decent amount of time will have several associated expenses, including food, accommodation and sightseeing. If you had to carry enough physical currency to pay for all of these items, you run the very real risk of losing it all through misadventure or theft. What many travellers find is that a balance of cash and card spending is ideal.

Having enough local currency for small and frequent transactions will keep your overseas conversion fees down, while breaking out the plastic for larger expenses is an ideal way to reduce the amount of cash (and risk) you carry.

Of course credit cards can go missing too, but most providers will be able to cancel your card and get you an emergency replacement wherever you are. Watch out though – there can be hefty fees associated with this too.

Why not just use cash when travelling abroad?

The short answer is if you had to carry enough cash to pay for all of your overseas expenses, there’s a risk you could lose it all through misadventure or theft.

What many travellers find is that a balance of cash and card spending is ideal. Having enough local currency for small and frequent transactions will keep your overseas conversion fees down, while breaking out the plastic for larger expenses is an ideal way to reduce the amount of cash (and risk) you carry.

Of course, credit cards can go missing too, but most providers will be able to cancel your card and get you an emergency replacement wherever you are. Watch out though – there can be hefty fees associated with this too.

Frequently asked questions

Can a pensioner get a credit card?

It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:

  • Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet. 
  • Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee. 
  • Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.

How do you use a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

How to increase my Commonwealth credit card limit?

Commonwealth Bank credit cards are extremely popular in Australia for everyday purchases and big ticket items alikers. A number of the card’s functions can be customised, depending on your needs and desires. If you wish to increase your Commonwealth credit card limit using the CommBank, you can usually do so on the app or via NetBank.

In the CommBank app, tap on the ‘Cards’ icon and choose your credit card. Then, click on ‘Credit Limit’ and select the ‘Increasing your limit’ option. If you don’t have the CommBank app, you can also increase your Commonwealth Bank credit card limit through NetBank. Simply log on and go to Settings, then click on ‘Product Requests’ and then choose ‘Credit Card Limit Changes’. 

Once the bank has received your application, they will review your account and payment history. Based on this assessment, your application will either be approved or denied. If approved, your new limit will be applied to your card instantly. 

While increasing your credit card limit may be an easy process, it’s important to remember that you should only request limits that you can manage. A high limit increases the risk of having a larger debt, even with cards that provide low-interest rate options. So, it’s important to think carefully and seek advice from people you trust before increasing your Commonwealth Bank credit card limit.

How can I increase my credit card limit on my American Express card?

If you want to increase the credit limit on your American Express (AMEX) credit card, you will need to apply through the AMEX Online Services, or by calling the number on the back of your card. You may need to share personal information that the bank can use to assess whether the requested limit is suitable for you and your current financial status. Once your application is approved, your new limit will be ready for use within an hour.

How to increase your Qantas Premier credit card limit

When your income or spending habits change, you might wish to increase your credit card limit. The Qantas Premier credit card allows you to do this over the phone. You can contact Qantas Premier Card Support by calling on 1300 992 700. Unlike some other credit providers, Qantas doesn’t give you the option to increase your limit online.

Qantas will only accept your application if you have a good history of repayment and have not increased your credit or bought another credit product from Qantas in the past six months.

Before approving your Qantas Premier credit card limit increase, Qantas will perform a credit assessment on your current financial circumstances and ask why you would like to increase your credit limit.

To ensure that there are no bumps in your application process, you must provide accurate and recent information about your financial situation. You should also account for any future changes you’re anticipating which could hinder your ability to repay the loan.

Once the assessment is complete, Qantas will either approve or deny your application. If they approve it, you will need to sign a credit limit increase agreement - and you can request a written copy of the credit assessment. However, if your application is rejected, Qantas can opt not to provide a copy of the assessment.

Do I get HSBC credit card insurance on purchases I make?

As an HSBC credit card (HSBC Platinum, HSBC Platinum Qantas and HSBC Premier World) cardholder, you may be entitled to complimentary international and domestic travel insurance. This HSBC credit card insurance covers you for hospital stays and medical expenses, flight cancellations or delays, as well as lost luggage or personal items.

To be eligible for the insurance, you should have paid for at least 90 per cent of your overseas return travel ticket with your HSBC credit card. The cover is automatically activated without a need to contact HSBC. However, it’s always best to let your card issuer know when you travel overseas. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you’ll need to contact Allianz directly to organise cover for these as they aren’t covered by the insurance. You can call Allianz on 1800 648 093.

The complimentary international travel insurance that comes with your HSBC Platinum credit card is valid for up to four months from the date of your departure from Australia. Your HSBC credit card insurance cover also covers your spouse and dependent children if 90 per cent of their travel ticket is purchased using your HSBC card.

 

How do you cancel a credit card?

It’s important to cancel your old cards to avoid any additional fees. Unless you’re doing a balance transfer, you’ll need to pay the outstanding balance before you cancel your credit card. If you’ve opted for a card with reward points, make sure you redeem or transfer the points before you close your account. To avoid any bounced payments and save yourself an admin headache, redirect all your direct debits to a new card or account. Once you’ve done all the preparation, call your bank or credit card provider to get the cancellation underway. Once you receive a confirmation letter, destroy your card and make sure the numbers aren’t legible.

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

What's the best credit card for rewards?

There is no one-size-fits-all best rewards credit card. It's best you research what type of rewards program you'd like, as well as the fees, interest rate and conditions associated with those types of cards before making a choice. 

Rewards credit cards can also come with high annual fees that may end up nullifying the rewards, so think how often you use the card to decide whether the benefits outweigh the extra cost for you. A card with a lower annual fee might require a lot of spending to get any useful rewards, while another card with a higher annual fee might need fewer purchases to get a reward. 

How to get money from a credit card

You can get money from a credit card, but generally it will cost you.

Withdrawing money from a credit card is called a cash advance, as it operates more as a loan than a simple cash withdrawal. Because it is a loan, you may be charged interest on your cash advance as soon as you make the withdrawal. Interest rates are also usually much higher for cash advances than standard credit card purchases.

In addition to the interest rate, you may also be charged a cash advance fee. This could be a flat rate, or a percentage of your total cash advance. If you are considering a cash advance, make sure to add up how much it will cost you before committing.

Does ING increase credit card limits?

You may want to increase your credit card limit for many reasons, such as having access to more spending money. However, if you are using the Orange One credit card issued by ING, you may not be able to do so. 

ING customers can choose a credit limit of their preference when applying for the Orange One credit card. Depending on your financial situation, this limit can be anywhere between $1,000 and $30,000. If you qualify for a Rewards Platinum card, the minimum credit card limit will likely be $6,000. 

Ideally, you should set your credit card limit knowing how much you can afford to repay each month and keep your expenses lower than this level. With most credit cards, you should have the option of requesting a credit card limit increase at a later time, although you will need to qualify for any increase. With an ING credit card, limit increases are out of the question (at the time this was published), which means you may want to apply for a higher credit card limit from the beginning. Remember that you have the option of decreasing your ING credit card limit at a later time.

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.

What should you do when you lose your credit card?

Losing your credit card is a serious situation, and could land you in financial trouble. Here is a simple guide detailing what to do when you lose your credit card.

Lock you card – Contact your provider and inform them about your lost credit card. From here lock, block or cancel your card.

Keep track of transactions – Look out for unauthorised credit card transactions. Most banks protect against fraudulent transactions.

Address recurring charges – If your card is linked to recurring charges (gym membership, rent, utilities), contact those businesses.

Check credit rate – To ensure you’re not the victim of identity theft, check your credit rating a month or two after you lose your credit card.

How to make a credit card online

If you’re wondering about how to make a credit card online application, here are some steps to follow:

  • Test the market. Many credit card options are available online. Compare providers by fees, interest and perks to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Complete the application. Once you’ve selected a card, head to the provider’s website and complete the online credit card application form. Forms vary by providers.
  • Provide details. Most cards require you to meet age, residency, income and credit status condition, and you need to provide details like a bank account statement to prove this.
  • Review details. Ensure the information you’ve entered is correct.

Current Annual Fees

These are the current annual fees on your existing credit card.

How to get a credit card for the first time

A credit card can be a useful financial tool, provided you understand the risks and can meet repayment obligations.

If you’re a credit card first-timer, review your options. Think about what kind of credit card would suit your lifestyle, and compare providers by fees, perks and repayments.

Once you’ve selected a card, it’s time to apply. Credit card applications can generally be completed in store, online or over the phone.

When you apply for a credit card for the first time, you must meet age, residency and income requirements. As proof, you must also provide documentation such as bank account statements.

Where can I get a credit card?

Looking to get your first credit card? You might be confused as to exactly where to go to apply for one. Here’s where to go when you are ready to put in that application.

The bank: Your bank is a great place to start, provided that you have a good banking history. Since you already have a financial history, you have more chance of your application being approved.

Credit card provider: Another option is to apply for a credit card directly from the issuer, such as Visa, Mastercard or Amex. This will most likely be an online application, so do your research and apply for a suitable card for your circumstances.

Major retailers: Coles, Woolworths, Myer and David Jones all have credit cards available. But watch out for the interest rate and annual fees – these cards are designed to help you spend more in store.

Which credit card has the highest annual percentage rate?

The credit card market changes all the time, so the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate is also liable to change.

Keep in mind that credit card interest rates are expressed as a yearly rate, or annual percentage rate (APR). A low APR is generally good but also consider:

  • There can be different APR's for each feature of the card (e.g. purchases may have an APR of 14 per cent, while cash advances on same card could have an APR of 17 per cent.
  • Credit cards with a variable rate can change throughout the year, affecting your APR, so check the full details.
  • If you pay your balance in full every month, having the lowest APR is not as important as the other fees associated with the card. However, if you carry a balance from month to month, then you want the lowest APR possible.

What should you do if your credit card is compromised?

Credit card fraud is a serious problem. If your credit card is compromised and you’re wondering what to do, here are a few precautionary steps to take.

Contact you credit provider – Get in touch will your credit card provider. If you feel your card has been compromised, you should be able to lock or block it.

Monitor your accounts – Keep an eye on your credit card accounts. Any unauthorised transactions could be a sign your credit card has been compromised.

Check your credit rating – It’s also important to check your credit rating, to ensure you’re not a victim of identity theft or some other financial mischief.

What does ANZ credit card insurance cover?

ANZ offers complimentary insurance on some of its credit cards, which can provide some protection against unforeseeable incidents, like the theft of your card. Depending on the type of credit card you own, you may be eligible for different insurances. For instance, most ANZ credit card customers may qualify for Purchase Protection Insurance and Extended Warranty Insurance. Customers who own premium credit cards may also be eligible for Guaranteed Pricing, Rental Vehicle Excess, International Travel, and so on.

Consider checking your ANZ credit card insurance features listed in the Insurance Policy Information booklet to know which items are covered. Also, while ANZ issued the credit card, they are not the insurer. For this reason, you may need to send your insurance claims - and get your ANZ credit card insurance refund - to the insurance provider.