Taking advantage of very good USD/AUD rate

28 replies

PLEASEupgrademe

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Nov 2017

Total posts 94

Hey guys,


I am seeking the following advice.


I am travelling to the USA from Mid June - Mid July.


I do not want a "credit card," rather I want opinions on the best possible travel money Visa/MC Loadable/Reloadable card that acts as a Debit Card.


I don't care about rewards. Due to the fact that the AUD is buying around 80 US Cents, I figure it is a good time now to lock in some Greenbacks.


I am looking for a card with a low to no setup cost (s)

Low fees on converting AUD to USD and Vice Versa.

I want the opportunity to be able to load more cash quickly if necessary (a few hours max... I was in the USA in mid 2016 and from memory I used the cashpassport card or the westpac one; not sure? I remember being in vegas and I was able to Load and Transfer AUD to USD within a few hours.)


Other benefits I am looking for are Low/Zero ATM withdrawal fees and the same goes for purchases.


What do you marvellous travellers recommend?


PS I do my banking with Westpac.... if that helps


Thanks guys :)

mspcooper

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 May 2013

Total posts 338

I saw an Ad from ING saying there are no ATM locally or internationally.

jenko13

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Feb 2011

Total posts 7

I use the Westpac travel card, ex rates seem very competitive if you are a westpac customer it is very easy to push money onto the travel card with access to the funds pretty well immediatley.

If you withdraw cash at Bank of America ATM there are no fees, the ATM will let you draw up to 500 a day.
No fees on transactions when using card but other ATM will charge you fees and there is a 2 dollar fee on cash withdraws. I think these are pretty standard.
I find it is a good card in the states.
The good advantages are the free ATM withdraws and being able to transfer money onto the card thru your westpac online banking.

Kinkade

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 30 Dec 2016

Total posts 15

Try calling ttt moneycorp, I have used them for locking in futures and they are very sharp

deegee93

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 27 Jan 2017

Total posts 37

Personally I’ve never liked the travel cards due to the bad exchange rate which occurs in both directions when you transfer your unused money back.


I’ve always taken the gamble because the exchange rate goes both ways and used a Citibank debit card which offers no transaction fees and no overseas atm fees. Another bonus is not paying the atm operators fees if your in some of the big cities that have Citibank branches (definitely New York and San Fran).

elsmicko

Member since 10 Nov 2016

Total posts 2

Try Velocity Global Wallet?

docsimonm

Member since 29 Mar 2017

Total posts 17

Citibank Transaction account. No fees including account keeping, commission (you get the bank swap rate) or account keeping. Can’t go wrong.

@7e7

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 27 Nov 2017

Total posts 4

Citibank hey? I have a debit card on a transaction account. Same one you've all suggested. I agree that it is the best option. However, their security is way too OCD. On a trip to US and Canada (Citibank's bread and butter market) they suspended the card three times when they suspected that it was being used fraudulently. That involved me rining back to Oz using reverse charges. Have you tried to do that in this day and age? Painful. Each time I was assured that all would be back to normal. Nup. In the end I put the card back into my wallet and addressed the matter when I arrived home. Lesson: Always take a back up and avoid anything Citibank.

tonyw

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 18 Jul 2015

Total posts 16

DO NOT use Velocity Global Wallet!!!!

(unless of course you have unlimited funds to squander and have been told to get your blood pressure to an ultrahigh level)

Covvers

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 Jan 2018

Total posts 64

The Velocity Global Wallet is a joke. Avoid.


The only sensible option, in my view at least, is the Citibank Debit Card that has been mentioned above. As one of the other posters has said "you can't go wrong". The only downside is the woeful offshore call centre, but hopefully you won't need to deal with that.

I bank with Westpac as well. I still wouldn't consider using anything other than the Citibank card.

docsimonm

Member since 29 Mar 2017

Total posts 17

Citibank hey? I have a debit card on a transaction account. Same one you've all suggested. I agree that it is the best option. However, their security is way too OCD. On a trip to US and Canada (Citibank's bread and butter market) they suspended the card three times when they suspected that it was being used fraudulently. That involved me rining back to Oz using reverse charges. Have you tried to do that in this day and age? Painful. Each time I was assured that all would be back to normal. Nup. In the end I put the card back into my wallet and addressed the matter when I arrived home. Lesson: Always take a back up and avoid anything Citibank.


I've never had any issues but I think you bring up an important point - always have two ways to get cash out (even if your second method is just your regular account back home). Also, I always carry a small amount of US dollars when overseas - just in case. You can always exchange them wherever in case of dire emergency.

Last editedby docsimonm at Jan 31, 2018, 05:21 PM.

coriander

Member since 13 Dec 2017

Total posts 1

1. Along with everyone else I concur: Citibank Debit Visa for cash withdrawals, 28Degrees for all credit card transactions (especially rental car and hotel reservation deposits - tie up the banks' money, not your own), However both these cards give best exchange rate on the day meaning you can't lock in foreign currency rates today for future use.
2. It's easy to make a reverse charges call to Australia when in Trumpistan: call 1-800-682-2878 and follow prompts.

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 465

Citibank as well and I have a US Citibank card also, so transfers etc are easy and free and the security may be easier to manage, but you have to be a regular visitor or stay ther a while. The US card requires a minimum $1500 balance to avoid fees. So depends on your circumstances.

Rav

Member since 18 Aug 2017

Total posts 19

I use the Qantas FF card with mastercard all over the US. Put money in it when the exchange rate is good for me (like now) and it usually had changed by the time I get there.

Lurch

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Dec 2013

Total posts 20

I have and use the CBA travel card which was useful in my last trip to the USA but have found its cheap putting your money in but not so getting it out so have given Qantas FF card a go this time. Keeping both cards active and valid and use a backup Bankwest Platinum MC for hotels etc.

The lady at the CBA told me the other day that I would be better off using the US dollars on a trip to Europe we plan to take mid year rather than cash out and change to euros. We would be paying twice according to her advice; ie US-AUD- Euros so will stick with her advice.
I like to have a few different options available to me in case of Murphys Law.

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