Which is better: preloaded cash passport or debit / credit card?

10 replies

dazzaredroo

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 24 Mar 2013

Total posts 33

Hello Everyone I appreciate your speedy replies. My question for seasoned travellers is: Which is better preloaded cash passport or debit / credit card and which one do you reccomend? Thanks for your help.

StuParr

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 01 Mar 2012

Total posts 195

I use a credit card/debit card whilst travelling however have a cash passport and hard currency (USD/EURO and local currency) as a separate emergency stash of funds.

dazzaredroo

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 24 Mar 2013

Total posts 33

Thanks StuParr I am looking at buying some hard cash now to hedge against any variations later. Do you know anything about the 28 deg card (from GE) and how this compares to the cash passport alternative.

Waynec

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Aug 2012

Total posts 88

dazzaredroo: It really depends on which currency you are looking at. In my opinion, the Commbank travel card is pretty decent. It gives you access to six currencies on a card, with a choice of USD, GBP, NZD, JPY, HKD, SGD, CAD, THB and Euros. Your 1st reload is free and the card costs $15 and you can reload it anywhere as long as there is internet access. 

dazzaredroo

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 24 Mar 2013

Total posts 33

Thanks Wayne I'm travelling to NZ in June then Europe in September so a multi currency card would suit (travelling to 5 Euro countries and Chez Rep so will need some krone) just not certain about how to maximise fee reduction, whilst a cash passport locks in exchange rate there are other fees (some ATM's etc) however some say that debit/credit cards are good depending on the product I will look into the card you mention. I could be trying too hard to squeeze a deal when perhaps I should just go and relax and accept that fees go hand in hand with international travel?

David

Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 992

I trend to stock up on cash, especially well in advance of a trip if the rates are good (as they recenrly are for UK pounds), and also load up my travel card (I currently use Access Prepaid's multi-currency CashPassport), so that I avoid using my debit card at all (I don't have a credit card).

I think it's worthwhile looking out for the best deal in a travel money card, especially when it comes to things like ATM access fees, but it also gets to the point where the time you spend comparison-shopping can outweigh the potential savings.

That may sound heretical to some, and over a year or two the right travel money card can save you a bit of money (depending on how you use it) – but I'd rather do some research and get a good-value card and get on with my job and my life, than invest too much time looking for The Very Best Value Card if the differences are in the end not that substantial.

dazzaredroo

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 24 Mar 2013

Total posts 33

I like your thinking David

Waynec

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Aug 2012

Total posts 88

David & Dazzaredroo: I think David is right about stocking up cash. This is an excellent strategy for commonly used currencies like Euros, USD, GBP and NZD. However, if you need Krone or other more exotic currencies, it may be better to use a Debit Card/ Travel Money card as it will be both difficult and expensive to obtain these currencies here in Australia.

Really

Member since 02 Jan 2013

Total posts 54

I have always used my Visa Debit Card to withdraw cash from ATM's overseas.I carry a Cirrus Maestro Card and cash as backup.If you are spending only in the thousands,the costs are minimal.At each point you access money,someone else will have their hands on a part of it.Spending millions .... well i'd look into it then.

mackey

Member since 29 Nov 2012

Total posts 8

I've been using the 28 Degrees GE Card (previously Wizard Mastercard) for years and swear by it. Based on just about every calculation I've ever done it is by far the cheapest. I went overseas with a Commbank Travel Money card and a 28 Degrees and only ever used the latter. If you preload it with money so it is in debit, then the only fees you have to pay at the bank ATM and currency conversion % (which is cheaper than all the banks and travel cards anyway). The only downside is that exchange rates change daily instead of locking them in.

The Travel Money cards are a bit of a rort anyway. They charge you a % for every recharge, fix fee for ATM withdrawls and are limited to a fixed number of currencies.

Ozkid

Member since 02 Dec 2011

Total posts 26

Yes I take the 28 deg card - it is almost perfect for travel. As mackey above says, I preload mine with AUD before travelling, and use it as a debit card, then it becomes a credit card.

  While as a debit card, I do cash withdrawals from any ATM overseas and I get the local currency. No bank fees. Exchange rates are similar to bank rates of the day.

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