Macquarie Bank axes international transaction fees on debit cards

By Chris C., May 24 2016
Macquarie Bank axes international transaction fees on debit cards

Macquarie Bank customers spending their cash abroad will soon pay no international transaction fees when whipping out their Macquarie debit card.

Come July 14 2016, the bank’s current 2.5% international transaction fee will disappear for Macquarie Platinum Transaction Account, Macquarie Transaction Account and Macquarie Savings Account customers, both when shopping in-store and when withdrawing cash at an ATM.

It’s a great move for Macquarie cardholders who typically use their debit card to make retail purchases while overseas, although Macquarie’s current $5 charge per overseas ATM withdrawal – currently billed in addition to the 2.5% fee – will remain.

Visiting an overseas ATM will still cost you A$5 per withdrawal...
Visiting an overseas ATM will still cost you A$5 per withdrawal...

That firmly encourages spenders to use their debit card at the checkout wherever they can, rather than withdrawing foreign cash via an ATM or even using their credit card, on which the international transaction fees still apply.

Macquarie Bank isn’t the only financial institution to relax its fees for international travellers: both the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac offer reduced-fee ATM withdrawals when using the ATMs of selected international partners, while Citibank takes things one step further.

Customers with a Citibank Plus Transaction Account and a companion Visa debit card can both make retail purchases and withdraw cash abroad without paying any Citibank fees, although naturally, any surcharges or ATM fees levied by merchants and ATM operators are still payable.

Also read: How to save on ATM fees when withdrawing cash overseas

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 50

Citibank too does not impose international transaction fees on debit card purchases and here's hoping that some of the big Aus banks will follow suit... looking at you Westpac. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 43

As you say, their $5 fee per tx O/S still remains :(

31 Dec 2014

Total posts 46

What are the exchange rates like with both the Macquarie and Citibank products? It would be useful to see a detailed side by side comparison including common exchange rates.

31 Dec 2014

Total posts 46

I rang up Macquarie today and they can't give me a table of the forex rates that would apply. How crazy is that? I might save $5 on an ATM fee but what exchange rate will apply?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Dec 2017

Total posts 2

I just rang Macquarie as I saw on my statement I was charged international fees and they told me they have not axed the fee. Very exoensive $200 per year fir card and then 3% fee on oversea transactions

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2441

Hi JW, we suggest you read the article more carefully, as it clearly outlines that this fee waiver is for debit cards attached to three types of accounts, not for credit cards which sounds like what you have (if you're paying $200/year for a transaction account, you're paying too much!).

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