Combine your dollars and sense to make the most of your holiday money overseas

Top Quote As thousands of Australians prepare to lap up summer in the northern hemisphere over the coming months, Commonwealth Bank is reminding travellers to be savvy when spending their money overseas. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 12, 2012 - Michael Cant, Executive General Manager Retail Products and Customers, Commonwealth Bank, believes the best way travellers can manage their money overseas is by taking the time to review the options available, before they depart.

    “It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of an upcoming holiday, and not take the time to think about your payment options overseas. However, by reviewing the resources and financial products available before departure, travellers can avoid being hit with issues or unexpected international transaction fees – leaving more time to spend on enjoying your holiday,” said Michael Cant.

    Prepaid travel cards are proving to be a popular payment choice for many travellers, as they provide a convenient, cost effective and secure way of spending and accessing money overseas. Commonwealth Bank’s Travel Money Card is accepted at 32 million locations worldwide, wherever MasterCard is accepted, and enables cardholders to lock in the exchange rate of up to six prominent currencies on one card.

    Since its launch in 2009, close to $3 Billion in funds has been loaded onto the Commonwealth Bank’s Travel Money Card. In 2011, during the June – August period, the average monthly spend on the Travel Money Card was 55 per cent higher than the average for other months. This trend has continued, with June 2012 recording the highest monthly volume for the Travel Money Card, in large part due to significant spikes in the value of Euros and Great British Pounds loaded.

    “Prepaid travel cards are becoming increasingly prevalent with travellers looking to manage their money overseas. From families, to backpackers, to business and well-seasoned travellers, prepaid travel cards provide travellers with a simple, convenient and safe way to access money overseas,” said Michael Cant.

    Money management tips for travellers
    Heading to multiple countries? Travel with multiple currencies.
    Commonwealth Bank’s Travel Money Card enables travellers to lock in the exchange rates of up to six prominent currencies on one card. Cardholders can choose from nine currency options including US Dollars, Great British Pounds, Euros, Singapore Dollars, Japanese Yen, New Zealand Dollars, Hong Kong Dollars, Canadian Dollars and Australian Dollars.

    By locking in funds in the local currency, travellers can avoid the hassle of changing money at their destination. Furthermore, cardholders can transfer money between currencies free of charge – meaning if you are holidaying in the UK and decided to extend your stop-over in Singapore on the way home, you can easily transfer your leftover Pounds to Singapore Dollars by using the secured Travel Money Card website.

    Lock in your foreign currency before you depart.
    Not having any local money on arrival overseas means it’s easy to pay too much for it – especially if it is left to the last minute, or when travellers are accessing money in popular tourist areas where fees can be high.

    By locking in the exchange rate with foreign cash or a Travel Money Card prior to departure, travellers know how much money they have to spend, and can also avoid any currency fluctuations that take place while travelling. It is advisable for travellers to arrive in each destination carrying some local currency, to ensure they have access to funds until they can use the Travel Money Card to withdraw money from an accepted ATM (AUD $3.50 withdrawal fee).

    Travellers can also keep up to date on foreign exchange rates, through the online Commonwealth Bank foreign exchange calculator, or the mobile toolkit which also allows users to receive an alert when their selected currency reaches the pre-set rate.

    Preparation is key.
    Before departing, it is important for travellers to notify their bank of their travel plans. This way the Bank can monitor their credit card and other accounts for any suspicious transactions, and it also helps ensure a block is not placed on the account when accessed from an international location.

    Before jetting off overseas, it is also recommended travellers research the standard fees and charges for international payment products and travel funds to ensure they avoid any unexpected charges, and can decide on the best payment option they wish to use; make sure the accounts they wish to access are correctly linked to their card before departure; and have a copy of their Bank’s emergency hotline in case cards are lost or stolen. Many countries also require credit card customers to enter their pin, so some travellers may need to establish a new pin before they depart. This can be done at any Commonwealth Bank branch.

    Consider the best options for you.
    Travelling with a variety of financial products – such as prepaid travel cards, debit and credit cards, and cash – can help ensure travellers that they will never be stranded without access to funds.

    Commonwealth Bank’s Travel Money Card allows travellers to load up to AUD $25,000 at a locked exchange rate and can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted, including ATMs, shops, restaurants, online and over-the-phone at more than 32 million locations worldwide.

    The card can be purchased for a flat fee of AUD$15 and allows travellers to avoid unexpected international transaction fees other payment methods can attract. The card attracts a flat ATM withdrawal fee (AUD$3.50), and there is no fee when using the card in-store, online or over the phone, at Point of Sale (POS) merchants, and transferring between currencies on the card.

    For more information on Commonwealth Bank’s travel products and services go to:

    For more information please contact:

    Kate Dudman
    Associate Public Relations Advisor
    Commonwealth Bank
    (02) 9118 7370
    kate.dudman ( @ ) cba dot

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