Here are five ways to get the most from your Travel Money Card (and avoid mistakes that could come at a cost) as you head off on your overseas adventure.
1. Keep your card secure
You’ve loaded your Travel Money Card with money so, like any other cards, you need to keep it safe. This means keeping it somewhere secure and not sharing it without anyone else. That includes the free back-up card you're given for emergencies.
2. Lock in an exchange rate
Getting a great exchange rate makes a big difference when you’re heading overseas on holiday. Time it right and you could make your dollar stretch further, you may even be able to afford a shopping spree, expensive dinners out or a flight or hotel upgrade as a result.
The beauty of a Travel Money Card is that, when you load currencies on your card, you lock in the exchange rate and therefore avoid currency fluctuations, so you know exactly how much you have to spend.
It’s a good idea to watch the exchange rate in advance of your trip so you lock in a favourable rate. You’ll be kicking yourself if you time it wrong and get a rate that’s just spiked.
3. Pay in local currency
When overseas, you should always choose to pay in local currency. Merchants will sometimes offer you the chance to pay in Australian dollars - if you choose to pay in this way, the merchant will use their own foreign exchange rate to calculate the transaction. This may end up costing you more and that will really eat into your spending money.
If you're travelling to different countries during your trip, it makes sense to load multiple currencies on to your Travel Money Card.
You can reload your CommBank Travel Money Card for free in NetBank and the CommBank app.
4. Remember your limit
You've saved money by locking in the exchange rate and paid no fees on purchases simply by choosing the local currency, but it's worth remembering that there are daily transaction limits.
Here are some important limits to remember when using your CommBank Travel Money Card:
- Maximum value of purchases per day: AUD 7,500 or foreign currency equivalent
- Maximum amount you can withdraw from ATMs per day: AUD 2,500 or foreign currency equivalent.
5. Avoid using your Travel Money Card for pre-authorisation payments
It's best to avoid using your Travel Money Card for pre-authorisation payments on things like a deposit on your hotel booking or car rental.
It can take weeks for the merchant to remove the pre-authorisation which means you wont have access to that money until they do.
Unless you're prepared to wait, it's probably better to use your debit or credit card for pre-authorisations instead.