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8 tips for travelling overseas with your credit card

8 tips for travelling overseas with your credit card

Your credit card can be a lifeline while you're abroad, so make sure you set it up and use it correctly to take full advantage of what it has to offer.

Many people will tell you that adventure is at the heart of all travel. And while that may be true, you don’t want managing your finances while you’re overseas to become an adventure in itself.

Using your credit card in the right way while you travel can have a range of advantages, some of which will help save you money as well as keep it secure. Here are some tips to make sure your credit card usage runs smoothly while you’re abroad.

  1. Tell us when you’re travelling overseas and where you’re going – you can do this quickly and easily online with NetBank. If you don’t, we may place a temporary lock on your card if we detect any suspicious overseas transactions.
  2. Make sure we’ve got your current contact details, including a contact number to reach you on while you’re overseas. You can do this in the ‘My Details’ section of NetBank or by calling 13 2221 or dropping into your nearest branch.
  3. Take a look at Lock, block, limit®*, an award-winning innovation exclusive to CommBank. This feature can help you keep tight control of how your card is used – locking and unlocking it from making international payments, blocking it from ATM cash advances and limiting spend per transaction. You can lock and unlock your card with the CommBank app or via NetBank.
  4. If you have one of our Gold, PlatinumDiamond or Ultimate Awards credit cards, included international travel insurance is just one of the perks of your card. You need to activate your international travel insurance via NetBank before you set off to make sure you’re covered^.
  5. Check the expiry date on your credit card to make sure it won’t expire while you’re overseas.
  6. Think about the different ways you may want to spend money while you’re overseas and what will be the right payment mix to suit your trip. Check out this breakdown of fees and charges for our Travel Money Cards, debit MasterCards and credit cards.
  7. You can set up automatic monthly credit card payments if you’re concerned you might forget to make payments while you’re overseas or won’t have regular internet access.
  8. If you’re given the option to pay for something in either Australian dollars or local currency while you’re abroad, it often costs less to pay in the local (foreign) currency. An international transaction fee is payable regardless of the currency chosen, however the merchant may also add on some other charges or use a less favourable exchange rate should you choose to pay in Australian dollars. 

CommBank emergency details

  • Lock, Block, Limit your CommBank credit card or lock your Travel Money Card for added security
  • Cancel and order replacement CommBank cards in NetBank or the CommBank app
  • Call us 24/7 on +61 2 9999 3283 to report lost or stolen CommBank cards

For 24 hour travel insurance emergency assistance, call Cover-More in Australia direct and toll free on +61 2 8907 5641. You can also call from:

  • Canada on 1844 345 1662
  • New Zealand on 0800 632 031
  • UK on 0808 234 3737
  • USA on 1844 345 1662

Charges apply if calling from a pay phone or a mobile phone.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial advice. * Transactions that are recurring (e.g. direct debits) and transactions not sent to us for authorisation are not locked. Other conditions apply.^ Insurance issued and managed by Cover-More Insurance Services Pty Ltd (AFSL 241713, ABN 95 003 114 145) on behalf of the insurer Zurich Australian Insurance Limited (AFSL 232507, ABN 13 000 296 640) for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (‘CBA’) (ABN 48 123 123 124, AFSL 234945). CBA and its related bodies corporate do not issue or guarantee this insurance. It does not represent a deposit with or liability of either CBA or any of its related bodies corporate. Terms, conditions, exclusions, (including for pre-existing medical conditions and persons aged 80 years or over for international travel insurance included with an eligible CommBank credit card or persons aged 74 years or over for CBA Travel Insurance) limits and excesses apply. Before making a decision, refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for full conditions at You need to activate your international travel insurance included with eligible CommBank credit cards before each trip in order to have comprehensive level of cover. If you don’t activate, you’ll receive personal liability cover and overseas emergency medical assistance and overseas emergency medical and hospital expenses cover only. We (CBA) do not provide any advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. If you purchase or upgrade a policy, we (CBA) receive a commission which is a percentage of your premium.