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Travelling overseas: 10 step money checklist

Travelling overseas: 10 step money checklist

Our travel checklist covers the top 10 money tips to think about before you go on holiday.

If you're heading off on an overseas adventure, use our travel checklist to make sure you've got everything covered.

1. A mix of cash and cards

Consider taking a mix of foreign cash, a Travel Money Card, debit and credit cards when you’re travelling rather than relying on cash alone. 

Not only is it good to have a bit of flexibility when it comes to paying for things, you’ll also have a back-up if anything gets stolen.

And it goes without saying that the time to get foreign cash, or load up your Travel Money Card, is when the exchange rate is in your favour. Watching it long before you go is key. Time it right and you may be able to make your dollar stretch a lot further.

2. Get travel insurance

Travel insurance is really important, without it you’ll be counting the cost if the unexpected happens. Some CommBank credit cards include travel insurance,  if yours doesn't you can purchase a policy and tailor CBA travel insurance to your specific needs.  

Regardless of the insurer you choose, make sure you tell them if you’re going to take part in an adrenaline filled activity – some policies exclude ‘dangerous sports’.

3. Review home and contents insurance

You want peace of mind that your home and belongings are protected while you’re away.

Check you’ve got the right level of home and contents insurance that covers events like fire, flood and theft. 

4. Check your limits 

Getting your card rejected because you’ve exceeded your credit limit can put a dampener on your holiday. 

Check your credit limit and daily ATM/ debit card withdrawal limit in NetBank to avoid getting caught out. 

If you want to stick to a budget while you’re on holiday, you can also set a limit per transaction on your credit card so you don’t overspend. 

And if you decide to get a Travel Money Card, you can log on to NetBank to set up alerts (by email, SMS or as a NetBank message) so you know when a currency dips below your chosen limit.

5. Check the expiry date

Take a look at your credit and debit/ ATM card a few weeks before you leave.

Let us know if any are due to expire just before, or while you’re away, we can sort out a replacement for you - simply log on to NetBank or the CommBank app.

6. Consider paying bills and credit cards automatically

Missing a bill or credit card payment while you’re on holiday can lead to late fees. If you’re a habitual late-payer it may also impact your credit rating. 

Consider setting up BPAY View AutoPay so your bills are automatically paid on time (up to a set limit of your choice), a direct debit or credit card AutoPay where you determine whether to pay the minimum or a full repayment.

7. Know the fees and charges

Thinking about fees and charges can be a holiday buzz-kill. But it’s important to remember that if you pay for things in Australian dollars on your credit card, you may pay more than you think. 

Overseas merchants tend to charge a higher conversion rate for the trouble of converting your money into their currency. It may be cheaper to pay in the local currency.

And while it’s great having cash in hand, use overseas ATMs sparingly - you get charged every time you use them. Carrying lots of cash around isn’t a good idea, but paying fees every time you withdraw a few dollars isn’t either.

8. Tell us before you go

Log on to NetBank or the CommBank app to tell us when and where you’re going. 

We can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity on your accounts and credit cards while you’re away.

9. Have a back-up plan

Keeping your cash and cards separate is always a good idea. A money belt, while not an in-demand fashion item, may be a practical solution.

Even the best laid plans go awry though, so it’s best to have a back-up plan in case anything is lost or stolen. Stashing your cash and spare cards in a safe, or a lockable case, can give you a fall-back option if you need it.

10. In an emergency

Lock, Block, Limit your CommBank credit card so no one can use it 

• 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

• Call Allianz Global Assistance 24/7 on +61 7 3305 7499 if you’ve got CBA travel insurance and need help when you’re overseas or 1800 387 177 if you’re in Australia

• Make a CBA Building or Contents insurance claim online or call +61 2 9633 9391 between 8am - 8pm, Monday – Friday (Sydney / Melbourne time) and between 8am - 5pm, Saturday (Sydney / Melbourne time) or call 13 2423 if you’re in Australia.


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 product advice.