How does foreign currency conversion work for Debit MasterCard and KeyCards?
Last updated 02 December 2015
When you make a purchase or cash withdrawal in a foreign currency, the amount needs to be converted into Australian dollars (AUD).
A transaction made in a foreign currency is converted by MasterCard using rates that generally reflect either wholesale market rates, or government mandated rates.
Alternatively, some overseas ATMs and/or merchants recognise your card has been issued by an Australian bank and offer to convert the transaction amount to Australian dollars (AUD). The merchant or ATM owner converts the amount to AUD using their own exchange rate before passing the transaction to MasterCard.
While transacting in AUD may provide exchange rate certainty you’ll often end up paying more for the transaction. You’re dependent on the conversion rate and any fees charged by the overseas merchant or ATM. These additional costs are charged on top of the standard international transaction fees charged by CommBank.