After you have probably already over spent on your trip, the hang over may last a little longer. It might be a shock to see your credit card statement after you’ve had all that fun but you might be even more aghast when you see all those extra nasty currency conversion charges courtesy of your credit card company.

Bartering in Vietnam

Bartering in Vietnam

Rule number 1. Never, ever take a cash advance from your credit card.  Not only will you slugged a huge fee, but interest starts accumulating the minute you take that money out (no free days here).

But how do I access my money while overseas, you may ask?  There are a few ways to avoid this including obtaining a travel card loaded with your preferred currency, or multiple currrencies, from your bank or with Australia Post.  Personally, I avoid these because the exchange rates are average, there are fees for the card sometimes as well as fees to reload more money.  Inevitably you will end up with a some money left on the card and it is not only is it a hassle to get it back, but the rate can be awful when you do.  Also there is always a limited range of currencies available.  The only time I have used a travel card is when I know exchange rates have been historically high for my country of destination and I wanted to lock that great rate in.  The cons were definitely worth it in this case.

My preferred method of buying goods and services overseas is by obtaining a 28 Degrees Mastercard completely free of charge.  There are absolutely no currency conversion fees whatsoever.  I first tried this card in Vietnam and it worked a treat,  But remember, don’t take cash out otherwise the above number 1 rule applies because it is a CREDIT CARD, so getting back to how do I get my cash out? Apply for a Citibank VISA Debit Card and preload it with your hard earned dula. Make sure you have the account linked with your normal online banking processes so you can transfer more dosh across when you need it.  Go to a Citibank ATM at your destination to avoid other charges and voila, cash appears like magic.  For the record I have tried the card at other ATMs without charge but don’t count on it!

If you want to make sure you are getting the best deal with these credit and debit cards then compare the market here.