Monday, 7 April 2014

No Foreign Transaction Fee Cards - YAY to them!

If you're like me who embraces cashless transactions, then you're probably looking for credit cards that can be used during your travels. Although, I hate paying annual fees and any extra fees (includes foreign transaction fees) to the card issuer out of principle, I don't mind paying the annual fee if the benefits outweigh them.

You may hear these terminologies which are synonym:

  • International transaction fees
  • Currency conversion fees
  • Foreign transaction fees

Few reasons to consider these awesome credit card in your travels:

  1. Exchange rates are very favourable to market rates that you can see in xe.com
  2. Secure that I do not carry lots of cash.
  3. Travellers cheques - it's getting really rare
  4. Rates are poor when you exchange your cash at money changers due to commissions imposed and less than market rate for exchange
  5. Security on credit cards protected by banks. Just call up the bank and report that your card has been compromised and you will be protected by Visa / MasterCard zero liability for any stolen transactions.

Now, when I spend on my credit card, I like to be rewarded for my purchases especially points for airline miles.

The downside of using credit cards is you won't be locking the cheaper rates if the exchange rate during your travel becomes more expensive. If it was the reverse, good for you...

The table below depicts the no foreign transaction fee credit card options available:

Credit cards Annual Fee Rewards Program
Bankwest Qantas Platinum $160 Yes - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bankwest More Rewards Platinum $130 Yes
Bankwest Zero Platinum $0 No
Bankwest Breeze Platinum $99 No
Aussie Platinum Low Rate $99 No
28 Degrees Mastercard $0 No

My thoughts of winning cards are:
You'll be wondering why I chose the card with the annual fee as a winner? Well, it's due to the fact that they come with platinum benefits and earn points. Since, I sign my card away when I travel (food, going out, lodging, transport), the conversion fees charge typically at 3.0% on regular cards would eventually outweigh the cost. Plus, I earn my Qantas Frequent Flyer points too which adds to perhaps another ticket somewhere later.

Personally, I wish at least all premium cards become fee free including my favourite American Express.

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