Travel Money Using a PrePaid Debit Card

So we’re heading to Australia this year and I’m looking for a good prepaid debit card.

Aussie Dollar

Prepaid debit cards are ideal for overseas travel – and it’s something we need to look into. Previous visits to Australia have had us use our Nationwide cards as they offered 0% on cash withdrawals from ATM’s (though the less said about the last time the better when my faulty card was eaten by a machine in Toodyay) – not any more though.

These days Nationwide have a set fee – not huge but I’d rather save money where I can. So we’re looking at what’s out there to see if there’s something which suits us.

The main things I’m looking for are :

0% for ATM withdrawals
0% on purchases
something which will control my spending and that I can monitor online when I need to.

At the moment the only card which seems to suit my needs is the Travelex Passport – I can order a card with minimal currency and put a little in there each month until we go, then spend it anywhere which has a Mastercard symbol on our travels.

If I need to transfer more money into my account I can do it online and don’t need to be in the UK to do so which is essential.

In fact, as far as I can see the only thing which could go wrong is forgetting to take the cards with us!

There’s a Post Office prepaid debit card but you’re charged $3 per ATM transaction. I always like to carry a good amount of dollars with me so this isn’t the end of the world, but actually those $3 will add up and I may as well use my Nationwide card! The bonus is there are no fees on transactions which is a good thing as I do tend to use cash for eating out and my card to buy when we’re shopping or need petrol.

The other thing I need to consider – I need a visa to enter the country. Shaun and H both have Australian passports so don’t, but if I buy using my Nationwide card I’ll be charged an additional interest fee which isn’t ideal. If I use a prepaid debit card which can be used for online purchases that’s a good thing too.

So I’m asking on this rainy Saturday night, what have you used when you’ve travelled? The Travelex card sounds ideal for us, and especially for online purchases and gets a good writeup and Money Saving Expert too.