We will be going out to Australia in October and would like to know the best way of avoiding some of the horrific charges for using ATM abroad.
The money saver websites seem to favour pre-loaded cards, but I would appreciate advice on which is the most cost effective one to use.
We are UK based, but if it involves opening a new bank account, we would need to have access to one open on Saturdays.
Turns out our premium type bank account allows free ATM withdrawals worldwide, so we are set to do that while in Oz.
Glad you found the answer to this
Have you been to Australia before? What part(s) are you going to?
Start off in Sydney, then Melbourne, Red Centre, Port Douglas before a couple more days in Sydney then home.
A rather busy three weeks.
Here's hoping Qantas give us a cheeky upgrade for the boss' 40th!!
Re Qantas, you can only ask lol good luck with it
Pre load it with the rate at the day of loading with AUD, charge from ATM is AUD3 on a maximum withdrawal of AUD300 per 24 hours.
However the card can be used like a debit card to pay for meals and stuff, will be replaced in the event of loss or theft and the balance is available by SMS to your mobile.
Thomson will even buy back the excess after the holiday at the rate you bought for a flat fee of about £4.
Better deal than the ATM exchange rate of 2.95% per transaction on my bank account.
You'll have a great time out there!
The Thomson pre loaded card was super.There was a standard transaction fee of AUD3, but no card charges if we used Commercial bank ATM's (yellow and black sign). There were text updates every time we used it at an ATM, but we could also set up an internet account and check balance whilst blagging free wifi from Starbucks (well if they won't pay UK tax...).
BEWARE!! HSBC charge an additional AUD2 per transaction and we got charged for a credit card transaction at Ayers Rock when we hit the wrong button at the ANZ machine.
Once we found Commercial Bank, we didn't experiment with any other machines, and we found that the three dollar charge wasn't part of the overall transaction. So, if you asked for $300, that's what you got, but the text update from Thomson put the total transaction at $303.
The card can also be used like a debit card for paying for meals, etc or buying gifts.
It was so easy to get the money back off Thomson when we returned, so we will probably use the Euro card when we venture abroad this year and hit the hole in the wall instead of taking travellers cheques.
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