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Good travel card/credit card?

Travel Forums Europe Good travel card/credit card?

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1. Posted by stevehem (Budding Member 39 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

So I need a travel card for europe but also need a credit card just in case.. can I get 2 in 1 or is it better to take 2 seperate cards? I also have an existing credit card and will be looking to transfer the debt.

Please help :)


2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2541 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

There are thousands of credit/debit cards available all over the world so why don't you start by saying where you live.


3. Posted by stevehem (Budding Member 39 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

Im from Australia

4. Posted by TeflonCDN (Full Member 129 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

Two is better. Keep them in seperate places.

5. Posted by stevehem (Budding Member 39 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

Would you know of any good ones? Mainly worried about finding a good credit card

6. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2541 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

Simply Google, "best Australian credit card for travel" and there is a ton of information comparing the features of the top travel cards. They all have their advantages/disadvantages depending on your needs.

Basic beginner advice is to never depend on one source of funds, especially in developing countries, so a back-up card from another institution is always a good idea.


7. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

"So I need a travel card for europe but also need a credit card just in case"

Red Flags are going up for me when I read that. What do you mean by a 'travel card'?

There are 3 types of cards. A credit card on which you run up a debt and pay it off at the end of the month or in monthly installments; a bank debit card(also called in some countries a cash card or ATM card) which allows you to spend money that is sitting in your bank account; a pre-paid card which you 'load' money onto and then use as if it were a debit card.

As you are Australian, I would guess you mean a pre-paid card when you say 'travel card'. Companies issuing pre-paid cards have done a good job of marketing these cards in various countries. Good marketing does not make them a good idea for the traveller however. Pre-paid cards ALWAYS cost you more to use than the best 'normal' credit and debit cards do.

Read here for a reasonable explanation of the differences:

I do think some of the 'benefits' they list for a travel money card are questionable though.
1. Locked in exchange. While that can be a benefit if the exchange goes against your home currency, it should also be on the 'con' side since the exchange might go in favour of your home currency.
2. Load multiple currencies. This to me should ONLY be on the 'con' side. If you use a credit or debit card, it makes no difference what currency you are spending in during your travels. If on the other hand you load currency X on your travel card and then visit country Y for which you have not loaded currency (and assuming it is available at all to pre-load which is a big assume since many tout being able to 'load up to 13 currencies' as if that was a biggy in a world with 200 countries), what happens is you are charged an exchange fee for converting to that currency Y from the currency X that you do have on your card. Now think about it, they are double dipping into your money. You loaded your card in X funds using their own exchange rate which will not be the same as the rate used on the best credit/debit cards. So you have paid them once. Then they will charge you again to change from X funds to Y funds, thus double dipping into your pocket. A credit/debit card would have charged you no more than once and the best cards would not have charged you an exchange loading at ALL!
3. No risk. This one to me is nonsense. My bank guarantees me that I will l not be out of pocket if my card is lost or stolen as long as my PIN number is not used. So there is equally 'no risk' to me using credit/debit cards.

To me it is simple common sense. Money moves between your bank and a merchant whatever cards you use. What they try to suggest is that if you take the money out of your bank and replace your bank's cards with their card, they will charge you less than your bank does. Forget all the supposed other 'benefits'. What matters when you are dealing with MONEY is COST. Pre-paid cards are NEVER better than the best credit/debit cards. They COST you more is the bottom line.

Read here for a list of current best credit/debit cards to use.

And take this statement from that site to heart, "Credit and debit cards are the cheapest, easiest ways to get money and make payments overseas." What is implicit in that statement are things such as I have mentioned above and the understanding that you get the BEST credit/debit cards for a traveller to use.

8. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1804 posts) 50w Star this if you like it!

"Would you know of any good ones? Mainly worried about finding a good credit card."

You apply for credit cards. Qualification usually depends on your income and financial worthiness. Why not talk to someone at the bank you have your accounts at? You do have a job and money in the bank to support your holiday - right?

In my country we have many credit unions that often function like banks. You have savings and checking accounts but the interest received is a little better than a bank. Also no fees or lower fees for using ATMs locally. Using an ATM overseas the CU pays some of my ATM fees. (Not too much,think it is $10 a month.) I have been using debit cards from credit unions for over 30 year all over the world. They have Visa and MasterCard affiliations. I also have debit cards from a bank that carries a mortgage for property I own. This works for me!

My advice for extended travel away from home is to not rely on a single source for cash money. I do not use CREDIT cards for day to day purchases. For me they are kept for emergencies that might come up such as medical care or to purchase a flight back home if there are problems at home. I use debit cards in ATMs for cash. (I also bring cash on overseas trips.)

It is easy for me to live overseas with ATM withdrawals because I choose cheaper places to stay at. There are fees to get cash from an ATM, sometimes your hometown bank may add a fee too. I don't buy cheap stuff with a card. (Never in bars, restaurants, from street vendors, etc.) Too much credit card fraud already why make it easier to steal funds from your account by flashing your card everywhere you go. With ATM withdrawals take out the maximum so you don't pay big fees for small amounts of money. Know how much your bank allows per day for withdrawals. Know how much the ATM will dispense. You won't get more than what your bank allows per day through an ATM. I have a $500 US per day limit on my cards. Two cards = $1000 a day if needed!

Don't rely on a single card for spending money! Lose that card, damage it or someone steals it from you you will have a big problem replacing it. Before you leave on your trip notify any card providers that you will be going overseas. If not when withdrawals suddenly show up from foreign countries the bank may suspect fraud and not approve the transaction.

I have never used cards you load up. In my area back home sometimes people without good credit buy cards you load up so they can buy things on the internet, etc.

Make Google your friend! Research what cards are accepted in the country you plan to visit.

Talk to your hometown bank people. Banks where I come from have a section set aside for information and applications.

9. Posted by stevehem (Budding Member 39 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

Thanks heaps for all the info.. i spoke to someone from my bank bland they suggested paying off my credit card with a loan so i canuse thebsame one over in europe if an emergency arises but im not sure... i feel like they would just say that so i wouldnt get a different credit card through another bank...

10. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

Quoting stevehem

i spoke to someone from my bank bland they suggested paying off my credit card with a loan so i can use the
same one over in europe if an emergency arises but im not sure.

Sounds to me like you can't afford to travel in the first place. Anyone who has credit card debt is not managing their finances well at all. Credit cards balances should be paid in FULL each month. Credit card interest rates are NEVER the best way to borrow money. Anyone who leaves an unpaid balance owing IS borrowing money foolishly since a better (lower) interest rate can always be had on a normal bank loan.

The difference is that if you go to the bank and ask to borrow $X, you KNOW you are going into debt and have to somehow justify that to yourself. Running up a credit card balance is a whole lot easier for your conscience to ignore.

I agree with your bank. Take a loan to pay of your credit card DEBT and STOP using your credit card if you aren't able to control your spending on it. Keep it for emergencies only even at HOME.

A vacation is NOT an emergency.