Best credit card for overseas purchases?

I have made two overseas purchases recently and was amazed to find on my credit card statement a $56.34 charge both times. This is after all the exchange rate charges etc. I went to my bank (Suncorp) to question the charge and they said I would have to contact Citibank as the credit card was issued thru them. I haven’t had the patience to tackle them but where do you find a reasonable credit card?

LW

2 Likes

We also bank with Suncorp and use a visa debit card for any overseas purchases (either buying online from a foreign store or when travelling overseas).

We find the exchange rates applied are okay, but there is a 3% foreign exchange converson fee. See Suncorp Visa Debit Cards. There are also no annual fees which means the costs for us work out better than using a credit card…overseas transactions are infrequent/irregular.

With a Visa debit, one needs funds in ones account rather than relying on credit.

It may be an option since you already bank with Suncorp.

2 Likes

My wife and I used VISA cards from Suncorp, but only up until the time that they outsourced the cards to Citibank. As soon as they did that, we noticed that statements no longer showed the foreign currency amount for each transaction, only the $A converted amount. When I complained, they said that the new statement “style” had been approved by a customer clinic, and that the responses were all favourable. I was concerned that there was no way to check for errors in the original transaction, eg how could I tell if a purchase of US$123 was entered as 123 and not 132 ?

I’m curious as to whether it is still the case - do your statements show the foreign currency amounts ?

For foreign purchases, we now use 28 Degrees Mastercard, which is issued by Latitude Finance.

2 Likes

@ScottOKeefe,

I just checked our statement…in October 1016 when we last traveled, the foreign currency is shown in the transaction details (left side of statement and in local currency e.g. TWD, RMB, USD etc) and then the converted amount in AUD on the right in the usual place where the transaction amounts are shown.

The foreign exhange fee is shown as a separate transaction item.

This allowed us to quickly calculate exchange rates without any hidden chanrges included.

I not sure if they have changed this from October 2016 as we haven’t made any overseas purchases.

Best cards for overseas purchases, including online are below. No annual fees. No foreign transaction fees.

  • 28 Degrees MasterCard

  • BankWest Zero Mastercard Platinum

  • Citibank Debit Card (part of Citibank Plus account)

3 Likes

I’ve been using Pay Pal without any problems like you have had.

2 Likes

Pay pal is great if you shop on line but not so much when you are travelling

1 Like

28 degress mastercard. no annual fee, no transaction fees, no currency conversion fees, and free options to pay (some payment options do have a charge). I can’t speak for the conversion rates they use, it all seems a bit black magic, but it seems to be close to what I expect based on a quick google …

3 Likes

I’ll also cast a vote for Bankwest Zero MasterCard Platinum. No fees, and the exchange rates are fairly good. Warning, if you are a “Big 4 avoider”, it’s owned by Commonwealth Bank.

1 Like

I use a 28 Degrees Mastercard too, and have been very happy with it.

I once had a Citibank “revolving line of credit”, which was quite good until I had to deal with a ratbag there, right when I was raising a mortgage for a new house. Citibank ended up costing me several thousand dollars, and I would NEVER consider banking with them in ANY form again, EVER
.

2 Likes

We currently use the Qantas Freequent Flyer debit card and have found that to be ok at this stage when travelling. Conversion rates are comparable with others however have had an overseas purchase knocked back, possibly because we have never used it for that purpose and PayPal was not available. Don’t do much overseas purchasing anyway. It’s unfortunate that one has to waste time on a regular basis to keep an eye on what is going on with these and change cards if not satisfied, its all a big pain!!!

We have 28 Degrees through GE money and not only don’t we pay an annual fee to use this Mastercard, but we have travelled overseas and it does not attract the international conversion fee. It is, we have found, the only card that allows this facility, so do look in to it. GE only allows Credit Limits incrementally, but we have worked around this, when travelling, by topping up the card in our absence - so good for cash withdrawals, whilst overseas, as well. See how you go.

1 Like

Hi ! These are definitely the best cards . It is a double dip when other banks charge a foreign transaction fee and a poor exchange rate.

1 Like

We use 28 degrees for overseas purchase as there are no fees and the exchange isn’t too bad. If traveling over seas they do charge you a fee for using a atm. 28 degrees interest rate is a little higher than other cards
28 degrees is not through GE finance no more as 28 degrees is through Latitude financial

Citibank plus accounts is one of the better cards as also no fees, no exchange fees and the exchange rate also isn’t to bad. When going overseas there are no fees from Citibank when using a ATM.
Note as from march 1st 2017 Citibank plus account is where you have no fees and other Citibank cards do have a 2.5% transaction fee

1 Like

Update: I just did a purchase using PayPal for US$ 139.95.

If I allowed PayPal to convert for me, the AUD$ amount I’d have been charged on my credit card would have been AUD$ 192.79

I changed my PayPal currency conversion option to ‘none’ so I’d be billed in US$ and use my 28 Degrees card - when I logged on to 28 Degrees to see the charge it was AUD$ 184.19 - $8.60 cheaper. A quick look online and various sites put the conversion around 184-185 AUD$ - so PayPal are certainly adding a premium if they do the conversion.

CBA say their conversion fee for Mastercard is 3%. PayPal looks closer to 5%. 28 Degrees is the winner :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I did a search on Whirlpool many years ago, when I first started shopping online. Based upon that search, I obtained a 28 Degrees credit card and haven’t looked back.

There have been occasions when I have inadvertently used the wrong payment method. Paypal uses terrible rates of exchange; my other cards use terrible exchange rates and charge me a fee for the privilege. The only annoyance with 28 Degrees is its recent introduction of a $0.95 fee for paying the card balance via Bpay. I am going to set up direct debit to get around this. It also changed hands a while ago - but this new fee seems to be the only negative outcome from that.

In other words, I agree with other respondents - go with 28 Degrees. Most other financial institutions are making a motza from your foreign exchange transactions, and laughing all the way to the bank.

2 Likes

My feeling was they didn’t advertise that BPay fee very well - after my first hit I called them and got it refunded and have used direct debit ever since.

I just did another comparison - son bought a game on ‘steam’. US$14.99

Paypal - US$ 14.99 = $AUD 20.55 for conversion rate of 0.7298 (I rounded, they used 9 places!)
28Degrees - US$ 14.99 = $AUD 19.63

Google told me it would be 0.76 and come out to 19.73 ! a very quick search indicated 0.76 was the current rate at the time, so 28Degrees was actually cheaper by a small margin than the current rate, but I guess so close it didn’t matter.

One thing I will say about PayPal - they do clearly state the conversion rate so if you are informed its an easy choice where you want the conversion to take place.

1 Like

I have used the Citibank Plus account extensively for many years, it’s great for accessing your own money overseas. I have used it in England, Scotland, Malaysia and Singapore and it is great - no ATM withdrawl fees anywhere, no fx conversion fees and the exchange rate is within around 0.5% of the current midmarket rates on xe.net

… and that’s why I charge my customers an extra 4% if the insist on paying using PayPal.

28 Degrees is the definite winner, in my view.

1 Like

I am officially puzzled. I use my 28 Degrees card through PayPal - paying in the supplier’s currency. Can you explain why PayPal attracts an extra - and quite large - levy from you?