Don’t Leave Home Without… a Cash Card

wallet with cash and cards

If you’re travelling out of your home country for a holiday, it’s always a good idea to take a travel money card for your everyday transactions and cash withdrawals.

The main benefit of travel money cards (also called cash cards, cash passports or currency cards) is that they are not directly connected to your bank account. This means that should your card be stolen or hacked into, your precious savings will be completely untouchable.

Instead of being connected to your bank account, travel cards are prepaid. You load money onto them and top them up whenever necessary from your bank account, and in some cases from other sources, too. Having a travel card also means you don’t have to carry around huge wads of cash, or multiple currencies. A good travel card can store and convert multiple currencies.

Many major banks, as well as various airlines, travel agencies and even postal companies offer travel cards. While it’s very important to do your own research and find a card that suits your needs as a traveller, we’ve listed some of the best options below to help make the decision simpler.

For those globetrotters who are based outside of Australia, here’s a great list to get you started. We personally love…

Travelex Money Card

  • Can be purchased worldwide (Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Europe, UAE, Japan, China, South America, to name but a few)
  • Can be used everywhere MasterCard is accepted
  • 10 currencies available – load as many as you like
  • No overseas ATM or EFTPOS fees
  • The Travelex money app lets you manage your card any time, anywhere

And if you’re in the UK, here are two more options to consider:

WeSwap Travel Money Card

  • Can be used in over 150 currencies, and stores money in 18 currencies
  • Peer-to-peer secure currency swapping system provides extremely good exchange rates
  • No transaction fees or ATM withdrawal fees (over £200)
  • Manage your account, monitor exchange rates and send money to other users from the app

Caxton multi-currency card

  • No overseas payment, transaction or ATM fees
  • Load up to 15 currencies, and use anywhere MasterCard is accepted
  • Get up to six additional cards for your account to share funds with your companions
  • Check your balance and history, and top up your card via the mobile app

And for our Australian globetrotters, we recommend…

STA Travel Money Card

  • Rather than loading different currencies, your AUD is converted to the local currency when you withdraw funds or make a transaction
  • No purchase, conversion, ATM withdrawal (of AUD$250 or more) or transaction fees
  • Can be used everywhere Visa is accepted
  • Top up in-store using cash or a debit card, online, or via BPAY

Australia Post Travel Platinum Mastercard

  • 11 currencies supported: AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, NZD, THB, CAD, HKD, JPY, SGD and AED
  • Manage your card any time, anywhere with the Australia Post Travel Platinum Mastercard app
  • No purchase, conversion or top-up fees
  • Can be used everywhere MasterCard is accepted

NAB Traveller Card

  • Load up to 10 different currencies: AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, NZD, JPY, SGD, THB and HKD
  • Can be used everywhere MasterCard is accepted
  • No purchase, top up or overseas ATM fees
  • The NAB app lets you manage your card whenever and wherever you like

For more detailed comparisons and evaluations of Australian travel cards (many of which can be acquired internationally, as well), check out the information available on Canstar, Choice and Mozo.

So there are a handful of great travel money cards to consider – but there are plenty more on the market. Do you have a personal favourite that’s not listed here? Let us know in the comments!

Oh and don’t forget to read our article about avoiding international transaction fees and the best fee-free cards!

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