While travelling it is not only the holiday finances that are of concern.
Thought must be given to what is happening at home.
Certainly it is worth considering using direct debit payments or other arrangements while on holiday to avoid any concern of unpaid bills.
Most direct debits and some BPay payments can be arranged online or through internet banking.

Travel Payments

For the holiday itself payments can be arranged through:

  • Many types of travel debit card that are available (load using internet banking). Travel cards may provide emails for every purchase; check them!!
  • Cash in foreign currencies can be ordered online to a local currency exchange outlet for convenient pickup before travel.
  • Credit and Debit cards with electronic chip are more widely accepted overseas now but not everywhere
  • Internet banking and card top up is possible while on holidays but ensure security when using free wifi in hotels! (ie use a VPN!)


  • BPay can be used to load travel and credit cards but there is 2-5 working days delay from making payment to having cash in a card!
  • Some overseas facilities do not accept international credit cards even if they are 'chipped' types (eg Non-european cards won’t work in some areas in France)
  • Some shops, hotels and service providers will offer to take credit card payment in AUD (Australian Dollars). This is not usually a good deal as the merchant has control of the exchange rate and fees you will pay. Better to take the payment in local currency and take the bank exchange rates.
  • Many smaller businesses may insist on cash. Merchant fees deter them from using card payments. Make sure you have enough cash.

Travel Cards

Online comparison sites allow evaluation of the different options and performance of many types of travel card.
While local credit cards may be accepted overseas, each payment has an associated foreign currency transaction fee (look for newer cards with zero transaction fees).
A travel card has a single transaction fee when loaded and can have currency conversion done when the currency rates are more favourable.
Cash out at foreign ATMS will also likely result in transaction and foreign exchange fees unless a travel card with local currency is used.
(Some foreign ATMS will still charge a small transaction fee for cash out with a travel cards so take out what you need in one withdrawal)

Banks and airlines have travel cards available.

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