Managing Money: Transaction-Fee Free Credit Cards

This article will be more applicable to Australian residents, however I'm sure you can find similar products in your country.

We carry two credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) with us which cost NOTHING to have, they don't charge international transaction fees, currency exchange fees and provided you pay them off on time will not charge interest. We can pull money out of almost any ATM in the world and expect the real exchange rate without any fees – it's great!

Other people travel with cards that offer dining and flying advantages – we prefer cards that don't cost us a cent.

These are the two Australian cards we use and recommend:

The way that these companies make money is through the majority of users who spend money they don't have, and hence these cards have HIGH interest rates attached. We only spend money that we have… so this is no concern for us.

These are the two Australian cards we use and recommend:

28Degrees MasterCard – This is a standard credit card with a $4000 credit. We use this most of the time and always top up this card with excess money (~$1000) so that we don't run the risk of going into the red. We pay it off via bill payment on our internet banking which takes about two days to process. There are no yearly fees or charges.

Citibank Visa Debit – This is a Visa debit card which operates like a bank account. You run no risk of overspending – all the money on it is your own. We pay this one off via bank account transfers through our online banking. There are no yearly fees or charges, however we think there might be international ATM fees on non-Citibank compliant ATMs.

  1. I use the 28 Degrees. It’s great as long as you are careful with managing it. Also keep in mind that it will take a few days for your added money to be recognised on the system, so it is best to send some money a few days before you think you’ll need it to avoid overspending.

  2. I now grudgingly use the 28Degrees card. It is fee-free. Buy they made a change, the “notification” buried in the fine print of my last statement of a new fee of $1 to transfer money into it to make a repayment (!!!??) (significant because the full interest is incurred for the period even if you are 1 cent owing ).
    To avoid the fee, they suggest you pay from their website; I made a payment just now, and it will not allow me to make a further payment that way for another 5 days. Helpful. Not. You’d think they want to confuse you into paying fees/interest….

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