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Overseas Aussies hit $1b+ in a month on debit cards


In the wake of lower overseas transaction fees and charges issued by banks, debit card spending by Australians abroad surged in December 2019. 

 

 

According to recently released Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) credit and debit card data for December, 15.7 million overseas debit transactions were made during the month, worth a total $1.1 billion. 

 

With December the busiest period for travel abroad, a seasonally adjusted value of $1.05 billion still reflected a whopping 21.6% year-on-year increase for the month, and a 4.44% rise over November, which was the fastest monthly increase in almost two years (April 2018). 

 

As the availability of debit cards with no foreign transaction fees and international ATM fees in Australia rises, so too does the likelihood that these spending figures are going to grow. 

 

Up Bank co-founder Dominic Pym told Savings.com international fees “are often not trivial, and can add up quickly”.

 

"Many banks and card providers will charge annual fees, once-off fees, recharge or withdrawal fees, purchase fees, FX (foreign exchange) conversion fees, FX rate markup, international ATM fees, and more,” he said.

 

Up Bank’s ‘Everyday Account’ debit card last month removed its $5 overseas ATM withdrawal fee.

 

How do you get your cash for international travel? Do you exchange money, use an ATM, take a travel money card or something else?

 

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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 18 February 2020


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