My mother, who has been spectacularly helpful in offering advice and helping to kick ideas around has done some research for us on how to manage money while we’re travelling. It turns out that, almost universally, banks are charging exorbitant fees to access money internationally – the 2% ‘currency conversion’ fee is one particularly common one, which can be a real killer.
It turns out, for Australians, there’s a credit card that solves all of our problems – the Wizard Clear Advantage card. No ATM fees, no currency conversion fees, no cash advance fees, great exchange rate, up to 55 days interest free, no annual fee, and fairly good universality, as it’s a MasterCard.
Read more about it at this blog article, and thanks, Mum!
Update: Well, both Katherine and I have been denied, separately. There’s been some discussion about possible reasons for being denied, and my guess is that it’s because we’ve moved around a bit. Presumably, mobility must be statistically linked to defaulting, although that seems like a bizarre correlation. It’s a tad frustrating, given that I can’t imagine any better (from the responsible use perspective, anyway) credit card customers than us. Oh, well. Our solution is to use my mother’s account, that she applied for at the same time as us.