A quick guide on how we organise our finances for travelling. Which credit card we use, bank accounts and how we like to operate overseas.
If you’re going for a short holiday I recommend taking cash and converting to the required currency while in the country. Just hide it in different places in your lockable suitcase and change as you need it. Try to change only a small amount at the airport as they give you a lower rate compared with in town. We have never been ripped off at a local currency exchange and have been to many, well over 20 throughout Asia alone. They calculate the amount with the current exchange rate right in front of you and then count it out right in front of you. If you are withdrawing cash from ATMS the biggest thing is the international fees. Also the ATMs in Asia generally limit you to around $100 sometimes $200 per withdrawal which can become very expensive if you need to get bulk cash out..
Long Term Travel
If you are off for a more long term trip and carrying wads of cash is not going to work out then read on for how we organise our finances.
Through a bit of research we found the 28 degrees Mastercard which has been super great for our travels so far. It’s accepted everywhere that Mastercard is accepted so you can pretty much use it anywhere (Aside from most 3rd world countries as they tend to only use cash). There are no international transaction fees and the card uses the exchange rate of the day. We NEVER use it to get out cash and we ALWAYS make sure we pay it off at the end of each month. The interest rate is like 22% if you don’t pay it back so don’t forget to pay it off!! It’s free to sign up to and there are no annual fees. We are yet to have a problem with it. So when we can we pay with our credit card.
SIDENOTE- After having to pay so much for the rabies vaccines in Bali I HIGHLY recommend getting a credit card to travel with incase a medical drama pops up. Click here for the monkey bite post. Even if you don’t plan to use one, keep it incase of an emergency. I would hate to think what it would be like to need medical attention but not being able to get it.
Dan has an ANZ account and I have a Commonwealth Bank account. Dan gets a better interest rate so we have most of our money in there. We then transfer chunks out of the savings account when we need to pay the credit card off or withdraw cash. We also signed my mum onto both of our bank accounts. Should something go wrong with our bank accounts mum can sort it all out for us from Australia, thanks mum!
International withdrawal fees are better with ANZ (still stupidly high) than Commonwealth so we use Dans account. We generally get out the maximum ATM withdrawal limit as we can. This is so we don’t have to cop so many transaction fees. Apparently Citibank is great for international withdrawal so that’s next on the ‘to try’ list for us.
This is just how we travel. If you know a better way then let us know!! We’ve tried travel cards but in our experience they haven’t worked out so well for us. That was a little while ago though so it could be worth looking into again!