Using your Bankwest debit card abroad. The lowdown

Roberto Efflandrin

When it comes to travelling abroad, there's nothing worse than an unexpected surprise, especially when it's extra fees, lost cards or blocked transactions. Having a card with some extra safeguards and travel features can go a long way when spending your cash abroad.

This article will introduce the Bankwest debit cards on offer and the lowdown on how it works abroad, fees to expect and some extra travel tips for peace of mind.

💸 Hold over 40 currencies in your account and spend at the mid-market exchange rate with the Wise Debit card while abroad.

Learn more about the
Wise Account and card

Can you use your Bankwest debit card overseas?

The short answer to this question is – yes, you can use your Bankwest Debit card overseas. As the Bankwest debit card is issued by Mastercard, you can use your card over 43 million locations where the Mastercard logo is advertised.¹

However, you will need to keep a few things in mind before you jump into tapping or withdrawing money overseas including the fees, some of the safety issues and what you need to do before you travel.

What to do before you travel abroad with your Bankwest debit card

One of the most important things to do before you head away on your international trip is to let Bankwest know.² You can do this through:

  1. The Bankwest App
  2. The online banking portal

You should tell Bankwest the countries you will be travelling to and approximately how long. If you don’t, there is a chance your debit card will be blocked for suspicious foreign activity, especially if you don’t travel frequently. There are also a few extra things you’ll need to organise to enable all required transaction types including²:

  • Transferring enough cash to your account to cover expenses
  • Setting the daily international transfer limit in app
  • Organising a data roaming plan to receive a SMS code for certain transactions
  • Setting up a login pin for your app before you leave

If you forget to notify Bankwest of your travels and you are already overseas, you will need to give them a call.

What are the fees to use your Bankwest debit card abroad

It is common that when spending money abroad, you will run into fees of some sort. Here are some of the fees you could expect when using your Bankwest debit card abroad.

Fees* in AUD Bankwest Easy Everyday Debit³
Account Keeping fee $0
International Transaction fee No fee

But charges from overseas operators may be incurred

Local and International ATM withdrawals No ATM fees locally or abroad

However, there may be charges by the overseas operators

*Fees up to date as of 27th January 2024

What is the exchange rate Bankwest uses for your overseas foreign currency payments

Bankwest does not specify the exchange rate used with the Easy Everyday Transaction Debit card. However for international money transfers, Bankwest uses their own exchange rate updated daily. Let’s compare with an alternative provider called Wise to see if there is a margin included in the available rate.

Bankwest*⁴ Wise*⁵
If you require a conversion of $100 AUD into GBP, the current rate offered by Bankwest is 1 AUD = 0.4904 GBP. If you require a conversion of $100 AUD into GBP, the current mid-market rate used by Wise is 1.00000 AUD = 0.51773 GBP

*Current rate as of 01 February 2024

Just from the above, you can see that there is a difference in exchange rates offered with the Bankwest rate being higher than the mid-market rate. This means that there is a margin derived when using the Bankwest rate for conversions.

What are the card spending and ATM limits with Bankwest debit card

There is no spending limit when using your Bankwest Debit card given that it is a Mastercard Platinum Debit Card type and there are sufficient funds in your account.

For regular debit cards issued with only EFTPOS eligibility, there is a daily limit of $1000.

For ATM withdrawals, there is a limit of $2000 for Bankwest or Commonwealth ATMS and between $1000 to $1500 for all other nationally and internationally.⁶

Dedicated foreign currency travel cards from Bankwest

Bankwest does not offer any dedicated foreign currency travel cards. However, if you are looking for a card that comes with more travel perks than the Easy Everyday Transaction card mentioned here, you could have a look at the Bankwest Platinum Mastercard Credit card. This card comes with complimentary travel insurance, as well as no overseas transaction fees on purchases.⁷

Keep in mind before your travel

Travelling anywhere whether locally or nationally is always an exciting time. However, when you do travel overseas, you may encounter some risks. It is important to keep in mind the security of your important travel documents, foreign cash and bank cards.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind so your trip can go as smoothly as possible.⁸

  1. Let Bankwest know your plans

Just to reiterate this point as this should be a priority before you leave to avoid any disruptions to your travel plans.

  1. Check the fees and eligibility of your card

Double check the foreign transaction fees associated with your cards and if you can use your card in the location you are going to.

  1. Put security of your cards at the front of your mind

Keep your cards and cash in a safe place, and never disclose your PIN to anyone. Also separate your cards so if one does get lost, you have a backup.

  1. Regularly monitor your accounts

Always check in with your accounts to make sure no suspicious transaction has passed unnoticed. Turning on transaction notifications is a helpful way to easily monitor what's happening with your accounts in real time.

Blocking your Bankwest card if your card gets lost or stolen abroad

If you do happen to run into trouble and your Bankwest debit card gets lost or stolen, you can lock the card from further use. You can do this by⁹:

  1. Going into the Bankwest App
  2. Tap on “Cards”
  3. Choose the card that needs to be locked
  4. Click on “Temporary Lock”

You can also lock your card from the online banking portal by clicking through the self service function. If you do suspect it is stolen or permanently locked, you should report it immediately to Bankwest by:

  1. Following steps 1 to 3 above
  2. Tap “Lost, stolen or damaged card”
  3. Follow the prompts and let Bankwest know the situation

This option is also available for digitals cards generated through the Bankwest App.

Contacting Bankwest from overseas

If you need to contact Bankwest, you can:

  • Call 13 17 19 from within Australia
  • Call +61 894492840 from overseas

Both numbers are available 24 hours a day.

Travel with Wise

With a Wise Account you can hold money in over 40 currencies and spend it in over 150 countries. You can also order local account details in popular world currencies like AUD, NZD, USD, EUR, GBP to receive local and/or international payments like a local.

Whenever you exchange currencies it’s done using the mid-market rate with a low conversion fee shown upfront.

To make everyday spending easier you can order a Wise Debit card for your Wise Account and generate virtual cards as needed. If you have the local currency in your Wise Account the Wise card will use it. If you don’t have local currency converted, it uses smart technology to auto-convert your money at the mid-market rate, for a low conversion fee.

The Wise card may suit you better if you’re to spend money that you’ve stored in different currencies within an existing Wise Account, and benefit from 2 or less free cash withdrawals under $350 AU, or foreign equivalent, per month (keep in mind that ATM providers may charge their own fees). You can see our full fee breakdown for ATM withdrawals here.

Join over 16 million customers currently using Wise. It’ll only take a few minutes to register and see what’s inside.

Register your Wise account
in minutes

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.


  1. Bankwest overseas use
  2. Bankwest Travel checklist
  3. Bankwest fees
  4. Bankwest Exchange rate
  5. Wise rate
  6. Bankwest limits
  7. Bankwest travel banking
  8. Bankwest Travel tips
  9. Bankwest lost cards

Sources checked on: 27 January 2024

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location