Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or heading off on your first big trip, organising how to carry and access your money safely is essential. One option to...
If you’re a regular traveller, you might have considered getting a credit card which is designed for your specific needs. There are a few choices available, with different features and benefits, including the 28 degrees credit card from Latitude.
To help you decide if the 28 degrees Mastercard will suit your needs, we have set out the features and benefits - and the costs of using it, here. Happy reading.
|💸 Hold over 40 currencies in your account and spend at the mid-market rate with the Wise card while abroad.|
The 28 degrees credit card from Latitude is designed for travellers, and those who shop online internationally. You must be over 18, and a permanent resident of Australia to be eligible to apply. The card comes with the following features and benefits¹:
Contactless, pay with your wearable device and mobile payments
ATM cash advance withdrawals are available (with 3% cash advance fee or $4)
Minimum credit of $6,000
Worldwide emergency card replacement
Free global data roaming
No currency conversion fees when you make a purchase in a foreign currency
up to 55 days Interest Free on everyday credit card purchases (you’ll need to pay the full closing balance on each statement of account by the applicable due date)
The exchange rate normally used for purchases and ATM withdrawals using the 28 degrees card, is set by Mastercard. If you’re making a purchase in a foreign currency it’s converted to US dollars, before being converted again to AUD for listing on your statement. Here’s how it’s explained in the card’s FAQ webpages²:
The foreign exchange rate is calculated by Mastercard International on a daily basis according to daily foreign exchange fluctuations. The conversion will consist of two calculations if the transaction is made in foreign currency – it will first be converted to US dollars and then converted to Australian dollars for listing on your transactions.
It’s important to know that the exchange rate used is the one which applied on the day that Mastercard process the transaction - not necessarily the one that was available on the day you make the purchase. This means it’s not always possible to tell in advance what the exchange rate used will be.
To know whether the exchange rate used by Mastercard is fair, you’ll need to calculate the difference between that rate and the mid-market rate for your currency pairing. You can find the mid-market rate by doing a search on Google. That’s the same rate Wise uses.
You can find out the Mastercard exchange rate for historic purchases, using their conversion calculator which is available here.
Comparing both rates will enable you to see which rate gives you the most for your money.
Banks and currency exchange services often do not offer the mid-market rate to their customers. Instead, they roll up their fees and charges in the rate used. This isn’t transparent and usually isn’t great value for customers.
You can compare the exchange rate used for your currency pairing by visiting the Mastercard calculator and comparing the rate shown, with the mid-market rate available on Google, or an online currency converter.
If you’re not happy with the exchange rate used, it’s worth finding ways to access the mid-market rate, such as using a Wise transfer to pay for goods and services, or sending money in advance to a friend with a local bank account in Australia, to withdraw when you arrive.
Wise always uses the mid market exchange rate, with low fees for international payments, making them a great choice for travellers looking to save on international banking fees.
Assuming you’re eligible and apply online for your 28 degrees card, you’ll get a reply to your application within 60 seconds of making it. Your card is then delivered in 5 - 10 days, but will need to be activated by either logging into the online customer care centre.²
Once you have your card, and it’s activated, you can start to use it at home and abroad. You can withdraw cash from an ATM, with a cash advance fee of 3% of the advance total, or $4, whichever is the greater.¹ You must also remember that any ATM withdrawal is a cash advance and won’t fall under the 55 day interest free repayment plan. You’ll accrue interest fees immediately, and coming in at 21.99% they can be costly.¹
The Wise card allows you to make 2 withdrawals of up to $350 AUD each month for free.³ After that, we’ll charge $1.5 AUD per withdrawal. There’s a 1.75% fee on any amount you withdraw above 350 AUD. See the full pricing page for the Wise card here.
If you’re using your credit card at an ATM abroad, it’s also important to understand dynamic currency conversion – DCC. DCC is where you’re asked if you would like to pay for your international purchase or cash withdrawal in the local currency, or your home currency.
If you choose to pay in AUD, the ATM or card terminal operator will select the exchange rate used. It is important to note that the Mastercard exchange rate that generally applies to your 28 degrees card purchases could include hidden fees and charges. Always choose to pay in local currency, to access the Mastercard exchange rate, and avoid being ripped off.
Aside from the exchange rate, you’ll need to know the fees for holding and using a 28 degree card. Here they are:
|Service||Latitude 28° card charge¹|
|International transaction fees||$0|
|Currency conversion fees||$0|
|Interest rate on purchases||21.99% p.a.|
|Interest rate on cash advances||21.99%|
|Cash advance fee||3% of the cash advance amount or $4, whichever is bigger|
|Payment handling fee||Free via mail, direct debit or online service centre, $2.50 in person, and $0.95 online on the website|
|Paper statement fee||$2.50|
Checked as of 17 Jan 2023
As we mentioned above, it’s important to note that ATM cash advances come with an instant interest charge, as they’re not covered by the 55 day interest free payment plan.¹
The 28 degrees Mastercard is designed specifically for travellers, and the features and benefits it offers have been selected to be useful to people living international lifestyles. However, there are other credit cards you could look into from popular providers and banks.
- Westpac Lite card
- HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
- Coles Rewards Mastercard
- NAB StraightUp
- Bankwest Zero Mastercard
- Low Fee Gold credit card
You can read our comparison here - Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees in Australia
You could use your regular bank debit or credit card, for example. It’s worth checking out the costs and fees associated with using your card abroad in advance, though. The charges made by traditional banks for services such as international payments and ATM withdrawals can be fairly steep.
The 28 degrees Mastercard from Latitude can be a good value choice for travellers, depending on how it’s used. As with any credit card, cash advances from an ATM can be fairly expensive, but the 55 day interest free plan for other purchases can mean it’s a good way to fund travel and international shopping as long as you keep on top of paying the bills.
As with any financial product, there are pros and cons, and it’s worth researching in advance to be sure you’re making the right choice for you.
If you travel a lot, you might benefit from the Wise Account. This account is designed to let you hold your money in any of over 40 currencies, all in the same account. Check your balance at a glance, and convert between currencies easily, for a small fee, and using the mid-market exchange rate.
Join over 13 million customers currently enjoying Wise. It’ll only take a few minutes to register and see what’s inside.
- Latitude 28 Global website
- 28 degrees help and faqs
Sources checked on 19-Dec-2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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