Travelex fees and charges: Foreign currency exchange & travel card


If you need to exchange money - either to pay for your next trip abroad, or to make an international payment, you’ll be looking for a safe, easy and good value way to get the foreign currency you need. Travelex offer a variety of foreign exchange and international payment products, including the Travelex Money Card, international transfers, foreign currency exchange and travel insurance.

Before you decide which service to use for your international payment or travel money, you’ll need to do a bit of research to understand the benefits, and costs of different options. If Travelex doesn’t suit you, there are plenty of other great options available for low cost, reliable international payments and currency exchange.

Making international transfers? Wise could save you up to 8x versus your bank

Before you get started, a word.

Banks and money transfer providers often give you a bad exchange rate to make extra profits.

Wise is different. Its smart new technology skips hefty international transfer fees by connecting local bank accounts all around the world. Which means you can save up to 8x by using Wise rather than your bank when you send your money abroad.

Check out how to make your first transfer with Wise. And give it a try.

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out Wise’s free borderless multi-currency account. Where you can manage and send dozens of currencies all from the same account.

Now, back to what you came here to read.

Here’s everything you need to know about Travelex fees and charges for foreign currency exchange and the Travelex Money Card.

What are the services that Travelex provides?

Travelex offer a range of services connected to travel money and currency exchange. Here’s all you need to know about the main services on offer for customers in Australia.

Travelex Money Card

The Travelex Money Card¹ is a prepaid currency card. You load a selected currency onto your card, and can then use it when you’re travelling, to withdraw cash at an ATM, or spend directly in stores and restaurants. Travelex Money Cards are available in 10 major world currencies, but might not be suitable for you if you need a more exotic currency.

Prepaid currency cards are a popular form of travel money because they're usually just as convenient to use as a debit or credit card, but they’re considered to be safer than using your main credit or debit card, or carrying cash. That’s because even if you were to lose your prepaid card and PIN, the thief could only ever access the money loaded onto the card, and not the entire amount in your bank account.

If you’re considering this option for your travels, make sure you check out the costs and charges for the Travelex Money Card, which are set out below.

Travelex international payments

Travelex offer an international payment service² for customers who want to make international money transfers. This is handy if you need to remit money to friends and family abroad, or make a one off international payment for a purchase, to pay for a trip overseas, or as a gift.

Transfers are organised online, and money is paid directly into the recipient’s bank account in the currency you want to send. You’ll need to register an account before you can send money overseas, and not all currencies are supported. There are fees and charges for this service - more on that later - and there’s a minimum amount of $500 (or equivalent) that you can send with a Travelex international payment.

Travelex Cash Passport

The Travelex Cash Passport³ is the old version of the current Travelex Money Card. it's no longer available to new customers, but if you have one of these cards already, you can still reload it and use it as you used to.

Travelex currency exchange

Many customers know Travelex primarily for their currency exchange service⁴.

Travelex have 3,600 locations around Australia, and you’ll commonly see these branches in airports, train stations, and shopping malls. You can buy currency in person at a Travelex branch, or if you’d rather, you can also order foreign currency online and have it delivered to your home.

Travelex insurance

As well as currency services, you can also buy travel insurance from Travelex⁵. This insurance is issued by Cover-More, which is an established insurance provider with over 20 years of working in the industry.

You can buy different levels of cover and get access to support such as a 24 hour emergency assistance to help you if you get into difficulties as you travel.

What are the currencies that Travelex supports?

The currencies supported for the Travelex Money Card are as follows¹:

US dollars British pounds Euros
New Zealand dollars Singapore dollars Hong Kong dollars
Thai baht Canadian dollars Japanese yen
Australian dollars (only in-store top up)

Travelex international payments can be made in any of the following currencies²:

Australian dollars Bahraini dinar British pounds
Brunei dollar Canadian dollar CFP franc
Czech koruna Danish kroner Euro
Fiji dollars Hong Kong dollars Hungarian forint
Indian rupees Indonesian rupiah Israeli shekel
Japanese yen Kuwaiti dinar Malaysian ringgit
Mexican peso Moroccan dirham Norwegian kroner
New Zealand dollars Omani rial Pakistani rupee
Papua New Guinea kina Peruvian nuevo sol Philippine peso
Polish zloty Samoan talar Saudi riyal
Seychelles rupee Singapore dollars Solomon Island dollars
South African rand South Korean won Sri Lankan rupees
Swedish krona Swiss franc Taiwanese dollar
Thai baht Tongan Pa anga Turkish lira
United Arab Emirates dirham US dollars Vanuatu vatu
Vietnamese dong

What are the Travelex fees?

Travelex charge different fees for their different services. You’ll need to check out the exact details for the service you want, and compare it against alternative options out there, as Travelex might not offer the best value on the market for your particular needs. More on that later.

Here’s a round up of the most common fees you can expect, to start you off:

International payments

International payment type¹⁺⁶ Fees and charges
Payments under $10,000 or currency equivalent $15 + possible exchange rate markup + potential ‘third party fees’
Payments over $10,000 or currency equivalent No Travelex fee, but possible exchange rate markup + potential ‘third party fees’ could still apply

Third party fees

there's the possibility that additional fees, on top of those set out above, will be charged when you make an international payment with Travelex. This is usually where the payment passes through the SWIFT network. The SWIFT network is a common method of processing international payments which involves different banks across the world working in partnership to pass the money to the final recipient.

SWIFT is a safe way to send money - but it’s often neither quick, nor cheap. In fact, each bank that is involved can add a fee to the transaction if they wish, which can mean your recipient gets less than you expect.

Here’s what Travelex say, in their Product Disclosure Statement⁷ about additional third party charges:

“We do not charge you an additional amount for third party transaction fees. They are built into our margin. However, in some cases, the intermediary banks we use to process payments may deduct transaction fees that we have not anticipated. For example, in some jurisdictions, the receiving bank charges a receiving bank fee.

We will try and notify you of these additional fees if we are aware of them, but we cannot always do so in advance. In our experience, receiving bank fees tend to be less than AUD$50 (or foreign currency equivalent), but this will depend on the relevant jurisdiction. You may therefore find, in some cases, that the total amount you expect to receive in your Recipient Account is slightly less because such fees have been deducted.”

Travelex Money Card

Travelex Money Card service¹ Fee applied
Initial card fee, and load fee Fee is set by the distribution outlet you choose to buy your Travelex Money Card. Loading a currency other than Australian dollars is usually free Loading Australian dollars will incur a fee of at least $15, or 1.1% of the load amount, whichever is greater
BPAY and bank transfer top up (booked via travelex website) Free
BPAY reload fee (not booked via Travelex website) 1% of top up amount
Additional card fee $5
International ATM usage Travelex do not charge a fee for withdrawing a currency you hold on the card, at an ATM outside of Australia. However, the ATM operator might add their own fee to this transaction
Domestic ATM usage + EFT POS 2.95% of the withdrawal amount
Inactivity fee (charged monthly, if you haven’t used your card in the previous 12 months) $4/month
Closure of card $10
Currency conversion rate - changing money loaded onto the card to a different currency “The then applicable foreign exchange rate”, set by Travelex (may include a margin)
Currency conversion fee - when you use your card to make an ATM withdrawal or purchase in a currency you don’t hold MasterCard exchange rate - which may include a margin + 5.95% of transaction total

Travelex exchange rate

If you’re exchanging currency with Travelex, either through the Travel Money Card, or by making an international payment, you’ll want to check the exchange rate that’s being used to make sure it’s fair. Exchange rates go up and down all the time, so the easiest way to get the right rate for your currency pairing is to use an online currency converter.

The currency converter will give you the mid-market exchange rate. This is important because it’s the only real exchange rate - the one that banks use when trading on global markets. Many banks and currency exchange services do not pass this exchange rate on to their customers. Instead, they add a margin, or markup, and keep the difference as their profit.

Before you choose a foreign exchange or international payment service, you should compare the exchange rate they offer against the real exchange rate and make sure you’re happy about it.

Here’s what Travelex say in their Product Disclosure Statement about the foreign exchange margin they apply to different services⁷:

“The “Margin” (or “Profit”) refers to the difference between the rate we obtain from our own providers on the wholesale foreign exchange market (e.g.: the Interbank Rate or Market Rate) and the rate we quote you. The Margin will vary from currency to currency and from time to time. We will not usually be able to tell you what the Margin is, but you are always free to compare the exchange rate we quote you with other providers to ensure that we are offering you a competitive rate.”

Although Travelex do state that there's a margin added to their exchange rate, they don’t split out the margin as a separate element for most transactions. However, it's specified for the Travelex Travel Money Card, when making purchases in a currency that you don’t already hold on the card. Here’s what Travelex say¹;

“A foreign exchange margin applies to the transaction amount if the card is used for withdrawals in any currency other than a currency available on the card. The applicable margin applied to the transaction amount is 5.95%.”

If you’re not happy with the rate offered by Travelex, or you don’t want to have an extra margin of up to 5.95% added to your transactions, it might be time to find an alternative provider. A great option is to use Wise, to access the real exchange rate for all transactions, with just a small up front fee.

With Wise you can quickly and easily arrange international payments all over the world. And thanks to their smart new technology, international transfers made with Wise can be up to 8x cheaper than with a regular bank. There are no hidden costs, and transfers don’t use the SWIFT system, so you don’t need to worry about ‘third party’ fees, either. All payments are secure, as Wise is regulated just like your normal bank would be - and they’re often quicker than traditional banks and payment providers, too.

If you need to send or receive money from abroad regularly, you might benefit even more from a Wise Borderless multi-currency account. You can hold your money in any of over 40 different currencies all in the same account, make payments, and get paid fee-free from the US, UK, Australia and euro area thanks to your own local bank detail for these regions. Whenever you need to, it’s easy to switch your money between currencies, for a low fee, and always with the real, mid-market exchange rate. You can also get the Wise travel money card, so you can withdraw your cash at overseas ATMs, and make payments directly at shops and restaurants while you travel.

Nobody wants to pay more than they have to for their holiday money, or to make an international transfer. Investing some time in advance can save you money in costs and fees - and leave you with more to spend on yourself. See if you can save with Wise, today.

6. (section about “General transaction fees”)
7. (section 5.5 c and 3.5)
*All sources have been checked on October 17, 2018

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 TransferWise 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.

*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