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Travel money tips: organise the essentials for your overseas trip

11 October 2018

We’ve all got a disastrous travel story or two in our past. It might be that time you had to share a bathroom with a new flame after catching a tummy bug, or when the airline lost your baggage and you had to wear your plane clothes to the conference. While some mishaps can turn into a funny story, forgetting the basics – money and important documentation – is what can really put you in a pickle.

To keep you prepared, we’ve put together some quick tips to make your pre-trip admin as smooth as possible (so you can go back to dreaming about palm trees and yachts).

Take out cash with foreign currency exchange

Do future you a favour and take out plenty of cash before you leave. Because you don’t want to find yourself stumbling through customs – jetlagged and hungry – to find out that the local cab service only takes cash, and the queue at the ATM is 10 deep (and charges $15 in international service fees). 

Travellers with a Suncorp bank account are in luck. Foreign currency exchange is a service available at all major Suncorp stores including the new Suncorp Discovery Stores at Pitt Street Sydney and in Carindale, Brisbane – which means you can easily pop into the store and exchange currency on your lunch break. Your Suncorp In-Store Specialist can help you exchange cash in many different currencies.

Depending on the destination, you may opt for just the local currency or a combination of the local currency and US dollars (which can come in handy at airports and other places, even outside of the States). By planning ahead for your foreign currency exchange, a Sydney to Santorini trip will be more blissful than stressful.

Get a “Cash Passport” Travel Money Card

Savvy, security-conscious travellers might choose to carry cash as well as a prepaid travel money card and credit card for accommodation bookings, emergencies and larger purchases. The Suncorp Cash Passport™ Platinum MasterCard® Travel Money Card is a perfect secondary money option when you travel. This MasterCard allows you to deposit money that you can then access overseas in up to 11 different currencies wherever Mastercard is accepted. With low ATM withdrawal fees worldwide, it’ll mean you have more spending money in your pocket. With your travel funds separated from your main transaction accounts, your security is bolstered while you travel.

Your Cash Passport Travel Money Card is packed with other handy features for travelling including up to 3 months’ free access to global wi-fi when you load with $100 AUD and free transfers between you and other Australian and New Zealand Suncorp Cash Passport holders.

Cash Passport: Find out more

Take your Debit or Credit Card

You might choose to take your regular credit and debit cards with you while you travel. Your credit card can be your go-to for authorising your payment at a hotel, or if you decide to splurge on a big purchase. You can also use your debit card if you prefer to use your own money.

By keeping your credit card in action, you can keep accruing rewards points while you travel. So, if you’re willing to ride the currency exchange rate wave (Suncorp debit and credit cards use the Visa exchange rate) credit can be a convenient choice.

Share your travel plans with your bank

If you plan on using your regular credit or debit cards overseas, let your bank know. This will prevent any hassles like a security alert or a hold on your card. Banks put your security first, which means unexpected international transactions can sometimes be treated as suspicious.

To avoid any security hiccups, all you need to do is give Suncorp a call on 13 11 55 or a secure message on our mobile app, and tell us the destinations, times of travel and your best method of contact in case we do pick up anything suspicious.

Bring your banking emergency numbers

These contact numbers will be essential if you find yourself in a financial emergency overseas. Keep them at hand with your other important travel documentation:

Keep your wits about you

Whenever you’re carrying cash as a tourist, it’s important to realise that you’re a target for opportunistic pickpockets and criminals. If you’re staying in hotels, make use of in-room safes to protect the bulk of your cash, and always make sure your money is concealed in a money belt while you’re out sightseeing.

Whatever you do, always have a cash back-up. That means if you travel with a partner or friend, you should divide the cash between you. And if you’re in a particularly risky area, you should keep a concealed stash hidden in a secret compartment in a zip-lock pouch.

Head to your local store to organise your cash currency exchange and Cash Passport Travel Money Card in one simple visit. The team will be more than happy to get you sorted before your overseas adventure.

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Banking Products are provided by Suncorp-Metway Ltd (“Suncorp Bank”) ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882. Suncorp Bank buys and sells foreign currency cash as agent for Travelex Limited ABN 36 004 179 953 AFSL 222444. MasterCard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 47 145 452 044, AFSL 386 837) arranges for the issue of the Multi-currency Cash Passport™ and Cash Passport™ Platinum (“Cash Passport”) in conjunction with the issuer, Heritage Bank Limited (ABN 32 087 652 024, AFSL 240 984).  You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement for the relevant Cash Passport available at before deciding to acquire the product.  Any advice does not take into account your personal needs, financial circumstances or objectives and you should consider if it is appropriate for you. MasterCard® and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated. Citigroup Pty Limited ABN 88 004 325 080, AFSL No. 238098, Australian Credit Licence No. 238098 (Citigroup) is the credit provider and issuer of Suncorp Clear Options Credit Cards. Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722, Australian Credit Licence No. 229882 (Suncorp Bank) promotes and distributes Suncorp Clear Options Credit Cards on Citigroup’s behalf under an agreement with Citigroup. Suncorp Bank will not guarantee or otherwise support Citigroup’s obligations under the contracts or agreements connected with the Credit Cards (other than those relating to Suncorp Bank internet banking and telephone banking). Suncorp Bank has not assisted you to make this application and does not suggest you apply for any particular Suncorp Clear Options Credit Card type. Citigroup, not Suncorp Bank, will be assessing your application. Please read the Product Information Document before making any decisions regarding these products. Terms and conditions, fees and charges may apply and are available on request.

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