28 Degrees: the Aussie traveller’s friend in a plastic world

28 Degrees: the Aussie traveller’s friend in a plastic world

28 Degrees: the Aussie traveller's friend in a plastic world
An advert for the 28 Degrees card…

In my opinion, this card is still the best way for us Australians to manage finances while we travel.

GE Money brought this card onto the market several years ago and is now offered via Latitude Financial. Initially the card offered no conversion fees on card purchases and no international ATM withdrawal fees. Since January 1, 2014, they have since amended their international ATM fees to $4 AUD or 3% of the total transaction value.

For example, last week in London I withdrew £200 and on that day the exchange rate as shown on XE.com was approximately £1 = $1.75 so the final amount should be $350 on my statement. It was $350.41 so pretty damn close.

However the international ATM withdrawal fee (listed as a Cash Advance Fee) is 3% or $4. So in my case, 3% of the withdrawal amount of $350.41 should equal to $10.51 and thats exactly what the final amount is on my statement

28 Degrees: the Aussie traveller's friend in a plastic world
A summary of rates and fees

If your brain has already skipped ahead, you know what I will suggest for you to do:

Wherever possible overseas, use the card directly at the terminal and not for withdrawing cash.

As I mentioned in my London post, card payments are accepted everywhere and with almost no minimum spend. So if you use the card in this manner, you utilise a live exchange rate between AUD and any local currency and avoid spending any bank fees.

Most European countries* have modern PayPass terminals and welcome the plethora of plastic in their bars, cafes and retail stores.

*A surprising exception to this rule includes Germany, whereby in my last trip in 2014 I got looks of bewilderment at the mention of even paying for a €13 museum ticket with a card.

Drawbacks:

One drawback to the card, which Latitude recently introduced, is the $0.95 AUD BPAY fee. This means if a card user wants to use BPAY to pay any outstanding amount, Latitude charges this small fee. A way to avoid this is completing a Direct Debit Request Form. This way, any monthly outstanding amounts are debited directly from your nominated bank account.

Other comments:

A quirky upside is the customer service. All non-urgent enquiries are handled via Messenger or Twitter, which is very convenient while travelling.

28 Degrees: the Aussie traveller’s friend in a plastic world

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