It is Week 1 of our Greater Golden Passport Competition where you have the chance to win a $2,000 Greater Building Society Cash Passport to take on your next holiday
Our Product Manager, David Bryde, has had a big year of travel. His first trip to Asia in May was followed up by a recent holiday in France. He shares his experience of using a Multi-Currency Cash Passport for travel money.
As much as The Greater takes as many security measures as it can to keep our money safe here and overseas, the main reason we used a Cash Passport was to keep our everyday account safe and separate from our travel money.
We could have used the debit card linked to our everyday savings account but any chance of a fraudster getting access to it while we were away was eliminated. We spent enough of our own money overseas without giving anyone else a remote chance of getting their hands on funds in our accounts down the track.
For our trip to Thailand we loaded the card with Aussie dollars. It meant that the exchange rate varied from purchase to purchase but it was easy to keep an eye on the balance we had left on the card via the Cash Passport website.
We were able to use the card everywhere we tried, though we did learn pretty quickly not to make small ATM withdrawals in Thailand as the local ATM owners charge about $5 AUD per withdrawal, regardless of the type of card you have.
Grand Palace, Bangkok
It was good that the couple of hundred dollars we had left on the card when we came home could be spent here at merchants via EFTPOS at no cost to us.
When the Paris trip came up it was easy to load the same card with Euro and we liked that there wasn’t a new PIN number to remember. This time the exchange rate was locked in at the time we transferred money onto it.
No ATM fees in France made it easy to get cash whenever we needed it and there were no problems using it with merchants.
Our card got a workout in France at merchants like this!
When we had a short stopover at the Bangkok Airport Hotel on the way home, it was quite clever how our bill was paid first from the remaining Australian dollars on the card and then from the Euro. It tidied the card up to only have one currency left on it.
With no travel plans (or budget!) on the horizon, it will cost us $10 to close the card and convert the Euro back to Aussie dollars. That is a small price to pay for the peace of mind the card gave us in knowing we didn’t have to risk the security of our everyday account in even the tiniest way.
If you’ve got travel plans, now is a great time to talk to us about your travel money options.