Credit card FAQs: international transaction fees


A few things you should know about international transaction fees

What is an international transaction fee?

It’s a fee we charge you whenever you make an international transaction. The fee is 3% of the Australian dollar value of your international transaction, and is debited from your account at the same time as the international transaction.

What’s classified as an international transaction?

An international transaction is any transaction on your account that’s:

  • not in Australian dollars, or
  • in Australian dollars, but the merchant or financial institution located outside Australia.

If I choose to pay in Australian dollars with an overseas merchant, will I still be charged an international transaction fee?

Yes. If a merchant is located outside Australia then an international transaction fee will be charged whether you paid in Australian dollars or in a foreign currency. This applies to both online and in store purchases.

How will I know when I’ll be charged an international transaction fee?

Unfortunately it’s not always clear when an international transaction fee will apply, especially with online transactions.

Some merchants may appear to be located in Australia – for example, they have Australian websites and display prices in Australian dollars – but actually be located overseas. In these circumstances, any purchases you make on these websites will attract an international transaction fee.

If you’re unsure whether a merchant is located outside Australia, please contact them before you complete your transaction.

How does foreign currency conversion work for credit cards?

Whenever you make an in store or online purchase, or use your credit card to obtain a cash advance, in a currency other than Australian dollars, the transaction will be converted to Australian dollars. When you complete the payment you might be given the choice to pay in the foreign currency or convert the amount to Australian dollars.

  • If you choose to pay in the foreign currency, this amount will be converted to Australian dollars by Visa, using the applicable exchange rate on the date the purchase is debited to your account.  Remember, exchange rates may fluctuate between the time your purchase is authorised and the time we debit your account.

Under the Visa scheme, if the purchase is made in United States dollars, Canadian dollars, New Zealand dollars, Singapore dollars, Pounds Sterling, Euros or Japanese Yen then the amount will be converted directly into Australian dollars. Purchases made in any other foreign currency will be converted into United States dollars before being converted into Australian dollars. The online conversion rate calculator shows you the indicative rates set by Visa for these conversions.

  • If you choose to pay in Australian dollars, the merchant will convert the foreign currency into Australian dollars at the time of the transaction. This is called dynamic currency conversion. The exchange rate is not determined by Visa but by the merchant’s dynamic currency conversion service provider.

You’ll also incur the international transaction fee of 3% of the Australian dollar value of the international transaction. Some merchants may also charge additional fees, so choosing this option can be more costly.

You might come across dynamic currency conversion if you’re:

  • shopping online with an international merchant and the prices are displayed in Australian dollars, or
  • travelling overseas and you’re given the option to pay your hotel or restaurant bill in either Australian dollars or the local currency.

What will I be charged when I withdraw cash from an overseas ATM using my credit card?

When using your credit card to withdraw cash from an overseas ATM you’ll incur the following charges:

  • the international transaction fee of 3% of the Australian dollar value of the international cash advance
  • a cash advance fee of $5 or 3% of the value of the transaction (whichever is greater), and
  • the cash advance interest rate from the date of the cash withdrawal.

Some overseas ATM providers might also charge you a processing fee. Just like in Australia, the amount of this fee varies depending on the provider. This fee may be charged in the foreign currency.

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