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Travel money guide: Australia

Consider a credit card without foreign transaction fees to save money abroad.

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Exchange currency online Compare cash pickup

In Australia, you can pay for almost anything with plastic — including taxis, souvenirs and incidentals. Using a credit card without foreign transaction fees that also earns rewards on purchases is a great way to save money abroad.

Though cards are widely accepted, it’s always a good idea to have some cash in your pocket, too.

Our picks for traveling to Australia

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card logo

Travel card with no annual fee

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

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Wise Multi-currency logo

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28+ currencies and real exchange rates. Crypto deposits aren't FDIC insured.


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Should I use a travel card, debit card or credit card?

You shouldn’t have any problem using a Visa, Mastercard or American Express card in Australia. Just watch out for transaction fees that come with using a card.

Debit cards are typically the preferred option for making ATM cash withdrawals. If you don’t want to link your bank account to your card, however, consider a prepaid travel card — just watch out for its additional fees.

These are your options for spending money in Australia

Using a credit card

Since credit cards are a common payment method in Australia, you may want to consider a travel credit card. You could earn rewards on your purchases and get travel insurance, luggage insurance or car rental insurance. With some cards, you could even get a concierge service, which can be helpful when traveling abroad.

Another option could be an airline cobranded card. This type of card helps you save money on flights, checked bags, lounge access and more. Some cards also come with complimentary travel insurance and similar perks.


  • ATM cash withdrawals using a credit card comes with cash advance fees and cash advance APR. Consider using a debit card instead.
  • Notify your bank you will be traveling to Australia.
  • Credit line access
  • Rewards
  • May come with travel insurance and coverage
  • May come with concierge service
  • Cash advance fees on ATMs
  • Cash advance APR on ATMs

Using a debit card

A debit card comes in handy for cash withdrawals. You won’t pay any cash advance fees or a cash advance APR.


  • Use a debit card for ATM withdrawals and a credit card for purchases.
  • Notify your bank you will be traveling to Australia.
  • No cash advance fee
  • No cash advance APR
  • No overdraft
  • Weak or no rewards
  • No access to a credit line
  • Potential foreign transaction fees up to 3%.
  • Potential ATM withdrawal fees

Using a prepaid travel card

When it comes to staying protected against theft, using a prepaid travel card is your best option as it’s not linked to your bank account. However, travel cards can have expensive fees.

To avoid foreign transaction fees, try loading your prepaid travel cards with Australian dollars.

  • Can load Australian dollar
  • No cash advance APR
  • No link to your bank account
  • Many fees
  • May take time to load
  • No rewards

Paying with cash in Australia

In general, most establishments in Australia accept cards. However, carrying some cash is a good idea in case you stumble across a place that doesn’t.

You can either exchange US dollars at a bank or make an ATM cash withdrawal. If you go for the latter, consider using a debit card and preferably one without foreign transaction fees or ATM fees.

  • Payment flexibility
  • Convenience
  • No need for ATMs
  • High risk of theft

Using traveler’s checks

Traveler’s checks aren’t widely accepted in Australia. This could make purchasing and cashing your checks a nuisance. Considering checks come with foreign transaction fees and purchasing fees, they could become more expensive than they’re worth. In Australia, the other payment options could be better alternatives.

  • Security
  • Not accepted everywhere
  • Fees for purchasing and cashing checks

Compare travel cards for Australia

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

2x miles on every purchase, every day, 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months ​from account opening.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
Earn unlimited 1.25x miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
3x points on Southwest® purchases, 2x points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare, 2x points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
Limited-time offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

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What’s the Australian currency and where can I get the best exchange rate?

Australia uses the Australian dollar with a symbol $ and a currency code AUD.

You could exchange US dollars upon arrival, but the conversion rates at the airport usually aren’t favorable. An ATM cash withdrawal could give you a better rate.

Live Rate

= AUD$ 1.4710

Refreshing in: 60s | Tue, Jul 05, 08:51AM GMT

Common Australian dollar banknotes:

5 Australian dollar banknote10 Australian dollar banknote20 Australian dollar banknote
50 Australian dollar banknote100 Australian dollar banknote

The main banks in Australia are:

  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (Wespac)
  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
  • National Australia Bank (NAB)
  • Bank of Queensland
  • Macquarie Bank
  • Bendigo Bank
  • AMP Bank Ltd
  • Suncorp Bank
  • Bankwest
Find ATMs in Australia

Using money transfers to safely travel with cash

With WorldRemit you can send money to Australia before you depart. Once you arrive, you can pick it up from a local WorldRemit agent.

To make the transfer, you need to submit an Australian phone number and an address. If you don’t have one, WorldRemit recommends submitting the phone and the address of the place you’ll be staying at. This is in case the local agent needs to contact you. But you can still pick up the money with only your passport.

Cash pickup services in Australia

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 1.464 AUD 1,458 WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups. Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 8.00 1.438 AUD 1,426 MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. Go to site Show details
$1 3 - 5 days USD 20.00 1.434 AUD 1,406 Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.


Plastic is widely accepted throughout Australia. For best value, consider using a travel or an airline cobranded credit card for purchases, and a debit card for ATM cash withdrawals. But make sure your cards have no foreign transaction fees.

If you would like to know more about which payment method would work best overseas, check out our travel money guide page.Back to top

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