Low overseas fees
Whether you’re planning to explore the cobblestone villages, relax on the golden beaches or indulge in the local cuisine, organising your travel money in advance is crucial to a successful trip to Portugal.
Low overseas fees
No fees travel card
Low overseas fees
If your bank is a member of the Global ATM Alliance (Westpac Group accounts), you can avoid international ATM charges by using Barclays Bank ATMs in Portugal. There are no Westpac Group cards which waive the fee for currency conversion.
The Euro is a supported currency on all travel cards. Compare the back and front end fees like charges for ATM withdrawals and loading and reloading your card. You can lock in a rate when you transfer Pounds Sterling to Euros, which can be handy if you think the value of the British Pound is going to drop. And you can avoid ATM charges by choosing a product which doesn’t charge for international ATM withdrawals — Portuguese bank ATMs are generally fee-free.
A travel friendly credit card will allow you to make day to day payments in Portugal without the charge for currency conversion, and supplement your travel budget with perks which would ordinarily be an out of pocket expense — travel insurance, for example. Credit cards also offer interest free days on purchases when you pay your statement in full by the due date.
It will be difficult to cash traveller’s cheques in Portugal. Banks and exchange offices won’t accept traveller’s cheques. Use the right credit card, debit card or a travel card instead. These travel money products offer all the advantages of traveller’s cheques and none of the drawbacks.
While Portugal has all the facilities to accept card payments you’d expect from a modern economy, there are going to be many instances when you need cash on your trip. Some places won’t take cards if you’re spending less than €10 – €20 Euros, other merchants won’t take cards at all. Banking reforms in Europe have made it cheaper than ever to make withdrawals from bank ATMs, and if you pick the right card, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have euros in your pocket.
If you’ve brought Pound Sterling with you to Portugal, you won’t have trouble getting your cash changed to Euros on the street. They are frequent in bigger cities and touristy areas. The worst rates will be at the airport or inside hotels, the best will be at independent offices in larger towns and cities. Most banks no longer offer foreign exchange services.
While Portugal is not as cheap as it used to be, visitors will find it much cheaper than destinations in Western and Northern Europe. Accommodation and shopping will be where you spend (or save) your money. If you prefer to stay in hotels your estimated travel expenses will be much higher than someone else who stays in hostels. Food, even eating out, and travelling from A to B are quite affordable all over Portugal. You will be able to find budget accommodation, food and activities right through to 5-star treatment.
|Basic costs||Mid range||A royal experience|
£10 – £20 per night
£60 per night
£100-200 per night
Casa de pasto
£3 – £6
£12 – £25 per dish
£30 – £50 per dish
|Free entry to most museums|
Free sightseeing ancient ruins and castles
£12 for an adult ticket
|Guided 7-day & night bike tour of Portuguese castles and vineyards (expenses included): £6000+|
*Prices are approximate and subject to change.
The GBP currency pair has been relatively unstable over the last five years, thanks to recent political events such as Brexit. Travellers to Europe from Britain will find that £1 is equal to around 1.1 Euros. If you think you know whether it’s going to be more expensive or cheaper to buy Euros in the future, you may want to lock in the exchange rate using a prepaid travel card.
|Year||Average annual exchange Australian Dollar (AUD) to Euro (EUR)|
The national currency of Portugal is Euros. Conveniently, all travel cards let you load and hold Euros. Most European countries, including neighbouring Spain and France, also use the same currency, so a travel card can make sense if Portugal is one stop on a European vacation, but how does a travel card stack up against a debit or credit card?
Visa and Mastercard can be used everywhere (look for the Visa [Plus] and Mastercard [Maestro/Cirrus] logos on ATMs and card terminals). Advances in contactless payments now mean you can also use your credit or debit card for small purchases at major Portuguese retailers, which somewhat eliminates the need to make ATM withdrawals.
|Travel money option||Pros||Considerations|
|Debit cards for travel|
|Prepaid travel money cards|
|Credit cards for travel|
This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.Back to top
You can take as many Euros with you to the European Union as you want. You have to declare if you’re carrying more than €10,000 cash. This includes bank notes and traveller’s cheques, gold bullion etc. It’s easy to buy Euros in the U.K. – you can exchange Pounds to Euros in almost any high street or online travel shop, as well as in the airport.
Having a combination of travel money options is the best way to mitigate risk and finance your trip to Portugal. Whilst debit and credit cards are widely accepted and used in Portugal, there are many instances where there will be a minimum transaction or times where card won’t be accepted at all – so it’s always a good idea to have some cash on you.
One of the main differences between these travel products is the exchange rate. It can make sense to load funds and lock in a rate on your travel card if you think Euros are going to get more expensive to buy in the future. As always, you might want a credit card for emergencies as well as access to different travel perks such as complimentary insurance and rewards, however, never use a credit card for ATM withdrawals
Portugal is truly a beautiful travel destination, so whether you go for the sun, the olives or to explore the ancient cities of the once great imperial power, compare and apply for the right travel money so that you can have peace of mind that you won’t get smashed by fees when withdrawing money or making purchases using your cards.Back to top
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