With more than 700,000 Australians embarking on international trips each month and over $31 million spent while overseas in the past year, a new report from CommBank has revealed the most common ‘money misadventures’ Aussies encounter overseas.
According to the survey of more than 1,000 overseas travellers, nearly one in four (22 per cent) have experienced some kind of money mishap in last 12 months. The report revealed the most common money issues faced by travellers included:
Difficulties when changing money while overseas (40 per cent);
Lost, stolen or misplaced debit or credit card (19 per cent);
Lost or stolen cash (13 per cent); and
The number of money mishaps may be the result of the lack of importance Australians place on preparing their finances before they leave the country. According to the report, three out of four (74 per cent) say arranging accommodation, travel documents and their holiday itinerary are more important than financial preparations, such as setting a budget or organising travel money before departing.
The report also revealed travellers’ preferred payment method is cash, with 51 per cent of Aussies worrying about using a credit card overseas in case they become a victim of fraud. This is why CommBank is encouraging everyone to take advantage of the Lock, Block and Limit feature available on the CommBank app and NetBank.
According to Angus Sullivan, Executive General Manager Consumer Finance, Payments & Strategy, Commonwealth Bank, Lock, Block and Limit will give travellers the peace of mind to use their credit card overseas no matter where their card goes, or what they get up to.
“Overseas holidays should be something we look forward to, but our research tells us many Aussies are worried about running into money problems on their trip when they should be relaxing.
“We’ve introduced a number of credit card security locks to protect people from overseas credit card fraud. From our temporary lock feature that empowers customers to lock transactions on a misplaced credit card while they look for it, to the ability to activate in-store international payment locks when they return home, both ensure a customer’s credit card is safe and secure at all times.
“Lock, Block and Limit gives our customers peace of mind over their credit card security, so they can get on with the business of enjoying their holiday,” said Mr Sullivan.
MANAGING MONEY OVERSEAS
Almost half (48 per cent) of travellers prefer to use cash when making purchases overseas, yet of those surveyed, having their cash lost or stolen was one of the top three most common money mishaps experienced in the past year.
With a further 40 per cent of Aussie travellers having experienced difficulties when changing money into local currency, CommBank has just integrated its Travel Money Card into the CommBank app to help take the pressure off for holiday-goers.
“There’s nothing worse than losing your cash or having it stolen while on holiday and having to spend hours of your well earned break trying to arrange additional funds,” said Mr Sullivan.
“Alongside being able to load multiple-currencies onto one card and locking in exchange rates, we’ve just made overseas money management with our Travel Money Card even more convenient. Travel Money Card users can now check their account balance and reload, fee-free, in real-time using the CommBank app, whenever and wherever they are in the world,” he said.
AVOIDING OVERSEAS MONEY MISADVANTURES
CommBank’s top tips for avoiding money misadventures:
1. Failing to plan is planning to fail – just as you do with your flights and accommodation, make sure you give yourself enough time to properly plan your overseas spending. Our Travel Money Card gives you the ability to lock in exchange rates with multiple currencies to use at ATMs, in-store, over the phone or online.
2. Take a variety of payment options – as payment methods vary from country to country, it’s always advisable to carry some local cash alongside your credit card and pre-paid travel card. Having a variety of options will also mean you’re not left high and dry should you misplace a card, run out of cash or find yourself in an emergency.
3. Put a temporary lock on a misplaced credit card – if you misplace your credit card in your hotel room, in transit or at a local restaurant, you can use NetBank or the CommBank app to put a temporary lock on your card, while you look for it. You can unlock it again when you find it.
4. Make sure your card isn’t overseas, if you aren’t either – use NetBank or the CommBank app to activate international in-store payment lock on our credit card when you return home. This will make sure your credit card isn’t being used overseas.
5. Err on the side of caution – your best bet is your safest bet in an unfamiliar country. Simple things like covering your PIN, not letting your card out of your sight, not carrying lots of cash around with you etc. can make the difference between being the victim of a money misadventure and avoiding one.
For more information on the overseas locks available to CommBank credit card customers, please visit www.commbank.com.au/
For more information on managing your Travel Money Card overseas using the CommBank app, please visit: www.commbank.com.au/tmc