Anyone who has travelled overseas knows you can often end up spending money on things you might not have budgeted for – additional tax, taxis at peak hour traffic, roaming and Wi-Fi charges, and tipping. This is all part of the deal of travel and something you can't always plan for besides having a little wiggle room in your budget.
But the one extra expense you should factor in when planning and saving for a trip is the one thing you invariably forget to allow for -- the bank fees that sneak onto your transactions every time you use your debit or credit card.
We're talking about the international transaction fees that the banks charge every time you use your bank cards on an overseas purchase for transferring your money to a foreign currency, and which show up on your bank statement as a "foreign transaction fee", "foreign currency conversion fee" or "cross currency conversion fee".
These small but costly amounts, which average 2.3 per cent of every transaction, add up during the course of a trip, and can end up adding hundreds of dollars onto your final bill. According to data from Flight Centre Mastercard, the average international spend on the card at Flight Centres most travelled to holiday destinations is approximately $700NZD. That means if all 2.9 million Kiwis who travelled overseas in 2017* used a bank credit or debit card, the amount charged in international transaction fees would near $50 million NZD**. Say a resort costs you $3000 -- already you're down $69 you could have spent towards a nice meal or a massage. A $100 meal instantly costs you $102.30, a $50 round of cocktails is $51.15. That's $72.45 gone, just like that, with nothing to show for it except gritted teeth.
In great news for travellers who are ahead of the curve, there is finally a solution to avoiding these wasted dollars. Flight Centre's game-changing new Mastercard is the only credit card in New Zealand to offer zero international transaction fees. You can spend with confidence knowing that you're paying what you've signed up for, with no nasty surprises draining your bank account at the other end.
As well as this game-changing international transaction fee-free benefit, the Flight Centre Mastercard, which was recently voted the Best Debit and Credit Card for overseas purchases and travel by MoneyHub (an independent organisation that offers money guides, tips and tools for online users), also has other financial and personal benefits that will come in handy when you're travelling.
You'll earn one Flight Centre Reward for every NZ$100 you spend, and two Flight Centre Rewards for every NZ$100 you spend in-store or online with Flight Centre New Zealand. These Rewards can be redeemed on any airline, hotel, cruise, car hire or sightseeing deals offered at Flight Centre New Zealand.
Stay Connected wherever you are in the world
Flight Centre Mastercard gives you unlimited access to over one million Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots around the world including New Zealand, at no added cost. So you can use up to four devices without fear of rampant roaming charges.
In the past, the other way to avoid paying more international transaction fees was to use your bank card sparingly at ATMs to withdraw large amounts of cash at a time, paying only one ATM fee at a time. Obviously carrying a wedge of cash around is unsafe and adds extra stress to your holiday. It's much safer to be able to use a bank card for your transactions as you go.
Unlike some of the other money cards on the market, the Flight Centre Mastercard is accepted globally, meaning no mad dashes to ATM (thus more fees) at bill-settling time because your card isn't recognised.
The card, which allows up to four cardholders at no extra cost, is also Apple Pay enabled, has an app so you can keep track of your spending as you go and can be used for cash advances at banks and ATMs.
Welcome to a stress-free, ultra-convenient way of managing your money while overseas, and say farewell to wasted dollars. Travelling just got a whole lot smarter.
Visit Flight Centre Mastercard for more information.
*Data sourced from Stats NZ
**$46.7m based on an average international transaction fee of 2.3%.