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International bank ING Direct is warning Australian travellers thinking they are scoring a bargain off the back of the strong Aussie dollar to get real. Despite the strong dollar, travel still costs money and getting an extra 5 or 6 cents in the dollar than a few months ago is giving travellers a nasty credit card bill once they get home.
Brett Morgan from ING Direct states, "Managing your card and cash well overseas can make a big difference to your travel budget," Morgan says. "Be aware of the local ATM operator fee, which will appear on-screen. In the US, for example, an independent ATM in a New Orleans pub was charging $10 for every withdrawal, while a mainstream bank ATM charged $1."
That failure to research overseas ATM usage charges is eating up most of the gains that Aussie travellers are gaining on the back of the weak US dollar and making an overseas trip anything but a bargain.
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In addition, currency conversion fees and eating further in to the strong dollar with some travellers finding that with conversion fees and non-market conversion rates that a strong dollar actually falls well below the true value of the Australian dollar against the greenback.
Travellers are advised to research conversion fees, ATM fees and the conversion rates in the country they will be visiting, rather than just comparing against the US dollar.