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St George Global Currency Card

St George Global Currency Card

1.9 from 14 reviews

Do not use!

If you want to purchase a card so you can pay for things whilst you are on holidays anywhere in Australia or Overseas I would recommend using a Westpac Global Card since it is more secure and you don't need to worry about being scammed also there is no fees whatsoever.


Travel Cards

Used this in Hawaii and also Thailand. Had no problems and it worked fine everywhere.Installing the travel card app was painful but excellent once done.


Good for purpose

We used a global currency card on a recent trip to Japan. In view of the negative reviews it had received, I had had misgivings about whether or not it would work, but fortunately there was no problem. Having said that, we used it only at post offices in Tokyo and Kyoto, and just one store (to see if it would be accepted, and it was), for a purchase worth about $A60. I liked the fact that we were able to load it up while the exchange rate was quite good. Also, we were given a second card, which would have been handy had we lost or mislaid the first one.(Different pins for both cards; some might not like the hassle, but I like the extra security) We'll definitely take it on our next overseas trip.


Completely Useless

Loaded up the card with US dollars. Ensured I knew the logins & passwords. Could not use the card at all!!! Not to tap, enter a PIN to purchase, not to sign for a purchaw and could not withdraw from an ATM!!! Plus the customer service number didn’t work either! I had to withdraw cash from my St George credit card. This morning I called Customer Service and they have refunded the interest on cash advances back to my credit card. I have converted the US dollars to AUD and just went to an ATM here in Sydney and still can’t access the money! Bloody frustrating!


Joke of a card

Firstly, if you load 1000 dollars your available balance will immediately show $920 available. So in order to avoid the large fee you are to spend it at converted currency. This is difficult to do when they take 30 days to return funds that are held by hotels or car rentals etc which I would think is a pretty common thing to do overseas . Because of this hold, I was unable to spend my converted currency overseas and now I will be charge the 80 dollars. ALL ST GEORGES FAULT.
oh and extremely rude and unhelpful customer service.


Easy to load and go

The currency card was extremely easy to load straight from my bank account with little to no fees the exchange rate for me was actually not too bad, considering what others charge. there were plenty of ATM's around to use and withdraw cash with, and when using eftpos it was as simple as selecting the credit option... also having the app makes things easy to see how much you have in each wallet.
Now for the downsides of the card.... the little microchip thing is pointless as it did not let me "paywave" at all. And it really sucked when the place you were at had no credit available on the eftpos machine, so you have to go find an ATM luckily for me there were loads of global alliance ones located almost everywhere. The really bad thing is when there is a credit being applied to the card, you actually have to wait 45 days to get the money back into your card which is probably the biggest issue i really had with this card. Over all i think its a useful card with minimal fees and very practical when travelling


Unable to purchase online, unable to payWave/tap, have to sign (not PIN) for almost all transactions

My wife and I both obtained these cards for a 5 week multi country European holiday. Prior to leaving we were unable to purchase online ‘tourist’ tickets as ‘Visa’ (not St George) kept cancelling the transactions as possible suspicious activities. These cards are designed to make overseas purchases..........After 3 LONG interactions with St George we were assured the issue was corrected; WRONG. We were unable to use the cards during our holiday to purchase online tourist orientatated tickets, with the same issue with Visa occurring. These cards don’t have a payWave capability. Therefore, you can’t simply ‘tap’ for purchases such as a couple of coffees/drinks etc, PayWave was everywhere we visited (except on our Global Currency Cards). Even more frustrating/ridiculous, is the fact that of the many 100’s of transaction we completed in our 5 week holiday, only 5-10 counter based purchases were via our PIN numbers. Almost ALL of our transactions required us to sign and then present the card for signature comparison. Who signs anymore????, it’s all via a PIN now! Retailers were very frustrated at the extra time/effort required to serve us via this antiquated method. I would have rated the St George Global Currency Card a ‘1’ if it was not for the fact the supporting/related app is efficient once you are familiar with it.


Useless

Currently in Chile. Does not work for transactions in shops; only works at ATMs which defeats the purpose for me as I did not want to carry large amounts of cash or go to the ATM all the time. Called the "customer service" line and it was the opposite of helpful. She was very condescending and offered no advice - saying just try again (which I did without any success by the way). Don't waste any time on this product. Just use your normal card.


Don't bother with these cards

I recently had a six week holiday in the UK and did my tax return before I left Australia. I asked my accountant about this card and others and he said that if you get one of these cards then load it up with foreign currency and make sure that you spend all of that currency whilst overseas. Then cut up the card and throw it away. He also said that if you have an Australian debit card it can be used to withdraw cash from ATM's overseas. You need to inform your bank that you will be making large withdrawals overseas so that they don't think that someone has stolen your debit card and is living the high life at your expense. I had my limit increased to $2,000 so I could withdraw 1,000 pounds from a UK ATM that displayed the Visa logo.
Also get a anti RFID wallet so that you can't be scammed by people using an electronic device to get your card details. It also pays to have an anti RFID bag to keep your passport in for the same reason.
Pay for everything in cash whilst overseas for if you don't you will be charged currency conversion and transaction fees on every purchase you make. Yes you will be charged a currency conversion fee when you withdraw from a foreign ATM but it's only one fee not multiple fees if you use your card overseas like you do at home.


Don’t waste your time

If I could give zero stars, I would.
Currency exchange rates are rubbish and nothing but trouble using the card while overseas.


Rip off

This card works okay, but is a complete rip off. I would of saved money if I had just used my normal credit card. Don't recommend. The normal exchange rate for $1000 aud right now equals $797 usd, yet only $761 was loaded onto my card.


Does not work

Live and work in Russia. Ordered this card to use here and had it linked to my bank of Melbourne account. Does not work online does not work in Russia, loaded with funds and i have no way to access the money on the card. Don't bother unless you want frustration and anger in your life.


Exchange rate is a ripoff

Card works well however the actual exchange rate you receive when you load it and unload is much worse for you when advertised. You will lose about 8% on each transaction. Also when you close the card after your trip they say it will take up to 10 days to get your money. Not good enough. Avoid any loadable card and use your credit card.


Could be typical example of a bad product

I haven't compared this card to others but it was listed in the top 10 foreign currency travel cards on Canstar so I thought it would be a good thing. There are many terms and conditions with the card of course which not many people will read so here are a couple of interesting things I found out.

When you look up the exchange rate to convert currencies online, the rate you get does not include the 'spread' which is where the currency trader makes a commission from the conversion, this is how they make money after all. St George charges 2% which is probably average. What I didn't realise is that if you make the conversion to or from a currency that is not on their preferred list, they charge an extra 3%. So that's a 5% charge over and above the rate that is listed online. On a purchase of $1000, that's equals $50. So I think it would be cheaper to simply use your credit card or debit card.

The other thing is getting the remainder of the balance back after your trip. They certainly don't make it easy! On the website the option is simply not listed unless you click on some quite unrelated links. The option to transfer more money to the card is highlighted in very large text. This transaction takes place instantly between St George accounts - very convenient! But to get the money back I had to call tech support and when he guided me through the website, I found out it will take 10 days to process!

In all, it's a convenient backup but you pay for the convenience in fees.

Questions & Answers

how do I transfer left over money from my global currency card back to my normal visa account
2 answers
how can I transfer money from my global currency card back to my visa accountSorry, I haven't needed to do that, so I can't answer your question. I suggest you contact St George direct.

What internet site do I go into and cancel global currency cards and transfer existing balances into another St. George account/ Kim Hill
1 answer
Can't answer your question as I have never had the need to do this. However, I did call the St George Customer Services number recently (1300 277 103) on another matter related to currency cards. I got through fairly quickly (to an Australian call centre!) and they were able to help me with my query.

Why am I being required to sign for transactions in the UK instead of using my PIN?
3 answers
It just seems to be the way it is in the UK. It was fine for me. Just need to keep your card secure.Sorry Barbara S I can't help you as I paid for everything in cash. I withdrew 500 pounds from ATM's and never used my card to pay for purchases outright. Using you card to pay for everything in the UK is OK but the bank will charge you currency conversion fees on every purchase you make using your card. It isn't much but it mounts up. Any cash left over can be changed to Australian dollars at on the cash places at Heathrow Airport.Hi, we just got back from 5 weeks in Europe, visiting 8 countries (including the UK). We had to sign when using our St George Global Currency Cards, even for a coffee at Starbucks.... However, when using our normal/non travel type Visa cards we could use both payWave and our PIN’s. We were not asked to sign when we used our normal Visa cards. Cheers

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