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.
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
Why does it takes 10 working days to transfer it back to my st George saving account it was instant the other way around ?
the card is a service, something that like sub bank of st George & visa. it only worked for me in paypal and never in any overseas atm / epos.
Can I transfer the unused money back to my saving account
In theory yes, but apparently even though transferring from your regular St George to your GCC is instant, transferring back takes 10 business days. And with how often things go wrong with this card, I wouldn’t want to rely on even that happening.
I just saw your other question. If you’ve already loaded Australian dollars to the card, and are still in Australia, you should be able to withdraw it from an ATM. This may be the fastest way to get it back into your account. If you have changed the money to foreign currency, you will loose too much concerting it back to Australia dollars only to convert it again through some other institution. It’s nit ideal, but I recommend withdrawing what you can when you get to your destination and work at emptying it out over the first few days (you can only withdraw a max of $2000 AU per day).
After reading all this negative comments I am very worried to use it overseas I was hoping that I can use it for e.g. paying for hotels and transport overseas otherwise I will just have to keep withdrawing cash
I highly advise against this card. Firstly, it’s not operated by St George. Here is the information you’ll receive only once you’ve made a complaint (copy and pasted from email):
St.George Global Currency Card Dispute Team
St.George Bank - A Division of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714, is the distributor of this product. Rv Australia Pty Ltd ACN 117 378 953 AFSL 401610 manages the St.George Bank Global Currency Card product for Cuscal Limited ACN 087 822 455 AFSL 244116, an authorised deposit-taking institution. Cuscal Limited is the issuer of the product but does not take deposits from you. Westpac is not responsible for and does not guarantee this product or card or your ability to access any prepaid value or the use of this product or card.
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