Which credit card for Sydney trip?

Sydney is not the capital of Australia. Nevertheless, this destination is the largest metropolis in down-under: attractive, fascinating, lovable and worth experiencing. The planning of your travel payment means should be carefully considered for a trip there – especially with regard to the use of credit cards.

Broad acceptance and familiar standards

Broad acceptance and familiar standards

On the 5th continent, credit cards play an even bigger role in daily payments than you know from Germany. It is therefore not surprising that you can use credit cards even in the smallest shops in Sydney. In Australia, it is typical of the country to compensate even small amounts using “plastic money”. The procedure corresponds to the standards used at home. Here, too, the previously usual payment – only through signature services – has largely been replaced by the Chip & PIN method. Cash withdrawals in Sydney are uncomplicated, the network of ATMs is – as you would expect from a big city – dense.

Visa and Mastercard are ahead

Basically, you can use all major credit cards in Australia. However, acceptance of American Express and Diners is limited to the larger hotels, car rental agencies, or shops. Visa and master cards have a clear advantage in down-under because of their wide range of uses. In contrast to their “relatives”, they are the more recommendable alternative. The same applies to withdrawing money from ATMs, which often do not provide a payment option for Amex or Diners. With a Visa / Mastercard double package, as is offered by many issuers, you are always on the “right side” in Sydney.

Fees – a comparison is worthwhile

Fees - a comparison is worthwhile

Transaction fees are always an issue when using a credit card – especially abroad. Basically, the fees for purchase transactions (approx. 0.5-3% foreign transaction fee) and the costs for a cash withdrawal must be differentiated. Since the issuing institutions structure the contractual terms for their cards very differently and freely, it is worth taking a look at the “small print” here. Some credit cards that are optimally “configured” for use in Germany can cause comparatively high costs abroad. For this reason, you should use a credit card for your trip to Sydney that is optimally designed for this purpose. The main distinguishing features are:

  • Card is free or subject to a fee (annual fee). Most of these cards include travel insurance (cancellation costs, luggage insurance) that is typical of travel.
  • Cash withdrawal fees abroad
    The spectrum ranges from “free of charge worldwide” to USD 10 / transaction.
  • monthly billing or immediate debiting of the account (direct card)
  • Suitability of the card as a deposit (e.g. depositing the card data with the car rental company)

This feature does not exist with prepaid cards, for example. The choice of the “right” card ultimately depends on your personal preferences and your usage behavior when traveling.

In practice, it has proven to be useful to use cards specially designed for this purpose or to obtain them for the occasion. Visa and Mastercard issuers such as DKB and comdirect cards are very popular with frequent travelers. They focus on the features of “free delivery” and “free worldwide withdrawals” at ATMs.

As an alternative or in addition to the credit card, travelers checks for cash procurement in Sydney are suitable everywhere in Australia. You can obtain this from your house bank in the target currency with a front-end load of 1%. You should exchange USD for Australian dollars in Sydney yourself, as this is possible at a significantly cheaper exchange rate than in Germany. As usual in other countries, when entering Australia, money and valuables that exceed the equivalent of USD 10,000 must be declared at customs.

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