At last, a credit card that understands how we live now as global citizens on the move around the world, either in person or online. The 28° MasterCard is set to become the card of choice for travellers, online shoppers, and anyone with an international outlook. It has the big five points such users are looking for:
Let’s take a detailed look at what some of this really means.
When you make a purchase in a foreign currency, whether while travelling or online, you are already at the mercy of a fluctuating exchange rate. It might seem that you are getting a bargain, but often you won’t really know how much it’s going to cost you in Australian dollars until the transaction hits your account.
Then, with most credit cards, there are the added fees that the bank charges for foreign currency transactions and conversion into Australian dollars, a combination of the bank’s own processing fee and a charge payable to Visa, AmEx or MasterCard. This combined charge is typically 3%, or more, of the purchase amount and can be as high as 3.5%.
So your bargain New York hotel room at US$125 per night may already cost you AU$180, depending on the exchange rate. Add 3.5% to that amount, and you’re looking at US$186.30 before you’ve even had breakfast. Nasty.
If you make regular online purchases from overseas suppliers – and let’s face it, we do seem to pay very high prices for some consumer goods in Australia – then this card will be a godsend. Traders who source their stock internationally will be particularly happy with the ability to reduce their costs.
Some cards charge a fee for cash withdrawals from overseas ATMs
When you’re on home soil, you probably habitually use your bank or card issuer’s ATM to avoid the transaction fees that come with using another bank’s machine. Trouble is, once you’re overseas, you won’t find any of your own bank’s ATMs. So, if you need to withdraw cash from your credit card account, you may be stung for an overseas ATM withdrawal fee, normally at least $4. This is in addition to any cash advance fee payable (which for the 28 Degrees MasterCard is 3%, rather higher than the 2% fee many banks charge).
But if you use a 28° Degrees MasterCard, there will be no overseas ATM withdrawal fee.
There’s no escaping from the fact that an overseas ATM withdrawal from your credit card is a cash advance, just like in Australia. It may be fast, convenient, open all hours and free of any requirement to speak a foreign language, but it’s still a cash advance. You’ll start paying interest on it immediately at the cash advance rate (22.99% p.a. for this card), and if you don’t do anything about it until your return to Australia, you’ll have racked up some hefty interest costs to take the shine off your trip. It’s best to find another way to access cash overseas, like a prepaid travel money card.
Tip: You can use your 28 Degrees MasterCard to withdraw cash overseas and pay little or no interest. After you make the withdrawal, use your mobile phone or other internet-connected device to access your credit card account online. Once you see the cash advance amount in AUD in your account (this may take a day or two), simply transfer into your credit card account the equivalent amount from your Australian bank savings or transaction account. Provided you have no overdue balance on your credit card account, the cash transfer will be applied to your cash advance immediately and the interest charge will be a few cents at most.
Losing your credit card overseas, or having it stolen, is bad enough. Is someone using your card fraudulently? How will you check out of your hotel with no means of payment? But if you have to add to that the pain of the $100 charged by some card issuers for an overseas emergency replacement card, you may begin to feel that you’ve been done over twice.
28° MasterCard users can avoid that extra sting and get on with enjoying their trip, because overseas emergency card replacement is free.
While on the subject of emergency card replacement, it’s reassuring to know that this card is protected by a Falcon Fraud Management System and a skilled Fraud Solutions Team who contact cardholders by phone or SMS immediately after they notice any suspect transactions.
This is a comforting level of security, but some users of the card have reported problems with using the card overseas, finding their card unexpectedly blocked. So the card issuer’s recommendation that users advise them before embarking on an overseas trip is probably better interpreted as a mandatory requirement.
MasterCard SecureCode, a system of security questions or a one-time password delivered by SMS, also helps to protect you from fraudulent online shopping transactions.
Since you won’t be charged any annual fee for this card, it’s possible to keep it on standby for overseas trips or online shopping, even if you have another card that you prefer to use when dealing with Australian retailers. You can also have up to nine supplementary cards on the account, which makes it perfect for a small business with trusted employees who need to travel or purchase internationally.
To underline the fact that this is a card designed for international travellers, there are more built-in advantages for people on the move:
While there are none of the usual overseas transaction fees, and no annual fee, some of the perks commonly associated with credit cards are also missing.
Although you’ll get up to 55 days interest-free each month (provided you have no overdue balance on your account), there are no introductory zero-interest periods on either purchases or balance transfers.
There are no reward points or free insurance policies. The ongoing purchase and cash advance interest rates (both 22.99% p.a.) are at the high end of the market. If you are looking for low interest rates, this is not the card for you.
It’s pretty clear, then, that this card is ideal for someone who either travels overseas regularly or shops online frequently with suppliers whose charges are made in a foreign currency. This same hypothetical user is not concerned about the high purchase and cash advance interest rates, planning to always pay the account balance in full by the due date in order to benefit from up to 55 interest-free days and never pay interest charges. Since there is no annual fee, it’s a no-brainer for this person to keep it in their wallet for when they are in overseas mode.
Reviewed by Yvonne Taylor
Lead Product Analyst
Best travel card in Oz!
Reviewed by Ryan
By far, the best and only travel card you need (in fact, I would have two just in case you lose one and have to use an inferior card)! There are no fees when using international. None. All you pay is interest on purchases, which is admittedly high but as long as you stay on top of your balance, it’s not an issue. Or even better, get yourself in debit (that is pre-load with your own cash) and then you’re not even paying interest on purchases or withdrawals. It doesn’t get better!
Best card when travelling
Reviewed by cherylh
Have been using this 6 months and have found no faults yet. The 28 Degrees is an online credit card. They provide excellent information, details of purchases, payment and answer emails and phone calls promptly. This is a brilliant card to take overseas. There are no international usage charges, no currency charges or other hidden charges. The only charges, if you pay on time, are those charged by banks if you use their ATM."
Love this card
Reviewed by Macca
Have been using this card for quite a number of years and have always found it to be very easy to use and never had any problems. Being able to pay for international purchases without a fee being charged for conversion from Australian currency to a foreign currency makes this card very worthwhile.
28 degrees of ease!
Reviewed by Dave
Very easy multi-currency credit card to use. Exchange rates are as close to market rates as possible with a retail credit card! Setup is conducted entirely online and is easy to manage. Only downside is the customer service is not open 24 hours, which makes it difficult to resolve issues in different countries.
Quite happy with this card
Reviewed by Alison
I originally signed up for this card as I was doing a lot of travelling. It doesn’t charge to change currencies (which is great for travel and online purchases). No account fees, interest is only charged if you don’t pay off the card each month rather than as soon as you make a purchase. No frills, easy to use card.
Fairly pleased with the card
Reviewed by Clinton Koch
Rates and charges are the killer, but the card is not so bad because the charges are everyday and keeps on adding interest. Rewards are not too bad. Customer service is not great, but fairly good. It’s there when you need it.
Still the cheapest for travel
Reviewed by Neil
If you’re planning an overseas holiday with your family, the 28 degrees MasterCard will save you a small fortune compared to the big banks’ credit cards—actually even compared to every credit card available to the Aussie consumer. It is a front runner for value for money and ease of use.
Extremely high interest rates stung me
Reviewed by Ali
As someone who has never been completely on top of my game in the credit card department, I take responsibility over being stung by the high rates post-introductory phase. However, this doesn’t excuse how incredibly high the subsequent interest rates were compared to other credit cards.
I initially chose this credit card before I moved overseas, as it didn’t have the high fees (such as international exchange fees) that many other cards do when using them overseas. I also chose this card because at the time, I could take money out as a cash advance from ATMs for very minimal fees—super helpful when living or travelling abroad. Whilst I benefitted from this for a few months, this changed whilst I was away and new fees were introduced, making it just a marginally better international card than other standard credit cards.
Now that I am home and the fees have added up over the past six months as I’ve been in a position where I haven’t been able to make regular repayments, I’ve recently made a balance transfer to a 0% interest card for 21 months whilst I try and catch up on my debt.
If you’re just hoping to use this card for it’s international benefits, then so be it, but, if not, there are plenty of other day-to-day cards with better rates and additional benefits.
Interest rate is high now
Reviewed by Joanne
I have never been turned away from making a purchase anywhere in Australia with this card. They called once to let me know that some strange activity was occurring. It was only a few cents worth, but they picked up on it.
Loved the zero percent interest on balance transfers, which initially made us make the decision to go with this card. I’m not loving the interest rate right now and am currently searching for a way to cut some costs. Paper statement fee of $2 is a wrought just like the other cards charging this fee. We should not be 'softly bullied’ by big companies to accept this charge when they make a profit off the consumer to begin with.
Not everyone wants to deal with a screen—some people like to actually speak to people face to face. I don’t enjoy making phone calls to them for help and then getting help from someone with a heavy accent. I like to be able to understand those I speak to, especially when it is not face to face.
Statements always arrive on time. I have been charged a $25 late fee for not making the minimum payment on time, which I think is incredibly rude and also a way to softly bully the consumers into the direct debit option or of course run the risk of forgetting.
All in all, there has not been any major issues with this card, but that will not stop me from looking to see if I can save a penny for a change as with all these extra charged on top of the actual bill for the services supposedly used, it adds up and will eventually make us use the product less and less.
Very convenient card for overseas purchases
Reviewed by Priska
I’m so glad to have this card. We travel to Asia quite a lot and this card gave us a great rate and didn’t charge much for the overseas transactions. There’s no annual fee to have the card. It’s very easy to manage and their customer service staff are friendly and helpful when I rang to increase or decrease my credit limit.
Overall, it’s a fantastic card to have.
Great card for using overseas
Reviewed by Hugo
I use this card overseas all the time when on holidays in the UK, France, Brazil, Peru and Vietnam. I also use it on the internet when buying from overseas sites.
There are no overseas fees at all in 6 years of use. It’s very convenient and I recommend it to all. Once, when the card was compromised, customer service took care of it and I received a replacement quickly.
Good for holidays
Reviewed by Nok
I use this a lot when I have holiday in another country. I have a low limit of $10,000, which is enough if I have trouble anywhere. There are no frequent flyer points with this card, but no fees until now. Now they want to charge for making a payment. That is not good. The card itself is good though.
Useful card and handy for overseas purchases
Reviewed by Paul
This card has been handy when travelling or for online purchases for the past eight or so years. The exchange rates have been about the best so far and without fees. For the very few times I’ve called their centre, the staff have been great.
The new 'fee for paying us’ concept won’t be liked by many.
Best card on the market
Reviewed by Reg
This is honestly the best card on the market. There are no fees and there are no foreign currency fees to pay even when used overseas. I have used it in England and Africa, for example, and there were no exchange rate fees at all.
I have had this card for about ten years now and have never regretted having it as my main credit card. It is used extensively and will continue to be used.
Great card for travelling overseas
Reviewed by Alyssa
This is a great card for travelling overseas. It has no exchange rate, conversion, withdrawal, or international fees. You can go to multiple countries with it and use it like you’re a local. I think it’s best used in developed countries where you have access to EFTPOS and ATMs rather than third world countries that do not have the same accessibility.
The application was quick and easy. I was given a limit of more than $10
Great for online and overseas purchases
Reviewed by Dale
You might be surprised to find when you make a purchase online from what appears to be an Australian site that your transaction takes place offshore. As a result, most credit cards will charge you a foreign transaction fee, even though you believed you were dealing with an Australian business. Not so with the 28 Degrees MasterCard. This card has no foreign transaction fees, so you can confidently shop online knowing you won’t be charged these fees. For the same reason, it’s also a great card to take on holidays with you. This is actually the original reason I got the card. It was really helpful on my USA trip!"
The card for me
Reviewed by Eric
I love my card as it does everything that I want it to do and then some. I have used it everywhere and I have had no problems with it. It has been widely accepted anywhere I have tried to use it. I have this card as it meets my needs at the moment.
Great for use overseas
Reviewed by Leah
This is a great credit card to use when travelling as it has no transaction or currency conversion fees when spending money overseas. I also like that there’s no annual fee—I refuse to use any card that charges an annual fee actually. The interest rate is fairly high, but I always pay on time anyway so this doesn’t affect me.
Good for overseas travel
Reviewed by Davin
This is a good card for overseas travel. The foreign exchange rate is fantastic, but unfortunately it has a high interest rate. There’s great online banking, which is convenient. There is no complimentary insurance and the card does not come with an app. Only good to use overseas because of its foreign exchange rate.
No international transaction fees
Reviewed by M
This is a great card with no annual fee and no international transaction fees. It’s great to travel with or use when you shop online in other currencies. It also has the security of MasterCard. I highly recommend this card. The only drawback is that there are no reward points, but I still use it all the time.
Best card around, perfect fit for my needs!
Reviewed by Kimberly
I picked up this card a few years ago for overseas travel. Before then, I hadn’t even owned a credit card. The card gave me such peace of mind with hassle-free transactions all over the world and no constant worrying about exchange rates or fees. I thought when I arrived home I wouldn’t have the need for the card, but I use it all the time. It’s convenient with no hidden fees, and as someone who is quite sensible with their money, the long interest-free period each month gives me ample time to make sure I pay it off in full.
No international transaction fee
Reviewed by Syl
Love this card as it does not have extra charges for overseas transactions, which is great as there are no surprises when you get home. It’s easy to use and accepted anywhere. I’ve had no issues at all and would recommend it as a great travel partner. It has become my only card when travelling overseas and at home.
Fast, uncomplicated approval process
Reviewed by dominic schipano
Helpful, and approved when i most needed it. That is why i will be forever grateful. Charges are reasonable, approval was not complicated and quick, the card was sent really fast and was much appreciated. Hopefully the same will be said if i apply for a credit increase.
A cash advance was also available, allowing me to shop at markets.
Reviewed by Debbie
Got the card to purchase a fridge under finance, but no longer need it and would like to close this off. It’s been convenient, however, expensive to run and I now have a different card that gives me points when I make purchases.
Great for overseas purchases and/or travelling
Reviewed by Karen
I obtained the 28 Degree MasterCard because I do a lot of overseas travelling and purchases. A MasterCard appears to be a very favourable card for purchases and a lot of hotels etc accept credit card in favour of a debit card. I have experienced no problems with 28 Degree MasterCard and find the conditions of the card suit my expenditure.
Best card for overseas purchases
Reviewed by Michael
I use this card whenever I purchase items in a foreign currency. I was tired of paying excessive fees on my other credit cards, and I didn’t want to shell out even more money for a travel card from other banks or Australia Post. With the 28 Degrees card I can purchase items over the internet and in other countries when I travel, safe in the knowledge that I will pay what I thought I would pay with no hidden fees.
Good for overseas travel but no rewards
Reviewed by Sue
Great card to use for overseas travel as there are no international card fees. However, there are no rewards available. Also, cash advances from ATMs cost money.
Much easier than using cash, accepted by most hotels and restaurants around the world.
Customer service has been good so far, with regular statements available online. Direct debit is also available from your bank account.
There are savings to be had if you are travelling across multiple countries and cannot be bothered changing multiple cash currencies.
Useful for overseas purchases
Reviewed by Anna
This card is useful for overseas purchases (online and in-country).
There are some fees (e.g. when you add cash to your account not using their 'pay my account’ function). However, there are no account-keeping fees.
It’s very easy to use and has a clear online account layout and display. I would recommend this card.
It has all the benefits I need
Reviewed by mohammed i
This card offers lots of beneficial points, like no annual fee, long-term interest-free periods, international travel services, account security, low interest rates, no overseas fees on purchases, no currency conversion fees, no foreign transaction fees and the ability to withdraw cash overseas without fees.
It has worldwide emergency card replacement, a 24/7 helpline and a concierge service.
No currency conversion fees
Reviewed by Jason
This is the best credit card i have ever had. It’s the only card i know of that you can take overseas to withdraw money that doesn’t charge conversion fees.
It has low fees and is the only credit card that i would ever own. The interest rates are OK, but it’s more about the convenience and bonuses.
Exchange rate not what I expected
Reviewed by S
I read reviews and applied for the card for a Japan trip. But later I found that the exchange rate conversion date was not the transaction date, but the date when the record was posted into their system, therefore not the expected rate.
There is also a payment handling fee of $0.95 charged to pay online, which i think is too much.
Best travel card
Reviewed by Roz
This card has no account-keeping fees, foreign currency conversion or transaction fees. The only extra charge is for withdrawing cash at an ATM
Simply the best
Reviewed by Reg
I have had the 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard for about eight or nine years now. The charges are very fair and there is no annual fee. Not long ago I received an offer from them to upgrade to Platinum at no cost to me and gratefully accepted their offer.
I have used the card overseas in the UK and Africa and there are no foreign exchange rate charges at all. I don’t know of any other card that offers this advantage.
There is no rewards feature but who cares? I will never consider changing from the card that is simply the best!
Best travel credit card out there!
Reviewed by Kyria
After doing some research, I chose this card as the best option for use overseas while travelling, as (unlike most other cards) it has NO currency conversion fees.
The downside is that you can’t earn any frequent flyer/reward points, but I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Also, there’s no annual fee!
Great card for overseas travellers
Reviewed by Marion
I have this card because there are no annual fees. It is a great card for overseas travellers as there are no extra transaction fees.
I always pay off my credit card on time so cannot comment on the interest rate. But it’s a perfect card for overseas travellers who pay their account on time.
Good for travel but high interest rate
Reviewed by Jay
A great card for travelling — no currency conversion fees. The exchange rates are pretty reasonable as well.
This card has no annual fee, which is great. The interest rate on this card is pretty terrible, however.
Customer service has usually been friendly and helpful. I would recommend this card to people thinking about going abroad.
Great card for overseas travel and security
Reviewed by Liz
This card is great for travel and buying goods online, as there are no extra costs associated with different currency transactions.
The security is amazing and so you feel reassured that you are protected. Their fraud squad are communicative and investigate and refund any costs that were not incurred by you. They also call you if they detect any activity that they think is concerning.
Problems understanding service operators
Reviewed by Roswitha
It’s a great card, but quite often have a problem understanding the dreadful English some of their operators speak. Sometimes there is an issue and they usually deal with it fairly well.
The card is quite convenient because everyone accepts it and if you use it wisely and pay full balance each month you can actually end up saving heaps of money.
Good choice for low-cost travel money
Reviewed by Claire
I never usually use a credit card and signed up for this to use for overseas travel. If you 'pre-pay’ it with your own cash, you can effectively withdraw money and spend it without fees and currency conversion costs at overseas ATMs and stores/train stations/whatever. You’ll pay $1 to pay money onto it, and the interest rates are not flash if you actually use it for credit, but overall it’s a handy way to avoid the overseas transaction fees you’d pay on a normal bank card.
No annual fees, accepted everywhere
Reviewed by Amanda
The 28 degrees Platinum MasterCard is a fantastic everyday credit card. There are no annual fees associated with this card and it is accepted everywhere.
The card has a stylish-looking design as well. The website allows for easy payment, with email reminders available to avoid paying late fees and interest. It’s a wonderful card that I have used for many many years.
Service staff helped me get a refund overseas
Reviewed by Sue
I love this card. I can use it worldwide with no conversion fees for foreign currency transactions.
When I had an issue with a car hire deposit in the UK, the staff were very helpful in disputing the transaction and when I was finally refunded, they even made up the exchange rate difference for me so that I didn’t lose out. A great card for worldwide use.
Excellent for foreign purchases
Reviewed by L
The 28 Degrees card has been great for use with foreign purchases and currency, as the exchange rate is better than banks and other cards, while there are also minimal fees. I use it for all overseas purchases online, as well as taking it with me on international trips as my main source of credit.
No yearly fee, no international transactions fees
Reviewed by M
The main benefits of the 28 Degrees card are that there are no yearly fees and no international transaction fees. It is great for travelling abroad and buying online from overseas.
Their customer service is good — very friendly and helpful.
It’s payWave enabled for ease of paying more quickly than before, especially compared to cash.
Good for foreign purchases
Reviewed by Andrew
There are no rewards or loyalty program, but good exchange rates and no fees.
It’s easy to set up and there are no annual fees, even for supplementary cardholders. We have used this card in France, UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia, all without any issues at all. I definitely recommend it.
Quick, simple application and approval
Reviewed by Courtney
This is my first ever credit card. The application process was quick, simple and easy. I got accepted straight away for the credit card, but had to prove my income simply by uploading one of the accepted documents.
I plan on using this card overseas as there are many benefits to using it this way. I have yet to purchase anything with my card, but am much looking forward to it.
Very expensive fees
Reviewed by Paul
This card is no longer needed as there are better products for buying overseas. The fees are outrageous. The point of having this card is to make overseas purchases and not face foreign currency conversion fees, but the fees on the card if you don’t pay it off are exorbitant. It is better just to have a normal low rate card.
Great for overseas travel, annoying BPAY charge
Reviewed by Emma
This is one of the best cards for overseas travel. There are no ATM fees
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