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3 tips for travelling with a credit card in 2024

16 April 2024 | 4 min read

If you’re dreaming of an overseas trip this year, how you’ll pay for it might not be the first thing you’ll want to think about.

But a little planning now can help you save on costs before and during your trip.

If you’re using a credit card you’ll want to keep in mind the fees and interest you may pay. But you could also benefit from perks like complimentary insurance and rewards to save on some costs.

These details are some of the factors considered in the 2024 Finder Credit Card Awards, which used market data and a robust methodology to determine winners in 12 categories.

The team of experts analysed 270 personal and business credit cards from 82 banks and brands – and Bendigo Bank has been recognised in 2 categories related to travel:

With that in mind, we’ll use some of the features from these cards as examples of what to consider when you’re planning a trip. But these tips can apply to any card you choose!

1. Check for international transaction fees

Some credit cards and debit cards charge an international transaction fee when you use them overseas. This typically adds around 2–3% onto what you spend.

But some cards have no international transaction fees, including the Bendigo Ready Credit Card. It also has an ongoing $0 annual fee and complimentary international travel insurance1 – features which all scored highly in the Travel Card category of the 2024 Finder Credit Card Awards.

So, if you plan to pay by card most of the time, choosing one with no international transaction fees could save you around $2–$3 for every $100 you spend.

2. Take advantage of complimentary travel insurance

Travel insurance is essential if you’re going overseas. In fact, the Australian government’s Smartraveller website states that it is “as important as your passport”.

While paying for travel insurance can cost hundreds of dollars, some credit cards give you access to complimentary, international travel insurance.

For example, the Bendigo Ready Credit Card offers up to 90 consecutive days of international travel insurance for people under 76 years old3. You just need to use the card for at least $500 of your prepaid travel costs (e.g. flights or accommodation) and meet the other insurance policy requirements.

Like insurance you pay for, there are specific details on what’s covered and when you can make a claim. So it’s important to read the insurance policy document to decide if it’s suitable.

3. Redeem points for flights or upgrades

Rewards programs are very popular in Australia, with Finder research showing 91% of adults are part of at least 1 loyalty program.

In fact, Qantas Frequent Flyer has the biggest membership base (14.7 million) and Virgin Australia’s Velocity is not far behind (11.5 million).

So before booking a trip, it’s worth checking your points balance to see if you could redeem them for a reward flight now or in the future.

You can do this without a credit card, but a rewards or frequent flyer credit card can be a simple way to boost your points balance.

Especially if you’re someone who pays your statement each month (to avoid interest charges) or a business owner who uses a card to manage expenses.

To give you an example, let’s take the Bendigo Bank Qantas Business Credit Card. This card earns 0.6 Qantas Points per $1 on eligible domestic and international transactions and 0.3 Qantas Points per $1 on eligible government transactions#.

You can use this card to earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points in each statement period, with a maximum total of 360,000 points each year. It also has a relatively low $89 annual fee per card and has been Highly Commended in the Best Business Frequent Flyer Credit Card category of the Finder Awards for 2 years in a row.

Depending on how much you spend (and where you want to go) a credit card like this could help you save up enough points for a trip overseas in 2024 or beyond.

About the 2024 Finder Credit Card Awards

The Finder Credit Card Awards recognises Australia's best credit cards. Using 12 months of market data and a robust methodology, Finder's experts analyse the rates, fees, rewards and offer details for every personal and business credit card in Finder’s database to determine the best credit cards in 12 categories. In 2024, that covers 270 cards from 82 banks and brands.

Written by Amy Bradney-George, personal finance expert at Finder.


Amy Bradney-George has been writing about personal finance for more than 14 years – including over 7 years as the senior writer for credit cards at Finder. She is also the editorial lead for Finder Green, covering sustainability across different industries.

Her work has appeared in publications including Money Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, Financy, ABC News Australia and Equity Magazine. Amy also has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Drama from Griffith University.

Things you should know

3Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Refer to the Bendigo Credit Card Insurance (Low Rate Platinum, Platinum Rewards, Qantas Platinum) Terms and Conditions for further information. Bendigo Bank does not guarantee any benefits under this insurance.

Complimentary insurance covers: AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFSL 245631 (trading as Allianz Global Assistance) under a binder from the insurer, Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (Allianz) has issued an insurance group policy to Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL and Australian credit licence 237879 (Bendigo Bank) which allows eligible Bendigo Bank account holders and cardholders to claim under it as third party beneficiaries. Access to the benefit of cover under the Credit Card Complimentary Insurance is provided to eligible Bendigo Bank cardholders by reason of the statutory operation of Section 48 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth). If an eligible person wishes to claim any of these benefits, they will be bound by the eligibility criteria, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions contained in the Bendigo Credit Card Insurance (Low Rate Platinum Credit Card, Qantas Platinum Credit Card and Platinum Rewards Credit Card) Terms and Conditions which may be amended from time to time. Any advice on insurance is general advice only and not based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs.

#A Business must be a Qantas Business Rewards member to earn Qantas Points for business. A one-off join fee of $89.50 including GST normally applies, however this will be waived for Bendigo Bank customers upon approval of a new Qantas Business Credit Card facility. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Bendigo Business Standard Terms. Qantas Points are offered under Bendigo Business Standard Terms. Eligible Purchases are described in the Bendigo Bank Business Standard Terms and do not include fees, cash, cash equivalent transactions, balance transfers, premiums paid etc. and transactions for gambling or gaming purposes. You will also not earn Qantas Points on a card or card account where for that statement period, a card account is in arrears or over limit at the end of that statement period. See product page for more detailed information on Qantas Points earn rates. Earn rates are subject to change. Qantas Points are capped at 30,000 per statement period, or 360,000 per annum from the account opening date. Qantas Points will be credited to the Member’s Qantas Business Rewards account within 60 days of the purchase of the eligible services. To use Qantas Points earned by your business, simply transfer them to any Qantas Frequent Flyer account. We recommend you consult your accountant or tax adviser to ensure you understand possible tax implications, for example fringe benefits tax (if applicable). You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn and redeem Qantas Points. Membership and the earning and redemption of Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions. A joining fee may apply. Any questions in relation to Qantas Points under this offer must be made directly to Bendigo Bank by calling 1300 236 344.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of this nation and the Traditional Custodians of the land where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present as it is their knowledge and experience that holds the key to the success of future generations.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

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