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Dollars and Discontent: Decoding the CommBank International Transaction Fee

I’m going to assume that you’ve made your way to this page because you’ve found some unexpected charges on your card statement, either on return from your trip overseas or after spending too much online.

Or maybe you’re planning a trip and want to ensure you don’t waste your hard-earned money.

International Transaction Fees

Either way, I was just as shocked as you when I started looking into the CommBank International transaction fee and how many times you could get hit. I couldn’t believe how much extra you could be charged by purchasing online or travelling overseas.

Today we’ll look into what Commonwealth Bank charges when you shop overseas and other essential topics such as;

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Commbank International transaction fee

When will I be charged an overseas transaction fee?

Commonwealth Bank will charge you an foreign transaction fee, either while you’re travelling abroad or while in Australia if you use your CommBank card to make purchases online or use it while overseas with a local merchant, you will be charged a fee.

And, of course, when you withdraw cash from an ATM while overseas, you open yourself up to even more fees and charges.

What’s even more crazy is, if you purchase an Australian website ‘.com.au’ you may still be charged an International transaction fee. This happens if the Australian website processes payments through an overseas merchant.

It’s essential to be aware of this and to check with the merchant before making a purchase.


Save your hard-earned cash

We’ll take you through the most common fees and charges to be aware of and how you can protect yourself and save your hard-earned cash.

Common Overseas Transaction Fees to Look Out For When Using Your CommBank Card

Transaction Type Fee
Online purchase with overseas connection or purchase while overseas. 3.00%
Cash Advance 3.00%
Withdrawals or balance enquiries at ASB Bank ATMs in New Zealand or

Commonwealth Bank ATMs outside Australia (CommBank Debit Card or Keycard)

AUD$2.00 each
Any other cash withdrawal overseas AUD$5.00 plus 3% of the transaction value


Online Shopping

When you make a purchase online, you may be charged a fee if the merchant is based overseas. When using your Commonwealth Bank card, the fee is usually 3% of the transaction amount.

Also, remember it may not always be obvious when you will be charged. Although the site may be an Australian site ‘.com.au’, the fee will apply if the transaction is processed overseas.

Researching the site and reading the terms and conditions before purchasing is essential. We recommend checking with the merchant to be sure.

Online Shopping

Travelling Overseas

When travelling overseas, there are even more opportunities to incur fees depending on which product you are using.

There can be multiple fees per transaction, including the overseas transaction fee and a currency conversion rate, which includes a margin charged if the currency needs to be converted from Australian dollars to a foreign currency.

Paying in Local Currency vs. Australian Dollars

You may be given the choice to pay in either local currency or Australian dollars, and you should check the exchange rate to see which option is more beneficial to you at the time.

However, remember you will still get charged the Overseas transaction fee if applicable because your transaction is processed overseas. CBA usually charges around 3% of the transaction amount.

Using Cash vs. Card

One way you could avoid this is by using cash. However, this has its pitfalls as well. Carrying a large sum of cash on you can be unsafe, and using an ATM to withdraw cash can get pricey also.

Using ATMs Overseas

Each time you use an ATM, you are opening yourself to incurring overseas ATM fees. With CommBank, these fees are between AUD$2 - AUD$5 per withdrawal, depending on the product and ATM you use. You may then get charged 3% of the withdrawal amount on top of that.


CBA International Money Transfer (IMT)

When converted to a foreign currency, you will not be charged a fee when you send money through Net Bank or the CommBank app. However, you will be charged if you transfer via a branch or are transferring AUD to AUD.

If you transfer via a branch, the fee will be AUD$30; if you transfer funds with no FX conversion, the fee will be AUD$22 per transfer.

CBA Debit Mastercard or Key Card

Transaction Type Fee
International transaction fee (applies to transactions in a foreign currency or

Australian dollars made while you are overseas or in Australia where there is an overseas connection)

3.00% of the transaction value
Withdrawals or balance enquiries at ASB Bank ATMs in New Zealand or

Commonwealth Bank ATMs outside Australia

AUD$2.00 each
Any other cash withdrawal overseas AUD$5.00 plus 3% of the transaction value

If you have a Commonwealth Bank Debit Mastercard or Keycard, you can use this while travelling overseas and for online purchases. But keep in mind you will get charged an overseas transaction fee.

You will be charged each time you withdraw from an ATM or pay for items overseas or online with an overseas connection.

This fee is 3% of the transaction value. The fee for withdrawing cash at an ATM is AUD$2 if you are using ASB Bank ATMs in New Zealand or CBA ATMs outside of Australia.

Any other cash withdrawals overseas will each be charged at AUD$5 plus 3% of the transaction value.

Also note that any Keycards issued after June 11 2018 are not able to be used for purchases at point of sale overseas, but you’ll still be able to make withdrawals from overseas ATMs, where Cirrus is accepted.

Travel Money Card Fees and Charges

CommBank Travel Money Card

The Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card may be a good option for you if you are looking to keep your fees to a minimum.

However, keep in mind that you will still be charged an International transaction fee while overseas and when making purchases online with an overseas connection.

Some major benefits you’ll get when using the CommBank travel money card include;

  • No reload fees
  • Prepaid
  • Flat rate fee for ATM withdrawals


Type of Fee When you Pay How Much
Initial load/reload/unload Initial loading of card, reloading card and transferring funds out of your Travel Money Card. Rate will be the applicable CommBank Retail Foreign Exchange rate at time of conversion. Current rate found at commbank.com.au/travelmoney
Cash Withdrawal Withdrawing cash outside of Australia using your card (includes ATMs and cash dispensing merchants). AUD$3.50 if AUD currency is withdrawn. If other currency is withdrawn, that currency Visa exchange rate equivalent for AUD$3.50, will be used.
Currency conversion on purchases and withdrawals - Using your card for purchase or withdrawal (in a currency that is not loaded), or

- When CBA automatically transfers between currencies on your card to complete transaction.

Rate will be the Visa exchange rate at the time of conversion plus 3%.
Transfer between currencies When you transfer friends from one currency to another on same Card or to another Travel Money Card via CommBank app or NetBank. Rate will be the applicable CommBank Retail Foreign Exchange rate at time of conversion. The applicable rate will be shown to you at time of transfer.
Card Closure When you ask CommBank to close your card or when cards are closed.    automatically. Rate will be the applicable CommBank Retail Foreign Exchange rate at time of conversion. Current rate found at commbank.com.au/travelmoney

*Data obtained from CommBank Travel Money Card 1 & Travel Money Card 2

Tips to Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees

Changing currency

You can avoid or reduce paying International transaction fees and other associated fees and charges in several other ways. Consider some of the following options;

Change your Currency Before Travelling

The simplest way to avoid fees on each transaction is to bring cash with you. All you have to do is convert your Australian dollars to the foreign currency of the country or countries you plan to travel to.

You can convert your currency either online, and have your money delivered directly to you, or in-store.

Online money exchangers like S Money are often an easy and cheap way to buy foreign currency. You usually only pay a small fee and the currency exchange rate, no hidden fees!

Travel Cards

There are several cards designed for travel and making online purchases in mind. They remove the international transaction fee, have low fees competitive currency conversion rates and offer free ATM withdrawals.

Some of the best cards are the Wise Travel Card, Revolut and Travelex Money Card.

CBA also offers some great options for travel and online purchases and these include CommBank Neo, Smart Awards and Ultimate Awards credit cards which don’t charge an international transaction fee.

ING Orange Everyday

A great option to consider is the ING Orange Everyday account and cards, which offer rebates on international transaction fees and some ATM withdrawal fees when you meet eligibility criteria.

Although ING recently removed rebates on overseas ATM operator fees, you can still benefit from unlimited rebates on the 3% international transaction fee, and five rebated ING ATM withdrawal fees monthly.

Up Bank

Another option is Up Bank, which offers no international transaction fees and allows free ATM withdrawals overseas. It is a top pick for Aussies looking to avoid sneaky bank fees when travelling or shopping online abroad.

Customers praise Up Bank’s easy sign-up process, mobile app for tracking spending, and partnership with Wise for international money transfers.

We’ve covered a lot of information regarding the CoommBank International transaction fee as well as how you can save money and avoid unnecessary overseas fees.

Selecting the right product can save you some money but it’s important to consider other options like taking cash or using another product to avoid the foreign transaction fees completely.

Will you be taking your CommBank card with you on your next trip?