Looking for the best travel card for Australians? After a year of bouncing around the world with my ING Orange account here’s my full review…
Picking the right travel card can make the difference between an easy, relaxing holiday and a financial nightmare – and finding a bank account that doesn’t totally take the p*ss with fees once you leave the country is a bit of a minefield, especially in Australia.
Having struggled with really bad exchange rates, fees and a clunky app whilst banking with Commonwealth I decided I needed to make a big change and did some solid research into the best Australian bank for travelling abroad.
And that’s how I came across the ING Orange Everyday Account…
REVIEW: ING Orange Everyday – The Best Travel Card For Aussies?
Aussie Travel Cards – Not A Lot Of Choice!
Unlike the UK – which has heaps of new ‘disruptor banks’ like Starling (who I use for my UK accounts) and Monzo which both offer awesome deals on fees and withdrawals abroad – Australia seems a LOT more limited for options.
The big banks like Commonwealth (who I also bank with in Australia) and ANZ both fell flat on their face for travel cards, especially for those heading out on a long term trip and more importantly bouncing through a a lot of currencies along the way.
After a heap of Googling and chatting to my Aussie buddies it seemed the ING Orange Everyday account is leading the way for Aussies travelling the world and is also epic as a day to day card in Australia too!
First off, setting up my account with ING was a breeze.
A simple online form that took less than 15 minutes to fill out and have my account approved (as long as you have your ID and stuff to hand!), and I did it all without having to step foot into a bank, super easy!
You physical debit card will then arrive within 2-5 working days and you’re good to go!
Download The App
Once you have all your online logins for your new ING account you can immediately download the ING app to your iPhone or smartphone and connect your account.
As you’d expect from a banking app you can easily keep track of your transactions and easily make payments etc.
From a travel perspective you can also easily see your payments/ATM withdrawals in both local and AUD too.
Another handy travel feature is the “rebates’ tab – which gives you an instant overview of how much you’ve saved on both card and ATM withdrawal rebates – not essential but it’s good to see in hard $ how much the travel card is worth the money!
As an example, my recent 3 month stint in Bali I racked up over $120 worth of rebates – so it’s well worth it.
The other huge advantage of the app is enabling notifications on your phone/Apple Watch – for everyday banking its super handy to keep up to date with your spending and income, but once you’re abroad it’s a really convenient way to keep an eye out for fraudulent transactions and card skimming.
So make sure you get push notifications enabled ASAP!
How To Go Fee Free Abroad
The ING travel card offers both free ATM withdrawals abroad as well as great exchange rates and fee free on card transactions abroad too.
However, unlike Starling Bank in the UK, the ING Orange Everyday account has a few conditions to be able to to go fee free abroad;
- Make 5 transactions per month (completed, not pending)
- Transfer in at least $1,000 from an external bank account
Doing the above in the current month unlocks the free transactions/rebates the next month.
If you’re using it as a day to day card as well it should be no worries – but if you’re only using it as a travel card make sure you give yourself plenty of time to unlock everything before you head off!
…something I’ve overlooked a couple of times which has been a bit annoying!
Also if you’re worried about the $1,000 a month restriction, you can sneak your way around that as there are no conditions on where it comes from or how long it stays in your account – so in theory you can simply transfer it in, then straight back out!
Once you’ve ticked those off the list the next calendar month becomes fee free!
You can also quickly check in the app whether you’ve unlocked these features for the following month too and your first month is already activated so you can hit the road right away as well.
Along with removing fees abroad, the card also covers rebates on ATM withdrawals from within Australia too, which is super handy if you’re also using it as a day to day card in Oz as well.
Oh…and there’s no monthly fee for the account either as an added bonus!
I’d also like to point out how epic my experience with ING customer service has been too.
When I headed to the Mentawais I took a large chunk of cash out from an ATM in Padang, which was well out of line of my patterns of spending and previous geo location. I then got a notification on the app saying my card had been restricted.
Initially my thoughts we “oh great, I’m going to be on hold for hours sorting this”.
But actually the whole thing was quickly resolved – and they also helped me put through an online payment which required an extra code (due to the payment size) as I didn’t have access to my Aussie SIM at the time either.
I also got my card skimmed at an ATM in Bali (yaaaaay!) and the ING team were super helpful with getting this resolved and refunded into my account as well – with an email update once it was all sorted.
So yeah, kudos to that and this has given me even more faith in them!
Am I Getting Paid To Say This?
I’d also like to point out that I’m not being paid by ING to write this review and have no affiliations with the bank or anything like this.
I’m just sharing some info I’ve gained on my journey and hopefully it’ll help you out planning your travels and also save you some money in the process!
Are you Aussie?
What travel card have you been using?