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Currency question for trip to Australia

We use a Caxton Card which we load up before we go with the currency of the country we are visiting.We last went to the US and loaded up with dollars but we have done the same with Australian dollars.You can withdraw cash at ATMs and use it to pay for goods when shopping.

Best not to carry too much ready cash- just enough for basics.

Have a wonderful stay in OZ. I can’t wait for our next trip In December.

My normal practice, whatever country, is to get a small amount of local currency before I go and then use the Halifax Clarity Card for everything else. As you say you have a current account that doesn’t charge commission, you can always top up with cash if you should need it. That way you’re not carrying large amounts of cash (safer) and you’re less likely to have significant amounts of cash left over.

Essex UK

You can either shop around, check out exchange rates (sometimes better online), and maybe save a bit.

Or you can get Australian dollars at the Post Office or equivalent, take your Halifax Card with you, and then stop worrying about the money and have a great time.

Don’t take cash – even hiding some of it in a money belt, that is too big a sum to risk carrying on you.

Forget about traveller’s cheques – no one uses them now.

Take a few Australian dollars with you, so you don’t need to change currency when you arrive (and never use the currency exchange desks in airports who charge extortionate rates of exchange.)

Use a debit card rather than credit card in an ATM during your stay, so you won’t get stung by interest charges. I usually carry both Visa and Mastercard just in case an ATM refuses to accept one of them (it has been known to happen).

Make sure your debit and credit card companies know you are going abroad and will be using the cards. This should stop the embarrassment of having a card declined for suspicious use.


As the Halifax Clarity Card gives close to commercial rate I personally always get my currency in the country I am visiting and Australia would be no exception.


When I’ve been abroad I’ve always used my Halifax Credit card. That way I/you get the latest bank rate rather than the tourist rate.

You can then just take out whatever you need for the day or week. Keeping an eye on the rate helps too. www.xe.com

Another useful tip, using a small piece of card or paper (to slip in your wallet/purse) write down a selection of rate equivalents e.g. 1 AUD =
x, 5 AUD = y and so on.
You can put the opposite on the reverse. That way if you need to reckon up the cost of something you’ve got a quick reference until you get used to the currency.

Always have a back up card too.

Happy travels


Silver Traveller Malcolm has sent us this request – do any members have tips or advice that could help him?

We are going to stay with relatives near Melbourne, 21st September for 6weeks celebrating our 50th
wedding anniversary! The flights are booked,travel insurance and visas organised;so far so good.
My dilemma is what do I do for money. I am budgeting £1500/2000 but how do I take it,do I buy Australian
dollars over here or over there to get the best exchange rates and security wise?Do I buy half here and
leave the rest in the bank to draw through ATM’s when needed.I have a Halifax Clarity credit card and current
account who don’t charge commission I believe or for withdrawals,or do I get one of these “top up cards?”
I don’t want to have surplus dollars to bring back if necessary.
Any advice would be appreciated

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