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5 ways to make your money work for you on your next holiday

From relaxing on a tropical island to skiing down some of the world’s best slopes to shopping up a storm in a new city, holidays give us a much-needed break from daily life. While international adventures come with all kinds of costs, there are also many ways that you can make your money go further.

So if you’re ready to head off on your next holiday, here are five tips that you can use to get more bang from your hard-earned bucks.

  1. Get a hotel discount with your Visa debit or credit card

Your Visa card can give you access to a variety of complimentary offers and perks, including hotel discounts both overseas and in Australia. For example, you can get 8% off bookings through Hotels.com when you pay with a Visa debit or credit card in 2018. To put this into perspective, if you were spending $2,000 on a 10-night booking, you’d save $160 with this offer.

Other hotel perks range in value from up to 25% off your booking, to free nights for eligible bookings. Make sure you check out the Visa Offers + Perks page [1] for current deals that you can use to save money before your holiday even starts.

  1. Save on fees with a prepaid travel card

A prepaid travel card such as the Platinum Cash Passport [2] lets you load and spend money in multiple currencies. This means that you can avoid the foreign transaction fees typically charged by most Australian debit and credit cards, potentially saving you around 3% per transaction.

Cash Passports and other prepaid travel cards also give you a way to lock-in an exchange rate when you transfer money onto them. As a result, you won’t have to deal with fluctuating exchange rates and you will know exactly how much you’ve spent and how much you have left on the card whenever you use it.

Depending on the card, there could also be other ways to save on fees. With a Cash Passport, for example, you can get free card replacements around the world and 24/7 global emergency assistance, which can potentially save you money and time while also giving you peace of mind.

  1. Get free Wi-Fi with your Cash Passport

Your Cash Passport account also offers free Wi-Fi at over 1 million hotspots around the world through the Boingo network. All you have to do is verify your card on the Boingo website, register for an account and wait for the confirmation email to come through.

You’ll then get three months of free Wi-Fi access for up to four devices, with locations including hundreds of hotels and airports such as LAX and Heathrow International.

  1. Order some foreign currency before you leave

Even if you think you’ll be paying by card most of the time, it’s a good idea to have some cash in the local currency before you go, just in case there are some places where cards are not readily accepted. For example, if you want to get a snack and a drink at the airport when you land or if you need to buy transport tickets to your accommodation.

Whatever the reason, having foreign currency on hand means that you can avoid the hefty overseas ATM fees often charged when you get cash out. You’re also much more likely to get a competitive exchange rate when you order your money ahead of time, compared to getting it at the airport just before you leave.

  1. Avoid making card payments in Australian dollars when you’re overseas

If you’re using an Australian debit or credit card overseas, you may be asked whether you want to pay in the local currency or in Australian dollars. Choosing Australian dollars does mean that you’ll know exactly how much is taken from your account, but it usually costs a lot more as the transaction is processed using a service known as Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). [3]

With this type of transaction, you could pay up to 13% in fees without even realising it because the fees are built into the final payment price. In comparison, paying in the local currency could attract a foreign transaction fee of around 3% and is usually the cheaper option (even when you factor in fluctuating currency conversion values). Alternatively, a travel money card could help you avoid all these fees and currency conversion calculations.

Wherever you’re going and whatever budget you have for your next holiday, these five tips can help you make the most of your money. Then it’s simply a matter of kicking back and enjoying your trip.