International transaction fees: what you need to know and how you can avoid them

Does your bank charge you an international transaction fee?

If you have ever shopped online, then you may have been charged "international transaction fees." Most banks charge you a 3–4% fee for each international transaction you make, and this can pile up very quickly if you’re not mindful of your international spending.

Savvy’s 2022-Australian Online Shopping Behaviour Report shares that the average person spends approximately $11,856 on online shopping annually. If your bank is charging you up to 4% on international transaction fees, you might be paying nearly $500 just on international transaction fees.

What are "international transaction fees?"

These charges are usually buried deep in the terms and conditions of your bank’s card agreements. International transaction fees appear on your account when you make a purchase overseas or in a foreign currency. Many banks still charge a 3-4% international transaction fee on debit cards, and this could be costing you hundreds of dollars.

Some online shoppers are charged this fee even for purchases in Australian dollars, all because the business may be based overseas or the transaction was processed offshore.

How are international transaction fees calculated?

Imagine you’re paying €1,008 while on vacation in Germany using your bank card, which has a 3% international transaction fee. With the current currency conversion, this works out to be approximately $1,537 AUD. Based on that converted amount, your bank could be charging you 3% on top of your costs.

Therefore, the actual cost could come out to be ($1,537*3%) + $1,537 = $1,583.11

This may not seem like much to start with, but adding the extra 3–4% to each of your international expenses can quickly add up.

So, how can you avoid international transaction fees?

You can avoid paying these fees that don’t add any value by simply using a card that doesn’t charge the international transaction fee. At Yondr, we don’t charge our customers international transaction fees on overseas purchases, both in-store and online. This could mean savings for you if you regularly shop online or travel with international businesses.

How can Yondr help you?


Travelling overseas soon?

You can use Yondr to convert money at some of the best exchange rates and spend confidently with no hidden fees and no international transaction fees. Your virtual cards are powered by Visa and can be added to Google Pay to tap and go with your phone or watch while you travel. In the app, you can check your balance or add more money using your dedicated BSB and account number. If you lose your physical card, you can easily block the card in your app and continue exploring uninterrupted. Our spend notifications will show how much you have spent in the local currency and in AUD.

Are you trying to save or budget?

The Yondr app provides you with useful tools to help you understand and manage your spending habits—so you can stay on budget! Use our virtual cards to create bucket budgets, set spending limits and monitor where your hard-earned money is actually going.

Want an alternative to the big banks?

We’re a great alternative to the big banks, giving you everything you ever wanted. We have no monthly or hidden fees, $0 international transaction fees, an Australian-based support team, greener virtual cards, spend analytics, money management controls, and your own dedicated BSB and account number.