Tools & calculators
Balance transfer calculator
Credit card debt calculator
Minimum repayment calculator
Points destination explorer
Points transfer calculator
At last, a credit card that understands the way we live now, as global citizens on the move around the world, either in person or online. The 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard is set to become the card of choice for travellers, online shoppers, and anyone with an international outlook. It has the big five this kind of card user is looking for:
And if you’re looking for an important extra ‘no’, it’s there: no annual fee.
Let’s take a detailed look at what some of this really means.
Some cards charge foreign currency transaction/conversion fees of 3.5%
When you make a purchase in a foreign currency, whether while travelling or online, you are already at the mercy of a fluctuating exchange rate. It might seem that you are getting a bargain, but often you won’t really know how much it’s going to cost you in Australian dollars until the transaction hits your account.
Then, with most credit cards, there are the added fees that the bank charges for foreign currency transactions and conversion into Australian dollars, a combination of the bank’s own processing fee and a charge payable to Visa, AmEx or Mastercard. This combined charge is typically 3%, or more, of the purchase amount, and it can be as high as 3.5%.
So your bargain New York hotel room at USD125 per night may already be costing you AUD180, depending on what the exchange rate is doing. Add 3.5% to that amount, and you’re looking at USD186.30 before you’ve even had breakfast. Nasty.
If you make regular online purchases from overseas suppliers – and let’s face it, we do seem to pay very high prices for some consumer goods in Australia – then this card will be a godsend. EBay traders who source their stock internationally will be particularly happy with the ability to reduce their costs.
Use a 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard and avoid that 3.5% fee altogether.
Some cards charge a fee for cash withdrawals from an overseas ATMs
When you’re on home soil you probably make a habit of using your own bank or card issuer’s ATM, in order to avoid the transaction fees that come with using another bank’s machine. Trouble is, once you’re overseas you won’t find any of your own bank’s ATMs. So, if you need to withdraw cash from your credit card account you may be stung for an overseas ATM withdrawal fee, normally at least $4. This is in addition to any cash advance fee payable (which for the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard is 3%, rather higher than the 2% fee many banks charge).
But if you use a 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard, there will be no overseas ATM withdrawal fee.
But beware—an overseas ATM withdrawal is a cash advance
There’s no getting away from the fact that an overseas ATM withdrawal from your credit card is a cash advance, just like it is in Australia. It may be fast, convenient, open all hours and free of any requirement to speak a foreign language, but it’s still a cash advance. You’ll start paying interest on it immediately at the cash advance rate (21.99% p.a. for this card), and if you don’t do anything about it until your return to Australia, you’ll have racked up some hefty interest costs to take the shine off your trip. It’s best to find another way to access cash overseas, like a prepaid travel money card.
Tip: You can use your 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard to withdraw cash overseas and pay little or no interest. After you make the withdrawal, use your mobile phone or other internet-connected device to access your credit card account online. Once you see the cash advance amount in AUD in your account (this may take a day or two), simply transfer into your credit card account the equivalent amount from your Australian bank savings or transaction account. Provided you have no overdue balance on your credit card account, the cash transfer will be applied to your cash advance immediately and the interest charge will be a few cents at most.
Some cards charge an exorbitant fee for overseas emergency card replacement
Losing your credit card overseas, or having it stolen, is bad enough. Is someone using your card fraudulently? How will you check out of your hotel, with no means of payment? But if you have to add to that the pain of the $100 charged by some card issuers for an overseas emergency replacement card, you may begin to feel that you’ve been done over twice.
28 Degree Mastercard users can avoid that extra sting and get on with enjoying their trip, because overseas emergency card replacement is free.
Notify your card issuer if you are going overseas
While on the subject of emergency card replacement, it’s reassuring to know that this card is protected by a Falcon Fraud Management System and a skilled Fraud Solutions Team who contact cardholders by phone or SMS immediately they notice any suspect transactions.
This is a comforting level of security, but some users of the card have reported problems with using the card overseas, finding their card unexpectedly blocked. So the card issuer’s recommendation that users advise them before embarking on an overseas trip is probably better interpreted as a mandatory requirement.
Mastercard SecureCode, a system of security questions or a one-time password delivered by SMS, also helps to protect you from fraudulent online shopping transactions.
$0 p.a. annual fee
Since you won’t be charged any annual fee for this card, it’s possible to keep it on standby for overseas trips or online shopping, even if you have another card that you prefer to use when dealing with Australian retailers. You can also have up to nine supplementary cards on the account, which makes it perfect for a small business with trusted employees who need to travel or purchase internationally.
More benefits for the traveller
To underline the fact that this is a card designed for international travellers, there are more built-in advantages for people on the move:
(There’s also a range of ‘Shopper’s Protection’ insurance available, providing purchase protection, merchandise protection, stolen card protection, and account repayments in case of unemployment, illness, disability or death, for a charge of 0.5% of each month’s closing balance, up to a maximum payment of $50 per month).
No rewards points, no introductory offers, no low interest rates
While there are none of the usual overseas transaction fees, and no annual fee, some of the perks commonly associated with credit cards are also missing.
Although you’ll get Up to 55 days on purchases each month (provided you have no overdue balance on your account), there are no introductory zero interest periods on either purchases or balance transfers.
There are no rewards points or free insurance policies. The ongoing purchase and cash advance interest rates (both 21.99% p.a.) are at the high end of the market. If you are looking for low interest rates, this is not the card for you.
User profile for the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
It’s pretty clear, then, that this card is ideal for someone who either travels overseas regularly or shops online frequently with suppliers whose charges are made in a foreign currency. This same hypothetical user is not concerned about the high purchase and cash advance interest rates, planning to always pay the account balance in full by the due date in order to benefit from Up to 55 days on purchases and never pay interest charges. Since there is no annual fee, it’s a no-brainer for this person to keep it in their wallet for when they are in overseas mode.
The foreign transaction fee is a fee that some banks apply to each individual purchase made where the purchase is made overseas, i.e. outside Australia. The fee itself is typically worked out as a percentage of the purchase. It is usually around 2-3%. The 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard does not charge international transaction fees or currency conversion fees on purchases.
Almost all credit cards in Australia charge a foreign exchange fee of 2-3% plus a currency conversion fee. On a $100 purchases that’s a $3 saving. So, a credit card like the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard really comes into it own if you’re travelling overseas or doing a lot shopping from overseas online stores and want to put your spending on a credit card.
No, travel insurance is an optional extra and is not complimentary for cardholders.
No, this card does not allow new cardholders to transfer their balance from another card(s).
Yes, for example, if you are shopping at a US online store from Australia, you will not be charged a foreign exchange fee or currency conversion fee.
No. These are two separate fees. Not all banks charge both.
Check what you would be charged for either because it is possible that a no foreign transaction fee card may still charge a foreign currency exchange fee.
Even if a no foreign transaction fee card did charge a foreign exchange fee, it would still be cheaper than a card that levied fees on both.
I have never been turned away from making a purchase anywhere in Australia with this card. They called once to let me know that some strange activity was occurring. It was only a few cents worth, but they picked up on it.
Loved the zero percent interest on balance transfers, which initially made us make the decision to go with this card. I’m not loving the interest rate right now and am currently searching for a way to cut some costs. Paper statement fee of $2 is a wrought just like the other cards charging this fee. We should not be 'softly bullied’ by big companies to accept this charge when they make a profit off the consumer to begin with.
Not everyone wants to deal with a screen—some people like to actually speak to people face to face. I don’t enjoy making phone calls to them for help and then getting help from someone with a heavy accent. I like to be able to understand those I speak to, especially when it is not face to face.
Statements always arrive on time. I have been charged a $25 late fee for not making the minimum payment on time, which I think is incredibly rude and also a way to softly bully the consumers into the direct debit option or of course run the risk of forgetting.
All in all, there has not been any major issues with this card, but that will not stop me from looking to see if I can save a penny for a change as with all these extra charged on top of the actual bill for the services supposedly used, it adds up and will eventually make us use the product less and less.
If you’re planning an overseas holiday with your family, the 28 degrees MasterCard will save you a small fortune compared to the big banks’ credit cards—actually even compared to every credit card available to the Aussie consumer. It is a front runner for value for money and ease of use.
Rates and charges are the killer, but the card is not so bad because the charges are everyday and keeps on adding interest. Rewards are not too bad. Customer service is not great, but fairly good. It’s there when you need it.
Have been using this 6 months and have found no faults yet. The 28 Degrees is an online credit card. They provide excellent information, details of purchases, payment and answer emails and phone calls promptly. This is a brilliant card to take overseas. There are no international usage charges, no currency charges or other hidden charges. The only charges, if you pay on time, are those charged by banks if you use their ATM.
I picked up this card a few years ago for overseas travel. Before then, I hadn’t even owned a credit card. The card gave me such peace of mind with hassle-free transactions all over the world and no constant worrying about exchange rates or fees. I thought when I arrived home I wouldn’t have the need for the card, but I use it all the time. It’s convenient with no hidden fees, and as someone who is quite sensible with their money, the long interest-free period each month gives me ample time to make sure I pay it off in full.
I like this no-fee credit card because I travel a lot overseas and am usually hit with international transaction fees when I use other cards. With the 28 Degrees MasterCard, I pay no international transaction fees and no annual fees. This saves me money and I like the idea of not paying money to credit card companies for no reason.
This card has been handy when travelling or for online purchases for the past eight or so years. The exchange rates have been about the best so far and without fees. For the very few times I’ve called their centre, the staff have been great.
The new 'fee for paying us’ concept won’t be liked by many.
The main benefits of the 28 Degrees card are that there are no yearly fees and no international transaction fees. It is great for travelling abroad and buying online from overseas.
Their customer service is good — very friendly and helpful.
It’s payWave enabled for ease of paying more quickly than before, especially compared to cash.
It was an okay card with no international transaction fees, but now they have chosen to force their customers to use their slow 'Pay my account’ feature via their website (taking a minimum of three business days to process, which makes it very inconvenient to wait so long). If you try to pay it normally (like via BPAY) they now charge you every time you pay from your own normal bank’s BPAY.
I use this card whenever I purchase items in a foreign currency. I was tired of paying excessive fees on my other credit cards, and I didn’t want to shell out even more money for a travel card from other banks or Australia Post. With the 28 Degrees card I can purchase items over the internet and in other countries when I travel, safe in the knowledge that I will pay what I thought I would pay with no hidden fees.
|Cash advances||1.83%||21.99% p.a.|