Travel checklist

Planning an overseas trip? Organise your finances before you go.

3.5 minute read

Let us know you're leaving

Tell us when and where you’re planning to go so we can keep an eye out for suspicious activity on your account. Go to 'More' > 'Going overseas' in the Bankwest App or log in to online banking to fill out an Overseas Travel Notification.

Make a spending plan

Consider how you're going to spend money while you're away. Start by working out roughly how much you'll need (for things like food, travel and activities) and consider carrying a mix of cash and card. Here are some options for spending money overseas.

Credit card

We have a range of credit cards that can be used overseas (wherever you see the Mastercard® logo). Our Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard® comes with some travel perks and has no annual fee. Our low rate credit card has a lower interest rate and might be the way to go if you don’t think you’ll pay off the balance each month.

Keep in mind some fees and charges might apply when you travel.

Debit card

If you're using savings for your trip, you might be paying via debit card. Before you leave, transfer your holiday spending money into a bank account linked to a debit card you can use overseas (any debit card with the Mastercard logo). Keep in mind you'll need to use the 'Credit' option when paying with a Debit Mastercard outside of Australia. Make sure you’re prepared for any international fees.


If you’re taking cash, consider exchanging currency before you leave. This will help if you can’t find an ATM or pay for things electronically – for instance, if you need to pay in cash for a taxi from the airport.

Money transfers

If you’re planning to use an overseas account, you could transfer money between your Bankwest account and your overseas account. Before you go, make sure your daily international transfer limit is set to an amount you’re comfortable with. You’ll need to register for SMS code and have your mobile with you so you can receive SMS codes.

Personal loan

If you need some extra money for your trip, a personal loan might be the way to go. Once you're approved for a certain amount, you pay off the loan in instalments. Your repayments will start as soon as funds are sent to your account, so make sure to calculate your repayments – this will help you get an idea of what you’ll need to pay while you’re away.

Prepare for overseas transactions

When making purchases online while outside of Australia, you may need to enter an SMS code. This can get tricky while travelling if you're not able to receive SMS overseas.

If you're planning (and able) to have data roaming enabled while you're away and you're registered for SMS code, you should be able to make the transactions you need to without having to contact us.

If you don't have data roaming enabled, you won't be able to make any transactions that require an SMS code. Here are your options:

To make payments from within the Bankwest App

Set up PIN login before you leave. You’ll need to be registered for SMS code and have SMS access to set up PIN login – so make sure you do it before you head overseas if you know SMS is going to be an issue.

Once PIN login is set up, you can make payments and transfers from the app without SMS code.

To make payments from within Bankwest Online Banking

Apply for a temporary SMS code exemption by calling us on 13 17 19 within Australia or +61 8 9449 2840 from overseas. During the exemption period, you'll authorise online banking payments using secret questions instead.

Exemptions only apply to payments made from within Bankwest Online Banking – you’ll still need to use SMS code for all other transactions.

Keep in mind the following services won’t be available in online banking if you have an SMS code exemption:

  • Increasing your transfer limits
  • Transferring money internationally
  • Registering a PayID
  • Managing your cards.

When all else fails

The above options won't cover you if you're making payments outside the Bankwest App or online banking – like if you're making a payment online using your Mastercard® details.

If you get stuck during a transaction while overseas, call us on +61 8 9449 2840. You’ll need to contact the international operator in the country you’re in and ask to be put through to this number. It's a reverse charge number, but keep in mind there may be charges applied by the local or international phone company for contacting the operator.

Automate your banking

Schedule regular payments

If you’re regularly paying for things like rent or bills, you could avoid late fees with scheduled payment transfers. It’s great if you want to set and forget payments during your trip.

Receive notifications on your accounts

Monitor your accounts with Bankwest Easy Alerts. Depending on the type of account you have, you could receive a notification before a scheduled payment is due or when your balance drops below a nominated amount.

About this article

We take care of all the BS (bank stuff) so you can access the knowledge you need to make informed decisions. When we write a guide or article, we take steps to make sure the information is relevant, accurate and most of all, helpful.

Keep reading

Here are some security tips to help keep your money safe, so you can spend your trip doing the things you enjoy.

Planning to use a credit card on your overseas holiday? Save on fees, charges and travel insurance so you have more to spend on the fun stuff.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should it be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. Also to the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL / Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accept no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in this article.

Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated.