Citi Bank is running a promotion for its currency card, and when you sign up and convert AU$1,000 to a foreign currency within the first three months, they will credit you 25,000 Flybuys Points.
What’s it worth?
25,000 Flybuys Points are worth 10,875 Velocity Frequent Flyer points or $125 when redeemed for shopping at Coles (but there’s zero fun in that).
The maximum I would personally pay for 1 Velocity points is around 1 cent give or take, which makes this deal a go.
Is there a credit check?
Nowp! Since the Citi Global Currency card is just a debit card, there’s no credit check, which means there will be no negative impact on your score.
What’s the cost?
It goes without saying that all currency cards are a borderline scam, just like any card advertised by banks with the word “travel” in it. The only reason you would get a foreign currency account is that you know exactly how much money you will have since the rate is locked in. However, unless you’re a professional FX trader, there’s no way you will know if a currency pair will go up or down.
To give you a few examples, the following cards should be avoided at all cost unless you are happy to pay between 5-10% of your money for the privilege: Qantas Money, Velocity Global Wallet, Commbank Travel Money Card, anything from Travelex, etc. etc.
The debit cards that are actually great for taking out money overseas and charge ZERO fees are: IND Direct, Citi Bank debit card, Macquarie debit card and Up Bank (they do charge a $5 fee though) to name a few. If you’re not holding one of these cards already, you’re getting fleeced.
Anyway, I digress, back to the deal…
After comparing the Citi Currency Card exchange rates with the Mastercard spot rates (some of the best rates you can get as a consumer), it appears you will be around $20 out of pocket when you make the required AU$1,000 conversion to USD for example.
If you have plans to spend in USD, $20 will be the maximum you end up paying. However, if you’re planning to send the money back to AUD, you will be out of pocket around $40 which is still an OK price to purchase 10k+ Velocity Points at.
Of course, holding the card itself is 100% free.
Since I already have a Citi Plus Everyday Account (I use this to cash out money overseas with 0% fees) applying took a total of 2 minutes. So after you’ve read this post, you should only be down about 5 minutes of your time 😉
It’s not the deal of the century, but as the saying goes: don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Every little bit helps and with just over 10,000 Velocity Points on the line, I think it’s worth the effort!
Where to sign up
You can find the promo page right here: https://www1.citibank.com.au/banking/bank-accounts/flybuys-GCA