Virgin Australia launches its Global Wallet card this month, with the first of the prepaid travel money cards – which double as a new-look Velocity Frequent Flyer card – already winging their way to travellers.
Shoppers will earn 1 Velocity Frequent Flyer point for every $2 spent in Australia and 1 point per A$1 spent overseas (this doesn’t include ATM withdrawals).
Each Global Wallet travel money card supports tap-and-go payWave technology and will contain ten 'virtual wallets', one for each currency: these are NZ, US, Canadian, Hong Kong and Singapore dollars, British pounds, the Euro, Japanese yen and Thai baht, plus of course the Aussie dollar.
In addition to being available for domestic use, the Aussie wallet serves as as a ‘master account’ into which funds are deposited as credit using methods such as BPAY. Each loading transaction carries a $1 fee.
Travellers then log onto Virgin’s online Global Wallet account centre and shift funds to the desired foreign currency wallet – a transfer that Virgin says will attract “the applicable exchange rate current at the time of transfer."
However, only five of these virtual wallets can contain credit at any time – and as the Australian wallet must always remain active, that limits you to four foreign currency wallets on the go.
To activate a different wallet Virgin says you’ll "first need to empty and inactivate one of the active foreign currency wallets."
Withdrawing foreign currency at an overseas ATM attracts fees up to A$3.30, while additional fees may also be charged by the ATM operator.
Ordering a second card costs $10, however you can request a free ‘virtual card’ with a unique number for making purchases online, over the phone and via mail order.
Virgin Australia’s Global Wallet will go head to head against the similar Qantas Cash card, which will potentially turn every Qantas Frequent Flyer Card into a smartchipped prepaid money card.
For more details, and to order a Global Wallet travel money card, visit Velocityrewards.com.au.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.