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Virgin Australia's new Global Wallet travel money card

By David Flynn     Filed under: travel money, Virgin Australia, Velocity Frequent Flyer

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.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 3/7/13 by sagidec

One thing we can't do is check the exchange rate when we plan to load at the time without having to log into the account. 

Other prepaid travel cards e.g. CBA Travel Money exchange rates are CBA rates which has profit margin of almost 5c per dollar when loading money into the cards.

Big gripe is the profit margin when loading money in. Bad enough there are fees gouged for managing the card, to top it up with extra profit margin, might as well stick with 28 Degrees Mastercard / Bankwest Qantas Platinum card which gives us live rate at the point of transaction. Granted we can't lock in the rates, but the credit cards already given us more benefit than we can chew.

1 on 6/7/13 by Longreach

"can't lock in the rates". There's the key.

2 on 3/7/13 by Hugo

I'm really struggling to see the advantage of this over, say, using my normal ATM card to withdraw money in a foreign country, and paying for things using my visa card. This seems to involve higher or comparable fees, and a lot more planning ahead.

$US2.95 to withdraw money in the US, plus $1AUD to put the money on in the first place? Why not just have a Westpac account, then you can withdraw your money, fee free, from any Bank of America ATM? You'll still get ripped off on the exchange rate, but I doubt VA is going to be any more charitable.

3 on 4/7/13 by willvill

Nothing comes close, and many are far far worse than the 28 degrees card. 28 Dergees is really simple, no fees on anything but most importantly they deliver the best FX rate which I understand to be the XE. rate of the day. I snapshot all my transactions and always comes out at about a dollar difference.....much much better than most cards 3%. So for Vigins new card here is the question What is 'the applcable rate at the time of transfer' What do they useas the benchmark?

1 on 11/8/13 by Jon

Some good advice I think.

Exectly 'What is 'the applcable rate at the time of transfer' What do they useas the benchmark?'. 

I look forward to reading an answer.

4 on 5/7/13 by gavin_phillips

Really the only advantage using a 28 Degrees card is if you're chasing Velocity points I suppose.

If it's ATM fees you want to avoid (and keep your cash withdrawals seperate from your purchases) then just go get a Citibank Plus transaction account.

1 on 13/8/13 by willvill

I feel the need to qualify the 28 Degrees card benefits. No annual fee, No overseas transaction fee, No conversion fee but most importantly you get the XE rate of that day. Not a 3% clip applied by most other banks on the actual conversion rate.  Yes you have to pay the local ATM for a transaction for cash but thats it. I reckon I save about 5-8 % per transaction compared to all other cards with 28 Degrees. I have no particular interest in 28 Degrees other than it is saving me thousands per year on  my overseas travels. Hate to say it but its  too good to be true and all my friends who are now converted, concur.

5 on 28/3/14 by Jnheu

I've been using Global wallet for over 5 months now. All was going well until I made a deposit well over the deposit limit on Feb 24th 2014. Global Wallet rejected my deposit without notifying me, so I waited over 2 weeks and was only notified of the situation when I emailed the support channel. I was advised that I had to wait 5-7 working days to get the rejected amount back into my bank account. I waited for another 2 weeks before calling the Global Wallet call centre (based overseas somewhere) to further enquire about my missing deposit. I was advised that they would follow up on the issue with the right department and get back to me. I waited and waited and no one called or email me back for another 2 weeks. With unsuccessful replies from follow up emails to support, I called up the call centre and demanded to speak to the manager (which I had to wait on hold for 20mins) the manager advised me to contact my bank to request a bpay return request, which I did but a few days later I received a letter from the bank saying that Global Wallet has rejected the request. I've been in contact with the call centre 2 more times with both consultants advising me that they'll call back but again, I'm still waiting for some news on where my money is. Can anyone give me advice on how I can get my money back. It's been over 2 months now and Virgin Global Wallet won't give me back my money. 

 

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