I’m heading to Australia in September on a WHV and know that I have to take a minimum amount of money into the country, which I’m saving at the moment!
I have a good 0% credit card and plan on taking a small amount of cash in AUD with me to tide me over for a week or so. I’m going with one of those intro companies who are helping to set up a bank account during my first couple of days out there so that’s not a problem either.
What I need some advice on is how to get my money from my English account with Lloyds into my Australian account. From my research I’ve found that the charges for transferring money internationally are quite high and I didn’t want to throw money away on this Would anyone advise on (or against!) putting my funds on a travel money card and using this? And does anyone know if I could transfer the funds from a travel money card to my Australian bank account?
Any advice would be appreciated : )
Taking some in cash till you get a bank account set up is a good idea, I’ll be doing the same thing. With regards to transferring the money over, as far as I am aware most banks will do it for a one off fee and then it’s up to whatever the exchange rate of the day is. For example Barclays will charge £25 and there is no transaction limit so you could send over £10 or £5k and still pay the same transaction charges. Other banks I am not so sure.
With regards to using a travel card for your cash, I would read the terms and conditions very carefully. I know that the one I am using, you cannot take money off of the card without them charging you a silly percent as they also deem that as you cancelling the card early so charge you for that too.
Thanks for your advice, much appreciated.
what exactly is sufficient funds for the whv?
The Australian immigration site recommends 5000 aud as a minimum which works out at about 3500 gbp with the current exchange rate.
You don’t need to ‘take a minimum amount of money into the country’; you just need to be able to demonstrate you have available funds. Having a recent statement (or at least an e-banking printout) of your bank/savings account should suffice. A credit card is also a good demonstration off ‘available funds’.
As for transferring money to your Australian bank account; I wouldn’t bother. Your Australian bank account is for your Australian earnings, while it’s probably cheaper and clearer to keep your UK savings in your UK bank account.
It can be reassuring to have some currency with you when you arrive but there are ATMs at the airports so you can always withdraw it when you get there.
For advice on the cheapest way to access travel money, have a look here:-
It would also be worth considering an account from Norwich & Peterborough Building Society as they don’t charge any foreign usage fees:-
Thanks for you advice, I’ve just had a look at the links you sent through and they’ve been a big help!
With the English Pound as weak as it is, I would personally take as little English money as you can, and start working ASAP. The Aussie Dollar is now one of the stronger currencies of the world, as it’s strength relies upon China and India. However, growth there is starting to slow, so I would not recommend keeping Australian Dollars long term.
You will get so few dollars to the pound right now it is painful. I know a friend who moved ten thousand pounds over to Australian dollars ten years ago, and has now got 25 thousand moving them back. You really want to use Australian money in Australia. It’s not hard finding work.
My personal opinion.
Thanks Seth, I definitely plan on working as soon as possible. How much would you recommend taking in cash to tide me over for a couple of weeks?
Depends where you land and how much you’ve travelled before. I blew a thousand pounds in two weeks, mainly because I was an 18 year old who had never been alone before. If you are in Sydney, expect to spend upwards of 50/60 dollars a day. If other cities, maybe slightly less. I worked in a Brisbane hostel for my room, tidying gardens and cutting branches for a couple of hours a day. Was a good way to save cash.
Which city are you going to?
I’m starting off in Sydney for a couple of weeks, then plan to head to Melbourne. A few of my friends have worked in hostels in exchange for rooms too, I’m hoping I can sort out something like that out too - will help keep costs down!