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The Virgin Money Global Wallet vs Qantas Cash Card: FAQs
Smart Money

The Virgin Money Global Wallet vs Qantas Cash Card: FAQs

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In July 2013, Virgin Australia proudly announced the launch of its Global Wallet. But what is this Global Wallet, and what does it do? Virgin described its Global Wallet as “Australia’s first prepaid travel money card to offer Points rewards”.

Still not sure? Basically, the Global Wallet is a pre-loadable credit card that works in conjunction with Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program. It provides users with the ability to pre-load foreign currencies, and then spend them overseas, just as you would with a standard credit card – but with a few key differences.

First up, by pre-loading certain currencies onto the Global Wallet, cardholders can lock in an exchange rate that will stay in place until that pre-loaded value has been spent. With fluctuating exchange rates, this can be a great way to save money if the market is going against you. It also means you know exactly what your pre-loaded value is worth, no matter what fluctuations take place.

Secondly, you may also save money on fees. Many credit cards charge certain fees for transactions made overseas. By pre-loading currencies onto the Global Wallet, you may save money on fees when you spend using that currency. Check the FAQs below for more details. You can also find out more about international transaction fees on credit cards by reading this post.

As you may have noticed, the Global Wallet is somewhat similar to the Qantas-MasterCard partnership that brought you Qantas Cash. To find out more about prepaid travel cards, such as Qantas Cash, read our post here.

To apply for a Qantas credit card, start comparing your options here. To apply for a Virgin credit card, check out your options here.

How does the Global Wallet work?

First, you need to apply for the Global Wallet. Then, all you need to do is load the card with Australian dollars and choose the foreign currencies. You can pre-load any amount within each currency wallet, meanwhile locking in an exchange rate. Then, simply use the card as you would you any other Visa card.

What are the benefits of using the Global Wallet?

As well as the benefits mentioned above, there are certain other advantages to using the Global Wallet. The Global Wallet card and the Velocity membership card are actually two cards in one. On one side, you have the Global Wallet, and on the other, you have the Velocity membership card. This provides the following benefits to the user:

Rewards Points: As a Velocity Frequent Flyer member, you can earn points on your overseas and domestic transactions. You can earn 1 Point for every $2 spent in Australia and 1 Point for every $1 spent overseas. For more frequent flyer credit cards, click here.

Bonus Points: If you are a Velocity Frequent Flyer member, you will get bonus points for using your card to purchase Virgin flight tickets or other Virgin products, or for shopping at Virgin bonus partners.

Boarding Pass: When you fly Virgin, your Global Wallet card will also act as your boarding pass, so you simply swipe it at the gate before boarding. Virgin promises a “seamless boarding experience” when you arrive at the airport.

Lounge Access: The Global Wallet will also give you access to Virgin Airline lounges at airports around Australia and the world.

Virgin Global Wallet Common FAQs

Q: Which currencies can I load onto the Global Wallet?

A: You can now load 11 different currencies onto the Global Wallet (including the Aussie dollar).

  • AUD – Australian Dollar
  • CAD – Canadian Dollar
  • EUR – Euro
  • GBP – Pound Sterling
  • HKD – Hong Kong Dollar
  • JPY – Japanese Yen
  • NZD – New Zealand Dollar
  • SGD – Singapore Dollar
  • THB – Thai Baht
  • USD – US Dollar
  • GBP – Pound Sterling

Q: Which countries have the Euro for using the Global Wallet?

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Q: How do you load currencies onto the Global Wallet?

A: First, you load Australian dollars onto the Global Wallet. This can be done online, via BPAY, debit card or credit card to any value. Choose which currencies you want on the card, and then move the chosen value of Australian dollars into those currency wallets. Doing this, you will lock in an exchange rate, thus avoiding fluctuations in the exchange rate market.

Q: Is there a fee for topping up the card? How much is it?

A: There is no fee for topping up the card.

Q: Is there a minimum or maximum for topping up the card?

A: You can top up any amount between $1 and $25,000, as long as the total balance does not go above $25,000.

Q: What are the fees for foreign currency transactions?

A: If you use the Global Wallet to pay for something in a currency other than one of your pre-loaded currencies or Australian dollars, you will pay a 3% foreign exchange fee. For more details on international transaction fees and cards that don’t charge them, read our post here.

Q: Are there any other fees associated with the Global Wallet?

A: Your first Global Wallet card is free, but if you want an additional card, you will pay a fee of $10. If you don’t use the card for 12 months, you will pay a $1 inactivity fee, and if you do an emergency cash transfer (up to a maximum of $3000), you will pay a fee of $15. Bear in mind that you may also pay ATM fees for withdrawing cash from overseas ATMs.

Qantas Cash vs. Global Wallet: The key differences

Qantas Cash and Virgin’s Global Money were both announced around the same time back in 2013. The premise behind both of these travel money cards is pretty much the same – but with some minor differences.

Qantas

Qantas chose to partner with MasterCard, while Virgin chose Visa. Qantas also already had a wide range of credit card options and partner retailers, while Virgin had to expand the number of retail partners it had in order to compete.

Rewards

Qantas Cash cardholders earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points, while Global Wallet cardholders earn Velocity Frequent Flyer points. Each card offers the same points earning potential – 1 point for each $1 spent overseas, and 1 point for each $2 spent in Australia.

Fees

Neither option charges load fees for topping up the card. Neither option charges a transaction fee for transactions made in AUD or pre-loaded currencies. Neither option charges a monthly account fee. With Qantas Cash, there is no booking fee on qantas.com when booking within seven days of travelling. With both options, you may be charged an ATM fee by the ATM operator.

Usability

Qantas Cash is accepted everywhere MasterCard is accepted. Global Wallet is accepted everywhere Visa is accepted.

Currencies

With Global Wallet, you can load up to 11 currencies and with Qantas Cash, you can pre-load up to ten foreign currencies plus AUD:

  • CAD – Canadian Dollar
  • JPY – Japanese Yen
  • HKD – Hong Kong Dollar
  • NZD – New Zealand Dollar
  • EUR – Euro
  • SGD – Singapore Dollar
  • GBP – Great British Pound
  • USD – United States Dollar
  • THB – Thai Baht
  • AED – UAE Dirham

Extras

Both options allow for faster check-in when flying with their respective airlines.

And remember…

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Qantas Cash and Global Wallet are not recommended for use in hotels or rental agreements where the final amount is not known. Regular direct debits also cannot be taken. Lastly, if you have funds left over after your trip, you can either keep the cash loaded on the card for their next trip, or request a refund.

With these two new travel money options, neither of which require customers to sign up for a credit card, the banks may finally have some serious competition on international transactions and fees, so watch this space.

Photo source: Virgin Money
Founder - Roland B Bleyer

Roland Bleyer

Founder of Creditcard.com.au. Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in Australia. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications. Some popular offers on our site right now include the ANZ Low Rate. This special offer has no annual fee first year, a low purchase rate and long 0% balance transfer. Have a look also at the huge 0% for 30 months balance transfer from Citi with no balance transfer fees.

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3 comments (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

John Marston

John Marston

20 March 2015
Perhaps a note that global wallet exchange rates are among the worst. Whereas most entities offer a rate of 0.94AUD to the Singapore dollar, Global Wallet offer a disgusting 0.89AUD.
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    20 March 2015
    Hi John - thanks for your note - I find that many products have very poor exchange rates that are quite hidden. Its really hard to make sure that you get the best rates possible. It can be an idea to lock away rates on a prepaid travel card before you travel so that you know in advance the rate and can decide whether you are happy with it at the time.
Kaine

Kaine

5 August 2014
I strongly recommend that Virgin Australia Velocity Global Wallet service is avoided. This service did not fulfil any of my expectations and continues to disappoint me as a customer. I have matters that remain unresolved after more than one month since reporting fraudulent transactions. I believe that this is totally unacceptable and I hope for the sake of Virgin that my experience does not represent that of other customers. A timeline of my experience with Virgin Australia’s Velocity Global Wallet: - 21-05-14: Velocity Global Wallet account opened. - 22-05-14: initial funds transferred to Velocity Global Wallet account. - 27-05-14 first purchase made with Velocity Global Wallet Card. - 22-05-14 to 03-07-14: various funds transferred to Velocity Global Wallet account and purchases made with Velocity Global Wallet Card (a total of 22 transactions in 43 days). - 03-07-14 16:27 to 03-07-14 20:18: 32 fraudulent purchases made with Velocity Global Wallet Card. - 04-07-14: 13 minute phone call to Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service to report fraudulent transactions and to request further advice about how to recuperate funds. Informed by Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service that no action could be taken for a period of 10 days until transactions had cleared. - 04-07-14 to 05-07-14: A further 2 fraudulent purchases made with Velocity Global Wallet Card. - 07-07-14: 48 minute phone call to Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service to request closure of account and refund of balance on account. Informed by Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service that no action could be taken over the phone and to refund balance on account would cost $15 transfer fee. Eventually instructed to submit Account Closure Form and Dispute Form. Promised by Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service return phone call to provide update on matter within 12 hours. - 07-07-14: Dispute Form Lodged. - 08-07-14: Account Closure Form lodged. - 08-07-14: No return phone call received from Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service. - 11-07-14 to 28-07-14 away overseas unable to utilise Velocity Global Wallet Card as intended. Subsequently incurring several hundred dollars of international transaction fees as a result. - 31-07-14: Follow up e-mail sent to Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service requesting update on matter. Return e-mail received from Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service indicating no email correspondence would be able to be made due to privacy reasons. - 01-08-14: Follow up e-mail expressing disappointment with the service provided by Velocity Global Wallet. Return e-mail received from Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service addressing another Velocity Global Wallet Customer (who will not be named in this post for privacy reasons) indicating that the matter had been escalated to upper management and providing instruction to wait for a further update. - 01-08-14: 21 minute phone call to Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service requesting update on matter. Promised by Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service that an update would be provided via return phone call within 48 hours. - 03-08-14: No return phone call received from Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service. - 03-08-14: Follow up e-mail expressing disappointment with the service provided by Velocity Global Wallet and requesting an explanation as to why Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service had directly lied and misled their customer about return phone calls. No response received from Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service. - 03-08-14: Follow up e-mail requesting update on the matter within 48 hours. No response received from Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service. In summary: - I have over $1000 owed to me by Virgin Australia Velocity Global Wallet Service. - I have incurred hundreds of dollars of international transactions fees due to my inability to utilise the Velocity Global Wallet Card as advertised. - I have spent more than an hour throughout multiple phone calls to Velocity Global Wallet Customer Service attempting to amend the matter. - I have spent hours downloading, filling in, and submitting forms, in addition to formulating and sending the various e-mails attempting to amend the matter. I strongly recommend that Virgin Australia Velocity Global Wallet service is avoided. This service did not fulfil any of my expectations and continues to disappoint me as a customer. I have matters that remain unresolved after more than one month since reporting fraudulent transactions. I believe that this is totally unacceptable and I hope for the sake of Virgin that my experience does not represent that of other customers. PLEASE SHARE IF YOU EXPECT MORE FROM VIRGIN.

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