Win for travel card customers

In good news for travellers, funds that remain on certain expired travel money cards need no longer be forfeited and can be claimed back.

A review of travel money cards by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has resulted three card issuers changing their terms and conditions so that customers do not forfeit their funds when the cards expire. This is in line with all other travel money card issuers in Australia.

Travel money cards issued by ANZ, Cuscal (issuer of the Westpac card) and the Bank of China (issuer of the Australia Post Load&Go China card) will now allow customers to reclaim leftover funds even after the expiry of the card. Without this change up to $3.5 million in funds sitting on expired travel money cards could have been forfeited to ANZ three years after card expiry (where the amount was less than $500). For the Cuscal and Bank of China travel money cards, the changes will now ensure that current and future holders of the cards will avoid the risk of their money being forfeited.

ASIC reviewed 16 travel money cards by eight issuers. The other five card issuers reviewed did not require the funds to be forfeited after expiry of cards.

ASIC’s review will also result in a number of other improvements being made by the eight issuers reviewed including:

  • improved disclosure in product disclosure statements about how customers can reclaim funds after expiry
  • removal or reduction of fees, including inactivity fees
  • improved communications to customers at, or close to card expiry to remind customers of their available balance and explain how funds can be accessed.

ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, “Consumers can now be confident they will have access to their funds even if their travel money card has expired.

“This is a positive outcome for consumers, and we welcome ANZ, Cuscal and the Bank of China changing their terms and conditions about forfeiture to align with the rest of the industry.”

Consumers who consider they may be entitled to funds on expired travel money cards should contact their card issuer as soon as possible to avoid any ongoing fees.

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