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How Australians can make the most of Black Friday sales

What is Black Friday?

If you’ve ever seen chaotic scenes online of frantic shoppers literally fighting each other to grab the last sale item, you’ve probably been watching footage of a Black Friday sale. This is the biggest day on the American shopping calendar, with major retailers offering whopping discounts (some as high as 80 per cent) on premier brands and big-ticket items.

It doesn’t stop on the Friday, either. The sales keep on rolling over the weekend, culminating at the start of the next week with ‘Cyber Monday’ – so called because the bargains on this day are predominantly online, so there’s even more opportunities for armchair shoppers.

When is Black Friday?

Black Friday is always on the day after Thanksgiving, so this year the shopping fun kicks off on November 23.

How can Aussies get in on the fun?

Of course in this age of online shopping, the need to queue up and do battle with fellow shoppers is no longer relevant (even if some shoppers may still love the in store challenge), with many major US retailers offering equally tantalising sales online as well. The beauty of this is that with a bit of forward planning, shoppers could take advantage of the savings as well.

Although shopping on overseas sites can have its headwinds – particularly with exchange rates and pesky conversion fees – by shopping with a global currency card it’s possible to lock in an exchange rate in advance (so you’ll know exactly how many US dollars you’ll have to spend) and avoid foreign conversion fees altogether.

Foreign conversion fees - and how to avoid them

Perhaps one of the most popular reasons for shopping internationally with a Westpac Global Currency Card  is the ability to avoid paying a foreign conversion fee3 (charged as a percentage of the purchase you’re making, generally around 3%).

Although 3% may not seem all that much, it can add up over time, and the less money spent on fees, the more money there is for shopping.

Locking in your currency

Another advantage of using a global currency card to shop is the ability to lock in an exchange rate in advance. This can be particularly handy if the rate is in your favour even if you don’t need to use your foreign currency at the time.

With a Global Currency Card, you can lock your US dollars in at the beginning of the month and know exactly how much you’ll have to spend when the sales hit. Let’s take the US dollar, for example. If the Aussie dollar is particularly strong against the greenback at the beginning of November, but you don’t want to spend it until the Black Friday sales at the end of the month, you can lock in your rate earlier to spend later.

What about security?

Because the Westpac global currency card is backed by Visa, you’ll get all the protection using it as you would if shopping with a Visa credit card, in particular the Visa Zero Liability policy. This means if someone managed to use your card fraudulently, Visa will refund you for any unauthorised transactions1.

What if I have money left on my card after Black Friday has been and gone?

Got some cash left over? You’ve still got plenty of options. You could choose to:

  • Withdraw it at an ATM in Aussie dollars(1)
  • Shop online in Australia or overseas
  • Use it in Australian shops (wherever Visa is accepted)
  • Keep it on the card for an overseas trip (you can convert it into 10 other currencies)

Tips for making the most of the Black Friday sales

  • Research in advance and compare sites – a number of retailers in the US who take part in Black Friday give details of their sales and deals in advance, so check around different sites well in advance to know what you’re after and where you can get the best price.
  • Don’t limit yourself to US retailers – in recent years, Black Friday has become a global phenomenon with sites in the UK, Europe, Asia and beyond also getting in on the action. 
  • Will it work in Australia? – Keep in mind that if you’re in the market for electronics, not all of them will work in Australia.
  • Do they ship? – Find out what the shipping policy is – is it complementary or will you pay for it and if you are – how much? You’ll need to factor this into your costs.
Things you should know

Read the terms and conditions available at before deciding. Fees and charges may apply. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general in nature. It is intended as an overview only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Westpac Global Currency Card PDS (PDF 696KB)

Westpac Global Currency Card Brochure (PDF 235KB)

Westpac Global Currency Card Privacy Policy (PDF 69KB)

Information is current as at 1 May 2017. You should read the Westpac Global Currency Card Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision and consider whether this product is appropriate for you. This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before deciding to acquire this product. You must be 16 years or older and have an Australian residential address to be eligible for this product. Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714 (Westpac) is the distributor of the Product. Rev Australia Pty Ltd ACN 117 378 953 AFSL 401610 manages the Westpac Global Currency Card product for Cuscal Limited 087 822 455 AFSL 244116, an authorised deposit taking institution and a member of Visa International. Cuscal Limited is the issuer of the Product only, and does not take deposits from you. Westpac is not responsible for and does not guarantee the Product or Card, your ability to access any prepaid value or the use of this Product or Card. Amounts held on the Product do not represent a deposit with, or any other liability of Westpac or any company in the Westpac Group. Read the Westpac Online and Mobile Banking terms and conditions at before making a decision and consider whether the product is appropriate for you. Internet connection is needed to access the Westpac Global Currency Card app and Westpac Online and Mobile banking. Normal mobile data charges apply.

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* AUD 30 Cashback: Offer opens 1st November 9:00 AEST and closes 11:59 AEST on 21 December 2018. Offer is open to all residents of Australia aged 16 years or older. Offer may be withdrawn or extended at any time and is not available in conjunction with any other offer. Westpac Group employees are eligible to receive this offer. To be eligible for this offer, customers need to open a new Westpac Global Currency Card Account (“Westpac GCC”) either via Online or Mobile Banking, load and convert $1,500 AUD or more into a foreign wallet on the Westpac GCC before 11.59 AEST on 21 December 2018. Eligible customers will receive $30 AUD cashback onto their Westpac Currency Card between 6-8 weeks after the offer end date, the account needs to remain open for 8 weeks after the offer end date so that we can credit your account. Offer limited to one $30 AUD cashback per eligible Westpac Global Currency Card Account.

  1. Visa Zero Liability Policy covers Australian and New Zealand issued cards and does not apply to ATM transactions, transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholders should notify their issuer promptly of any unauthorised Visa use. Please consult the card issuer for additional details.
  2. No ATM withdrawal fee at Westpac Group ATMs in Australia and over 50,000 ATMs globally via Global ATM Alliance partners. Other fees and charges may be payable.
  3. A 3% Westpac Foreign Exchange Fee applies to overseas transactions in a currency other than a Supported Currency. US Dollars are a supported currency.