Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted but international transaction fees, typically about 3 per cent, take a bite every time you use most cards to pay for goods and services.
A small number of cards, however, have no international transaction fees. One is the 28 Degrees Mastercard, which also has no annual fee. Another is the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card.
This card does come with an annual fee but it also earns you frequent flyer points, with other traveller-friendly features such as an annual complimentary return domestic flight for those who spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
On the downside, both charge a cash advance fee for foreign ATM withdrawals even if your account is in credit, and about 20 per cent a year for any debts not settled in the interest-free period.
If a merchant offers you a choice of making a transaction in Australian dollars or local currency, choose local currency. If you pay in Aussie dollars you'll invoke an artificial rate of exchange that costs you more.