5 Best Travel Cards for Timor-Leste

Getting an international travel card before you travel to Timor-Leste can make it cheaper and more convenient when you spend in US Dollar. You'll be able to easily top up your card in CAD before you leave Canada, to convert seamlessly to USD for secure and flexible spending and withdrawals.

This guide walks through our picks of the 5 best travel cards available for anyone from Canada heading to Timor-Leste, like Wise, BMO or KOHO. We'll walk through a head to head comparison, and a detailed look at their features, benefits and drawbacks.

5 best travel money cards for Timor-Leste:

Let's kick off our roundup of the best travel cards for Timor-Leste with a head to head comparison on important features. Here's an overview of the providers we've picked to look at, for customers looking for ways to spend conveniently overseas when travelling from Canada:

CardCard schemeFees for spendingTrustpilot scoreGo to provider
WiseVisa / MastercardNo fees to spend currencies you hold4.2 / 5 (200,000+)Go to Wise
BMOMastercard2.5% foreign transaction fee for prepaid cardNot active on TrustpilotGo to BMO
Canada PostMastercardNo fee to spend a currency you hold, 3.25% fee when spending a currency you don't holdNot active on TrustpilotGo to Canada Post
CIBCVisaNo fees to spend currencies you hold, 2.5% foreign transaction fee to spend a currency you don’t holdNot active on TrustpilotGo to CIBC
KOHOMastercard1.5% foreign transaction fee with standard cards - this can be reduced or waived with premium cardsNot active on TrustpilotGo to KOHO

Each of the international travel cards we’ve picked out have their own features and fees, which may mean they suit different customer needs. Keep reading to learn more about the features, advantages and disadvantages of each - plus a look at how to order the travel card of your choice before you head off to Timor-Leste.

Wise travel card

Delivered in CanadaDelivered in CanadaVisa/Mastercard debit cardVisa/Mastercard debit cardVirtual card availableVirtual card availableMid-market exchange rateMid-market exchange rate

Open a Wise account online or in the Wise app, to order a Wise travel card you can use for convenient spending and withdrawals in Timor-Leste. Wise accounts can hold 40+ currencies, so you can top up in CAD easily from your bank or using your card. Whenever you travel, to Timor-Leste or beyond, you’ll have the option to convert to the currency you need in advance if it’s supported for holding a balance, or simply let the card do the conversion at the point of payment.

In either case you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees whenever you spend in USD, plus some free ATM withdrawals every month - perfect if you’re looking for easy ways to arrange your travel cash.

Wise features

CardFees for spendingATM feesWithdraw limitAnnual feeApp availableTrustpilot score
Visa or Mastercard Debit CardNo fees to spend currencies you hold

Some fee free withdrawals monthly, with low fees after that

7,000 CAD a month

N/AiOS & Android4.2 / 5 (200,000+)

Wise travel card pros and cons

  • Hold and exchange 40+ currencies with the mid-market rate
  • Spend seamlessly in USD when you travel
  • Some free ATM withdrawals every month, for those times only cash will do
  • Ways to receive payments to your Wise account conveniently
  • Manage your account and card from your phone
  • ATM fees apply once you've exhausted your monthly free withdrawals
  • Physical cards may take 14 days to arrive (you can use your virtual card right away)

How to apply for a Wise card

Here’s how to apply for a Wise account and order a Wise  travel card in Canada:

  1. Open the Wise app or desktop site

  2. Select Register and confirm you want to open a personal account

  3. Register with your email, Facebook, Apple or Google ID

  4. Upload your ID document to complete the verification step

  5. Tap the Cards tab to order your card

  6. Confirm your mailing address, and your card will be on the way, and should arrive in 14 days

BMO travel card

Delivered in CanadaDelivered in CanadaMastercard debit cardMastercard debit card

If you’re looking for a card from a major bank for spending in Timor-Leste, you may be considering BMO. There are a few different card options which may appeal to travellers, including a prepaid card which allows you to top up in CAD and spend in USD with a foreign transaction fee. This is a useful product when overseas as it’s not linked to your normal bank account - but the fees do push up costs overall.

Alternatively, check out the BMO credit card options - these are helpful if you want to spread the costs of your travel over a few months, but can also come with their own fees and charges.

BMO features

CardFees for spendingATM feesWithdraw limitAnnual feeApp availableTrustpilot score
Mastercard Debit Card2.5% foreign transaction fee for prepaid card

5 CAD for prepaid card

Check the details for your card in the BMO app6.95 CAD for prepaid cardiOS & AndroidNot active on Trustpilot

BMO travel card pros and cons

  • Selection of cards including credit and prepaid options
  • Not linked to your everyday account which can be more secure when spending overseas
  • Various perks available depending on the card you pick
  • Full range of banking services available
  • 2.5% foreign transaction fee for prepaid card
  • 6.95 CAD annual fee for prepaid card - credit cards are also likely to have an annual fee
  • ATM fees and cash advance charges apply

How to apply for a BMO card

Here’s how to apply for a BMO account and order a travel card in Canada:

  1. Visit the BMO website or app

  2. Select the card you want - for a prepaid Mastercard there’s no credit check, spo ordering is quick and easy

  3. Tap Apply now and complete the details as prompted

  4. Pay any annual fee required

  5. Your card will be mailed to you

Canada Post travel card

Delivered in CanadaDelivered in Canada7 major world currencies including USD, EUR and GBP7 major world currencies including USD, EUR and GBPMastercard debit cardMastercard debit card

You can collect a Canada Post Cash Passport instantly in a post office, and then link it to the Mastercard app to top up, view your balance and manage your money with your phone. The Cash Passport is accepted anywhere you see the Mastercard logo, globally, and supports holding of 7 major currencies. If you use your card to spend an unsupported currency there’s a 3.25% fee - this also applies if you spend a supported currency but don’t have enough of that specific currency in your balance to cover the cost of a purchase.

Canada Post features

CardFees for spendingATM feesAnnual feeApp available
Mastercard debit card

No fee to spend a currency you hold overseas


1.5% fee for use in Canada; 3.25% fee for a currency you don’t hold

Variable by currency - equivalent to about 3 CAD in most casesNo annual feeOn Android and Apple

Canada Post Cash Passport pros and cons

  • 7 supported currencies, covering popular tourist destinations
  • Secure way to spend and withdraw
  • Accepted at millions of Mastercard merchants worldwide
  • No fee to get a replacement card if yours is lost or stolen
  • 3.25% foreign exchange fee when spending a currency you don’t hold on your card
  • 15 CAD card order fee

Apply for your Canada Post Cash Passport at your local post office. Once you have your card you’ll need to create a Mastercard account and link it to your Cash Passport to start to manage your money with the Mastercard app.

CIBC travel card

Delivered in CanadaDelivered in CanadaVisa debit cardVisa debit cardAirport collection optionAirport collection option

CIBC has a prepaid Visa card you can use for spending conveniently in Timor-Leste if you’d like to get a card that’s not linked to your normal bank account. You can even pick your card up at the airport, add some money in CAD and either convert to the currency you want in advance, or pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% when spending.

There are also lots of options for CIBC credit cards you could use for secure spending in USD, which can be handy if you’d like to spread the costs of your trip over a few months and don’t mind paying interest on your balance while you do so.

CIBC features

CardFees for spendingATM feesWithdraw limitAnnual feeApp availableTrustpilot score
Visa Debit Card

No fees to spend currencies you hold

2.5% foreign transaction fee to spend a currency you don’t hold

Varied by currency, equivalent of around 3.5 CAD

2,000 CAD a dayN/AiOS & AndroidNot active on Trustpilot

CIBC travel card pros and cons

  • Hold 10 currencies on the prepaid card - credit cards are also available
  • Collect your prepaid card easily at the airport
  • Cards are accepted anywhere you see the Visa logo
  • Lots of other services available if you want a full bank account
  • Prepaid cards have a 2.5% fee when spending a currency you don't hold
  • ATM fees apply
  • Exchange rate markups may apply when you add a foreign currency balance

How to apply for a CIBC card

You can apply for a CIBC account and order a travel card in Canada online, or as you pass through Pearson airport. You don’t have to be an existing CIBC customer to get a card - bear in mind that delivery fees apply if you order online.

KOHO travel card

Delivered in CanadaDelivered in CanadaMastercard debit cardMastercard debit cardDifferent account plansDifferent account plans

KOHO has several different cards which could be handy for spending in Timor-Leste. There are basic KOHO card options which have a foreign transaction fee of 1.5%, or you can choose to upgrade to a card with a monthly fee which may mean your foreign transaction fee is either waived or reduced. You’ll need to top up a balance in CAD, and there’s no option to switch over to USD before you travel - but you can easily keep an eye on all your transactions and the applied exchange rates in the KOHO app.

KOHO features

CardFees for spendingATM feesWithdraw limitAnnual feeApp availableTrustpilot score
Mastercard Debit Card1.5% foreign transaction fee with standard cards - this can be reduced or waived with premium cards

2 CAD - 3 CAD depending on the ATM

Depends on the card you pickSome cards have no ongoing fees - others have monthly charges but pay come with extra perksiOS & AndroidNot active on Trustpilot

KOHO travel card pros and cons

  • Various cards available depending on your needs
  • Widely accepted
  • Some accounts offer extra perks like no foreign transaction fee or cash back
  • Virtual cards available
  • 1.5% foreign transaction fee for the basic card
  • ATM fees apply when overseas, which vary depending on the ATM operator
  • Some accounts have monthly fees

How to apply for a KOHO card

Here’s how to apply for a KOHO account and order a travel card in Canada:

  1. Visit the KOHO website or app

  2. Select the card you want to apply for

  3. Tap Open account and complete the details as prompted

  4. Your card will be mailed to you once your account has been verified and any required fee has been settled

What is a travel money card?

A travel money card is a card you can use for secure and convenient payments and withdrawals overseas.

You can use a travel money card to tap and pay in stores and restaurants, with a wallet like Apple Pay, or to make ATM withdrawals so you'll always have a bit of cash in your pocket when you travel.

Although there are lots of different travel money cards on the market, all of which are unique, one similarity you'll spot is that the features and fees have always been optimised for international use. That might mean you get a better exchange rate compared to using your normal card overseas, or that you run into fewer fees for common international transactions like ATM withdrawals.

Travel money cards also offer distinct benefits when it comes to security. Your travel money card isn't linked to your Canadian Dollar everyday account, so even if you were unlucky and had your card stolen, your primary bank account remains secure.

Travel money vs prepaid card vs travel credit card

It's helpful to know that you'll be able to pick from several different types of travel cards, depending on your priorities and preferences. Travel cards commonly include:

  • Travel debit cards
  • Travel prepaid cards
  • Travel credit cards

They all have distinct benefits when you head off to Timor-Leste or elsewhere in the world, but they do work a bit differently.

Travel debit and prepaid cards are usually linked to an online account, and may come from specialist digital providers - like the Wise card. These cards are usually flexible and cheap to use. You'll be able to manage your account and card through an app, although you can also often add money in person by visiting a branch, if the card provider has in-person branches.

Travel credit cards are different and may suit different customer needs. As with any other credit card, you may need to pay an annual fee or interest and penalties depending on how you manage your account - but you could also earn extra rewards when spending in a foreign currency, or travel benefits like free insurance for example. Generally using a travel credit card can be more expensive compared to a debit or prepaid card - but it does let you spread out the costs of your travel across several months if you'd like to and don't mind paying interest to do so.

What is a prepaid travel money card best for?

Let's take a look at the advantages of using a prepaid travel money card for travellers going to Timor-Leste. While each travel card is a little different, you'll usually find some or all of the following benefits:

  • Hold and exchange foreign currencies - allowing you to lock in exchange rates and set a travel budget before you leave
  • Convenient for spending in person and through mobile wallets like Apple Pay, as well as for cash withdrawals
  • You may find you get a better exchange rate compared to your bank - and you'll usually be able to avoid any foreign transaction fee, too
  • Travel cards are secure as they're not linked to your everyday CAD account - and because you can make ATM withdrawals when you need to, you can also avoid carrying too much cash at once

Overall, travel cards offer flexible and low cost ways to avoid bank foreign transaction and international ATM fees, while accessing decent exchange rates.

How to choose the best travel card for Timor-Leste

We've picked out 5 great travel cards available in Canada - but there are also more options available, which can make choosing a daunting task. Some things to consider when picking a travel card for Timor-Leste include:

  • What exchange rates does the card use? Choosing one with the mid-market rate or as close as possible to it is usually a smart plan
  • What fees are unavoidable? For example, ATM charges or top up fees for your preferred top up methods
  • Does the card support a good range of currencies? Getting a card which allows you to hold and spend in USD can give you the most flexibility, but it's also a good idea to pick a card with lots of currency options, so you can use it again in future, too
  • Are there any other charges? Check in particular for foreign transaction fees, local ATM withdrawal fees, inactivity fees and account close fees

Ultimately the right card for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you're looking for a low cost card with the mid-market rate, which you can use in 150+ countries, the Wise card may be a good fit. If you'd prefer to pay a monthly fee to get higher no-fee transaction limits, take a look at Wise. And if you need to get a card in a hurry, check out a travel card from a provider with a physical branch network, or your high-street bank.

What makes a good travel card for Timor-Leste

The best travel debit card for Timor-Leste really depends on your personal preferences and how you like to manage your money.

Overall, it pays to look for a card which lets you minimise fees and access favourable exchange rates - ideally the mid-market rate. While currency exchange rates do change all the time, the mid-market rate is a good benchmark to use as it's the one available to banks when trading on wholesale markets. Getting this rate, with transparent conversion fees, makes it easier to compare costs and see exactly what you're paying when you spend in USD.

Other features and benefits to look out for include low ATM withdrawal fees, complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access or emergency cash if your card is stolen. It's also important to look into the security features of any travel card you might pick for Timor-Leste. Look for a card which uses 2 factor authentication when accessing the account app, which allows you to set instant transaction notifications, and which has easy ways to freeze, unfreeze and cancel your card with your phone.

For Timor-Leste in particular, choosing a card which offers contactless payments and which is compatible with mobile wallets like Apple Pay could be a good plan. Card payments are extremely popular in Timor-Leste - so having a card which lets you tap and pay easily can speed things up and make it more convenient during your trip.

Ways to pay in Timor-Leste

Cash and card payments - including contactless, mobile wallet, debit, credit and prepaid card payments - are the most popular ways to pay globally.

In Timor-Leste, both card payments and cash payments are common. You'll be able to make Chip and PIN or contactless payments or use your favourite mobile wallet like Apple Pay to tap and pay on the go, but it's still worth having a little cash on you just in case - and for the odd situations where cash is more convenient, such as when tipping or buying a small item in a market.

Which countries use USD?

You'll find that USD can be used in several countries around the world. You may decide to keep your travel card topped up with a balance for this trip to France or for the next time you're headed somewhere which uses USD.

US Dollar
Currency nameUS Dollar
ISO codeUSD
Symbol$
USD denominationsbanknotes - $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 and coins - 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢
Best travel cards to take to Timor-LesteWise,BMO,Canada Post,CIBC,KOHO

What should you be aware of when travelling to Timor-Leste

You're sure to have a great time in Timor-Leste - but whenever you're travelling abroad it's worth putting in a little advance thought to make sure everything is organised and your trip goes smoothly. Here are a few things to think about:

1. Double check the latest entry requirements and visas - rules can change abruptly, so even if you're been to Timor-Leste before it's worth looking up the most recent entry requirements so you don't have any hassle on the border

2. Plan your currency exchange and payment methods - you can change CAD to USD before you travel to Timor-Leste if you'd like to, but as card payments are common, and ATMs widely available, you can actually leave it until you arrive to get everything sorted as long as you have a travel money card. Top up your travel money card in CAD and either exchange to USD in advance or at the point of payment, and make ATM withdrawals whenever you need cash. Bear in mind that currency exchange at the airport will be expensive - so hold on until you reach Timor-Leste to make an ATM withdrawal in USD if you can.

3. Get clued up on any health or safety concerns - get travel insurance before you leave Canada so you have peace of mind. It's also worth reading up on any common scams or issues experienced by tourists. These tend to change over time, but may include things like rip off taxis or tour agents which don't offer fair prices or adequate services.

Conclusion - Best travel cards for Timor-Leste

Ultimately the best travel card for your trip to Timor-Leste will depend on how you like to manage your money. Use this guide to get some insights into the most popular options out there, and to decide which may suit your specific needs.

FAQ - best travel cards for Timor-Leste

What are ATM fees?

When you use a travel money card you may find there’s an ATM withdrawal fee from your card issuer, and there may also be a cost applied by the ATM operator. Some of our travel cards - like the Wise card - have some no fee ATM withdrawals every month, which can help keep down costs.

Travel money card vs prepaid travel card

Travel money cards may be debit, prepaid or credit cards. Which is best for you will depend on your personal preferences. Debit and prepaid cards are usually pretty cheap and secure to spend with, while credit cards may have higher fees but often come with extra perks like free travel insurance and extra reward points.

What's the best prepaid card to use internationally?

There’s no single best prepaid card for international use. Look out for one which supports a large range of currencies, with good exchange rates and low fees. This guide can help you compare some popular options, including Wise, BMO or KOHO.

Can I use my debit card from Canada in Timor-Leste?

Yes, you can use your local debit card when you’re overseas. However, it’s common to find extra fees apply when spending in foreign currencies with a regular debit card. These can include foreign transaction fees and international ATM charges.

What is the best way to pay when travelling in Timor-Leste?

Usually having a selection of ways to pay - including a travel card, your credit or debit card, and some cash - is the best bet. That means that no matter what happens, you have an alternative payment method you can use conveniently.

Can I take cash out from my travel debit card?

Yes. Most travel debit cards have options to make ATM withdrawals. Check the fees that apply as card charges do vary a lot. Some cards have local and international fees on all withdrawals, while others like Wise let you make some no fee withdrawals monthly before a fee kicks in.

Is Visa or Mastercard better for Timor-Leste?

Both Visa and Mastercard are globally accepted. Look out for the logo on ATMs and payment terminals in Timor-Leste.

Best travel cards: our methodology

The cards you see on this page are ordered as follows:

For card providers that publish their exchange rates on their website, we used their CAD / USD rate to calculate how much US Dollar you would receive when exchanging / spending $5,000 CAD. The card provider offering the most USD is displayed at the top, the next highest below that, and so on.

The rates were collected at 15:54:21 GMT on 19 February 2024.

Below this we display card providers for which we could not verify their exchange rates. These are displayed in alphabetical order.