Which are the best prepaid travel money cards?
By ExchangeRateIQ
1 week ago

Best Prepaid Travel Money Cards

Travel and activities offer thrills, but along with it comes the hassle of carrying a lot of money when you travel abroad. This is why many banks and money transfer companies are offering prepaid travel money cards which are specially designed to aid you while travelling. These cards allow you to make payments, shop and withdraw cash from ATMs whenever needed.

What are the travel money cards?

Prepaid travel money cards are forex cards which can be used to make payments and withdraw cash in a foreign land in the local currency. You can use this card just like your debit card; however, it will not be directly linked to your bank account. To use this card, you have to choose preferred currency and load the card paying in any currency as offered by it.

Advantages and disadvantages of travel money card:

Advantages

  • Locked exchange rates: The locked exchange rates save you from frequent changes in rates as they are locked into the foreign exchange rate of the country you plan to visit when you purchase foreign currencies online. So if the rates dive when you are on holidays, you will not suffer losses.
  • Multiple currencies available: Travel card offer multiple currencies so if you are travelling in these countries whose currencies are offered by the card, you have to pay less fees. At the same time, you can load any currency which makes the purchases in other currencies easy.
  • Highly secured: Travel cards are prepaid cards and work as a debit card which comes with a chip and PIN, this makes them highly secured compared to carrying cash.
  • Easy withdrawal: Travel cards offer easy withdrawal of local currencies from ATMs so that you can access them across the globe. Besides this, you can also pick the cash from agent place using the card.
  • Reward Point: Many cards offer reward points to the clients whenever they made any transaction or reload the card. This will further be converted into money at certain points.

Disadvantages

  • Locked exchange rates: Yes, we have to add this in disadvantage also because if the exchange rates go down in the global market, you have to spend at the higher locked rate, no matter what the rates are prevailing in the market. Hence, you will miss out many benefits.
  • Currency conversion fees: When you convert currencies, you have to pay fees to the company whose card you are using and also at ATM.
  • Inactivity fees: Companies often charge inactivity fees if you do not use the card for more than 12 months. Besides, if your account is inactive and your card expires at that time, you have to make a claim to get the money back.

Companies offering prepaid travel cards:

Money transfer companies also offer travel money cards and we have found many of our partners offering it. These are:

  1. Travelex Money Card
  2. TransferWise Travel Money Card
  3. Western Union Cash Passport
  4. Post Office Travel Card

Travelex Money Card

Travelex earlier offer cash passport which it is replaced with travel money card. It is a multi-currency prepaid card which can be charged with up to 16 currencies. This card is contactless and comes with an application: the Travelex Money App, which allows you to manage your card on your phone and also to order online.

Currencies available on Travelex Money Card:

USD

GBP

AUD

NZD

JPY

CAD

ZAR

EUR

TRY

CHF

AED

MXN

CZK

HRK

PLN

SEK

Exchange Rates

Travelex exchange rates change on daily basis which is published by the company on their official website so you can check the rates before loading your card. However, the rates of Travelex are low comparing to mid-market rates as it charges you every time you convert from one currency to another.

Travel money card fees and charges

Travelex money card charges you £10 if there is a shortfall on a transaction which can sometimes happen if you pay for something before loading sufficient credit to cover it. It does not charge any ATM fees, which makes the money withdrawal abroad cheaper comparing to pay directly through the card.

Travelex money card limits:

You can put a minimum load of £50 on your card and reload the card back through Travelex app with minimum of £100. You can withdraw an amount equivalent to £500 from ATM in a 24-hour period. It can also be accessed in the WiFi network in some situations, so you can settle the bill using at shops, bars, restaurants, etc. The card also comes with 24*7 customer support if something went wrong.

Besides this, you can also secure your money and can convert the excess foreign currencies in the amount you purchase. This works in “Buy-Back Guarantee” scheme of Travelex and can last for 45 days. After this, they can lock the exchange rates.

TransferWise Travel Money Card

TransferWise debit card in your money card which will help you spend and withdraw money from ATMs around the world at the real exchange rate. You can avoid hidden fees while withdrawing money, pay at restaurants, or for buying accommodation and flights. You need to open a borderless account with TransferWise in which you can hold 40+ currencies so that you need not carry cash. The free TransferWise app lets you top-up, check the balance and transaction and convert in real-time.

Currencies available on TransferWise Money Card:

AUD

GBP

EUR

PLN

JPY

CAD

ZAR

EUR

TRY

CHF

AED

MXN

USD

DKK

GIP

SEK and more

Exchange rates

The company offers real-time exchange rates with lowest fees and 0% commission, which makes it one of the most favorable travel cards for the users. It keeps the fees transparent and fair so that you will be aware of how much amount you are paying as fees and what exchange rate the company is offering.

Travel money card fees and charges

TransferWise charge low fees from its travel money card customers. If you send £200 to EUR or spend the amount on a debit card in Euro then you have to pay 70p fees while many other cards charge approximately £8 per transaction. If you withdraw £200 monthly in cash in EUR, then TransferWise does not charge any fees.

TransferWise travel money card limits

The monthly limit of TransferWise travel money card, as well as the borderless account through chip and pin, is $5,000 which can exceed to $10,000. If you withdraw the amount from ATM, you can withdraw up to $1,500 and purchase online up to $2,000. These limits can be exceeded by the cardholder by contacting the customer service of TransferWise. It is ideal for frequent travellers and businesses, giving you the opportunity to extend the benefits.

Western Union Cash Passport

Cash Passports of Western Union are available at its branches in which you can carry multiple currencies. You can withdraw the amount from ATM or at agent place directly using this card. Other than this, you can pay in shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. You can use the card again and again whenever you go on a trip at any foreign land just by simply top it up. The card is fee-free for the 6 months from the date you last bought something, made a withdrawal at a cash machine or added money to your Card.

Currencies available in Western Union Cash Passport

You can load multiple currencies in the card including US Dollar, Euros, Pound, Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars and New Zealand Dollars. Western Union multicurrency cash passport will help you to withdraw local currency from ATMs anywhere in the world which accepts MasterCard.

Exchange rates

Western Union Multicurrency Cash Passport offers rates according to the demand of currency. The higher the demand the rates will be lower and vice-a-vis. The exchange rates are not transparent and many people end up paying hidden fees while using Western Union services.

Cash passport fees and charges

The company charges a small fee for providing card while the purchasing card from any MasterCard agent is free. Western Union has different fees for every currency when you withdraw the amount from ATM or over cash counter. Besides this, the company charges a nominal fee when you have not made any transaction if the last transaction past 6 months.

Western Union Multicurrency Cash Passport limits

There are multiple limits that Western Union has put for Multicurrency Cash Passport. These are:

  • Maximum total Card balance at any one time: US$60,000 (in all currencies)
  • Maximum reload: US$60,000
  • Maximum load over 12 months (5 times): US$60,000
  • Maximum ATM limit per 24 hours (1 time): US$1,000
  • Daily cash over counter limit: US$250

Post Office Travel Card

Post Office travel card is handy which stores 13 currencies and is convenient if you travel regularly or are taking multi-destination holidays. You can easily manage the card and freeze it through the mobile app. The prepaid MasterCard is best for contactless-enabled quicker and low-value purchases. The card is available at Post Office branches of the UK and you can get the card easily with a valid UK passport or driving license.

Currencies available in Post Office Travel Card

  • Euro (EUR)
  • US Dollar (USD)
  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Croatian Kuna (HRK)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Polish Zloty (PLN)
  • Pound Sterling (GBP)
  • South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • UAE Dirham (AED)

Exchange rates

The rates offered by Post Office depend on the demand for currencies and moves up and down accordingly. So, the exact amount of travel money you’ll receive on your Post Office travel card will depend on the rate at the time of transaction. You can check these exchange rates on travel app, its website or in-store.

Travel card fees and charges

Post Office prepaid cards do not charge any fee while paying to retailers or shop but it will charge the fees if you withdrew cash from ATMs. The fees vary depending upon the currency withdrawn. The company does not charge any fee if you convert the currencies available on the card, but it charges up to 3% of the amount as fees if you use the card in a country where Post Office does not offer currency.

Post Office Travel Card limits

The list of limits that Post Office has applied on its travel card is:

  • You can only make three cash withdrawals each day.
  • The maximum you can hold is £10,000 in your card.
  • You can load and spend up to £30,000 on your card each year.
  • The company has different withdrawal limits which vary from currency to currency.
  • You can top up your card with between £50 and £5,000.

Frequently asked questions:

How do prepaid travel cards work?

You can simply load money on your travel card using your debit card, a bank transfer or adding cash in person. So when you travel abroad, you can withdraw money from the card using ATM or pay using the card easily at shops, hotels or restaurants.

 

What if my card does not work in a foreign country?

You can contact the customer support service of the company whose card you are using, they will help you to know the problem regarding the card and make it work. You can also go to the agent place for withdrawing your cash from your card.

Will companies buy-back the cash which I withdrew and is no more useful to me?

Most of the companies buy your foreign currencies back at their stores across the globe. So, you can get back your country’s currencies when you left with the foreign currency. For this, they charge small fees and provide you with your currencies back.

How can I reload the amount in travel card?

You can reload the amount directly through the website of the company whose card you are using or you can also visit its local branch and ask the agent to reload it for you.

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