Prepaid Cards for International Travel

Here you are looking forward to a new exotic holiday destination! But even as you enjoy the sights and sounds of Bali, Venice or London one fear keeps nagging at you all the time – the cash that you are carrying around in your wallet for expenses.  That constant worry is an unwelcome travel companion on your visits abroad and cuts into your holiday experience. Want to get rid of this unwanted excess baggage of worry?  International debit cards and credit cards are one option. Another option for frequent travelers is the prepaid travel money cards which are becoming a popular, convenient, safe and secure way to buy foreign currency in their home country and take it overseas. In essence, a prepaid travel card is a specially designated debit card which is loaded with foreign currency prior to travelling.

Advantages of A Prepaid International Travel Card:

There are two things to keep in mind while using a prepaid travel card:

-You spend in the local currency when you are abroad, thereby saving a significant amount of money in currency conversion fees

-You can exchange your home currency at a time when the foreign exchange rate is at the most favorable.

It is also possible to load different currencies in a single travel card as per your travel plans. Different banks offer different travel cards, but the most common currencies that can be loaded are: the US dollar, Euro, British pound, Australian dollar.

Once you are overseas and find yourself running out of currency in your travel card, it is possible to reload your card via internet or mobile banking (depending on the issuing bank’s rules and regulations). You can use your travel card as you would use your debit card—just swipe at the merchant terminal to get your transaction processed, or use it for online transactions at overseas websites as well.

Following are some of the cards on offer by different banks in India:

Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card:

• Load up to 16 currencies on a single card

• Get minimum 15% off at restaurants worldwide

• Earn 2 points for every USD 5 or equivalent amount in any other currency spent on your card at merchant outlets

Axis Bank Single Currency Card

• Load any one of 11 currencies and travel effortlessly across the globe

• Use your card online for purchases outside India

State Bank Foreign Travel Card

• Load up to 8 different currencies

• Free balance enquiry at State Bank Group ATMs and VISA ATMs (T&C apply)

• Free balance enquiry and view / download details of transactions online through the bank’s website

• Up to two add-on-cards can be availed in case of loss/misplacement/defacement of the card.

As the travel scenario undergoes constant technological developments, so too are the payment methods. The internet  has made paying with cash and travelers cheque outdated. An international travel card is the way to go if you are a frequent traveler, and is one of the most popular as well as convenient payment options when travelling overseas.

Note: The cards mentioned in the article are merely indicative of the kinds of prepaid travel debit cards available on the market. It is advisable to choose your card based on your specific requirements.