While traveling to another country, most travelers wish for a safe way to conduct transactions that comes without the risks associated with carrying cash and is easier to manage compared to traveler’s cheques. If you’re used to buying stuff with your debit and credit cards rather than go shopping with cash, using a travel money card will be infinitely more convenient since you can use it in the same way on your travels.
A travel money card is a prepaid card that can be loaded with foreign currency prior to going abroad, and you can then withdraw it from any ATM or simply use the card to pay for transactions during your stay in the foreign country. Getting a prepaid card will help you eliminate currency conversion charges.
There are several travel cards you can choose from, and each comes with different fees and charges. Make sure to learn the details about each one before deciding which of them is most suitable for your needs. When you have acquired a travel card, top it up with the necessary amount from your bank account, and it will be converted into the foreign currency you need. Don’t forget to check whether the currency of your destination is supported by your travel card.
There are some great benefits of getting a travel money card before leaving the country, such as:
A travel card can be used just like a debit card to make payments, but it is not joined with your bank account so there is minimal risk of losing everything in your account due to theft or fraud. Travel money cards are also secured with measures such as access codes, chips and blocking services in the event of theft or loss. If someone steals your travel card and obtains your PIN, they still cannot access your bank account.
You only need to load your travel money card with the amount you plan to spend, so you can always keep track of how much you have spent while away. If you run out of money and need more, you can always add more to your travel card as long as you have the required amount in your bank account. This top-up can easily be done through a smartphone app. However, the best thing to do is budget smartly enough to prevent the need for more money from your bank balance.
If you are a frequent international traveler, a travel money card is extremely convenient for having amounts available in whichever foreign currency you require. You will need to find out how many currencies are allowed for the card of your choice, because they can range from 5 to 13 currencies at a time.
The currencies most commonly available for loading include: USD, AUD, NZD, CAD, HKD, EUR, Yuan Renminbi, Yen, GBP, Vietnamese Dong, Emirati Dirham, South African Rand, and Thai Baht.
If your local currency is going strong, it can be in your favor to fix the exchange rate at that point in time for all the currency conversions during your travels. It gets simpler to budget accurately for your trip because you can be certain about the amount you will have after the locked exchange rate is applied and there will be no change in it while you travel. Of course, the one drawback of this is that if the exchange rate improves during this time, it will be a missed opportunity for you, but the sacrifice will probably be worth the stability.
Walking about in an unfamiliar new place with a wallet full of cash is definitely going to be a security threat. You don’t want to mess up your holiday budget and mood because a pickpocket took away the cash you saved up especially for the trip. A travel money card will be accepted in most places, although some might only take cash. For that, you can always withdraw small amounts from an ATM as and when required.
Even if you are unable to get a credit card due to an unsatisfactory credit history, you can still apply for and receive a travel money card because no credit checks are done for it. You will also be provided with a backup card in case the original travel money card is stolen.
Be sure to compare various different travel money cards and their features before making your choice. Read the fine print carefully so you know exactly which services are free and which charges you will need to pay. You should also examine the exchange rates offered by different providers because some are more reasonable than others. Many will offer bad exchange rates to make a profit while claiming that they have 0 percent commissions or charge low fees. You will commonly need to pay charges such as application fees, ATM withdrawal charges, reloading fees, dormancy fees that are applicable if your card has not been in use very frequently (use or top up your card at least once a year to avoid this fee), and high conversion charges if you pay in a different currency than the one topped up in your travel card.
Traveling out of your country can be hassle free and safer if you carry a travel money card, but make sure you choose wisely and get one that comes with the least hidden costs and the most reasonable exchange rates.
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