Prepaid Forex Cards VS Credit or Debit Cards for International Travel
Forex Card, or should I use a credit card or a debit card? Before you go on your next or first trip abroad, this question keeps you up at night. The answer is easy: research before you go to get the most out of your money abroad. Look things up on the Internet. Compare the prices, fees, features, and benefits of everything you can buy for your trip abroad.
Traveler's cheques used to be the most common way to bring money with you when you went abroad. Since Forex cards and debit and credit cards are becoming more popular, TCs are no longer the best choice. There are options, and knowing these choices is the most important thing. One must know everything about your preferences. Know the good and bad things about everything.
So the question is, what's your best choice? How can you avoid paying exchange rates and fees that are too high? We have compiled a complete list of all the things you can do when traveling abroad. In the table below, you can find the answers to these questions:
|Parameters||Forex Card||Credit/Debit Card|
|Best For||Buying anything under the sun.||• Airline tickets|
• Hotel bills
• Car rentals
• Restaurant meals
|Advantages||• Ability to freeze exchange rates. |
• Up to 7% savings over debit cards.
• Quick deactivation process and complimentary insurance cover.
• Remote reloading facility.
• Support for 14 foreign currencies.
• Highly efficient expense tracking mechanism.
• Solid security features.
| • Benefit of interbank exchange rates. |
• Nominal currency conversion charges.
• Decent security features.
• Slim and lightweight design.
|Disadvantages||Nil||• High foreign transaction fees. |
• Not accepted everywhere in the world.
• Hefty withdrawal fees.
Forex Card is best for: —You can buy everything you need with a Forex Card.
- It's the best and safest way to carry money. Prepaid travel cards are locked with a PIN, have spending limits that can be changed, and can be replaced in full if lost or stolen.
- Most of the time, the exchange rates are better than those for cash and traveler's checks.
Better than credit or debit cards:
With prepaid travel cards, you don't have to pay the 2% to 5% transaction fees (Visa/MasterCard, issuing bank fees) that you do when you use your international credit or debit card. Also, unlike with credit and debit cards, the exchange rate on your prepaid card is fixed and not subject to change.
- Easy to use—can be reloaded at any time—24×7 customer care service.
- Always available. Unlike foreign cash and traveler's checks, which depend on availability, one can load prepaid cards with any amount of foreign currency at any time.
- One can use travel cards (VISA or MasterCard) for free at most hotels, stores, and other places abroad.
- The ability to use Visa/MasterCard ATMs abroad to get cash.
- Includes free insurance coverage
None. Forex cards are the best way to travel abroad with foreign currency.
What you need to know:
- Research the features and benefits of different forex card providers. Some banks and exchangers charge hidden fees.
- Buy your forex card well before you need it. It can take anywhere from 24 to 72 business hours to put money on a card.
Best Uses for Credit Cards:
- Airline tickets
- Hotel bills
- Car rentals
- Restaurant meals.
When you use your credit card to buy something abroad, you get the exact exchange rate that banks use. Most of the time, the fees for changing currencies are less than what you'd pay at an airport or money changer. Some credit cards do not charge any fees for foreign transactions, not even Visa or MasterCard fees.
- POS machines may only be in some restaurants, stores, or hotels, so they may not accept your credit card everywhere.
- Using a credit card to get cash is expensive because your card company will charge you a cash advance fee. And the owner of the ATM will charge their fees for withdrawals.
- You should pay off the balance as soon as you return from your trip. You'll have to pay late fees and interest if you still need to make it.
What You Should Know:
- Tell the company that issued your card ahead of time that you plan to travel abroad. Ask them to turn on your credit card's international use, as any sudden activity abroad will set off your card issuer's fraud alert system. With this warning, your card is automatically blocked.
- Always ask what the charges are for using your card abroad. Ask in both Rupees and the currency used there. Banks change their rules without warning, so it's best to let them know before each trip.
- Ask for a phone number you can call from abroad in case your card is lost, stolen, or in an emergency.
- Before you use your credit card to buy something, ask the store if they can charge you in Indian rupees instead of the local currency. Your card's issuer will pay the fee for changing currencies. But be careful if your merchant charges you a fee for the conversion. Before settling for either choice, you should always know the fees.
- Always ask your hotel or car rental company if they will hold a deposit on your card. Some stores may hold an amount equal to your total bill. It means you will have less money you can borrow.
- Be aware that merchants overseas sometimes charge twice as much. Travelers are sometimes charged twice for the same thing or for something they didn't buy. Even though one can't use credit cards this way, some credit card companies may refuse to admit it. Watch the receipts closely. If you see something, you should immediately tell the company that gave you the card and dispute the charge.
The best thing to do with a debit card is to get cash in the local currency.
- It works just like your credit card. Whether you use your debit card to buy something or get cash out, you'll get the same excellent exchange rate between banks.
- ATMs are everywhere, so this is the easiest way to get cash in the local currency, but not the cheapest.
- Any time you withdraw cash or make a purchase, you'll have to pay a conversion fee, ATM withdrawal fees, and a foreign transaction fee.
- Your debit card is not as safe from theft or loss as your credit card or foreign exchange card.
- Tell your bank right away if your card is lost or stolen. If you don't tell, you might have to pay more.
What You Need to Know:
- Ensure your debit card is linked to a MasterCard or Visa network. Some places other than Cirrus or Maestro debit cards might work better.
- Some hotels and places that rent cars don't take debit cards because it's unsafe.
- Remember to tell your bank about your travel plans, just like you would with a credit card. Like with credit cards, sudden international activity on your debit card could cause your account to be frozen.
Foreign trips require a lot of planning and preparation, whether you are going on vacation or seeing family. At first glance, traveling with cash and debit or credit cards is a good idea. But these old ways of carrying money can be inconvenient and hard on your wallet.
Forex cards are the safest way to pay in the 21st century. They are becoming more popular among people who travel often. Forex cards can help you get the money you need abroad while saving you up to 6.5% compared to credit and debit cards. The functions of forex cards will never let you down, whether you're paying at a local store or taking money out of an ATM.
Leading providers have smartphone apps that let you do everything you need to do with your forex card in one place. In addition to keeping you from being charged for things you don't need, forex cards can get you discounts at different stores. So, if your top priorities are safety and ease of use, make sure you buy a prepaid forex card to pay for things abroad without any trouble.