In recent years with the emergence of the FinTech sector, several companies have revolutionized the prepaid currency card market. Just half a decade earlier, travel cards were typically only provided by the main players in the international payments sector and were clunky to load, applied much heavier margins, and had limited coverage, especially in areas slightly off the beaten track.
Travel money cards are prepaid cards that are best suited for international travel. It is safer than carrying money on you or leaving it in your hotel room. You use the money that you have deposited on the prepaid travel money cards. It is the best way to budget as you can spend only up to the amount loaded on the card. Students studying abroad find it useful.
What is an FX Prepaid Card?
When you are off on vacation, your forex card will be your best friend. You can load your fx prepaid card with the currency of the place you are traveling to. It is similar to a debit or credit card. Just use the local ATM to withdraw money in the local currency of the place you are visiting.
With a cash or credit card or a forex card, you can spend money on your travel abroad. The FX prepaid card provides a broad spectrum of services, such as foreign exchange, insurance, visa, passport services, etc.
Where can you use a Prepaid Currency Card?
You can use your travel money card to pay for your everyday purchases, such as in hotels, departmental stores, gas stations, and grocery stores. You can use them to withdraw cash from ATMs, to pay for online shopping, and to transfer to another account, and for international travel.
Your preloaded travel card is usually associated with various card networks like American Express, MasterCard, Visa, etc., used online, in-store or in-app.
Leading Prepaid Currency Cards Explained
However, fast forward a handful of years, and now the FinTech era has provided retail customers with many solutions. It ensures that they get an excellent rate of exchange for travel and to spend during holidays.
There are new applications that allow clients to hold and exchange between a multitude of currencies. It means that you can load your card in multi-currencies, such as the USD and EUR.
Advantages of Prepaid Cards
- It is best for people who are on a budget when traveling.
- It is safer than cash.
- Easy to reload through bank account transfer, direct deposit, or online deposit.
- No need to link card to banks.
- A secure form of payment.
Three Options to Purchase a Prepaid Travel Card
- Single Currency Card
- Multiple Currency Card
- Sterling Prepaid Card
Single Currency Cards
This card is limited to one type of currency. If you load the card with Pounds, it gets converted to local currency. Just choose your chosen currency and load your prepaid travel money card with the required amount.
You will have a separate balance for different currencies on a single card. You can load the multi-currency card with pounds of various denominations such as $100, Â£200, or â‚¬300. Choose the best prepaid travel card for Europe, the US, or any country of your choice for your travel. The multi-currency card comes with a variety of benefits to make it a pleasant time.
With cards like the Travelex cash passport for international travel, you can load them with multiple currencies on the same card. A single card can hold the US Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), Australian Dollar (AUD), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Mexican Pesos (MXN), and Japanese Yen (JPY).
The multi-currency card is also a Borderless Prepaid Card, used for extensive international travel. It provides convenience when you travel to different countries. It comes with a small currency conversion fee, which is slightly higher.
Pound Sterling Prepaid Cards
You can load your card in Pounds and spend it in different currencies. The Pound gets converted into the currency you require at the current rate of exchange.
Foreign Exchange Live â€“ Highly Rated Cards
If you are looking for the best and highly rated cards, you have come to the right place.
To pay for all your travel expenses, such as lounge access, free hotel, free food, or free business class ticket, we suggest highly rated cards, especially suited for these pandemic conditions. You get the best exchange rate for your foreign currency. You can budget your trip as you have already loaded with cash, which means you do not have to risk carrying physical cash.
We give you the specifics of Prepaid Currency cards and how they work. With this detailed guide, you can make the right choice of prepaid card for travel use.
Types of Cash Cards
- Cards not linked to bank account: Prepaid Cards, Payroll Cards, and Gift Cards
- Cards linked to bank account: Debit Card, Credit Card
A Brief Look at PrepaidÂ Cards
Prepaid cards are not linked to your bank account but use an electronic payment system to store cash and make payments.
- You can have a regular bank account and have prepaid cards on the side for your spending.
- You can also have a prepaid card exclusively without a bank account.
Opt for the best travel cash card, load it with cash and use it to meet expenses on your travel, for making gifts, or for retail purchases, in various denominations, without fear of overspending.
With a cash passport prepaid master card, you can load multiple currencies on a single card. There will be no link between your cash passport prepaid master card and your bank account. It has a clever technology that knows the right currency to use.
The Moneycorp prepaid card has partnered with Visa to launch the first multi-currency prepaid card. You can load 14 different currencies into one card with the Moneycorp prepaid card without linking to your bank account.
The Visa travel money card does not link with your bank account. You have to deposit funds into your travel card before leaving on your trip. The Visa travel money card is a prepaid card on which you can access only the funds deposited in it.
The prepaid euro debit card is a great way to manage your spending abroad with multi-currency usage. The prepaid euro debit card is safer than the debit and credit card, where you load your card with euros before traveling abroad. A multi-currency travel card is a prepaid card on which you can load foreign currency for use while traveling overseas.
Cards that Do not Build Credit
- Debit Card
- Prepaid Card
Cards that Build Credit
- Credit Cards
- Charge Cards
Choose The Right Prepaid Travel Card
To choose the right prepaid card, you have to consider certain factors
- Exchange rate
- Protection for your money
- Price Comparison
FairFX Currency Card
FairFX â€˜Everywhere cardâ€™ has some of the lowest fees of many reputable prepaid currency cards. You can load amounts ranging from Â£10 to Â£2,500 at any one time, and a maximum of Â£5000.
The FairFX Everywhere cardâ€™s coverage remains second to none with exotic and far-flung locations such as Brazil, Argentina, Slovenia, Ghana, and Iran, where all accept FairFXâ€™s everywhere card. In total, we cover more than 200 locations around the world.
FairFX cards are free to order, and you can load them with multiple currencies via the app or over the phone. Margins remain competitive with a charge/spread between 1.4% and 1.75% on the point of sale or purchases. In the branch, you will have a charge on bank withdrawals. The fee charged is at 1.5%, where they are subject to a local currency minimum fee of â‚¬6.25, Â£5, or $7.50 per withdrawal.
FairFX is a listed company with great online feedback and an excellent Trustpilot rating.Â
You can get other services on your FairFX prepaid cards, such asÂ international money transfers and travel cash through to accountancy software, on multiple business currency cards for companies with overseas staff and expenses.
FairFXâ€™s cards also offer many perks, such as 3.5% cashback promotions and offers from numerous companies. The FairFX prepaid card includes Hertz car rental and No.1 lounges, entitling FairFX customers to a 25% off airport lounge access.
WeSwap Travel Money Card
WeSwap affords its clients the ability to swap currency into 15 currencies and allows you to trade these currencies at highly competitive rates.
If you have a balance remaining on your card, it is best to swap them immediately as their rates reduce, as the WeSwap operates on a peer-to-peer model.
When you â€˜swapâ€™ or exchange the base currency, the WeSwap finds another client to buy your swap, which improves the price notably. The margin applied to these swaps typically ranges from 2.0% to 1%. It gradually reduces the longer time the money is left on the prepaid currency card.
WeSwap also offers a travel cash service. In particular, it is most useful when you draw large sums of money while on holiday. The WeSwap card only allows 2 ATM withdrawals a day, the maximum withdrawal being Â£500, although a drawing of Â£200/â‚¬200/$200 or more is free.
Before traveling, ensure that you take the time to swap your currency as if you use the base. You can also load the card with currencies rather than swapping the rate, which will naturally be a lot less competitive. Your borderless prepaid travel card will make your travel a relaxing experience.
In terms of customer services, WeSwap scores highly with a decent, if not exceptional, Trust pilot rating, as per the response from thousands of clients on their review.
WeSwap also offers a complimentary Â£10 of currency when you load Â£50 on your WeSwap currency card.
Moneycorp Prepaid Currency Card
Moneycorp has provided private client and business currency services for many decades now. Roughly half a decade ago, Moneycorp ventured into the prepaid travel currency market to launch its explorer card. A few years on, having benefitted from numerous improvements, the explorer card still offers good flexibility and value for travelers. You can also load a multitude of currencies onto a single card. The card is subject to local currency fees for over-the-counter use in a bank, for example, Â£4.00 or â‚¬4.70. FX transfers are at 4.99% and not among the most competitive. However, the card has wallet functionality, which is excellent for those who travel frequently and require multiple currencies.
For those looking to splash the cash while traveling, the Explorer card will appeal with daily limits of up to Â£10,000 available to be spent in merchants. Clients can also load up to Â£50,000 per annum, excellent for those fortunate enough to travel a lot or with a well-used home overseas.
You can load the currencies on the card in many ways, via online, telephone, or in any of Moneycorpâ€™s bureaux de changes located in many UK airports and central London.
For those looking to air on the side of caution, Moneycorpâ€™s triple-A credit rating will provide the necessary comfort, combined with the companyâ€™s longevity in the marketplace.
As to the best of our knowledge, Moneycorp explorer cardholders do not have access to direct offers or perks.
Travelex Prepaid Currency Card
Travelex money card arguably offers the best value with no FX fee applied to foreign currency exchanges on the card. GBP uploads are at 2%, and it is advisable to exchange currency beforehand. Clients can also order a duplicate second card for just Â£5, ideal when traveling as a couple.
Using the card internationally at a merchant incurs no fees. If lost or stolen, a replacement can be ordered free of charge. You can load the card with a minimum amount of Â£50 and a maximum of Â£5000. The card can hold up to Â£30,000 of currency annually. Clients can also upload their prepaid currency cards in bureaux and online.
Travelexâ€™s money card has a remarkable around-the-clock customer service, particularly useful in case of difficulty or emergency. Calls are free from the UK when you use the Travelex prepaid card. When you use the best-prepaid travel card for Europe or the UK, you can make your travel abroad fuss-free.
The Travelex prepaid card also offers exclusive deals from merchants and travel agents. Holders of the Travelex money card also are eligible for Boingo WIFI access, available to clients every time they top up their cards. The Travelex cash passport is a prepaid MasterCard that is chip and pin secure.
Best Prepaid Euro Card
With the best prepaid travel cards, you can avoid carrying too much cash. The prepaid currency card keeps you on your budget. The borderless prepaid card makes traveling easier, where you can make payments easily without any hassle. For students studying abroad, a prepaid travel money card for under 18 years will come in handy for making online payments. Young teens can withdraw foreign currencies and make purchases in restaurants and shops.Â
- FairFX Prepaid Euro CardÂ does not charge a card fee or transaction fee but charges a â‚¬1.50 ATM fee. The prepaid foreign currency card makes overseas travel for business, academic, or leisure tours memorable.Â
- Ice Travellers Prepaid CardÂ does not charge an FX fee and free ATM withdrawals. You get 1% cash back on purchases on USD and EUR cards.
- Ace-Fx Prepaid CardÂ is a free card with no transaction fee but has an ATM fee of â‚¬1.25. It is best for international travel.
- Easyjet Prepaid Euro CardÂ is a great way to spend money in Europe. Just transfer from your bank account, and you can use the Easyjet prepaid euro card, just like a Travellers Cheque.Â
Best Prepaid USD Card
The best prepaid traveling card is safe and is similar to having cash around you. Just load your fx prepaid card with many foreign currencies. It will be your perfect travel companion for your international travels.Â
- The Caxton Prepaid CardÂ offers free international transactions at competitive exchange rates with good customer service.
- Brinks Prepaid MastercardÂ is easily manageable, along with the Brinkâ€™s Money Mobile App. The FDIC card is applicable everywhere.Â
- Paypal Prepaid CardÂ provides the best prepaid currency card for the USA for safe and convenient travel. You can also transfer funds to your PayPal prepaid card account via PayPal.Â
- NetSpend Visa Prepaid Card does not charge interest or late fees, nor overdraft fees. You need the NetSpend Mobile App to manage the account. A prepaid foreign currency card is more convenient than carrying cash and the best way to manage your holiday currency.
Best Pound Sterling Prepaid Cards
If you have a bank account in Pound sterling and want to add money to a prepaid USD card, you have to pay the Pound to the USD exchange rate. Choose the best Pound Sterling prepaid card that offers the lowest exchange rate for travel.
- FairFX Dollar Currency CardÂ does not charge for the card or a transaction fee. The ATM fee is $2. We recommend a prepaid travel money card for under 18 years as the best choice, as it is not advisable for a young teen to hold a credit or debit card or have large amounts of cash. It helps children under 18 to learn more about money management.Â
- WeSwap Prepaid Currency CardsÂ have no card fee or transaction fee. But it comes with a variable swap fee on turnaround time.Â
- Caxton Mastercard Currency CardsÂ do not charge a card fee nor a transaction fee abroad, but a Â£1.50 fee for domestic use. The Caxton prepaid card offers excellent exchange rates for international payment and online transfers.
Best prepaid FX card for frequent travellers
Prepaid travel cash cards have special offers for frequent travellers. It even comes with a travel cash card kit. The kit includes various facilities, such as e-commerce transactions, to make purchases at retail outlets, to get SMS alerts, online account access to your card details, and reload your cad while traveling abroad. With feature-rich fx prepaid cards, you can avoid currency rate fluctuations.Â
- The American Express BluebirdÂ is a prepaid debit card that children studying abroad find very useful. You can load it with money through money transfer, or check, or direct deposit. You cannot get into a negative balance with the card. You can use the best prepaid currency card for the USA to pamper yourself during your travel.Â
- PayPal Prepaid Currency CardÂ is best if you have a PayPal account. Further, they get FDIC insurance coverage. You get a lot of perks and cashback offers.Â
- The Brinks Prepaid CardÂ provides quick activation. To load money into the card, you can directly deposit cash. You can use the mobile app to manage your money. It is insured by the FDIC and ensures that your money is protected.Â
- Post Office Prepaid Travel CardÂ is a safe and easy payment option preloaded travel cash. You can use it to withdraw from ATMs globally with 23 currencies. With the Post Office prepaid travel card, you can buy travel insurance and book your airport parking. To activate your Post Office prepaid travel card, you can use the Post Office Travel app. You can top up your card and view your balance too.
- Thomas CookÂ Borderless Prepaid Card is best when you plan to travel to multiple countries. You can load nine different currencies on your Thomas Cook borderless prepaid card. You can avoid currency fluctuation through the advance loading of funds. You can buy a Thomas Cook borderless card from the convenience of your home. When you log on to the website, you get the Thomas Cook borderless card by entering the required details.
- Multi Cash PassportÂ helps to make international payments. You can travel or shop freely with a multi-cash passport as the card carries multiple currencies in a single card. The cash passport will select the right currency wallet for making payment wherever you are in the world.Â
Alternatives To Travel Money Cards
A prepaid card charges a fee for opening and maintaining account. We have other alternatives for buying and selling foreign currency.
Bureaux de changes
It is a currency exchange where customers can exchange one currency for another through a broker. Bureaux de changes are also known as a currency exchange or a foreign exchange. They are located strategically near train stations, airports, and other places frequented by travelers when they enter a country. They provide currency exchange facilities at competitive rates. They charge a commission or fees and add value to the exchange rate.
Monzo and Revolute are financial services used in business and personal accounts. They are accessible through mobile banking apps.Â
MonzoÂ is a challenger bank that provides app-based banking. You can withdraw cash in the UK and other countries without paying a fee.Â
However, you cannot hold different currencies in the same account. You can withdraw large amounts of money abroad by paying a fee.
RevoluteÂ is a multi-currency account and provides app-based banking. You can hold, spend and transfer 29 currencies in it.Â
Though ATM withdrawal is free, you get a low monthly limit. It does not offer protection if you make your deposits through the FSCS.Â
Travel Credit cards provide many offers and deals for travel, on-air ticket bookings and accumulation, reward points, and discount offers.
However, they have hidden charges and charge a minimum due amount. On average, they charge a high-interest rate of about 3%. You can choose the best travel credit card to make your travel payments easier. Frequent travelers prefer the best travel credit cards for international offers and perks.
Summary on prepaid currency cards
Prepaid cards are popular, convenient, and easy to get.
Whether you are traveling to the US, the UK, or Europe, choose the best prepaid travel card.Â You donâ€™t have to carry cash, and you can keep to your budget. It will protect you from theft or fraud, and you get a better exchange rate. As they are not associated with a bank account, you can manage your money with ease. You can directly deposit to the card or use the app to which your account is linked. You can also transfer money from your bank account to a prepaid card. They offer complimentary lounge access, along with frequent flier miles, cashback, and discounts on travel expenses. But you may lose money, when prepaid cards are left idle and inactive.
Though alternative exchange rate systems are available such as credit cards, the bureaux de charges, and online banks, there are hidden costs that charge you a lot.
Prepaid cards work best for those who travel frequently.
- GBP Foreign Exchange Rate Showing Strong Performance - Aug 3, 2020
- Euro Currency Rate Reflects A Strengthening Euro Zone - Jul 30, 2020
- British Pound Foreign Exchange Rates Run into Troubled Waters - Jul 27, 2020