Every year, millions of people take to the skies for their annual summer holiday, some even twice a year. There are a variety of things to remember when going on holiday, from insurance and sun cream to medication and passports. However one of the biggest things you have to bring with you is cash, and there are a variety of ways to ensure that your money remains safe whilst travelling abroad.
Prepaid currency cards, it is claimed, are the safest way to access your money when on holiday, and it saves you having to carry large amounts of cash around with you. Not only do prepaid holiday cards offer travellers improved exchange rates, but there are also no charges when using them abroad, unlike credit cards and debit cards. Furthermore, you can easily cancel the card if you misplace it.
Worryingly, unless you’re aware of the small print and extra charges that are associated with prepaid travel cards, travellers could find that the savings they’ve made from using the portable plastic money card could soon be wiped out.
There are many big players when it comes to the prepaid money card, including Travelex, Caxton and FX. But a number of these companies don’t actively tell their customers about their ‘inactivity’ or ATM fees that could put a small dent in your funds. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worse prepaid travel cards on the market.
What Are Prepaid Travel Cards?
Prepaid travel cards are issued by travel money companies, and they look just like a regular debit or credit card. In essence, the prepaid card acts like holiday credit – you top it up with funds taken directly from your bank accounts, and you can only spend you have on the card. If you need more cash, then you just transfer more from your bank account. The exchange rate you get is the rate on the day you transfer the cash.
When travelling abroad, people usually exchange all their travel money either before they travel or air the airport. However once they’re enjoying their holiday, they would be unable to benefit from improved exchange rates. Prepaid cards are great because you always get the best exchange rate for your money.
If you hold a UK bank account, then getting a travel card is pretty easy. If you apply online, and you can select the currency as well as how much you want on your prepaid travel card. Delivery can be expected between 5-7 working days.
What Cards Give The Best Exchange Rates?
Sometimes, it’s the smaller travel exchange companies that offer the best rates. Take FairFX for example – in most cases, they offer much better rates than industry leaders MyTravelCash. However when it comes to comparing prepaid cards, don’t just look at exchange rates. It’s always best to consider the fees when using these cards too, like ATM charges and cash withdrawals. Make sure you always use price comparison websites to get the best deals online before you travel.