If you take your credit cards abroad, it’s all too easy to overspend, mislay your cards or get them stolen. So if you want to stay safe and stick to your budget, choose a prepaid cuurency card instead – once you’ve used one, you’ll never travel without them.
If you’re heading abroad this summer, there’s never been a better time to get your hands on a prepaid travel card.
They work just like normal credit cards, and you can use them to buy goods and services across the world, either in person or on the web.
But prepaid cards have major advantages over traditional credit cards, particularly for the holidaymaker and the traveller.
The team at Moneyhighstreet certainly wouldn’t pack their holiday bags without taking at least one prepaid travel card, so we’ve put together a list of reasons why they’re perfect for travellers and holidaymakers.
1) Prepaid cards are safer than cash
Don’t risk your money by carrying large amounts of cash around – trying to keep it hidden or separating it between bags is very risky, and if it’s stolen you won’t get it back.
Prepaid cards are protected by a PIN and can be quickly cancelled online or over the phone if they’re stolen. Most companies will even send you a replacement card and restore your balance at the same time.
2) Prepaid currency cards can be delivered to your door
If you’re pressed for time before your holiday or need to work, a prepaid card can be ordered online and delivered to your door – so there’s no more need to have to head into town and queue for currency.
Because these companies deal directly with currency exchange markets, they can offer you a better rate on your foreign currency than high street banks can – so you save money into the bargain.
4) You can top up a prepaid card any time, anywhere
If the money on your card runs out, don’t worry. You can top it up online, over the phone or by text.
Even if you’re in a foreign country you don’t pay any extra because the transaction is carried out in the UK – as long as you get your card from a UK-based company.
5) Like credit cards – without all the charges
Taking a credit card abroad is great because Mastercard and Visa are almost universally accepted. But every time you make a purchase using your normal UK credit card, you’re charged a fee for changing currency.
Prepaid cards are also issued by Mastercard and Visa, so you can use them in all the same places. But because you’ve already bought your currency at a better rate, you don’t have to pay a currency fee for each transaction.
What to look for when you buy a prepaid travel card
1) Foreign exchange rates
More and more companies are offering prepaid travel cards, including high street banks, the Post Office and specialist providers such as CaxtonFX and FairFX.
Look out for exchange rates being offered to get the best deal. Remember you don’t have to wait to buy, you can load your prepaid currency card at a time when rates are in your favour.
There are limits associated with prepaid cards. Some companies only issue prepaid cards for £300 or more, and some charge a £5 surcharge for amounts under £500.
If you’re loading on more than that, there’s no upper limit, though amounts higher than £10,000 are subject to an additional security check.
3) Associated charges
Not all prepaid travel cards have the same charges applied to them. For example, the CaxtonFX card doesn’t charge you for cash point withdrawal in a foreign country.
It pays to check what the charges associated with a prepaid card are before you make your choice.
Prepaid cards are an effective way to protect your money. And there are so many other good reasons to travel with a prepaid card, you’ll probably never use a standard credit card abroad again.