I have been using a Caxton FX prepaid currency card for my travel money since 2010 and thought I’d explain why this still is a great solution for taking money abroad.
You probably know what a prepaid currency card is as they are far more common now than when they Caxton FX card was launched in 2007. Just in case you’ve been cloistered away somewhere, you load your currency onto the prepaid card and then use it like a debit card.
Currency cards are either aligned to Visa or Mastercard, which is great as they can be used anywhere in the world which takes these, or at Cashpoint machines too.
A quick point, even though they look, and act like credit cards, you can only spend money that is loaded onto them, you cannot use them to buy goods and services on credit as you can with a credit card.
The Caxton FX card can be used with multiple currencies
When I first acquired a Caxton FX card, it could either be loaded with Euros or US Dollars. This was quite restrictive if you needed access to both currencies as this required having two individual cards.
The situation with multiple currencies is far better now, however if you’re worried about how much currency you’re going to have on your trip and if it will suffice, check out the holiday guide at NowLoan.
Not only can you load your card with Euros and USD, there is now a wide range of currencies available such as Australian and Canadian Dollars, and even Hungarian Forint and Polish Zloties.
This wide selection of currencies, all held on in a single card or account, make this a very flexible travel money solution, particularly as you can easily convert one currency to another at very reasonable exchange rates.
The only restrictions are that there is a minimum load amount of £50 and a maximum limit of £6,500. I have never found this to be a problem as you can always load up your card remotely whilst abroad using your current account debit card.
There also has to be enough money in your bank account!
Competitive exchange rates
With the pound so weak, it is vital to find the best exchange rates. I generally find that Caxton FX rates are very competitive, particularly when you compare them to high street banks, the Post Office and foreign exchange bureaux.
Here is a quick comparison, with the rates at the time of writing:
Tesco Online are certainly competitive too, but they will send you the money through the post, or you can collect it in-store, whereas you have the convenience of storing the foreign money on a card using Caxton FX.
Loading travel money onto a card is far more secure than taking lots of cash abroad.
No problems using the prepaid card abroad
I have used the Caxton FX card in a variety of European countries and have never experienced any porblems with shops, restaurants or petrol stations refusing to accept it.
Even in Montengro seven years ago, there was no issue with this card, though there weren’t many places that accepted either Visa or Mastercard then.
There is no charge to use the Caxton FX card in Cashpoint machines abroad, and I have not had any problems withdrawing from them. However if you use it in the UK to withdraw cash then there is a £1.50 charge.
The Caxton FX card has been great
So, all-in-all, the Caxton FX card has been great. The website is easy to use and there is a good app that allows you to manage your money when you are abroad.
I like the security that prepaid currency cards offer as holding lots of cash is decidedly risky and the days of travellers cheques have long gone.
There are mnay more prepaid currency cards on the market now, but so far, I haven’t been tempted to try others. I guess that shows how fit for purpose the Caxton FX card is!
I obtained my Caxton Card in the 1990’s after listening to a review by Simon Calder on the BBC, he mentioned Caxton and Fairfx Cards. Never regretted it. I used to travel widely with work and used it worldwide. So I was slightly confused when you mentioned the Caxton Card was launched in 2007. Although I remember some branding changes I do not remember date but do believe it had something to do with who owned Caxton.
Over the years I have promoted Caxton to work colleagues and know of at least 50-70 of them that also obtained a Caxton Card. For travel abroad I believe it is a number 1 priority in your wallet.
Beware – do not try to pay your Euro car hire account with Caxton or other prepaid card as the hire company (Sixt at least) will not accept payment by pre paid cards. This, I think, is because they block off a large sum of money (Eu 300 in our case) in addition to the hire fee and even if there is sufficient money in the account, they still cannot process it. The block is only lifted once the car has been inspected on return and is accepted without any damage etc. I imagine this applies to all hire car companies abroad and not just Sixt. Otherwise Caxton is, as you say, excellent in every other way and I am a long time customer!
Thank you, Iain, for this excellent advice. I wrote this article in 2010 and still use Caxton today for our travel money.