Travel Money Cards are fast becoming the most popular way of carrying holiday money safely and securely whilst providing all the benefits that one would expect from using money on a plastic card. However, even though prepaid cards are excellent for travel abroad, there are a few things that you should be aware of when using prepaid travel money cards abroad.
- Choose the Currency Card that suits your needs – Some prepaid currency cards come with free ATM and others have a better exchange rates. Choose the currency card which suits your needs best. Free ATM is useful if you are going on a long trip but on a short trip, you may actually be better off with a travel money card which gives you a better FX rate.
- Load your card when you get the best FX Rate – Currency rates fluctuate daily. You should load your currency card when the rate suits you best to make sure you get the maximum spend money for your travels at the best exchange rate.
- Do not use prepaid currency cards to make deposits – If you make a security deposit with your prepaid travel card, that amount will usually get blocked on your card. Unlike credit and debit cards, it can take up to 30 days for the funds to be unblocked on a prepaid card. So using your prepaid travel credit card for making a hotel or car rental deposit is not recommended.
- Beware Foreign ATM Machine Fees – Some ATM machines abroad will charge a fee in addition to the fee charged by your prepaid card provide. So even if your currency card provider does not charge a fee, you may still find that you have to pay an ATM charge imposed by the ATM owner. Try and find an ATM machine that does not charge a fee.
- Avoid Using Dynamic Currency Conversion on your Sterling Prepaid Card – When using your prepaid currency card abroad, you may get the choice of paying in Euro, Dollars or in Sterling. Whilst it is obvious that you should use the local currency when using your Euro or dollar prepaid card, you should also choose the local currency when using your sterling prepaid card and avoid Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). Using DCC would mean using the retailers exchange rates which may end up costing you more.
- Check with your Provider for any usage restrictions – Prepaid Card providers require merchants to seek authorisations before they provide goods or services. If a merchant cannot seek an authorisation, usage is usually restricted. An example would be toll roads and bridges, car parks, usage on some trains and trams, etc. It is best to check with your provider with regards to any merchant restrictions prior to travelling.
Prepaid Travel Money Cards are here to stay giving consumers’ business level FX rates on consumer prepaid cards. Find out more about prepaid currency cards and compare them at Prepaid365.