If you frequently travel to foreign countries, getting a multi-currency prepaid card is as essential as arranging your travel documents, such as passport, visas, and air tickets. Instead of carrying liquid cash, you can use a multi-currency prepaid card to pay for your travel expenses.
It is a prepaid card that comes preloaded with multiple foreign currencies that allows you to make international bookings and payments at airlines, stores, hotels, restaurants, and petrol pumps without incurring foreign transaction fees. A multi-currency prepaid card is the easiest way to carry your money abroad and the safest way to make transactions abroad.
A multi-currency forex card comes with a host of advantages that you can avail yourself of during your travels abroad. However, before getting a forex card, it is imperative to pay heed to the following tips:
- Assess your needs
Before applying for a multi-currency prepaid card, it is imperative to evaluate your needs. For instance, you need to understand how many countries you are visiting and the amount of money you need to load on your forex card. A multi-currency forex card can be loaded with multiple foreign currencies at once. Depending on your issuing bank, you can load between 10 to 20 foreign currencies at once. You can travel to your preferred countries without worrying about cross-currency charges.
- Purchase well in advance
Most issuing banks dispatch the multi-currency prepaid card within 24 to 48 hours of your order. So, if you are traveling to foreign countries, you need to be well-prepared to avoid the last-minute panic. Generally, you can activate your forex card within 24 hours, but it may get delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. It would be wise to apply for a forex card at least a week before your travel. It will give you ample time to address any issues associated with your card.
- Compare foreign exchange rates
Not all forex card issuers offer the same foreign exchange rates in the market. So, making a purchase, you need to compare the foreign exchange rates provided by various financial institutions. Choose a multi-currency forex card that offers the best forex rates available in the market. It is worth noting that the currency conversion rates are predetermined while loading your forex card, hence providing immunity against fluctuations.
- Know all the charges involved
Besides the foreign exchange rates, several terms can directly cost of getting a multi-currency prepaid card, such as:
- Card issuance fee: Most issuing banks charge a fee for issuing a forex card
- Cash withdrawal charge: You will not have to incur currency conversion charges, but you will have a flat withdrawal fee for each transaction.
- Balance inquiry fee: It is the cost you incur for checking the balance amount on your forex card.
- International SMS alert charge - monthly: The cost of receiving SMS alerts when abroad
- Replacement card fee: It is the cost you will need to incur for replacing your multi-currency prepaid card. The replacement card fee depends on whether you are replacing your forex card in India or abroad.
- Statement request fee: It is the fee you will have to incur for receiving statements.
- Slip retrieval charge: The cost incurred for receiving receipts at an ATM.
- Inactivity fees: When you do not use your forex card for more than six months, you will have to pay the inactivity fee to your issuing bank.
- Cross currency markup charge: The foreign transaction currency is different from the currency loaded onto your forex card. For instance, you have loaded your multi-currency forex card with dollars but have made a transaction in euros. In such cases, you will have to bear a cross-currency makeup of up to 3.5% on each transaction.