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Currency cards are an increasingly popular way for people to take foreign currency overseas as more and more people learn about them. A currency card works in the same way as a debit or credit card. You can use it in shops and restaurants where you see a VISA sign and make cash withdrawals from ATMs.
– The rate that card providers offer tends to be far superior to what you will receive in a foreign exchange bureau or through a high street bank. To put this into context, the current interbank (market) rate on GBP/EUR is 1.21. If you were to open an account with ‘MyTravel Cash’, you could load your card at a rate of 1.18. This is just three cents off of interbank – much, much better than you would get with the Post Office, Marks and Spencer, etc.
– The rate is fixed so you know exactly how much currency you have to spend before you go away.
– Fees tend to be less costly than using debit or credit cards.
– They are very convenient to carry.
– One provider (Moneycorp) gives access to a whopping 14 currencies from one card. If you are going to be travelling around a number of different countries, you don’t have to worry about changing your money into a variety of currencies. Jut take the one travel money card and you are set.
– Secure and safer than cash. You are less likely to have a card stolen than you were holding cash. If it is lost or stolen call your provider and they should be able to suspend the account and provide you with a replacement.
– Many providers allow you to have more than one card associated with each account. If you were to have yours stolen, or even if you lost it, there is nothing stopping you from having another card as a backup.
Opening a currency card account is very straight forward. Just decide which company you want to hold yours with (a list of providers can be found here) and apply either online or over the phone. Once you have loaded your card, it will be sent out to you and all you need to do then is setup a pin number. This is normally done over the phone once you have received your plastic.