Are you planning a trip abroad? Are you finding it hard to decide how to carry your foreign money? Forex card/Prepaid Travel Card would be the best choice to have an effortless trip anywhere in the world. They offer many benefits to travellers. Also, for students going to study abroad Forex Cards are the best way to carry money.
So, What is a Forex Card?
It acts just like your debit/credit card. It can be loaded with foreign currency of the country you wish to travel to. Forex card can be used to meet most of your expenses abroad. When comparing Forex Card vs Cash, Credit and Debit Card, we can see that it’s one of the most convenient, safe and cheapest ways to carry a large amount of money.
But before you buy a forex card, you should check what all are the additional charges associated with it. Well, we are here to educate you about the hidden charges of a forex card. Also, find out how to buy the best one for your travel abroad!
Hidden Charges Of A Forex Card
Following are the charges one needs to take note of before buying a Forex Travel Card:
|Cash Withdrawal Charge||US $2|
|Cross Currency Markup Charge||3 to 4% of the total transaction value|
|Balance Enquiry Charge||US $0.5|
|Charge Slip Retrieval Fee||US $0.5|
|Statement Request Charge||US $2|
|Inactivity Fees||US $5 -$10|
- Cash Withdrawal Charge – Charge incurred when cash is withdrawn using forex card at ATMs abroad.
- Cross Currency Markup Charge – When you are making payments in a different currency from the currency loaded in your forex card, Cross Currency fees may be charged.
For Eg: In some forex cards, if you load US dollars in them and are using that card to pay for a purchase in Europe (where the charge would be in Euros), Cross Currency fees may be lived. This is simply the charge required to convert the currency.
- Balance Enquiry Charge – Some forex cards charge a fee to check the balance in them through an ATM.
- International SMS Alert Charge (Monthly) – An amount is deducted on a monthly basis for receiving SMS alerts during your travel abroad.
- Charge Slip Retrieval Fee – A fee is deducted on receiving the transaction slip at ATMs. You can avoid this fee by opting not to print the transaction slip.
- Replacement Card Fee – Charge incurred to replace the forex card in case of loss/theft or damage.
- Statement Request Charge – Charge incurred to print the forex card statement at ATMs.
- Inactivity Fees – Card may be charged with Inactivity fees if it has been inactive for a period of 6 months or more. That is, if no debit/credit happens on the forex card for more than 180 days then a fee is charged by the card issuer as inactivity fees.
These are the hidden charges of a forex card that you should look out for. However, there are a few more charges of a forex card which may or may not be applicable depending upon the card provider. Let’s take a look at them;
Other Charges Of A Forex Card
|Card Activation Charge||Rs. 300.00 + GST|
|Reload Fee||Rs. 100.00 + GST|
|Encashment of Funds||Rs. 100.00 + GST|
|Add-on Card Fee||Rs. 100.00 + GST|
|Replacement Card Fee (Domestic)||US $3|
|Replacement Card Fee (International)||US $13|
- Card Activation Charge – When issuing a forex card, an initial fee is sometimes collected by the card issuer. This fee is called the Card Activation Charge.
- Reload Fee – Charged when re-loading funds in a forex card.
- Encashment of Funds – When Encashing the balance/leftover funds in a forex card, a fee may be charged called the Encashment Fee.
- Add-on Card Fee – The fee charged when opting for a backup (replacement) card along with your main forex card. This Add-on card can be activated and used if your original forex card gets lost or stolen.
- Replacement Card Fee (Domestic) – Charge for activating the replacement (backup) card when in your home country.
- Replacement Card Fee (International) – Charge for activating the replacement (backup) card when abroad.
Some of these charges are unavoidable such as Add on Card Fee and Replacement Card Fee but few others like Issuance Fee and Encashment Fee can be avoided if you book forex cards from ExTravelMoney.
Where can one buy a good Forex Travel Card?
ExTravelMoney.com/Forex-Card is an excellent place to book and buy forex cards online.
Take a look at the Features of ExtravelMoney Forex Card ;
- Zero-Margin Forex Card – We serve forex card at zero margins, ie at almost the interbank rate. So buying a forex card from ExTravelMoney will save you more money than from other vendors who’ll sell the card at a markup.
- Zero Issuance Fee – There is no issuance fee when buying a new forex card from ExTravelMoney. You can save shelling out extra money here.
- No Encashment Fee – If you have bought a Forex card from ExTravelMoney, there is absolutely no fee levied on Encashing the leftover funds through us.
- No Reloading fee – Again, we don’t charge any re-loading fee at the time of re-loading funds in a forex card.
- First 3 Free ATM Withdrawals – The first 3 ATM transactions are free for your Forex Card if you have bought it from ExTravelMoney. Thus it’s the perfect card to help you during your brief trip abroad.
Forex Cards bought through ExTravelMoney eliminate many points of the customers. You can order multi-currency forex cards and load multiple currencies if your travel is covering more than 1 country. Also, you can cut back on additional charges like activation charge, re-loading fee etc and thus save your money. Overall, you can load currencies in your card at close to the interbank exchange rate through us. This saves money which you’d otherwise end up paying for the inflated exchange rate margins of other forex card vendors.
5 Points to keep in mind before buying a Forex Card
- Load forex card with the currency of the country you are travelling to – We can’t stress this enough, avoid swiping your forex card in a country where the currency is different from the one loaded in your card. You will incur a cross currency conversion charge. For example, if you are using a forex card loaded with US dollars in Germany, then payments would have to be made in euros. That means the dollars in your forex card would have to be converted to euros and this would involve a cross-currency fee which would be atrocious. Usually, the cross-currency charge is 3 to 4% of the total transaction amount! The best solution for this problem is to buy a multi-currency forex card and load multiple foreign currencies in it.
Note: When you use the local currency of the country in your forex card at PoS swiping machines, then there would be no additional costs incurred to you on the transaction. For example, if you are using you are using a US$ loaded forex card to make a purchase at a shopping mall in the US, then no additional charges will be incurred.
- Using Forex Card in an ATM – Select credit card option when using at ATMs as there will not be a separate option for forex card.
- Encashing balance funds in Forex Card – If the balance in your card is more than USD 2,000 equivalent, you’d have to encash the leftover money in it. As per RBI rule, this should be done within a period of 180 of last card usage. Also, beyond 180 days the card issuer may charge inactivity fees which can be anywhere between US $5 to $10 per month.
- Use Forex Card cautiously – Always use forex card right in front of you to avoid misuse or counterfeiting of the card. This is especially applicable if your forex card uses magnetic strip technology. Nowadays, most of the forex cards come equipped with Smart Chip technology which is a lot safer.
- Check the daily limit of your card – Sometimes, a forex card may have a daily upper limit of usage. Usually, this limit is in the range of US $10,000. So make sure to plan your expenses ahead for the day.
When used correctly, a forex card is one of the best things to have in hand while travelling. You can shop or pay for services while travelling abroad by simply swiping your forex card. You can also use them at ATMs to withdraw foreign currency for your day to day expenses abroad. However, at the same time, one must be aware of the hidden charges associated with their card before using it.
In this post, you’ll read about the 8 best forex cards in India. Also, you’ll get to know Axis Bank forex card charges, HDFC forex card charges like HDFC Regalia card and other cards.