A prepaid travel card can be an extremely useful tool in the avoidance of currency exchange scams. A traveler can avoid losses from trying to exchange the amount of cash he/she has in his/her pocket by using the prepaid travel card instead. As long as the card has not yet been issued and cannot be associated with any credit account, there are no foreign transaction fees charged for purchases. And if you do choose to use your card overseas, a no-charge prepaid travel card will usually allow you to get credit or ATM fees waived in order to protect yourself against nasty surprises.
How can a prepaid travel card save you money? For one thing, it prevents you from paying outrageous foreign transaction fees. If the amount of the purchase is more than the amount you have loaded onto your card, then you can expect to pay a hefty foreign transaction fee. For another thing, many companies that issue cards charge a low annual fee that is based on the amount of money you load onto the card. If you want to avoid these fees, you will want to purchase your items at a store that does not attach a foreign transaction fee.
When you are abroad, you will want to carry money to purchase food, gasoline, cell phones, newspapers, and other necessities. A prepaid travel card is a great way to avoid having to carry large amounts of cash or currency around with you. Since a card does not have a credit limit, you cannot exceed the amount of cash on the card. As long as you do not go over your card limit, there is no problem. If you do happen to fall behind on a payment, however, a prepaid card can be very inconvenient.
There are also times when you will not want to use a prepaid travel card. If you normally carry your credit card with you everywhere you go, it is possible that you could become addicted to it. Instead of using your card to make purchases, you may use it to pay for something that you did not intend to spend money on. This can get you in a lot of trouble, and prepaid travel cards usually have some kind of finance charge attached.
If you are going on business trips or vacation, a prepaid travel card can provide you with an excellent opportunity to avoid carrying cash. Rather than dealing with foreign exchange rates or other fees, you can just use your card to purchase items. The convenience of this is not just limited to travel, though. You can also use it at any point of purchase. This makes it easy to take a vacation without worrying about whether you have enough cash for the trip or if you will have enough cash to cover your expenses if something bad happens.
The disadvantages of using a prepaid travel card are minimal. It is easy to lose track of how much money you are spending and end up spending more than you intended. Even if you pay the finance charge, you may not always be able to get the amount you spent back at the end of the month. Some companies do offer customer support in case you run into problems. You will need to ensure you read the fine print on the policy before you sign. In this case, you should be able to obtain support the same day you receive the card.
With so many prepaid cards available in the market, it is difficult for the card companies to make money. Fees eat away at the profit and most card companies do not pass on the added cost to the customers. The card companies try to combat this problem by offering the no Foreign Transaction Fees. However, this does little to encourage people to use these cards, as they are still associated with so many fees.
If you are travelling outside of the U.S., you should consider getting a prepaid travel card. You will be able to avoid spending unnecessary fees when you use this card instead of your regular ones. They are also a convenient way to avoid dealing with cash or traveler's checks. So whether you are going to Europe or South America, a prepaid travel card can help you save money and avoid spending it on fees and charges.
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