A prepaid travel money card is really a debit card which enables you to deposit money into a checking account and then converts it to various forms of currency so you can use when traveling. Prepaid travel cards allow you to lock in much better exchange rates than you would get on a conventional credit card. You will need to know what exchange rate you are getting before you go, and how much cash you actually have on the card. All transactions are done online, and you can have up to $1000 in your account at all times. You will not need to provide identification, prove your age or any other security information. You will be issued a prepaid travel money card upon approval of your application.
Before you put any money onto the prepaid travel money card, ensure you read all of the terms and conditions associated with the account, and that you understand everything. In particular, make sure that the bank account you are using to fund your card has an ATM machine that offers you the option of loading funds directly onto your bank account. Many banks provide this service but check to ensure that it is an option.
Most people worry about the application and approval process of their prepaid travel money card abroad, since there can sometimes be a language or culture shock involved. In most cases, you will be provided with a prepaid debit card which has a U.S dollar deposit attached. What happens is that your debit card is loaded with funds, and once you decide to travel, simply take the money out of your account. This is one of the best ways to avoid dealing with a currency conversion fee at the airport which is often applied at the point of sale in foreign currency.
Another concern is exchange rates. Although you may get some benefit from the current exchange rates, remember that most prepaid travel money cards are evaluated based on U.S. dollars. Because of this, if the exchange rate fluctuates, so will your money balance. Be prepared to adjust your funds amounts accordingly.
One thing many people do not think about, and can actually have a profound effect on their trip's final cost, is travel insurance. Many companies offer a variety of coverage plans, from a basic plan which covers pre-existing medical conditions and some other benefits, to a comprehensive plan that provides coverage for virtually all risks associated with traveling abroad. The best companies will even offer coverage for any currency conversions when you are abroad, should the need arise.
One last thing you might want to consider is whether you should carry around your international credit card or use prepaid travel cards. Both have advantages and disadvantages. If you travel regularly and need to convert your funds, using prepaid travel cards can be very convenient. However, you must be aware of exchange rates, since this can quickly exceed the value of the prepaid travel money card itself.
In addition, some people prefer currency cards. They can hold large amounts of cash abroad but only spend in specific currencies. Many people also use prepaid travel money cards overseas in combination with actual credit cards to build up their credit history. With regular credit, there are exchange rates to be considered, and of course, penalties should you ever default on your payments.
In a nutshell, choosing a prepaid travel money card or currency card depends on your personal preferences, your own history of traveling, and what kinds of experiences you would like to have. As an international traveler, it's easy to become attached to just one currency. If that's the case, choose a credit card or two to hold different currencies and use them for purchases when you need to make a few bucks. If you like to travel a lot, go with a credit card with an overseas bank that you can use multiple times, perhaps even overseas! It may seem like a lot of work at first, but it's definitely worth it in the end!
The Travelex Multi-currencies Cash Passport is an easy-to-use, debit-loaded, secured foreign currency card which allows you to load up to 10 currencies onto one convenient to use, easy to access card. reload your Travelex Money Passport with any number of currencies you wish, then use it like a regular credit card to make purchases ...
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