Travelling abroad can be fun but paying for food, hotels etc using cash or credit cards can prove to be costly. Here a forex card can be a far better option compared to a credit card. So how a forex card is better than a credit card?
Think of a forex card as a category of prepaid travel card, which you can load up with any foreign currency of your choice. If you are going to Europe, it can be loaded with Euros or for a visit to the US, with dollars. It can be used just like a credit or debit card. You can also directly withdraw local currency from any ATM abroad.
Associate Director and Head of credit cards at Paisabazaar.com, Sachin Vasudev notes that you can use foreign currency while travelling abroad. Other than this, you can use international debit card, credit card, or forex cards to directly make payments in foreign currency. Out of all these options, a forex card is the most effective option, since it is tailor made for covering international expenses. This means it is most suited to cover all your major expenditures abroad.
Amongst other benefits of a forex card include that it is far safer as compared to cash, and using them is far cheaper and safer. You can transact in all major foreign currencies using this card. Not only can it be used worldwide, a forex card also shields you from the constant ups and downs of foreign currency rates. Also, you can load multiple currencies into the card at the same time.
Some prominent forex cards include ICICI Bank Forex Prepaid Card, HDFC Bank ForexPlus card and YES Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card.
But before taking a forex card, it is important to check whether it has some crucial features or not. What are these features, let’s understand.
First off, check if the card offers the facility to reload currency online. This is important, so that you can transfer funds from your bank account directly to your card. Also check the listed exchange rates mentioned on the site of the bank or card provider. Opt for the card you think is most cost-effective, since there can be some differences in exchange rates. Third, get the multi-currency advantage. This means go for a forex card which lets you load the currencies of all the nations you intend to travel to.
Another thing you should remember is to only take a card which has an EVM chip. Cards with magnetic strips are vulnerable to skimming, cloning by hackers and consequentially, misuse. Other than this, tampered ATMs or Point of Sale machines can also store your card’s information. That is why only opt for EVM chip enabled cards, since they are more secure.
Lastly, many banks offer discounts and special benefits like airport lounge access, discount on processing fees, concessions on airport transfers and more on their forex card. Hence, also look for all these additional benefits while choosing a forex card.
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