Prepaid Travel Cards vs Cash or Credit cards

Posted May 26, 2012

When planning an overseas trip figuring out how to access your money while away is complicated and often left to the last minute.

You then end up paying high fees for changing foreign cash or with unexpected fees on your credit card for making purchases or withdrawals overseas.

With a bit or planning one way to reduce these fees is to use a prepaid Travel money card.

Prepaid Travel money cards

Also known as cash passports, these cards allow you load money onto them before your trip or while you are away via phone or over the internet. You can use them to make purchases and foreign cash withdrawals from ATMs. They are safer than taking actual cash as they also have credit card-like security with pin number access.

Another advantage is you can also choose the best time to purchase foreign currencies before your trip if you’re worried the currency rate might drop. The idea is to load up with the currencies you will be using on your trip, the load card exchange rates are generally better than changing actual cash and the ATM withdrawal fees are only a few dollars.

The disadvantage of travel money cards is the various fees and also what to do with left-over money on the card at the end of your trip. An option here is to load only what you think you will need for your trip and too top it up while you are away over the internet, or leave the money on the card for the next trip or any internet purchases made in the foreign currency.

You can compare prepaid travel card vendors currency rates and fees using our Prepaid Travel Card Calculator

Please note that the opinions of our authors are their own and do not reflect the opinion of Best Exchange Rates and should not be taken as a reference to buy or sell any financial product.

2 Reviews for “Prepaid Travel Cards vs Cash or Credit cards”

  1. Avatar paul wells says:

    let’s you know of all the fees that are not advertised. shows that the banks are always trying to take extra money from us all, greed

    1. Avatar joe says:

      and another very important note. You have to buy the currency from your greedy bank only. That’s how they make money. It’s good for them not for us

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