Managing the currency is one of the biggest, and perhaps the most hassling issues about traveling abroad. Traveling for leisure, you may get enough time to plan the trip and collect enough foreign currency. Still, if you are traveling for some business work or because of an emergency, you rarely have time even to pack appropriately. In such a crisis, a person may easily forget about getting his currency exchanged or carrying enough cash.
This is when forex cards come into play. Like debit cards help you go cashless in your own country, forex cards help you travel cashless abroad.
This article will give an in-depth analysis of the significance of an International travel card or what we call, in our layman’s language, a forex card.
Benefits of a forex card
There are many benefits of having a foreign exchange card if you are a frequent traveler. But even if you are not a frequent flyer, a forex card may help you. Let us find some apparent points of benefits of a forex card.
1. One card in many countries
Many people can avoid getting into the mental exercise of paying in cash all the time. Instead, they opt for forex cards that can work in all countries. If you are traveling to 2 or more countries at one single time, you don’t need to carry 2 or 3 currencies. Instead, just one forex card is enough. Forex cards offer ease of use as they are widely accepted and recognized. Some of these can also be used to pay for online purchases abroad. The card balance can be redeemed anytime after the card is returned.
2. Ease of application
Most banks do not require applicants to have an existing relationship with the bank in the form of a current or savings account. Applicants can choose from various available cards, depending on their needs. Many banking services allow you to get a forex card without applying in advance or opening a savings account with them. Earlier, there were a few restrictions for applying for a forex card. Still, now with the advent of newer, technologically advanced, and secure features and banking revenue generation policies, anyone can get a forex card without having a long-term past relationship with the bank. Moreover, you can immediately start using your forex card by loading money and making transactions right away. However, depending upon your place of residence, it may take up to a week to deliver your card to your doorstep, but it is quite easy to use and apply for.
3. Better exchange rates
Usually, forex cards hold a better exchange rate than a debit/credit card or a traveler’s cheque. In addition to better rates, you can take advantage of features such as ATM access, fee-free withdrawals, zero foreign currency fees, and lower transaction fees than international credit or debit cards, with attractive discounts. Forex cards are a cheap alternative to exchanging money, especially at banks. Applicants get a better conversion rate because it is cheaper for banks to issue foreign exchange cards.
4. Better rate volatility
If you carry cash while travelling internationally, you are at a risk of facing fluctuations in currency rates. For example, if you are travelling to the US, the currency exchange rate will be as per the latest market value. But this tension is eliminated totally in a forex card. Using a forex card protects against currency fluctuations, as the rates are locked as soon as you load the card. This means that if you purchased a forex card 6 months back and are planning to travel today, you will have the cash according to the value of the currency that was 6 months back when you purchased the card. This saves you from unpredictable inflation and fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
No one can steal forex cards. Even if one does, one can’t steal the code. This is not the case with cash. But in the case of forex cards, you can change the passwords, block, or go for a duplicate card even if you lose your physical forex card. The worst that could happen is that you might have to wait and use it virtually for some time, but you will never lose your cash because it’s safely secured in your bank account, which no one other than you has access to. Forex cards have all the security features of credit and debit cards, making them safer than carrying cash. These cards also use chip and pin technology that protects other plastic money.
6. Better than cash and debit cards
- Carrying cash with you on a domestic or international journey is a default option for many people. However, with the advent of technology and newer banking and fintech solutions, people prefer going cashless for many reasons.
- Another popular mode of transaction is debit or credit cards. But the most problematic issue with carrying a debit or credit card is the limit of transactions. When you are in a foreign land, you never know when an emergency might occur. If you just have conventional debit cards with you, your transaction and withdrawal get limited. Credit and debit cards are accepted worldwide and are convenient. As for payment methods, there is a conversion fee for payments and withdrawals.
- If your card is stolen or lost, contact your issuing bank/financial institution to have your card blocked. Moreover, there is no fee for forex card swiping at overseas PoS terminals, but debit and credit cards incur a small fee each time.
- Considering the first two limited options, we have now come to our most sought-after solution – the forex cards. This is the most common way travellers carry money these days. It is widely accepted and has almost the same value as cash. You can also withdraw local currency from ATMs if needed. Forex cards have many advantages and are safer. It can be blocked if lost, and the insurance bundled with the card is also available. In addition to theft, you are also protected against currency fluctuations, as your rates are locked the moment you load your card.
7. Travel cards
Another alternative newer version of a forex card is an International travel card. They offer zero forex markup in addition to all the basic facilities and services a regular forex card provides. In fact, they are much better than any other services offered by any other bank in today’s time.
- A travel card is another new-age version of a forex card with more facilities and lesser hassles.
- An International travel card allows you to make all your transactions abroad, just like a forex card. There are many banks that offer travel cards.
- Travel cards are becoming new alternative solutions for all frequent foreign travellers as they are more readily available and have more benefits as compared to regular debit or credit cards.
- To get a travel card, you do not need to maintain a minimum monthly balance in your account or have a long-dated banking relationship with the partner bank. Instead, you can simply apply for a travel card and enjoy your foreign trip. Moreover, there are no charges for loading your card with cash via any mode like NEFT, RTGS etc.
- These forex cards allow you faster transactions. You can make contactless payments at the checkout counter in a faster and easier manner without standing in queues and waiting.
- In the future, you can use these forex cards to make mutual fund investments and other financial transactions. This means that forex cards are multipurpose. First, use it as a forex card, and later utilise it for future transactions and investments.
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- One of the best travel cards you can use for your International trips is the Niyo Global Travel card. These cards come with many variable features that are mentioned above and very minimal charges and fees. They are the latest generation of forex cards that allow you to enjoy your international trip without chaos. Their virtual assistance system also helps you with faster immigration checks and baggage claims at international airports.
Forex cards help you like an all-rounder friend and everlasting companion throughout your international stay. You simply have to apply for a card and pay a minimal fee. These are perhaps the best travel buddies to give you an edge over those who carry cash or debit cards. As the technology and banking versions expand, you must also expand and get a forex card next time you travel over international borders.