If you’re a globetrotter, you know the pain of losing all that money to the exchange rates. Well, these guys almost faced the same situation.
Nimish and Vijay, partners of an exciting web start-up, planning a business trip to the Middle East and Europe, as part of their business expansion. They were worried about carrying foreign currencies, as they were planning to visit 3-4 countries.
Carrying cash has limitations, and it is not safe either. Moreover, with the exchange rate fluctuations at different countries, they are sure to lose money. Traveler’s cheques also come with many limitations. And using credit cards abroad is sure to burn a hole in their pockets, because of the high cash withdrawal charges.
Nimish suggested the idea of having a travel card. But that was not a complete solution as they can use it at one country only as a travel card can be loaded with one only currency.
So, what is the ideal solution for people like Nimish and Vijay, who travels to multiple countries at one schedule, for business or for a vacation?
A multi-currency travel card is the answer.
What is a multi-currency travel card?
Multi-currency travel cards are variants of travel cards. They allow you to load multiple currencies in a single card. They are helpful for people travelling to more than one country at a stretch.
For instance, as Nimish and Vijay are travelling to the Middle East first and then Europe, their travel card would support Dirham only. They will have to then again get money exchanged to Euro or Pound once they reach Europe. This would include exchange fees depending on the foreign exchange rate between India and the European country, or between the Middle East and Europe, whichever currency they might have with them.
If they carry amulti-currency travel card, they can pre-load it with multiple currencies from India as required, at the applicable exchange rates. They don’t have to worry about the safety of carrying cash either.
The exchange rate of travel credit cards gets locked on the day of the purchase, making it a safe option in the days of volatile currency exchange rates.
Top 5 multi currency travel cards:
Here is a look at the five most popular multi-currency travel cards available in the market today.
1: ICICI Bank Multicurrency Platinum Travel Card: ICICI Bank Multi-Currency Platinum Travel Card is tailor made for frequent international travelers. You can load it with 15 popular currencies. The card has a worldwide acceptance at over 200 countries and 27 million merchant establishments. It also comes with complimentary air accident insurance and comprehensive travel insurance with emergency travel assistance services.The joining fee is Rs. 150 and the reload fee is Rs. 100.
2: Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card: Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card is another popular travel card that allows you to carry multiple international currencies in one card. It comes with payWave technology, which allows you to make payments by simply waving your card if you coming across a contactless reader abroad. You can use this card at over 30 million Visa merchant outlets, 1 million plus VISA ATMs and 100,000 ecommerce websites.The joining fee is Rs.300 and the card renewal fee is Rs.100.
3: HDFC Bank Multi Currency Card: HDFC Bank Multicurrency Platinum ForexPlus card is exclusively designed for frequent international travelers, with an option of carrying 21 currencies simultaneously in it, along with Visa’s global customer assistance service. The card has inbuilt intelligence of pulling funds from other pre-loaded currencies in it if the transaction currency does not have sufficient funds at a particular point/country. The joining fee is Rs.500 and the reload fee is Rs.75.
4: Kotak Multi Currency World Travel Card: Kotak Multi Currency World Travel Card is a prepaid travel card designed for international travelers including both personal and business travellers. It is accepted at all Visa accepting merchant outlets and ATMs. The card allows you to load 7 multiple currencies at a time. It comes with features like complimentary purchase protection, travel insurance and Lost Card Liability insurance coverage while travelling, and is valid for a period of 5 years. The joining fee is Rs.250 and the re-load fee is Rs.75.
5: Yes Bank Multi Currency Travel Card: Yes Bank’s Multi Currency Travel Card is a chip embedded card, offering 10 international currencies in one single card, making it useful for international travelers. This card is also valid for 5 years. The bank fixes the joining fee and reload fee are based on customer requirements and loaded amount.
With the world becoming a global village, people are now travelling across countries more, than ever before. A big dilemma facing by every international traveler is carrying foreign currency. Multi currency travel cards are slowly gaining popularity due to its safety and ease of usage.
Go ahead and continue your globetrotter ways. The Travel Card force is with you.
whether any of the above cards can be used in philliphines country
You will need to check with the respective banks to get specific details about each of these cards.
I have had the most horrible experience with Kotak. I got their travel card and after using it for a few months in a foreign country, the card got blocked. No amount of calling them or emailing them has helped. They don’t acknowledge emails and every time you call them they say “It’ll take 5-6 business days”. Extremely dangerous to bank with such irresponsible people in a foreign country. I am currently living off of a friend. On the website, it says that in case of an emergency, I can contact Visa directly. And theres also a neat little phone number on it. When I contacted Visa, they said I need to call Kotak! Brilliant way to solve a problem. Moreover, They’ve issued me a card with an invalid CVV number!!!! Banking with these people has been such a nightmare!
I was thinking to get a Kotak card, but I’ve rethink about it, will go for ICICI.
Hi Rohit, It’s always good to compare your options before making a decision. If you’re planning to travel, how about checking out some great offers on travel Credit Cards? Just click here. Cheers, Team BankBazaar
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Great to hear from you again! Keep reading our blog for other insightful posts on Personal Finance.