What’s the best way to carry funds while travelling abroad? Credit Card, cash, Debit Card or a travel prepaid card? Let’s find out.
All geared up for your trip abroad? Good! What about money for your expenses? Have you thought about it? Of course, it makes sense to carry your Credit Card but that isn’t your only option. If you plan wisely, you can actually make the most of your money.
Travellers’ cheque used to be the most-preferred way to carry money before. However, times have changed. Today we rely on options that are more convenient, less risky, and are accompanied by reasonable charges.
Additional Reading: Travelling Soon? Don’t Forget To Pack Travel Insurance
Now let’s take a look some of the ways you can carry funds while travelling abroad.
Convenient and hassle-free, Credit Cards are a boon to travellers these days. Plus, if you get the right Credit Card, you can save a lot on your overseas expenses.
Credit Cards are great for large expenses like flight ticket and hotel bookings, car rentals, restaurant expenditure and shopping. Why? Because you can earn travel miles, reward points, get discounts and cashbacks, etc. depending on the card that you’re using.
However, remember that there are charges – foreign currency exchange fees, foreign transaction fees, etc. – applicable on all your overseas purchases. Opt for a Credit Card with a low Forex mark-up if you want to maximise savings. Also, if you withdraw money using your Credit Card, you’ll be paying cash advance fees.
But, despite these charges, Credit Cards are still one of the best ways to fund your overseas travel.
Additional Reading: Top Indian Credit Cards For The Best International Travel
Another excellent way to fund your overseas expenses is a prepaid travel card (also known as a Forex card). These cards allow you to ‘load’ money onto them and use it on the go. You can also choose between single-currency and multi-currency prepaid cards.
A multi-currency card is useful if you’re hopping from one country to another. Also, it saves you from having to pay foreign exchange fees every time.
Before you opt for a prepaid card, do your research and choose one that best suits your requirements. Also, make sure that you get your card well in advance since it can take anywhere between 24 hours to 72 hours to load the card with money.
As long as your Debit Card is valid for making transactions abroad, it is a good alternative to carry your funds, just like your Credit Card. Make sure that you inform your bank before you use your card overseas, otherwise your bank might freeze your card under the pretext of suspicious activity.
Whether you withdraw money from an ATM or make payments for purchases, Debit Card transactions attract a currency conversion fee. Also, you can use your Debit Card only as long as you have funds in your account.
Although not the safest option, cash is still a good backup option. Carrying a sufficient amount as cash is advised when travelling abroad. It can come in handy especially if you lose your Credit Card or travel card, or if certain places do not accept card payments.
However, carrying cash has its own disadvantages. This includes the risk of theft, high conversion charges and commission.
Additional Reading: Foreign Exchange Changes Avatar!
Which Option Should You Opt For?
We’d recommend a mix of all four options when travelling abroad. If you’re keen on limiting your expenses abroad, then it makes sense to opt for a prepaid travel card instead of your Credit Card. Also, it makes sense to carry a prepaid travel card if you’re going to be visiting different countries on a trip.
However, keep your Credit Card/Debit Card with you for backup. It will come in handy if there’s an emergency. Plus, we’d suggest that you carry some cash too since not all places accept card payments.
What do you think? Which is the best option to carry funds while travelling abroad? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, we have a bunch of amazing travel Credit Cards in our kitty. You can check them out by clicking below.