Why a forex card is your best travel companion abroad?

If you opt for a forex travel card, it is of course more convenient than carrying different currencies in your wallet.

June 02, 2019 9:52 IST | India Infoline News Service
A trip to a foreign destination is almost impossible without the last minute rush bells and whistles. One of the common problems we all face is with respect to the amount of currency to be carried when we travel abroad. If you are travelling to place other than US and Europe, you prefer to carry in US dollars and then convert these dollars into local currency at your destination. One solution could be the forex travel card. Today most of the leading banks in India issue these forex cards denominated either in a specific currency or in multiple currencies.
How to apply for a forex travel card?
The process to apply for a forex travel card is quite simple. You just need to approach the bank where you have an account and make an application for the forex card. You can opt for a single-currency card or a multi-currency card. The equivalent amount of dollars/ Euro / Pound are converted into rupees, debited to your bank account and loaded on to your card. Once the card is activated, you can use the forex travel card as a debit card at any of the global outlets. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs abroad, although there is often a charge for the same. The forex card is normally issued to you the same day and basic details like your passport and visa details are all that is required.
How do you benefit by opting for a forex travel card?
If you opt for a forex travel card, it is of course more convenient than carrying different currencies in your wallet. Here are some unique advantages that the forex card offers.
  • You only need a single card and that can be operated in a number of countries. Also, such cards have a validity of up to 3-5 years and you can use the same for multiple travels or even to fund student expenses abroad.
  • It is much easier to keep an audit trail of expenses when you are abroad for longer period of time. The forex card statement can be downloaded online and you can keep a record of flows. The card can also be loaded with funds online in a minute.
  • If you are holding a premium account with the bank, then your travel forex card brings additional benefits like reward points on spends, better rates of exchange and redeemable vouchers. Quite often, the ATM charges are also waived off.
  • The biggest advantage is that you can lock in the currency rate when it is favourable. For example, if the pound value falls due to BREXIT woes, you can lock in that rate in a Pound travel card. After that, you do not have to worry about exchange rate fluctuations on a regular basis.
  • Carrying foreign currency in your wallet is fraught with risks. The problem of mugging and doing away with cash is a common problem in many countries. By storing your funds in a forex card, it is secured with your ATM PIN and you run a much lower risk of losing cash. Also, if the card is lost, you can block and get another one issued and even avail emergency cash in the meanwhile. Most banks also issue a duplicate travel card.
  • If you opt for a multi-currency card, you can load in the hard currency of your choice. This is useful if you are travelling to multiple countries or if you want to select the currency of loading based on the market value. In both these cases, the forex travel card can be useful.
  • These forex cards are extremely flexible. For example, you can use these cards to withdraw cash at ATMs, swipe for your shopping needs and also use the card for your online bill payments.
Above all, it is the convenience of plastic that really matters. It is safe, it is secure and it is also cost effective. Of course, the bank also doubles up as your expense accountant.

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