At long last you are going on your much-awaited backpacking trip across Europe - you have made your bookings and a list of things to do, but how are you going to carry so much cash in multiple currencies? If you think your international debit card will cut it, think again. This is where a Forex card comes in handy!
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For most people, travelling is a pleasure they like to indulge in regularly. Especially if it's an international trip, the thrill to explore a foreign culture and place is too hard to resist. However, these rich experiences often come at a rich price. If we don't consider a range of difficulties during an overseas trip, there is always that one major concern: money. How will I pay for random souvenirs? What if I run out of cash? The answer is a forex card.
You may have already heard about forex cards; these are prepaid travel cards specially made for travellers visiting a foreign country. Just like any debit or credit card, you can use them to pay for your expenses in the local currency or withdraw the desired amount from an ATM. What sets them apart from regular cards is their affordability due to no cross-currency charges. The transaction amount is directly debited from the forex card balance and is recognized in most countries.
Forex cards are a cost-effective alternative to conventional debit or credit cards. These are designed to cater to a traveller's needs depending on their frequency of travel, number of currencies, and other factors. Take a look at some of the best reasons to use a forex card:
One of the greatest advantages of forex cards, they are cheaper than regular international credit/debit cards. Most prepaid forex cards offer a limited number of free transactions, exceeding which will cost them a transaction fee of up to 2 USD. Whereas debit or credit cards charge a flat fee per transaction. Forex cards also don't have any ATM charges, unlike other cards that may charge around 3%.
Another great benefit of the forex card includes freedom from volatile currency rates. Since these cards are pre-loaded with a certain forex amount, they save you from severe currency price differences. The user can purchase the forex value in advance depending on the value which suits them. This exchange rate remains fixed for the loaded value.
These cards are also offered at a better rate when compared to other cards. Most credit or debit cards have a higher rate of exchange as these are pre-determined by their banks.
Most companies providing forex cards offer different types of cards to people, depending on their requirements. The most commonly known types of forex cards are single currency cards and multicurrency cards. If you happen to switch to another currency on a single currency card, then you will incur a high cross-currency charge. To avoid this, a multicurrency forex card can be loaded with different currencies so that you can freely use it across the world.
Similarly, there are forex cards specifically designed for students which also serves as a global student ID card. Frequent fliers can buy a forex card which often discounts or completely removes cross-currency charges. Thus, forex cards can be bought as per the cardholder’s needs and can be easily used anywhere in the world.
Like debit or credit cards, a forex card can be blocked instantly if you misplace it or it gets stolen. However, there is also another benefit here; the funds that were loaded in your lost forex card can be instantly transferred to another account. This makes it very flexible and convenient to use even if an unfortunate event takes place during your trip. There are also some companies offering an additional card that can be instantly activated if the primary one is stolen or lost.
Not only is a forex card an extremely reliable means to carry money while you're abroad, but also comes with some insurance coverages. However, not all forex cards may have these benefits. Most common insurance benefits include complimentary insurance coverage against theft of the card, air accident cover, loss of travel documents etc. These have been discussed later in the article.
Forex cards are widely accepted across the world and are gaining increased popularity because of their functionality and convenience. Not only are they accepted in major shopping avenues, hotels and restaurants but also at several local shops and vendors. Because of their host of benefits, they are being preferred to conventional credit or debit cards.
Among the most little known facts about forex cards are that they also come with some insurance benefits. Most companies issuing forex cards often have tie-ups with an insurance provider to protect the cardholder from any misuse or emergencies such as card loss etc.
Several banks offering forex cards also include some lucrative benefits offered by travel insurance plans, such as cover for accidental death, loss of personal documents, delay of baggage, aircraft hijacking, missed connection and lost card liability insurance coverage. To avail of these benefits, cardholders must file an FIR and claim for compensation by following the necessary steps.
Does this mean that you shouldn't buy international travel insurance plan? Well, you can't compare the limited coverage offered by your card with the host of benefits offered by a standard overseas insurance policy. While several forex cards provide considerable benefits of travel insurance, it is not wise to visit a foreign country without having an appropriate safeguard. Important benefits such as medical care benefits and baggage loss are often not covered by forex card insurance.
Because of their convenience, secure transaction and other benefits, forex cards have become extremely popular across the world. They are also affordable and a great way to carry your money without worrying about getting cash exchanged or suffering extreme currency fluctuations. Couple this card with a great international travel insurance plan and you're ready to explore the world!