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How to choose a good travel debit card

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How to choose a good travel debit card

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Many things have changed about travel as tourists start making travel plans again in a post-pandemic world. But some things never change, like the debate over which is better when travelling abroad - cash or prepaid forex cards

Prepaid Cards vs Cash 

Going cashless can help you keep a tab on your payments, but your card might not be accepted everywhere, or you might not find ATMs. Cash is convenient, but there’s always the risk that you could lose it. When your forex card is lost or stolen, you have the option of blocking it. 

Should you travel with a debit card?

Choosing a card for travel depends on your spending habits. If you can keep your expenses in check, you can use a credit card. But if you’re prone to shopping sprees, using a debit card might make more sense so that you don’t rack up a bill you can’t afford. That being said, most banks allow you to place a spending limit on both debit and credit cards. 

Choosing the best debit card for travel 

While the options are many, the best way to narrow down what card will work for you depends on your travel plan. If you’re going to multiple countries, you’ll need a card which supports multiple currency conversions. 

When making your choice, look closely at various charges such as cross-country markups, replacement charges, inquiry charges and more. Lastly, research the conversion rates they offer and the customer support in case of loss or theft.

Debit card charges

Some of the charges you’re likely to face when using your debit card internationally are foreign currency conversion fees, foreign transaction charges, ATM withdrawal fees, over-limit fees and the like. Check your bank or card provider’s portal or speak to customer support to understand what charges will apply. 

What if your card is lost or stolen?

In case of loss or theft of your card, you should first get your card blocked. You could either do this by calling customer support or blocking it via the bank website yourself. Next, you must figure out how to manage without a card abroad. Most major card issuers have a global presence and chances are, you can pick up an emergency card from the nearest branch. These usually come with a fee, but it isn’t too expensive. In the meanwhile, you could make do with a digital card if your card provider offers that service.

Final checklist

While enjoyable, travelling abroad can be a stressful experience. With a little bit of planning, you can remove the stress of managing your finances from the experience. 

Before you get ready and fly, have your bases covered. Decide on what you can do in case of emergencies, what forex plans are best for you, and so on. Finally, it’s always a good idea to keep a small amount of emergency cash on you before you take off.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I make a Trip card?

If you want to get your hands on a travel debit card you can simply ask your bank of choice to provide you with a prepaid card. This card will be loaded with currencies that can be accepted in your international trip. Alternatively, you could opt in for a trvale debit card with your currency of choice and use it without a limit.

2. Which debit card is internationally accepted?

Generally, Visa and MasterCard debit cards are accepted internationally. If you want to know if your debit card is accepted internationally, you can check out your card details online or contact you bank for the same.

3.Can any debit card be used internationally?

This  depends on the debit card and the country in which you plan to use it. While most debit cards can be used internationally, it's best to confirm with your bank if you can use yours on your trip abroad. Some debit cards might even come with restrictions and extra charges, it's best to be informed about this on your card before your trip.

4. What is the benefit of travel card?

A travel card enables you to make seamless transactions on your next trip abroad. Prepaid cards help you stay in budget as they load in the internationally currencies and amount you want to use. You also can save up on extra charges on currency exchange.

5. Which is the best foreign travel card?

There are bunch of great travel cards Indians can avail while travelling abroad. Here are some cards you can check-out

  1. The Fi.Money Debit card
  2. Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card
  3. HDFC Bank Regalia ForexPlus Card
  4. ICICI Bank Student Forex Prepaid Card
  5. State Bank Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card
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