Travelling is a joy for most people and a necessity for others. One of the primary things to prepare for while travelling is managing your money and having an easy way to access it. The two leading options for international travellers to manage their money are
- Getting an international debit card is the more widely known option
- Getting a prepaid debit card is highly beneficial but relatively new
For international travellers, issuing an international debit card before travelling is one of the first steps they take. This is highly beneficial since a domestic debit card comes with high transaction and withdrawal fees. Meanwhile, international debit cards require a nominal fee for foreign transactions and currency conversion. Customers can also contact their home bank in case something goes wrong and they require instant assistance.
The other options customers have is to choose a prepaid debit card for travel. There are several benefits of this option, the most significant one being that customers can stick to their budgets. They need to preload money onto their card and thus cannot go beyond their spending limit. Additionally, they also get a higher level of security. Carrying cash while travelling is a source of stress as travellers worry about it being stolen or getting lost. Prepaid cards eliminate that problem and also reduce the chances of debit cards being stolen or misused.
Using a prepaid debit card for travel can enhance and simplify the customer’s experience altogether.
How do Prepaid Debit Cards Work?
The first step to take is customers must get a prepaid debit card issued by their bank. Once the card arrives, they need to charge the card with money, which can be taken care of online. Once this is done, customers can use this card like a regular debit card, withdrawing money from ATMs and paying for products and services at retail outlets.
How Safe is the Money on a Prepaid Debit Card?
Generally, a prepaid card provider holds the customer’s money that has been added in a bank account different from their primary account for security reasons. If the card is stolen, lost or damaged for any reason, the money remains secure as it is kept separate.
However, one of the drawbacks is that if the holding bank or society collapses, the money is not protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This is why it is highly advised to not load any more money than absolutely necessary onto a prepaid debit card.
Customers can access the money on their prepaid cards by simply using a PIN, like with a traditional debit card. If the card gets lost or stolen, customers must contact their providers immediately and block it to prevent misuse.
Things to Remember While Using a Prepaid Debit Card for Travel Purposes:
There are several things customers must keep in mind while making transactions or cash withdrawals internationally. Since foreign transactions require currency conversions and forex fees, these facts can be helpful:
- An international prepaid debit card helps customers save significant amounts of money that would have been spent on currency conversion.
- Customers can top up any foreign currency onto their cards directly. This means they can choose to convert currency whenever the exchange rates are the most favourable.
- The most widely provided currencies are the British pound, US dollar, Australian dollar and Euro.
- If a prepaid debit cardholder’s money finishes while they are abroad, they have the option of reloading the card via mobile banking or internet banking. Once their card is topped up, they can easily make withdrawals and complete transactions on international websites.
Benefits of a Prepaid Debit Card for Travel:
- A customer with one prepaid card can mount up to 16 different foreign currencies on their card.
- They can avail of lucrative offers and deals at stores and restaurants in most countries with their prepaid card.
- Every transaction made on a prepaid debit card gets a fixed amount of reward points. Customers can use these reward points as they wish.
- Since the prepaid debit card can only be used internationally, it helps customers to put aside their travel budget and not spend recklessly.
- Making balance enquiries is very easy for customers who want to know how much balance they have left. International prepaid debit cards are compatible with ATMs pretty much everywhere. In some cases, the issuing bank sends notifications to customers after each transaction with information about their remaining card balance.
- Prepaid debit cards are linked to the customer’s net banking account. This gives them the freedom to check their passbook or statement.
- If the card is lost or stolen, users have the option of getting two other add-on cards to spend with.
What is Zero Lost Liability?
Zero Lost Liability is a benefit of prepaid debit cards that are in effect as soon as a report is filed for a card being stolen or lost with the bank’s customer support team. A new replacement card is sent to the customer, which is deactivated for security reasons.
If you are planning to travel internationally, a prepaid debit card for travel is your best travel partner.