With globalisation becoming the flavour of the day and the relative ease of transport in today’s world, travelling has become the norm for many individuals. Whether for business or leisure, travelling overseas is no longer an arduous journey fraught with peril. And while travel has caught up with convenience and technology, so has the way to pay when you’re off on your sojourn.
A Forex card is a card which is one of the most effective ways to carry money when you are visiting another country. A Forex card carries your foreign currency and is accepted almost everywhere you go.
It is a type of prepaid credit card where you can deposit funds in foreign currency of your choice depending on the country you are visiting. Apart from using the forex card for transactions, you can also withdraw money from an ATM using the card. You will not require to carry your money in the wallet in cash as long as you have this card.
Forex cards are a safe solution to carrying around cash or incurring heavy charges when using a credit card or debit card while abroad. In order to suit the needs of every type of traveller, there are various types of forex cards offered.
The Two Main Classifications Of The Types Of Forex Cards Available Are Mentioned Below:
In addition to this, card issuers also have forex cards that are offered to privileged banking customers or that are by invite-only. These cards generally have lower fees and charges or additional perks and privileges.
|Thomas Cook Forex Card||US Dollars, Euro, Australian Dollars, British Pounds, Swiss Francs, Canadian Dollars, Singapore Dollars, Japanese Yen|
|IndusInd Bank Multi Currency Forex Card||US Dollar (USD), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Australian Dollar (AUD), Saudi Riyal (SAR), Euro (EUR), Singapore Dollar (SGD), British Pound (GBP), United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)|
|ICICI Bank Single Currency Forex Card||US Dollar (USD), Singapore Dollar (SGD), British Pound (GBP), Australian Dollar (AUD), Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Euro (EUR), Swiss Franc (CHF), Japanese Yen (JPY)|
|HDFC Multi Currency Platinum Forex Card||US Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Kuwait Dinar, Australian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Qatari Riyal, Canadian Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Bahrain Dinar, Euro, Oman Riyal, Korean Won, UAE Dirhams, Japanese Yen, Saudi Riyal, Sterling Pound, Malaysian Ringgit, Norwegian Krone, Swiss Franc, Thailand Baht, Danish Krone, Swedish Krona, South African Rand|
|YES Bank Multi Currency Travel Forex Card||USD(United States Dollar), GBP (British Pound), EUR (Euro), SGD (Singapore Dollar), AUD (Australian Dollar), AED (UAE Dirhams), JPY (Japanese Yen), CAD (Canadian Dollar), HKD (Hong Kong Dollar), CHF (Swiss Franc)|
|Axis Bank Multi Currency Forex Card||USD, Euro, British Pound, Singapore Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Japanese Yen, Swedish Krona, Thai Baht, United Arab Emirates Dirham, Saudi Riyal, Hong Kong Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Danish Krone, South African Rand|
Forex cards come loaded with a host of features and benefits, which are listed below:
Bankwise Forex Cards
Forex cards have a number of features that make them an attractive alternative to the traditional payment methods when overseas. In addition to these, forex cards also offer benefits such as the ones mentioned below:
Load multiple currencies:
The cards can be loaded with single as well as multiple currencies. Imagine you’re visiting two different countries in a single trip, then you should ideally purchase a multi-currency forex card that allows you to load the card in different currencies. You can thus avoid the hassle of carrying two different cards for two countries.
Enjoy locked-in exchange rates:
Most of the forex cards offer locked-in exchange rate feature which protects the cardholder from fluctuating currency rates. Irrespective of the dollar rate on a given day, your money in the card remains the same.
No currency exchange hassles:
Carrying a forex card, frees you from the hassle of exchanging currency is foreign locations. With a pre-loaded forex card, you don’t have to search for a money exchange outlet in a foreign location. Further, loading currency in a forex card is much cheaper compared to buying foreign currency as cash.
Shop without limit:
Forex cards can also be used at most of the merchant outlets located across the globe. You can also shop on international sites using the card just like how you do with your normal credit card or debit card. There won’t be any extra charge for all such point-of-sale or online transactions.
Cash withdrawal from any ATM:
You can also withdraw the loaded amount in your forex card from any international ATM. The card will automatically detect the country you are in and dispense cash in local currency. However, users will be charged with a flat ATM withdrawal fee per transaction.
Safe and secure:
Most forex cards come with an embedded chip technology which is more secure than the magnetic strip technology, typically used on regular debit cards and credit cards. The chip stores confidential information in encrypted form hence provides enhanced security against counterfeiting and skimming credit card frauds.
Forex cards are the future of overseas transactions due to their safety, convenience as well as their universal acceptance. Forex cards, as mentioned above, work exactly like debit and credit cards.
When applying for a forex card, it is advisable to look up the various cards offered by banks and other institutions. Choose between a single currency card (if the trip is to a particular region or country) and a multi-currency card. Multi-currency cards can be loaded with up to 16 different currencies.
Once the applicant has submitted all the paperwork and received the forex card with the PIN, he/she should change the assigned PIN and check the card balance at an ATM of the issuing bank/financial institution. Alternatively, cardholders can check the balance using internet banking if the issuing bank has this facility.
The forex card can then be used at merchant establishments overseas by simply swiping/dipping the card (based on the type of card availed). Since the card is preloaded, the balance will reflect the payments charged to the card instantly.
Cardholders can keep track of their balance and transactions through methods such as SMS alerts or notifications from the issuing bank/financial institution.
Applying for a forex card is a quick and easy process, with several banks and financial institutions, as well as large travel agencies offering these cards.
When applying for a forex card from a bank, financial institution or travel agency, there are some criteria that have to be met before the card is issued. There are also certain documents that have to be submitted. While documentation may differ based on the card issuer.
The Basic Documents Required Are as Follows:
Based on the card issuer and type of forex card being applied for, there could be other documents that need to be furnished. This would depend on the amount being loaded onto the card as well as in case any regulatory changes are made.
Applying for a forex card is a quick and hassle-free process, from the application process itself to the documents and fees. Fees and charges would depend on the card issuer, as well as the type of forex card selected. Multi-currency cards and those with additional benefits are likely to have higher fees associated with them.
There Are Various Types of Fees and Charges Associated With A Forex Card, Which Have Been Briefly Explained Below:
|Forex Card particulars|
|Initial fee||This is the amount that is to be paid when applying for the card.|
|Reload/Renewal fee||This amount is to be paid each time the card is reloaded with currency or renewed (in case of inactive cards).|
|Add-on card fee||If applicable, this fee is levied on an additional card that is provided.|
|Encashment charges||This fee is levied when the balance amount on the card is encashed.|
|Forex Card ATM particulars|
|Cash withdrawal||This fee is levied on each cash withdrawal made while abroad.|
|Balance enquiry||This fee is levied each time a request for the card’s updated balance is made.|
|Cross currency charge||In the event the currency on the card does not match the transaction currency, this fee will be levied at the time of making the transaction.|
|Replacement card fee||This fee is levied if a replacement card is to be issued to the cardholder.|
A forex card is a boon for those looking for a convenient and safe way to make payments when overseas. While forex cards are safe to use and have a number of benefits, there are also some points applicants should keep in mind when using a forex card.
A Quick List of Tips Is Provided Below:
The minimum amount that can be loaded on a forex card would depend on the card issuer and the type of card selected.
Yes, Forex cards can be used to withdraw money in the ATM.
A multi-currency forex card is a type of forex card on which multiple currencies can be loaded. These forex cards can have up to 16 currencies at a time.
A Forex card is more efficient when it comes to international travel. It is widely accepted and saves you any kind of conversion fee as well. It is better to keep a forex card with the foreign currency deposited in it when you are travelling.
When abroad, you can withdraw money from your forex card by simply visiting an ATM and choosing ‘credit card’ as the type of card. Follow the instructions on the screen in order to make your withdrawal from the card.
No, most forex card issuers do not allow you to top up the card when overseas. Instead, you can authorise an individual to top it up on your behalf.
Subject to meeting the requirements for the forex card, you can apply up to 60 days prior to your trip.
If you lose or misplace your forex card, you can contact the card issuer on toll-free helplines and request that the card be blocked. It is advisable to report the theft or loss of card as soon as you realise it is missing.
Yes, most forex cards come with insurance cover. However, it is advisable to check with the card issuer prior to applying.
You can cancel your forex card by contacting the card issuer and submitting a request for card cancellation.
No, there is no transaction fee levied each time you use your forex card for purchases abroad, provided they are made in the currency preloaded on the card.
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