Travel money series: Prepaid cards

In part one of our travel money series, we look at prepaid cards...


The bulk of your cash needs should go on a pre-paid card. Cards are issued in Euros, US$ and sterling for usage everywhere else and the best buys offer some superb exchange rates.

You apply online, and once you have got your card it’s easy to load money to it via your secure internet account. And once overseas simply use the card in a whole in the wall to withdraw cash or you can use it for payment in anything like restaurants, shops and hotels. The cards are pint protected and if anything happens to the card you can get it replacement very very easily if it’s lost or stolen.

And if you start to run short of cash while you’re overseas simply go into an internet cafe, log into your account and top up the card. The money comes through very very quickly.

So, these cards are brilliant for budgeting, it means you don't have to load too much on and then of course you don’t have cash left over at the end, which is expensive to change back.

When selecting a prepaid card look out for ones with no set up fees, no purchase fees and no or very low ATM fees. Some of the current best buys are from Caxton FX, Fair FX and My Travel Cash.

You can leave money on prepaid cards for a couple of years or ask to have it credited back – although a small fee will apply and you usually get a different rate of exchange.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

Click here for part 2 - Currency

Click here for part 3 - Credit and debit cards

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