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A currency card is a type of prepaid card which allows you to make transactions abroad without accruing expensive fees or charges. Depending on your location, you have a choice of currencies you can put on the card, including pounds, euros or US dollars. The currency loaded onto the card is fixed at that day's exchange rate.
Budgeting: You’ll only be able to spend the money that’s on your prepaid card, which will help you to stick to a budget on your travels
Multiple currencies: With a currency card you’re able to load multiple currencies, which can make it easier to spend money abroad if you travel frequently to different countries
Protection: Currency cards tend to come with the same level of protection of standard cards, including chip and pin authentication
Not very flexible: These cards tend to have restrictions on fund transfers. Currency cards may also have withdrawal limits and some will charge you for using them at a UK ATM
Not widely accepted: These cards won’t be accepted in all countries, especially regions where there’s limited support for card payments
Charges: These cards can come with extra costs such as monthly fees, inactivity charges and for topping up your prepaid card with a credit card
Monthly and annual fees: Some providers may charge you monthly for your prepaid card, while others might impose a yearly fee
Withdrawal fees: You could be charged for withdrawing money from the cash machine. Some prepaid currency cards will charge you for using your card to make withdrawals in the UK or abroad
Transaction fees: Your prepaid card provider might charge you a fee on every transaction you make. Not every provider will charge you for this, but transaction fees tend to be under £2
Inactivity fees: If your prepaid currency card remains dormant for a while you could be charged for this. It’s important to consider this cost, if you don’t think you’ll be using your card often
Yes, you’ll be able to load multiple currencies onto your prepaid card. The number of currencies you’re able to load onto your card will depend on the type of deal you get. Some cards will even allow you to load all currencies onto your card while some with have a select number of currencies you can use.
Most providers will require you to be 18 and over to take out the card.
This will depend on your provider’s term and conditions. Some may charge you for withdrawing from an ATM in the UK while others have fees for using cash machines abroad.
This will depend on the card you choose. Some cards may offer selected currencies while others will offer all currencies.
You can usually do this in online banking, where following your provider’s instructions you can switch between currencies.
There may be a minimum and balance requirement set by your provider, but this will depend on their terms and conditions, so check them carefully.
Yes, you can. There may be transaction fees, so make sure to read any terms and conditions.
You should be able to make contactless payments once you’ve enabled it on your card. This usually happens once you’ve made a Chip and PIN payment.
If your card is lost or stolen, then you need to contact the provider ASAP to get it blocked.
With a travel credit card, you’re borrowing money from the lender to spend abroad. When you use a prepaid card, you’re topping up the card with your own money.
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