When you are planning a vacation, it’s very important to organize your travel money, especially in today’s economy. The currently weak dollar means your money won’t go as far as it did before. It is therefore vital that you find the best travel money rate.
Options for Travel Money
You can use several different types of travel money. Here are some of the alternatives.
*Cash – You just pick your cash, convert it to the appropriate currency for the country you are travelling to either before you leave your home country or after you arrive at the destination. This is probably the oldest alternative as far as travel money is concerned and it is its disadvantages that almost single handedly spawned all other alternatives for travel money. The main disadvantage with cash is lack of security – it may be stolen or misplaced.
*Standard Credit or Debit Cards – These are associated with one of the major international card brands, such as American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover or JCB. Although fraud can be a risk, the main concern with standard credit or debit cards are the charges they typically apply to each transaction you make.
*Travelers Checks (TC) – Travelers checks are fee-free, unlike credit and debit cards. TCs are also fairly safe because they must be countersigned to use them and they are replaceable if stolen or lost. The currency exchange rate is typically not very competitive, however. Moreover, most currency exchanges and banks charge a fee to exchange TCs. This fee makes their overall travel money rate even worse.
*Prepaid Currency Cards – This travel money option is a relatively recent development. These cards are designed to counter the disadvantages of other types of travel money while remaining convenient for international travelers. Prepaid currency cards are discussed in more detail below.
About Prepaid Currency Cards
Prepaid currency cards are somewhat similar to standard credit cards and debit cards, and offer the same ability to buy services and products. They have one large difference, however – you are only permitted to spend up to the total amount that has been pre-loaded onto these cards. There is absolutely no risk of going into debt because these cards do not provide credit or any overdraft facility. Similar to cash, a prepaid currency card requires the user to convert cash into the appropriate currency, meaning you are subject to the currency exchange rate designated by the card provider. The ability these cards give you to hedge against fluctuations in the exchange rate during your trip is an advantage, however. You are issued a PIN number, and these cards can be used almost everywhere on the planet, much like a standard international credit or debit card.
Advantages of Prepaid Currency Cards
*Application process – There are no credit checks and this implies you get the card without worrying about your credit history. All prepaid card providers will carry out an identity check to confirm you are who you say you are.
*Ability to Control Spending – The control these cards provide makes them popular with parents and guardians of children sent overseas to study because it helps manage the child’s spending. Cards are pre-loaded with money based on a budget, and any excess expenditure is easily detected because money would have to be loaded into the card again.
*Better travel money rate – Though not necessarily a rule, prepaid currency cards often attract a better exchange rate than other forms of travel money.
Uk marriage visa FairFX give some of the best exchange rates around on their range of prepaid cards. Have a look at their current exchange rates, and check out exactly how much you could save.