In recent years, a forex chart has become a favorite travel companion for many travelers. A forex card is a prepaid debit card loaded with foreign currency. Nowadays, however, some neobanks have started offering global rupee travel cards. It is a new type of card in the highly competitive market of credit, debit, and prepaid cards. Which of these works best?
Forex cards are usually denominated in various foreign currencies. The US dollar, Australian dollar, British pound, Euro, Dirham, and Singapore dollar are some of the foreign currencies available through Forex charts.
For other currencies, you can always use a card denominated in US dollars, as most countries accept them.
Forex cards are issued by most banks including Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and others. There are fintechs that also offer forex cards at an interbank rate with no surcharge or issuance fees and can be loaded instantly through their app. “Forex cards don’t come with high exchange fees and transaction fees like debit and credit cards.
On the other hand, a Global Rupee Travel Card is loaded with Indian rupees. These cards can be used in 180 countries.
Niyo and Hop (rupee forex debit cards) and Happay (international prepaid card) are the three rupee-denominated cards you can currently choose from. To use the Niyo or Hop Rupee travel debit cards, the user must open a bank account with partner banks through websites or a mobile application. DCB, State Bank of Mauritius, YES Bank, and Equitas Small Finance Bank have partnered with neobanks to distribute these global INR cards.
To apply for a Happay prepaid travel card, a user does not need a savings account. You can buy it through stock brokers or card dealers.
Open a new bank account
When you buy a Niyo or Hop Global Rupee travel card, you must open a bank account with a partner bank of the issuing company. “This account is useless later on, as it can become inactive. You also have to maintain a minimum balance and annual/renewal fees,” says Motwani.
There are no such problems when using a forex chart.
Easy to get the card and top up
You need to plan well in advance when opting for a Global Rupee travel card as it requires opening a bank account with your partner bank which will take care of all the fulfilments, such as KYC verification, address verification, etc. and therefore it takes about a week to receive it and activate the card. “With forex charts, all you have to do is place an order online and receive the chart within a day or two.
You can top up the Global Rupee travel card on the go as it allows you to transfer funds to the associated bank account via IMPS/NEFT/RTGS/online banking.
Loading a forex card is also easy. You must issue a letter of authorization to the bank before traveling abroad or appointing someone. If a forex card is issued by the same bank you have a bank account with, you can do so instantly through a net banking facility. It is very convenient and easy to load a Kotak forex card. With Kotak’s online banking or mobile banking app, all you have to do is select the currency and amount, the purpose, and your CA number that will fund the card. He adds that a customer without access to the Internet and mobile banking can load the Kotak Forex card by visiting our bank branch and must make a simple request for us to load the chosen currency on the Forex card.
exchange rate volatility
Forex charts offer protection against price fluctuations. On forex charts, the exchange rate will be locked as soon as you load money into it. For example, if you load the forex card with USD at 79 rupees, even if the rupee drops to 82 rupees per USD while traveling abroad, there will be no effect. “If you decide to buy a forex card from your current bank, the bank may offer you a preferential rate for forex, which may be lower when you top up the amount
However, with the Global Rupee travel card, the exchange rates are not fixed. Exchange rates are applied at the actual time of the transaction when you swipe your card while traveling abroad. For example, if you have the Global Rupee travel card and you transact in US dollars, Australian dollars, or any other foreign currency during your trip, currency fluctuations mean that you have no control over the exchange rates prevailing at that time.
“However, a Global Rupee travel card is a better option after returning to India, as the currency charged is INR,” explains Kumar. He adds that a user cannot use the forex card in India for online and offline transactions because the foreign currency charged can be AUD, USD, or any other foreign currency. “The conversion fee is 2-3% on the forex chart. There is no such fee on the rupee card.