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The best way to carry money when travelling abroad

The best way to carry money when travelling abroad - (A)

Despite the constant threat of Covid-19, the new global threat of monkeypox, and the decline of the Indian rupee against the dollar, many Indians continue to travel abroad. Airports are crowded and flights are full.

In any case, the only thing you need to clarify before traveling is how much money you want to take with you. And more importantly, in what form should you carry that money with you? After all, we’ve come a long way from bulky traveler’s checks and wallets full of cash.

There are two options: cash (yes, it’s still very important, but not by tons) and a forex card. Moneycontrol recommends that you have a little of both with you. But before explaining why, let’s take a look at what Forex charts have to offer. And why they are a necessary travel companion.

What is a forex card?

A forex card works like a debit card. It is loaded with the foreign currency of your choice. If you buy an item abroad, all you have to do is checkout; The money will be debited and the foreign currency balance on your card will be reduced.

Most banks including Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, RBL Bank, etc. offer forex cards. Travel agencies and exchange houses like Thomas Cook and BookMyForex also offer forex charts.

Forex charts used to be mostly single currency charts. You can easily load your card with just one foreign currency. But times have changed. Nowadays, most banks issue multi-currency cards. For example, HDFC Bank loads up to 22 different currencies on your forex card. Axis Bank forex card can hold up to 16 foreign currencies, while a BookMyForex forex card supports 14 major currencies.

All you have to do is tell your bank how much money you want to load onto your card in specific currencies, and that’s it. “It helps customers plan trips to multiple countries with a single forex card,” says Angshuman Chatterjee, portfolio and product manager for commercial payment solutions, prepaid instruments, and debit cards, HDFC Bank.

Should I use my debit and credit cards when I travel abroad?

If you plan to use your debit and credit cards while traveling, you may want to reconsider this idea, as you will end up paying hefty fees when using these cards abroad. For example, if you swipe a credit or debit card abroad, some issuers will charge you a foreign currency conversion fee (up to 3-3.5% of the transaction value) and a foreign transaction fee (about 2.5% a 3.5%, always in the transaction). Worth).

Also, every time you withdraw money from an ATM abroad using your debit or credit card, you will have to pay the bank a withdrawal fee of 1-4% on the amount withdrawn.

Some neobanks issue new age global rupee travel cards loaded with Indian rupees. But despite being accepted in 180 countries, rupee travel cards have yet to catch on.

Do I need to have foreign currency or a currency exchange card?

Carry both of them

Many countries do not accept forex cards for small ticket purchases, such as buying train tickets, paying taxi fares, renting airport cars, etc. “For such immediate needs, we recommend that you have cash on hand; When traveling abroad, the cash component should be less than 10% of the total value of the coin.

Forex cards offer a number of benefits, including digital top-ups and top-up transactions. “Forex cards are widely used around the world and offer customers easy access to ATMs, POS ATMs, online shopping, and contactless payment features. All this speaks in favor of the forex card as the best option when traveling abroad.

The use of forex cards is restricted in some countries. “The use of forex cards is restricted in some countries by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and other countries subject to international sanctions. Forex cards are freely accepted in other countries of the world such as Azerbaijan, Brazil, Peru, Indonesia, European countries, the USA, etc.



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