Compared to many years ago, traveling has undeniably become more affordable. This has caused many people to travel more often for business or pleasure. Nowadays, many people don’t travel overseas without bringing with them their international prepaid cards.
The Lowdown on International Prepaid Cards
So, what are international prepaid cards exactly and why are they considered by many to be the ultimate travel companion? Discover all there is to know about this amazing financial tool in this article.
International prepaid cards are also known as currency cards. Basically, you are allowed to load money onto the card before you leave the country so you can use it for ATM withdrawals and purchase transactions. Many international prepaid cards are multi-currency accounts, making them ideal when traveling outside the country.
Since your international card needs to have money loaded onto it before you can use it, it makes spending and managing money so much easier. Some international prepaid card providers also give cardholders the ability to manage their money through their mobile phones or online.
What’s even more impressive is that just like traditional plastic cards like debit or credit cards, most international prepaid cards are affiliated with established financial companies and institutions.
How International Prepaid Cards Work
Just like debit and credit cards, international prepaid cards can be used for ATM withdrawals and purchase transactions outside the country. Cardholders can also enjoy enticing benefits to users similar to what credit and prepaid cards offer minus all the extravagant fees, interests, and other charges.
International prepaid cardholders also have the option to preload their cards with the currency of their choice. International prepaid cardholders can also carry out currency transfers while managing their expenses online or through their mobile phones.
Unlike credit cards which are very difficult to obtain, getting your hands on an international prepaid card is quick and straightforward. There is no need for you to worry about annoying and time-consuming credit and background checks. You also won’t need to provide confidential information just to get approved.
Since international prepaid cards don’t come with credit capabilities, obtaining one is very easy. As soon as you get the card, you can load money onto it immediately using methods that are supported by the card issuer like secure online portals or bank transfers.
Some international prepaid cards are also considered single currency cards. As implied by the term, it means only one currency can be loaded onto the card. Understandably, there are also multi-currency cards that will allow users to load multiple currencies in one card. This also allows you to load multiple currencies and swap from one currency to another with utmost ease.
Possible Fees When Using International Prepaid Cards
The cost of using an international prepaid card is not fixed. In other words, it can vary from one provider to another. However, typically, you will be charged for common transactions like ATM withdrawals, exchange rate markups, and currency conversions. Premium account cardholders may also be required to pay a specific amount each month.
Depending on the service you have chosen, you usually have the option between a markup on the exchange rate or paying a currency fee. The great news is the amount can be very minimal compared to what the banks typically charge. In most cases, you won’t have to pay when you use the card for purchase transactions.
Some however, will require a small fee when the card is used for ATM withdrawals. Some issuers might also provide free withdrawal up to a certain amount before a minimal fee will be required.