Consumer VOICE

Travel Cards: All FAQs answered

What is a Travel Card or Travel Money Card or a Prepaid Travel Card?
A travel card helps you to get local currency when you travel out of your country. It is not a credit card d you cannot get debt on it. It incurs some charges depending on the rates decided by the issuing authority.
What are Travel card benefits?
  1. It has wide acceptance across the world – it can be used in over 280 lakh establishments and more than 18 lakh ATMs.
  2. There is relatively high data safety as one is using a pre-denominated card with limited sharing of data/personal information.
  3.  It can be used without any predetermined limit (except in some ATMs where a limit is fixed for currency withdrawal on public holidays); which makes it a better option than carrying traveller’s cheques or hard currency.
  4.  The surrender/card replacement norms are easy.
  5.   It works out cheaper than international/global credit cards.
How does a multi-currency card work in another currency (other than that of a host country currency)?
This card will work for the base (local) currency chosen. Here, no exchange rate is applicable. For any other currency there will be an exchange rate (cross-currency conversion rate) that will be applied before disbursing the currency chosen.
When do I buy this card?
One can buy this card up to 60 days in advance of the date of departure.
Who Issues Travel cards?

Travel cards are issued by Banks. While it is not necessary to have a bank account, the same will be required for linkage purposes. All these cards have a tie-up with either VISA International or MasterCard under drawing arrangements.

What documents are required to get a Travel card?

In order to get a travel card, the issuer might ask you for some documents. These documents may be:

  • Passport
  • Form A-2 (for requirement of foreign exchange in excess of USD5,000 or equivalent)
  • Request application form with photograph
  • Pan card
  • Aadhaar card
  •    Travel documents such as visa and air tickets
How is loading of additional amount done?

Once the amount gets exhausted, one needs to reload the money onto the card, which is done after a request to this effect is made through email/phone/internet banking, subject to availability of funds in your link account with the bank.  

What is the rule regarding surrender/encashment of card after expiry?

One can retain the card only if the balance remaining in the card is less than USD2,000; otherwise the amount needs to be refunded within 180 days from the date of arrival in India.

Is there any provision for card insurance?

Some banks offer card liability insurance cover for limiting the liability on the card when the same gets stolen or is lost. Some banks also offer insurance cover for accident, loss of baggage, personal documents, etc., subject to limits fixed.

Are there any dos and don'ts for travel card users?

Travel cards give you freedom from carrying cash on an international trip, however there are some operational guidelines of how to use a travel card. What all dos and don’ts to follow on a foreign land so that the memories that are carried back home are pleasant only. Click here to read in detail: How to use a travel card

Consumer VOICE experts compared 8 travel cards on basis of cross country transactions, issuance fee and other parameters to list the best travel card.

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