Forex Card or Cash – Which one is a Better Option while traveling Abroad?

It’s the start of a New Year and with it starts the never-ending list of resolutions. Most of the new year resolutions are centered either around fitness or traveling. Doing an abroad trip is surely on the bucket list of many Indians. More power to your plans of traveling around the globe! But before you pack your bags and head to your destination – have you sorted out the means of transaction? Are you going to carry cash or do all the transactions using a forex card?

What is a Forex Card?

A forex card or travel card is like a debit card which is preloaded with the currency of your choice. Say, if you are visiting Australia, you can load the Australian Dollar (AUD) beforehand on your Forex card. Not only this, if you’re planning to visit multiple countries, you can load currencies of all these countries onto your Forex card. You can find these cards at banks or at companies like American Express and some other companies that are into financial services.

Which is a More Convenient Option for Travelling Abroad – Forex Card or Cash?

India has always been a cash dominated economy until demonetisation in 2016. This gave rise to digital transactions. But still many Indians prefer cash transactions over card or digital transactions at the merchant’s terminal. Although there’s nothing wrong with the usage of cash, it can be exhausting and risky on your overseas travel. Let’s see how a forex card scores over cash:

Cushions Against Fluctuating Foreign Exchange Rates

The cost of a dollar tomorrow won’t be the same as it is today. Similarly, the price of the country’s currency that you’re planning to travel won’t be the same tomorrow in respect to the Indian currency (INR). Say, if you run out of cash on your trip to a foreign destination and want more cash in order to continue your trip, you’ll have to trade the Indian rupee at the prevailing exchange rate at that time. Thus, a dollar trading at INR 70 today might be INR 75 at the time of your travel. On the contrary, a forex card locks the conversion rate when the money is loaded into it. Travel cards or forex cards protect you from the volatile foreign exchange rates that can spoil your whole traveling experience.

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Highly Secure and Protected

Traveling with wads of cash in an unknown country is highly risky. Everyone who takes a trip to Italy is being warned about pickpockets. Italy and pickpockets – is a cliche that’s very much true. You’ll be stranded in a totally strange country probably crying for the loss of all your cash. Thus, prevention is better than cure. Instead, carry a forex card for all your transactions abroad. It is highly secure and password protected. In the event of loss or theft, no one can use the card because the PIN is only known to you. Also, some banks and card companies provide extra cards with the original in order to rescue from such situations. If you think your money is not safe, in the event of loss or theft, you can right away block the card by dialing the issuer’s toll free number.

Can Load Multiple Currencies

Some of us have a crazy itinerary planned, which includes multiple countries in it. Now, it will be tough to carry and manage multiple currencies in cash. You can be robbed or even run out of cash due to some extra shopping. Some banks and card companies, like MakeMyTrip HDFC Bank ForexPlus Card, gives you the option to load multiple currencies. On the MakeMyTrip HDFC Bank ForexPlus Card, you can load upto 22 currencies. That means you can visit upto 22 destinations without worrying about theft or loss.

Minimal Charges and Fees

You end up paying an exorbitant fee and price when you exchange the Indian currency for a foreign currency. On the other hand, there is no conversion or withdrawal fee that while using a forex card. Only a fee is charged at the time of issuance that too a nominal one. Mostly, the charges of owning a forex card is roughly around INR 500.

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Which are some of the best Forex Cards Provided by Indian Banks?

In every possible way, traveling with a Forex card is far more convenient than carrying cash. Some of the best forex cards are issued by Yes Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank. If security and cost-effectiveness is one of your major concerns, go for the YES Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card. Contactless technology is one of the novel payment features. This feature is provided by the Axis Bank MultiCurrency Card, where you can pay for the transactions made by just waving your card at the merchant’s terminal.  HDFC Regalia ForexPlus Card is one of the best cards to have your hands-on if you’re travelling to the United States (US). To know more about the features, benefits and charges on this card, read our article on Best Forex Card in India.

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