Wise Travel Debit Card Review: Fees, Exchange Rates, Limits and How to Use It

There are many things you need to keep track of as a digital nomad, such as visas , travel documents, and accommodation , to name a few.

But one of the most important things to work out is your finances. As a digital nomad, you are likely constantly moving between countries and switching currencies, so having a travel debit card is imperative .

The Wise debit card is an easy financial solution for frequent travelers, digital nomads, and expats . So, what is the fuss about this Wise travel card? How does it work? And most importantly, should you hop on the bandwagon and sign up for it?

I have been using the Wise Travel Card for quite some time now and, in this article, I will give you my honest opinion about it.

What is a Wise Travel Debit Card?

Wise travel debit card with Bangkok in the background

If you travel often, you have probably used or at least heard of Wise (formerly Transfer Wise) .

This UK-based tech company was founded in 2011 by Estonian businessmen Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus on the principle of providing fast and fair exchange rates for international transfers without any sneaky fees or below-par exchange rates.

I have been personally using their Wise multi-currency account for years now, and it is still the primary way I transfer money abroad. But, I recently started using the Wise travel card , which added an entirely new dimension to my travels.

Can I Use The Wise Card For Traveling Abroad?

The Wise travel card it's not a credit card and functions pretty much like a regular debit card. You simply add funds to the account and insert, swipe, or tap to pay for items.

The main difference? With Wise, you can hold money in more than 40 different currencies and pay like a local for items in more than 160 countries worldwide without having to worry about hefty fees or markups on conversion rates.

Your Wise Travel Card is connected directly to your Wise account, so you can spend funds from your balances.

Who is the Wise Travel Card for?

Wise travel debit card with digital nomads in the background

Obviously, this is a “travel” card, so its primary purpose is for spending abroad while traveling . That said, you could totally use this for your day-to-day expenses. Traditional banks aren’t really designed to cater to frequent travelers or digital nomads , and the Wise Travel Card fills this gap.

For example, my wages are paid from the US, but I live abroad permanently, so I can easily transfer from my US-based bank to Wise and then simply use my Wise card for most of my daily expenses.

You should consider using the Wise Travel Card if one or more of the following applies to you:

  • You frequently transfer funds from another country that uses a different currency.
  • You travel internationally often and need a card with low currency conversion fees.
  • You often shop online with international retailers that sell their products in a foreign currency.
  • You own a business and need a card for international expenses.
  • Your current bank card has high currency conversion fees and you want to get away from a traditional bank account
  • Your current bank card has high fees for using international ATMs.

Wise Card Features for Traveling Abroad

Wise travel debit card and app with New York in the background

If you have used a travel prepaid card like Revolut , Chime , or Monzo in the past, you can expect similar features from the Wise Travel Card. Let's see which ones are those:

  • Low fees on conversions with the mid-market exchange rate
  • Hold, spend, and exchange more than 40 different currencies in your Wise account
  • Available to citizens and residents of more than 30 countries , including the UK, Canada, EU, USA, and Australia
  • Manage, top up, freeze, and view your card balance in the Wise App
  • Use at over 2 million ATMs with free monthly withdrawals up to certain limits.
  • Create up to 3 digital virtual cards for free
  • Auto currency convert feature to automatically convert your funds at your set rate
  • Ability to make Contactless payments
  • Connect to most popular eWallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more
  • Free spending of any currency you hold in your Wise account
  • Biodegradable and eco-friendly card design

Pros and Cons of the Wise Debit Card for Travel

Wise travel debit card with Lisbon in the background

When I first started my digital nomad journey, I quickly came to a rude awakening when I found that my bank was charging exorbitant markups on foreign exchange and fees for ATM withdrawals .

If the same is happening to you, you’ll want to get your hands on this gem of a travel card . But before you sign up, let’s go over some of the upsides and downsides of the Wise Travel Card.

Pros and cons:

What to love about the wise debit card.

For me, the Wise card's standout features are the app's user-friendliness , the multi-currency account , and the low markup on exchange rates .

Being able to hold more than 40 currencies is a game changer. Transferring funds to different currencies in their app when I travel abroad is super easy. To give you an example, I spend quite a bit of time in Europe, the USA, and New Zealand. And with Wise , I can have separate accounts for USD, EUR, and NZD, which makes my life SO much more manageable when traveling to these countries!

On top of that, while there is a small markup fee on currency exchange, it is extremely minimal compared to other banks I have used .

What Could Be Improved About the Wise Debit Card?

The obvious downsides of the Wise Travel Card lie with ATM withdrawal limits , longer card delivery timeframes , and the lack of a premium option .

I am based in the USA, and my card took more than 2 weeks to arrive. Most digital nomads don’t spend too much time in each place, so this can make it difficult to receive your card initially if you are a frequent traveler .

Also, while card transactions are becoming the norm in many countries, cash is still king in several countries I have traveled to in the past few years. The Wise card is NOT exactly the ideal card for withdrawing cash . You’ll only get two transactions for free , and then you’ll be paying a usage fee as well as a 1.75% to 2% markup . This definitely isn’t a dealbreaker, but I hope Wise will improve this in the future.

What Currencies Can You Use With the Wise Travel Card?

Wise travel debit card with Bali villa in the background

One of the main reasons Wise has kept me on board as a customer all these years is their multi-currency account . This is truly the crown jewel of all of Wise’s features.

You can store 40+ currencies in various wallets in your Wise account , but this doesn’t mean you are limited to spending in those currencies. In fact, you can use the Wise debit card in more than 160+ countries ! If the currency you are spending in doesn’t have a wallet option, the Wise card will simply exchange the money into the payment currency at the time of your purchase .

For example, I was recently in Guatemala, and, unfortunately, I was not able to store Quetzal (the local currency) in my multi-currency account. But when I bought something, my funds were automatically converted from USD to Quetzal at the mid-market rate (plus 0.5%).

There are also 11 currencies for which you get account details to make bank transfers . This means you can transfer funds in the following currency balances directly from your Wise account to another bank account.

This is a feature of Wise that I use often. If I need to transfer funds from my US bank account to one in another country, I almost always use Wise as a “middleman” in order to avoid unexpected transfer fees .

While you won’t be able to make bank transfers in other currencies, you can hold them in your Wise account and spend with your travel card.

How Does the Wise Card Exactly Work?

As you can see, the Wise Travel Card is a wise decision for any traveler (see what I did there?), but how does it exactly work?

As with any new bank account or credit card, there is a bit of a learning curve when first using your Wise travel card . That said, using this card isn’t rocket science, so you’ll be saving money on exchange fees in no time!

How to Use the Wise Travel Card Abroad

Wise travel debit card, app and receipt with London in the background

The Wise travel card is specifically designed for spending money outside of your home country, so as you would expect, it is pretty easy to use abroad.

All you need to do is order your card , activate it, create a PIN, add money to your account, and you will be all set to use the card in a different country!

The Wise App

Wise mobile app

There is nothing more annoying than an app that is built for developers and not for the general public. Your banking and financial app should be easy to navigate and access.

I personally find the Wise app to be extremely user-friendly and intuitive . All features are easy to find, and when navigating through the app, I rarely got stuck or failed to find a setting.

I was easily able to change personal settings, connect bank accounts, exchange money, and send transfers from the app.

How to Order Your Wise Travel Card

How to order a Wise Travel Debit Card

Ordering your Wise Travel Card can take some time (mine took more than 2 weeks to arrive), so I recommend getting on this as soon as possible to ensure you have the card for your next trip!

These are the 3 simple steps you will need to go through:

Step 1: Create a Multi-Currency Account

If you don’t have one already, your first step will be to sign up for a Multi-Currency Account with Wise

Step 2: Start Using Your Virtual Card Immediately

After making an account and verifying your details, you will then be directed to choose a digital/virtual card or a physical card . Digital cards are free and can be added to Google/Apple Pay or used for online payments immediately!

Step 3: Order a Wise Debit Card (Recommended)

If you want instead a physical card, you can do so by clicking on the “Card” tab on the main page and then click on “ Order a Debit Card ”. Physical cards cost a one-off fee of 7 GBP/7 EUR/10 USD , and it will take 7 to 21 business days for the card to arrive, based on your location.

If you'd like to visualise the entire process, watch the instructional video below:

How to Activate Your Wise Card

Once your Wise travel card arrives, it is time to activate it and start spending ! Luckily, for most Wise account holders, you won’t need to take any steps to activate the card, simply make a chip and PIN payment, and the card is ready to go !

Activate Your Wise Card (for US and Japan Customers Only)

As I mentioned above, Wise customers in the USA or Japan must activate the card separately . This isn’t too much of a headache, just don’t forget you need to be in your home country .

Here is a step-by-step breakdown of activating your card if you are a US and Japan customer.

  • Log into the Wise app and tap on “ Card ”.
  • Then tap on “ Activate Card ”.
  • You’ll then be prompted to enter a 6-digit code that you’ll find on your card.
  • After entering the code, you’ll create your PIN .

If you'd like to visualise the steps to activate your Wise card for your region, watch the instructional video below:

How to Change the PIN for Your Wise Card

Did you forget your PIN? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!

Luckily, if you are a US card holder, you can easily change your PIN in the Wise app :

  • Tap on “ Card ” in the Wise app
  • Select “ Change PIN ”
  • Enter your new PIN 2 times, and you are all set!

If you are a non-US Wise card holder , you cannot change your PIN in the app , unfortunately. Instead, you’ll need to change it using an ATM that supports PIN changes .

My best advice? Choose a PIN you’ll never forget, or keep it written down somewhere secure.

How to Add Money to Your Wise Travel Card

How to Add Money to Your Wise Travel Card

Your Wise travel card is linked to your Wise Multi-Currency account , so you’ll need to top up your Wise account with funds before using the card.

This is a pretty straightforward process:

  • Logging into your account
  • Choose which currency balance you want to add money to.
  • Click “ Add ”.
  • Choose which currency you want to use to top up the account.
  • Type in the amount of money you want to add.
  • Choose your payment method (bank transfer, debit card)
  • Confirm the top-up and verify the money arrives in your balance.

Watch the instructional video below to visualise how to top up your Wise balance:

How to Freeze/Unfreeze Your Wise Card

One of the downsides of constant travel is that you put yourself at risk of fraud or losing your card. If you notice potential fraudulent transactions from your Wise card, or you believe your card is lost/stolen, you should freeze your card immediately . This way, you’ll avoid more fraud on your account.

Here are the steps to take to freeze your Wise Travel Card.

  • After logging in to your Wise account, tap on “ Card .”
  • Then simply click “ Freeze Card ”, or if you want to unfreeze, “ Unfreeze Card .”
  • Fill out this transaction dispute form and contact customer support right away. They will be able to help you determine what to do next.

How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Wise Card

If you can confirm that your card has been lost or stolen, you’ll want to cancel the card and then order a new one.

  • Log in to your Wise account and click on “ Card .”
  • Tap “ Replace Card .”
  • You’ll then be prompted to answer why you need a replacement card.
  • Wait for the new card to arrive.

How to Use an ATM with Your Wise Travel Card

As mentioned above, ATM withdrawal is not the strongest feature with the Wise card, but you can definitely still use the card to take out cash. Spending with your Wise card is simple since the card can make contactless, chip, and swipe payments and is eligible for Google, Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin Pay. But how do you use an ATM with the Wise card?

Using an ATM with the Wise Travel Card is the same as using any other bank card. Simply insert your card into the machine, enter your PIN, determine how much cash you want to withdraw, and take your cash. Don’t forget to take your card back when you are done (I have made this mistake too many times…).

Wise Card ATM Limits

One of the biggest downsides with the Wise card is that you’ll have limited free ATM withdrawals. For all accounts, you’ll have 2 free ATM withdrawals each month, after which you will be charged an ATM usage fee and a percentage markup on the amount of cash you withdraw.

I use the Wise Travel Card for many of my day-to-day travel expenses, but I use my Charles Schwab Investor Checking account for ATMs. This card not only has a 0% ATM markup, but it also refunds any fees the ATM provider charges. This includes international withdrawals!

Wise Card Delivery Timeframe

Wise travel debit card with London in the background

Once you order your Wise Travel Card, you can expect it to take between 3 and 21 days to arrive, depending on your location. If you live in Singapore, you’ll get your card SUPER fast. Unfortunately for Americans like me, this isn’t the case.

Wise Travel Card Fees and Exchange Rates

One thing I really love is that using Wise itself is free, and you won’t have to pay an ongoing fee to Wise to use the card. In fact, there isn’t even a Premium account feature, so all users get 100% of the features for free. All this said, there are some charges and exchange rates you should know about before you start using the Wise Travel Card.

Comparison: How Does the Wise Card Holds Up Against Other Travel Cards?

Travel debit cards compared

Wise is a leader in the travel account realm, but it still has some major competitors. While all of these different companies vary, they all cater to digital nomads and frequent travelers. The table below will compare some key factors with Wise, Revolut, N26, and Chime.

You may also be interested in:

travel card money abroad

So, What Travel Card is the Best?

This is a close call and pretty dependent on where you are located. For example, N26 and Chime are awesome choices if you live in the EU or USA (respectively). But, with these options, you can’t hold different currencies like with Revolut and Wise.

For most digital nomads, Wise or Revolut will be the best option. You can hold a huge number of currencies, and they are available to many different nationalities. I have personally used both Wise and Revolut and can say they are both excellent options.

Spending Limits for the Wise Travel Card

Wise travel debit card in Apple Wallet with Thailand in the background

The Wise Travel Card has set daily and monthly spending limits for all types of transactions. While these limits won’t be a deal breaker for the vast majority of users, they are still worth noting.

Keep in mind the above limits are for US Wise customers. The amounts will differ slightly for customers based in different regions.

Is It Safe to Use the Wise Travel Card?

Wise is a trusted and safe travel card provider, so you can rest assured that your funds will be protected when using the Wise Travel Card. A licensed and regulated financial institution, your funds are safeguarded in Wise. It is, however, worth noting that since Wise is not considered a bank, it is not FDIC insured. FDIC insures up to $250,000 of bank customer's money, but Wise works a bit differently. Wise safeguards users’ money and is required to ensure all customers have access to all of their funds.

So, is Wise safe to use? Yes, absolutely! We don’t recommend keeping all of your money in Wise, but in general, it is a perfectly secure financial institution.

Additionally, the company uses several security features to protect your data, including HTTPS encryption, a two-step login process, and 24/7 fraud prevention.

What to Do If Your Wise Card Is Lost, Stolen, or Compromised

If you lose your Wise card or suspect it to be stolen or compromised, you’ll need to act quickly to prevent any further fraud. Below, we will go over a step-by-step process for what to do if your card is lost, stolen, or compromised.

  • Freeze your card in the Wise app.
  • Contact Wise support if you suspect the card to be compromised.
  • Cancel the card in the app if you confirm the card is lost or stolen or if fraud charges have been made.
  • Order a new card.
  • Wait for the new Wise card to arrive.

Bottom Line: Is the Wise Travel Card Worth it?

Wise travel debit card with Tokyo in the background

Time for the 1 million dollar question: Should you get the Wise Travel Card?

If you are a frequent traveler like me and you don’t already have a solid travel card with fair exchange rates, low ATM fees the answer is a resounding yes !

The Wise Travel Card is one of the best cards for digital nomads and expats, as it allows you to seamlessly spend money, withdraw cash, and transfer funds from anywhere around the globe without having to worry about excessive fees. The best part? After paying a one-time card order fee, your Wise account is completely free to use!

travel card money abroad

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Travel money card

Spend like a local and explore the globe with a travel debit card. Whether it's a virtual or a physical card, we've got all your travel money needs covered.

Need an international travel card? Take us all around the world

Exchange currencies, send money abroad, and keep 36 local currencies in-app. These are just some of the reasons why our customers love their travel debit cards.

Built-in security features

Set spending limits, get payment notifications, and freeze or unfreeze your card in-app.

Add it to Google Pay or Apple Pay

No need to wait for your physical card to arrive — spend instantly with a virtual card.

Withdraw without ATM fees

Get fee-free ATM withdrawals, up to £2,000 per rolling month, depending on your plan type.¹

Manage travel money in-app

Manage everything for your holiday money card in the Revolut app, from top-ups to transfers.

¹No ATM withdrawal fees within plan limits on a rolling monthly basis. Third-party providers may charge a withdrawal fee. Currency and ATM fair-usage fees apply. Currency exchange fees may apply. Weekend markups on currency exchange will apply. Plan fees and T&Cs apply.

Spend like a local in 150+ currencies

Spend like a local in 150+ currencies

No ATM fees up to £2,000 per month²

No ATM fees up to £2,000 per month²

²No ATM withdrawals fees within plan limits on a rolling monthly basis. Third-party providers may charge a withdrawal fee and ATM fair-usage fees. Weekend markups will apply.

Spend right away with Apple Pay or Google Pay

Spend right away with Apple Pay or Google Pay

How to get your travel money card in the UK

Get your currency debit card in 3 steps

Get revolut.

Join 40+ million people worldwide saving when they spend abroad with Revolut.

Order your card

Order your free travel money card to spend in 150+ currencies. Delivery fees may apply.

Spend like a local

Start spending around the world. That's your travel money, sorted.

Get instant payment notifications

Get instant payment notifications

Spend with confidence

Spend with confidence

Built-in security measures

Freeze your card at a moment’s notice, directly in-app

How to save money with travel currency cards

Tips for saving with a money travel card

Don't exchange at airports or at home.

Don’t exchange cash before you travel. Use your travel money card to spend or withdraw money from an ATM (just watch out for ATM fees).

Always choose the local currency

Choose the local currency when spending with your card in shops and restaurants.

Save on travel spending with a Revolut card

Spend in the local currency at competitive rates on your next trip from the UK.

For life, not just for holidays

This is not a prepaid card you just throw away after your trip. Trust us, you’ll want to use Revolut for future adventures and everyday spending.

Rating as of 28 May 2024

716K Reviews

2.8M Reviews

Spend your holiday money in 150+ currencies

Need a little more help?

Holiday money card FAQs

What is a travel money card, what currencies can i spend in when i use a travel money card, what are the limits for spending with a travel card, how can i manage my travel money card, is a travel money card safe and secure, how can i order a travel money card.

  • Download the Revolut app : find it in the Apple or Google Play Store.
  • Sign up for Revolut : apply for an account and verify your identity.
  • Add a debit card : go to Cards and follow the instructions to start your order.
  • Set your PIN : choose a PIN that you'll remember.
  • Arrange delivery : enter your delivery address and select your delivery method before proceeding to checkout (delivery fees may apply).

Don’t worry, there's no need to wait for your physical card to arrive — you can also use virtual travel cards with Revolut. Just connect your card to Google Pay or Apple Pay, and use it immediately.

Is a travel money card better than travel money?

  • Don’t exchange cash at the airport. It’s much cheaper to withdraw money from an ATM with your travel money card.
  • Don't carry more cash than you need. When you return home from your trip, you’ll need to re-convert this cash back to GBP, which can take time and cost you in fees.
  • Always choose the local currency when spending with your card in shops and restaurants.
  • Sign up for Revolut so you can manage your balance and get instant notifications on what you spend.

What is the best bank to use when travelling abroad?

  • exchanging currencies before you go or while you're there
  • withdrawing money from ATMs
  • using your card in shops, restaurants, and more

Traditional banks aren't your only option. Financial apps often have similar features to traditional banks without the hassle.

With Revolut, you can do everything in-app and save on your transactions and withdrawals abroad. You get ultimate flexibility and control over your money.

What's the difference between using prepaid travel cards and travel debit cards for spending abroad?

Find out more about sending money to your location of choice.

Read our range of money transfer and banking guides.

Sending Money

Reviews and comparisons of the best money transfer providers, banks, and apps.

Unlock efficient global money movement for your business.

A Guide to Travel Money Cards

Often deemed the cheapest way to spend money abroad , travel money cards are deemed a failsafe option for many travellers. Given the rapid growth of the financial services sector, we want to find out if travel money cards are still as cutting edge as they once were, by comparing them to the new alternatives. Our job is to identify the best international money transfer services and payment providers in the industry: will travel money cards make the cut?

April Summers

What are travel money cards?

Travel money cards are a popular payment method for individuals headed abroad. Customers will load funds onto the card, using the money as foreign currency when overseas, much like a debit card is used at home. Also known as travel money prepaid cards or currency cards, they facilitate free foreign transactions and overseas ATM withdrawals.

We recommend finding a travel money card which lets you lock-in a favourable exchange rate and supports multiple currencies on one card, to make sure you are securing a flexible and cost-effective deal.

How do you use a travel money card?

Using a travel money card should be straightforward and stress-free. Simply load funds onto the card before you leave, and once abroad, you will be able to reload funds and change currencies using the website or associated money transfer app . The card can be used to make withdrawals, in-store purchases and book travel arrangements.

Where can I get a travel money card?

Travel money cards are available from different retailers and can be purchased and preloaded online, over the phone or in-store, depending on the brand. In the UK, popular brands include Travelex and the Post Office.

Where can I use a travel money card?

Again, this depends on the brand and where you get your money travel card from. Available currencies vary from card to card but commonly used currencies include US Dollars, UK Pound sterling, Euros, Japanese Yen and New Zealand Dollars. Make sure you check with the provider before ordering a travel money card.

How secure are travel money cards?

Generally, travel money cards are considered a lot safer than handling multiple currencies in cash, or travellers cheques, as your provider will be able to cancel it if need be. Furthermore, some of the best travel money cards employ an equivalent level of security to traditional debit cards, including a PIN code, touch ID and face recognition.

Many consider it safer to use a travel money card abroad than a debit card, as they are not associated with your bank account and therefore cannot be linked if lost or stolen.

Travel money cards vs. Credit cards: What is the difference?

One of the biggest advantages of using a travel money card is that your chosen currency is preloaded before you arrive in the foreign country and you won’t be charged conversion fees. This means you are able to benefit from the most favourable exchange rates, locking it in ahead of time and using the funds at a later date.

Most people who use their credit card abroad do it because it is more convenient. The cost of this convenience, however, can sometimes amount to 3 - 5% per use, depending on the transaction and financial institution. Making a foreign ATM withdrawal with your credit card can incur flat-fees of $5 and up, each time.

This being said, there are some excellent traveller credit cards on the market, so we would recommend users compare exchange rates and transfer fees offered by each provider before making a decision on which card is more beneficial.

If you're planning on using your credit card, we suggest you take a look at our credit card wire transfer guide.

What are the alternatives to travel money cards?

Multi-currency accounts.

International money transfer companies are often tailoring their products and services to meet the needs of their customers. Wise , offers a multi-currency account designed with “international people" in mind. This savvy travel credit card is aimed at frequent flyers who want to spend in various currencies in over 200 countries. Wise is a reliable company to trust with your overseas spending habits.

Challenger banks

More and more alternative service providers are popping up around the world, many of them offering reputable banking features for the modern traveller. In a bid to distinguish themselves from traditional banks, challenger banks are scrapping fees on foreign exchange and international spending. Monzo customers, for example, can benefit from free international ATM withdrawals as well as fee-free spending overseas.

travel card money abroad

We hope this guide to travel money cards has enlightened you and helped you make a decision about whether this is a suitable payment method for your next trip overseas. We appreciate the value of your hard-earned cash and want all our customers to benefit from the best possible rates when dealing with international payments. Use our comparison tool today to make sure you are offered the most desirable exchange rate for your currency.

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Contributors

April Summers

April Summers

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The best prepaid travel cards (travel money cards) in 2024

Edward Savage

Article contents

In a nutshell

  • Best prepaid travel money cards
  • Best direct debit travel card
  • Our criteria for the best prepaid travel money cards
  • What's the best prepaid travel card for Europe?

What is a prepaid travel card?

Store multiple currencies, the best prepaid travel card in the uk.

  • Pros and cons of prepaid travel cards

What’s the alternatives to multi-currency prepaid cards?

What is the mid-market rate (the real exchange rate), what’s the mastercard rate, prepaid travel card fees, how to get a prepaid travel card.

  • Are prepaid travel cards safe?

Let’s recap

The best prepaid travel cards are Revolut and Wise. Although not a prepaid card, one of the best cards to use abroad is Currensea (it links to your bank account). They’re all super popular, with low fees, and are easy to sign up and use.

Heading off on an adventure or holiday abroad? Or perhaps a work trip? Making the right decision on travel money can save you a small fortune – and a prepaid travel money card is likely your best option. So without further ado, here’s the best:

The best travel money card

The best travel card overall.

Best travel card

Currensea tops the list – it's super simple to use, just connect it to your bank account and it’s low cost too. You'll also get a £5 welcome bonus.

£5 welcome bonus

With Currensea, you can get a travel card that connects directly to your bank account – it acts just the same as your bank card, and transactions come directly out of your bank account.

The only difference, is you won't have to pay hefty bank fees, saving anywhere from 85% to 100% of the cost.

It's a great alternative to a prepaid travel card if you want something a bit simpler.

Best prepaid travel money card

The best prepaid card you top-up beforehand, all ready to spend.

Wise is one of the best travel cards out there. It's super popular, with over 16 million customers around the world.

It's got some of the lowest fees you'll find, and it's available in over 40 currencies and 150+ countries.

The card is contactless, and there's a great phone app (and website) to manage everything too.

Our criteria for the best prepaid travel cards

To compare and determine the best travel money cards, we looked at:

Exchange rate

  • Withdrawal fees from an ATM

Card delivery fee

  • Number of currencies available
  • Ease of use (manage online via a website or phone app)

There’s lots of options for converting (changing) your money, or spending abroad, such as changing cash in-person at a bureau de change (not recommended), using an ATM, or a credit card or debit card abroad – but a prepaid travel card is often one of the easiest and cheapest options – and you can reuse them for all your holidays in the future, or even on the same trip to different countries, spending different currencies. 

We’re big fans of prepaid travel cards here at Nuts About Money, and are only recommending the best – they’re ones we recommend to our friends and family (and readers of course), and use ourselves when we’re able to get away.

Best prepaid travel money cards

So, whichever travel card (from our recommendations) you opt for, you can be confident they’re safe to use, trustworthy, and you’ll be using one of the cheapest options available.

What’s the best prepaid travel card for Europe?

If you’re heading off to Europe for a bit of getaway, you’ve got loads of options when it comes to a prepaid travel card – just make sure you don’t use your current bank account and debit card – you’ll be charged hefty fees (we’ll cover all of this below).

Anyway, the best travel card for Europe is Currensea ¹ – it’s easy to use, just link it to your existing bank account and you’re good to go. It’s very low cost too (and no set up fees).

A prepaid travel card is similar to a bank card (debit card) that you might use for all of your spending in the UK, except instead of your money coming directly out of your bank account, you’ll top it up with money beforehand (or during your trip) – meaning you’ll simply send Pounds (GBP) from your bank account directly to the card (account). 

What is a prepaid travel card?

Note: you can send it back if you don’t spend it all.

Once the card has been 'topped-up', you can spend it abroad and withdraw cash from an ATM (cash machine), (e.g. Euros if you’re heading to Europe), meaning that you can save a lot of money in hidden fees and bad exchange rates – and these fees can really add up.

Why? Typically using your high street bank card abroad will mean a fee every time you want to use it, and your money will need to be converted into the local currency every time you use it too – at a very bad exchange rate that the bank sets (which often includes a hidden fee).

The prepaid travel cards we've listed above give you the freedom to spend like a local, and not worry about the cost. They’re pretty great.

With prepaid travel cards, you can actually store a range of different currencies in your account, it doesn’t have to be just one. And for this reason they’re often also called a multi-currency card, or a foreign currency card.

With Wise ¹, there’s actually over 40 different currencies you can store, and of course, spend. 

Store multiple currencies

And normally, if you don’t have the particular currency you want to spend, the card will automatically convert another currency in your account to the currency you need when you spend. Pretty cool.

The best prepaid currency cards we’ve listed above are some of the best wherever you are in the world, for changing one currency to another, and spending in a different country (there’s a huge range of currencies with Wise ¹). And all great if you’re from the UK travelling abroad.

You can sign up online and use both Revolut ¹ and Wise ¹ if you’re in the UK, and are travelling to pretty much any other country in the world.

Best prepaid travel card in the UK

Pros and cons of prepaid travel money cards

Let’s run through the pros and cons of using a prepaid card:

  • Cheap way of spending abroad (pay in the local currency)
  • Easy way to spend (make contactless payments abroad)
  • Store multiple currencies on one card
  • Often free to withdraw cash from an ATM (up to a limit)
  • Safe way of spending money abroad (don’t need loads of cash)
  • Protection from fraud (sometimes able to refund a transaction, called a chargeback)
  • Easily block your card if it’s lost or stolen (and get a replacement card)
  • Great for setting a spending budget (no overdraft)
  • Can be low withdrawal limits from an ATM (before fees)
  • Might not be able to use it to hire a car or a hotel (or any pre-authorised transactions)
  • Can’t spend more than you top up (no overdraft like a bank)

A prepaid currency card isn’t your only option, but it’s definitely one of the cheapest (especially with one of the top prepaid travel money card providers). You could also change cash before you go (very expensive), or use a credit card or debit card designed for foreign currency spending (don’t just use any credit or debit card, they can be expensive!).

But with those, you’ll need to do a full application with credit checks, and open a whole new bank account for a debit card. There’s not really much benefit vs a prepaid card (unless you’re travelling a lot, or in the market for a new bank).

Nuts About Money tip: if you don’t want to use a prepaid card, check out Currensea ¹, they’re a travel card that connects directly to your bank account – so whatever you spend comes directly out of your bank. It’s a pretty cool idea and much cheaper than your bank, as you’ll get cheaper currency conversion rates and no transaction fees.

Multi-currency prepaid card alternatives

Although you’ve likely heard of an exchange rate, which is how much you get in another currency when you swap (exchange) your Pounds for them (e.g. Pounds for Euros) – depending on where you exchange your money, this rate can vary wildly.

Foreign exchange (forex or FX)

Typically banks and other foreign exchange places tend to set their own exchange rate, which is much worse than the real exchange rate… (it’s how you can often see commission-free advertised, but it’s not really, there’s a hidden fee in the exchange rate).

The real exchange rate (used worldwide) is called the mid-market rate, and this is the rate that banks themselves use to swap money (also called the interbank exchange rate), without any hidden fees involved. It is the rate the ‘market’ sets – where buyers and sellers come together.

Mid-market rate

Technically the mid-market rate is the middle of the buy and sell prices of two currencies (e.g. Pounds to Euros), and so it effectively represents the current exchange rate.

So, if a travel money company isn’t using the mid-market rate (they might say interbank rate), you’re not getting the ‘real’ exchange rate, and you’ll be paying a fee.

European Central Bank (ECB) rate

In Europe, the European Central Bank (an organisation that is intended to look after the finances of all the countries in Europe that use the Euro, similar to the Bank of England in the UK), set an exchange rate too, called the European Central Bank rate. 

You could think of this as another official rate, just for Euros, although you’ll never actually be able to get this rate – but the closer to it, the more money you’ll save.

There’s also something called the Mastercard rate, which as you’ve probably guessed, is the rate the company Mastercard sets – they’re a very big company who provides cards for banks and other financial companies for their customers to use (e.g. a bank debit card). Another similar company is Visa.

And similar to the mid-market rate, they set an exchange rate which is set on their cards for foreign exchange. 

They take a small fee within this rate, so it will always be slightly higher than the mid-market rate. And, companies using Mastercard services (e.g. to give their customers cards), can choose to either add their own fee on, or add no fees and pass on the exact exchange rate.

Mastercard rate

So, if you see a bank saying you’ll get the Mastercard rate, that means they haven’t added any extra fees and are passing the lowest rate possible they can get (with Mastercard) onto you. 

This rate will be one of the cheapest you'll be able to get. Just make sure they haven't added any commission on top.

The topic we’re all here for, how much do you actually pay with prepaid travel cards? We’ve covered the exchange rates above, and typically this is the main fee you’ll pay (if there is a fee hidden in the exchange rate).

However, there are some other fees to be aware of, depending on which card you choose, let’s run through all the foreign exchange fees:

Note: you don’t typically get charged a fee to spend money (often called foreign transaction fees) with prepaid cards, these are more common on credit cards and and with banks.

As mentioned above, there’s always a fee within the exchange rate, whether it’s hidden or not. Normally, you’ll see this as the mid-market rate, interbank rate or mastercard rate plus a certain amount on top (e.g. the mid-market rate plus 1%).

ATM withdrawal fees

Some card providers will let you withdraw cash for free from an ATM (cash machine), some have a limit on how much you can withdraw for free per month (or a maximum number of transactions before there’s a fee), and others have no limit but will charge for every withdrawal.

This can range from a fixed fee per withdrawal (e.g. £1), to a percentage of the amount you take out (e.g. 2%), or a combination of both.

Producing a card can involve a lot of admin and of course actually producing and printing the card and delivery, so a travel money card provider will often pass this fee onto you – so they can cover their costs if you don’t end up using the card.

This is normally around £5-10, although with some companies it can be free, but there’s normally conditions such as topping up your card beforehand.

Note: if you lose your card, you’ll often have to pay a card replacement fee too. This is typical with all cards, even our recommended options.

Inactivity fee

With some cards, there can also be an inactivity fee, which is a fee for not using the card after a certain period of time. This is normally after 12 months, and a fee per month of around £2 per month.

Note: the best cards we recommend above ( Revolut ¹ and Wise ¹) don't have this fee. You can leave them for as long as you like (until your next holiday).

The great news is it’s super easy to get a prepaid travel card – it’s not like applying for a bank account or a credit card, you can get set up within a few minutes and the card can arrive the next day.

All you’ll need to do is first decide which travel card you’d like (we recommend Revolut ¹ or Wise ¹ as they’re the cheapest, and have easy to use apps for managing your money), and then fill out a few details on their website (or app), prove you are who you say you are with your passport or driving licence, and that’s it.

Prepaid travel card

You’ll need to transfer some money (also called ‘load money’) over from your bank account, or deposit via a debit card, and that’s it. You can start spending online straight away (you can also add your card to Apple Pay or Google Pay) – or wait until your card arrives in the post to start spending on that.

It literally couldn’t be easier.

Are prepaid travel money cards safe?

Yep, it’s perfectly safe to use a prepaid travel card.

The company giving you the card will need to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are the people making sure financial companies are looking after you and your money.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Your money will also be held in a bank account with a very large bank (e.g. Barclays), completely separate from the company’s own money. So, if anything happened to the company such as going out of business, your money could only be returned to you.

Using a card is also much safer than taking out cash when abroad, and keeping cash in your hotel room (or your sock). There’s lots of safety features such as being able to freeze your card (so it temporarily can't be used) and protection from fraudulent transactions if your card was lost or stolen – which you can often do immediately within an app on your phone.

That’s all there is to it. Pretty simple right? You can get a prepaid travel card in just a few minutes, and the card can turn up the next day – you’ll benefit from saving a small fortune on your spending money abroad. Plus, it’s much safer than travelling with cash.

You can also use your card in a huge range of shops, bars and restaurants, just as you would in the UK (with contactless), and withdrawing cash from an ATM can be easy too.

We recommend using one of the best travel cards above, such as Revolut ¹ or Wise ¹, they’re super popular, trustworthy, are easy to use and have great mobile apps to manage everything, not to mention they’re the cheapest out there (by quite a bit!).

And there you go, that’s your travel money sorted, all that’s left is to enjoy the holiday!

This article was written, reviewed and fact checked by the expert team at Nuts About Money. You’re in safe hands. Learn more .

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Here Are the Four Best Travel Money Cards in 2024

travel card money abroad

François Briod

Co-Founder of Monito and money transfer expert, François has been helping Monito’s users navigate the jungle of money transfer fees, bad exchange rates and tricks for the last ten years.

Jarrod Suda

travel card money abroad

A writer and editor at Monito, Jarrod is passionate about helping people apply today’s powerful finance technologies to their lives. He brings his background in international affairs and his experiences living in Japan to provide readers with comprehensive information that also acknowledges the local context.

Links on this page, including products and brands featured on ‘Sponsored’ content, may earn us an affiliate commission. This does not affect the opinions and recommendations of our editors.

From the multitude of bank fees and ATM charges to hidden currency conversion fees, there's no question that spending your money abroad while travelling can be costly — and that's saying nothing about the cost of the holiday itself!

As you prepare for your trip abroad, the golden rule is that you'll save the most money by using the local currency of your destination. This means withdrawing local cash at foreign ATMs and using a debit card to pay directly in the local currency. For example, if you're from the UK, using your bank's debit card that accesses your British pounds will likely lose you money to hidden fees at ATMs abroad and at local merchants.

In general, we rate Revolut as the best travel card all around. Its versatile account and card can be used to spend like a local pretty much anywhere in the world. ✨ Get 3 months of free Revolut Premium as a Monito reader with our exclusive link .

If you're from the EU, UK, or US, here are a few more specific recommendations to explore:

  • Best for travelling from the UK: Chase
  • Best for travelling from the US: Chime ®
  • Best for travelling from the Eurozone: N26

If it's not possible for you to spend in the local currency when travelling abroad, then spending in your home currency while using a card that doesn't charge any hidden exchange rate markups from your bank (e.g. only the VISA or Mastercard exchange rates to convert currency) is still a good bet for most people.

In this guide, we explore cards that waive or lower ATM fees and that hold multiple currencies. Spend on your holiday like a local and enjoy peace of mind after each tap and swipe!

Best Travel Cards (And More!) at a Glance

Best travel money cards.

  • 01. What is the best best multi currency card? scroll down
  • 02. Are prepaid currency cards really it? scroll down
  • 03. Monito's best travel money card tips scroll down
  • 04. FAQ about the best travel cards scroll down

Revolut: Best All-Rounder

Revolut is one of the most well-known fintechs in the world because it offers services across Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania.

Go to Revolut

  • Trust & Credibility 8.9
  • Service & Quality 7.9
  • Fees & Exchange Rates 8.3
  • Customer Satisfaction 9.4

Revolut is available in many countries. You can double-check if it's available in yours below:

Here's an overview of Revolut's plans:

Revolut Ultra is currently only available in the UK and EU.

Like Wise, Revolut converts your currency to the local currency of your travel destination at an excellent exchange rate (called the 'Revolut Rate', which, on weekdays, is basically on par with the rate you see on Google), making it a good way to buy foreign currency before travelling abroad. As always though, bear in mind that Revolut's exchange rates might be subject to change.

Revolut's Standard Plan only allows currency exchange at the base mid-market exchange rate for transfers worth £1,000 per month. ATM withdrawals are also free for the first €200 (although third-party providers may charge a withdrawal fee, and weekend surcharges may also apply). These allowances can be waived by upgrading memberships.

N26: Good Bank For EU Travellers

One of the most well-known neobanks in Europe, N26 and its debit card operate in euros only. However, N26 is a partner with Wise and has fully integrated Wise's technology so that you never have to pay foreign transaction fees on your purchases outside of the eurozone. While N26 does not have multi-currency functionality, N26 will apply the real exchange rate on all your foreign purchases and will never charge a commission fee — making N26's card a powerful card for EU/EEA residents who travel across the globe.

Go to N26

  • Trust & Credibility 7.9
  • Service & Quality 8.0
  • Fees & Exchange Rates 9.3
  • Customer Satisfaction 8.1

These are the countries in which you can register for an N26 account:

And here is an overview of the various plans and account:

This low-fee option for banking is also ideal for travellers who do not belong to a European bank but frequent the Eurozone. For example, N26 is available for residents and citizens of Switzerland, Norway, and other European Economic Area countries that do not run on the Euro.

These citizens, who are in close proximity to the Eurozone, will save each time they spend with an N26 card while in Europe. N26 provides three free ATM withdrawals per month in euros but does charge a 1.7% fee per ATM withdrawal outside of Europe.

Take a look at our guide to the best travel cards for Europe to learn more.

Wise: Best For Multi-Currency Balances

Load up to 54 currencies onto this card at the real exchange rate, giving you access to truly global travel.

Visit Wise

  • Trust & Credibility 9.3
  • Service & Quality 8.9
  • Fees & Exchange Rates 7.6
  • Customer Satisfaction 9.6

These are the countries in which you can order a Wise debit card:

Unlike banks, credit unions, airport kiosks, and foreign ATMs, Wise is transparent about never charging a hidden exchange rate margin when you convert your home currency into up to 54 currencies. The live rate you see on Google or XE.com is the one you get with Wise.

An industry-low commission fee per transaction will range from 0.35% to 2.85%, depending on the currency.

Chase: Great UK Bank For Travel

A recent arrival from the USA, Chase is one of the UK’s newest digital challenger banks and comes with a rock-solid reputation and no monthly charges, no currency conversion charges, no withdrawal fees, and no other charges for everyday banking from Chase. It’s a simple, streamlined bank account with an excellent mobile banking app and a great cashback offer. However, it doesn’t yet offer more advanced features like international money transfers, joint accounts, business banking, overdrafts and loans, and teen or child accounts.

Go to Chase

  • Trust & Credibility 10
  • Fees & Exchange Rates 10
  • Customer Satisfaction 8.7

Chime: Great Account For US Travelers

Chime  is a good debit card for international travel thanks to its no foreign transaction fees¹. Unlike multi-currency accounts like Revolut (which let you hold local currency), Chime uses the live exchange rate applied by VISA. This rate is close to the mid-market rate, and Chime does not add any extra markup to your purchases, although out-of-network ATM withdrawal and over-the-counter advance fees may still apply.

Go to Chime

  • Trust & Credibility 9.5
  • Service & Quality 8.8
  • Fees & Exchange Rates 9.8

While Chime waives ATM fees at all MoneyPass, AllPoint, and VISA Plus Alliance ATMs within the United States, this fee waiver does not extend to withdrawals made outside the country. For withdrawals abroad, Chime applies a $2.50 fee per transaction, with a daily withdrawal limit of $515 or its equivalent. This is in addition to any fees charged by the ATM owner. Therefore, we recommend Chime primarily for card purchases rather than relying on it for withdrawing cash while traveling internationally.

  • No  foreign transaction fees ¹;
  • Uses VISA's exchange rate ( monitor here ):
  • A $2.50 fee per ATM withdrawal made outside of the United States;
  • More info:  Read our  Chime review  or  visit their website .

Best Travel Money Cards in 2024 Compared by Country

In the table below, see our comparison summary of the four best travel cards for 2024 by country:

Last updated: 8 January 2024

What's The Best Prepaid Card to Use Abroad?

travel card money abroad

Travel cards come in many varieties, such as standard credit cards or debit cards with no foreign transaction fees or cards that waive all foreign ATM withdrawal fees.

What is a Multi-Currency Card?

Multi-currency cards are a specific type of travel card that allows you to own all kinds of foreign currencies, which you can instantly access when you pay with your card abroad. By spending the local currency in the region of travel , you bypass poor foreign exchange rates. ATMs and cashless payment machines will treat your card like a local card.

We have already mentioned a few multi-currency cards in this review, but we will also introduce Travelex . Travelex's Money Card also allows you to top up several foreign currencies — albeit at exchange rates slightly poorer than the real mid-market rate .

Wise Account

Wise has one of the best multi-currency cards available on the market.

Try Wise

Read our full review for more details.

Revolut is impressive for its vast options in currencies and its additional services.

Our in-depth review explores Revolut's services in detail.

Travelex offers a prepaid travel money card that supports 10 currencies and waives all ATM withdrawal fees abroad.

Try Travelex

  • Trust & Credibility 9.0
  • Service & Quality 5.8
  • Fees & Exchange Rates 7.1
  • Customer Satisfaction 9.3

Travelex charges fees, which fluctuate according to the exchange rates of the day, in order to convert your home currency into the currencies that it supports. But once the currency is on the card, you'll be able to spend like a local. Learn more with our full review .

Don’t Let Banks, Bureaux de Change, and ATMs Eat Your Lunch 🍕!

Are you withdrawing cash at an ATM in the streets of Paris? Exchanging currencies at Gatwick airport? Paying for a pizza with your card during a holiday in Milano? Every time you exchange currencies, you could lose between 2% to 20% of your money in  hidden fees . Keep reading below to make sure you recognize and avoid them.

Currency Exchange Fees Eating My Lunch? What’s That?

You’re often charged a hidden fee in the form of an alarming exchange rate.

At any given time, there is a so-called “ mid-market exchange rate ” — this is the real exchange rate you can see on  Google . However, the money transfer provider or bank you use to exchange currencies rarely offers this exchange rate. Instead, you will get a much worse exchange rate. They pocket this margin between the actual rate and the poor exchange rate they apply, allowing the bank or money transfer provider to profit from the currency exchange. 

Bureau de change à Londres

In other words, you or your recipient will receive less foreign currency for each unit of currency you exchange. All the while, the provider will claim that they charge zero commission or zero fees.

So the question now is… how can you avoid them? Thankfully, the best travel money cards will allow you to hold the local currency, which you can access instantly with a tap or swipe. Carrying the local currency avoids  exchange rate margins  on every purchase.

Top Travel Money Tips

  • Avoid bureaux de change. They charge between 2.15% and 16.6% of the money exchanged.
  • Always pay in the local currency and never accept the  dynamic currency conversion .
  • Don't use your ordinary debit or credit card unless it's specifically geared toward international use. Doing this will typically cost you between 1.75% and 4.25% per transaction. Instead, use one of the innovative travel money cards below.

By opting for a travel card without FX fees, you can freely swipe your card abroad without worrying about additional charges. However, saving money doesn't stop there. To make the most out of your travel budget, consider using  Skyscanner , one of the most powerful flight search engines available that allows you to compare prices from various airlines and find the best deals.

With Skyscanner's user-friendly interface and comprehensive search options, you can discover cheap flights and enjoy your holidays with peace of mind and more money in your pocket.

Best Travel Money Card Tips

Eiffel Tower Paris France

When you convert your home currency into a foreign currency, foreign exchange service providers will charge you two kinds of fees :

  • Exchange Rate Margin:  Providers apply an exchange rate that is poorer than the true  "mid-market" exchange rate . They keep the difference, called an  exchange rate margin .
  • Commission Fee:  This  fee  is usually a percentage of the amount converted, which is charged for the service provided.

With these facts in mind, let's see what practices are useful to avoid ATM fees, foreign transaction fees, and other charges you may encounter while on your travels.

Tip 1: While Traveling, Avoid Bureaux de Change At All Costs

Have you ever wondered how bureaux de change and currency exchange desks are able to secure prime real estate in tourist locations like the Champs-Élysées in Paris or Covent Carden in London while claiming to take no commission? It’s easy: they make (plenty of) money through hidden fees on the exchange rates they give you. 

Moneycorp exchange rate at the Gatwick Airport

Our study shows that Bureaux de Change in Paris charges a margin ranging from 2.15% at CEN Change Dollar Boulevard de Strasbourg to 16.6% (!!) at Travelex Champs-Élysées when exchanging 500 US dollars into euros for example. 

If you really want cash and can’t wait to withdraw it with a card at an ATM at your destination, ordering currencies online before your trip is usually cheaper than exchanging currencies at a bureau de change, but it’s still a very expensive way to get foreign currency which we, therefore, would not recommend.

Tip 2: Always Choose To Pay In the Local Currency

Times Square United States

Don’t fall for the dynamic currency conversion trap! When using your card abroad to pay at a terminal or withdraw cash at an ATM, you’ve probably been asked whether you’d prefer to pay in your home currency instead of the local currency of the foreign country. This little trick is called dynamic currency conversion , and the right answer to this sneaky question will help you save big on currency exchange fees.

As a general rule, you always want to pay in the local currency (euros in Europe, sterling in the UK, kroner in Denmark, bahts in Thailand, etc.) when using your card abroad, instead of accepting the currency exchange and paying in your home currency. 

This seems like a trick question - why not opt to pay in your home currency? On the plus side, you would know exactly what amount you would be paying in your home currency instead of accepting the unknown exchange rate determined by your card issuer a few days later.

What is a Dynamic Currency Conversion?

However, when choosing to pay in your home currency instead of the local one, you will carry out what’s called a “dynamic currency conversion”. This is just a complicated way of saying that you’re exchanging between the foreign currency and your home currency at the exact time you use your card to pay or withdraw cash in a foreign currency, and not a few days later. For this privilege, the local payment terminal or ATM will apply an exchange rate that is often significantly worse than even a traditional bank’s exchange rate (we’ve seen margins of up to 8%!), and of course, much worse than the exchange rate you would get by using an innovative multi-currency card (see tip #3). 

In the vast majority of times, knowing with complete certainty what amount you will pay in your home currency is not worth the additional steep cost of the dynamic currency conversion, hence why we recommend always choosing to pay in the local currency.

Tip 3: Don't Use a Traditional Card To Pay in Foreign Currency/Withdraw Cash Abroad

travel card money abroad

As mentioned before, providers make money on foreign currency conversions by charging poor exchange rates — and pocketing the difference between that and the true mid-market rate. They also make money by charging commission fees, which can either come as flat fees or as a percentage of the transaction.

Have a look at traditional bank cards to see how much you can be charged in fees for spending or withdrawing $500 while on your holiday.

These fees can very quickly add up. For example, take a couple and a child travelling to the US on a two-week mid-range holiday. According to this study , the total cost of their holiday would amount to around $4200. If you withdraw $200 in cash four times and spend the rest with your card, you would pay $123 in hidden currency exchange and ATM withdrawal fees with HSBC or $110 with La Banque Postale. With this money, our travellers could pay for a nice dinner, the entrance fee to Yosemite Park, or many other priceless memories. 

Thankfully, new innovative multi-currency cards will help you save a lot of money while travelling. Opening an N26 Classic account and using the N26 card during the same US holidays would only cost $13.60.

Need Foreign Cash Anyway?

In many countries, carrying a wad of banknotes is not only useful but necessary to pay your way since not every shop, market stall, or street vendor will accept card payments. In these cases you'll have two options to exchange foreign currency cheaply:

1. Withraw at an ATM

As we've explored in great depth in this article, withdrawing money from a foreign ATM will almost always come with fees — at the very least from the ATM itself, and so it's therefore the best strategy to use a travel debit card that doesn't charge in specific ATM withdraw fees on its own to add insult to injury. That said, if you need cash, we recommend making one large withdrawal rather than multiple smaller ones . This way, you'll be able to dodge the fees being incurred multiple times.

2. Buy Banknotes (at a Reasonable Rate!)

As we've also seen, buying foreign currency at the airport, at foreign bank branches, or in bureaux de change in tourist hotspots can be surprisingly expensive. Still, not all exchange offices are equally pricey . If you're looking for a well-priced way to exchange your cash into foreign currency banknotes before you travel, Change Group will let you order foreign currency online and pick them up at the airport, train station, or a Change Group branch just before you leave for your holiday. A few pick-up locations in the UK include:

  • London centre (multiple locations),
  • Glasgow centre,
  • Oxford centre,
  • Luton Airport,
  • Gatwick Airport,
  • St. Pancras Station.

(Note that Change Group also has locations in the USA, Australia, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Austria, and Finland!)

Although its exchange rates aren't quite as good as using a low-fee debit card like Revolut, Change Group's exchange rates between popular currencies tend to be between 2% to 3%, which is still a lot better than you'll get at the bank or at a touristy bureau de change in the middle or Paris or Prague!

FAQ About the Best Travel Money Cards

Having reviewed and compared several of the industry's leading neobanks, experts at Monito have found the Wise Account to offer the best multi-currency card in 2024.

In general, yes! You can get a much better deal with new innovative travel cards than traditional banks' debit/credit cards. However, not all cards are made equal, so make sure to compare the fees to withdraw cash abroad, the exchange rates and monthly fees to make sure you're getting the best deal possible.

  • Sign up for a multi-currency account;
  • Link your bank to the account and add your home currency;
  • Convert amount to the local currency of holiday destination ( Wise and Revolut convert at the actual mid-market rate);
  • Tap and swipe like a local when you pay at vendors.

Yes, the Wise Multi-Currency Card is uniquely worthwhile because it actually converts your home currency into foreign currency at the real mid-market exchange rate . Wise charges a transparent and industry-low commission fee for the service instead.

More traditional currency cards like the Travelex Money Card are good alternatives, but they will apply an exchange rate that is weaker than the mid-market rate.

The Wise Multi-Currency Card is the best money card for euros because unlike banks, credit unions, airport kiosks, and foreign ATMs,  Wise  is transparent about never charging a hidden exchange rate margin when you convert your local currency into euros with them.

The live rate you see on Google or XE.com is the one you get with  Wise . An industry-low commission fee will range from 0.35% to 2.85%. USD to EUR transfers generally incur a 1.6% fee.

Learn more about how to buy euros in the United States before your trip.

There are usually three types of travel cards, prepaid travel cards, debit travel cards and credit travel cards. Each have pros and cons, here's a short summary:

  • Prepaid travel cards: You usually need to load cards with your home currency via a bank wire or credit/debit card top-up. You're then able to manage the balance from an attached mobile app and can use it to pay in foreign currencies or withdraw cash at an ATM abroad tapping into your home currency prepaid balance. With prepaid travel cards, as the name indicates, you can't spend more than what you've loaded before hand. Some prepaid card providers will provide ways to "auto top-up" when your balance reaches a certain level that you can customize. On Revolut for example, you can decide to top-up £100/£200/£500 from your debit card each time your balance reaches below £50.
  • Debit travel cards: Some innovative digital banks, like N26 or Monzo, offer travel debit cards that have the same advantages than a Prepaid Travel Cards, except that they're debit card directly tapping into your current account balance. Like a Prepaid travel card, you can't spend more than the balance you have in your current account with N26 or Monzo, but you can activate an overdraft (between €1,000 or €10,000 for N26 or £1,000 for Monzo) if you need it, for a fee though.

Note that even if they're Prepaid or Debit cards, you can use them for Internet payments like a normal credit card.

  • Credit travel cards: You can find credit cards made for international payments offering good exchange rates and low fees to withdraw money abroad, but you'll need to pay interests in your international payment if you don't pay in FULL at the end of every month and interest on your ATM withdrawals each day until you pay them back.

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Best Prepaid Travel Money Cards

Explore the best prepaid travel money cards.

Matt Crabtree

Matt Crabtree

Rebecca Goodman

Rebecca Goodman

Prepaid travel cards have various names, such as travel money cards or multi-currency prepaid cards, but they all work in the same way to make spending abroad easier.

Using your debit card or usual bank account on holiday can accrue fees, and spending more than you have may be tempting, like dipping into your overdraft or savings accounts.

With a prepaid card, you can stick to your budget and be aware of all the fees involved before spending.

In this article, I'll discuss everything you need to know about prepaid cards to use when you're abroad, and I've picked a list of the best prepaid travel cards on the market to help you decide.

What are multi-currency prepaid cards?

A prepaid card works much like a debit card in terms of how you use it to make purchases and withdraw cash from an ATM. The only difference is that a prepaid card isn't attached to a bank account; you must top it up to use it.

Anyone can sign up for a prepaid card and use it for travelling. There are no credit checks, so even if you’ve got a history of bad credit, you can still apply for a prepaid travel card.

A prepaid multi-currency card is like a gift card in the same way you top it up and use it. With multi-currency prepaid cards, you use them as an alternative to carrying cash or traveller's cheques when travelling . You top the card up in the currency of your choice and then use it as you need it.

You can top-up prepaid cards on the go, usually by an app, and you can use them in most places worldwide. You’ll have to check with your prepaid card provider to see what currencies you can use on the card and where you can use it.

The pros and cons

Like any financial product, there are benefits and drawbacks to using a prepaid card.

✔️ Budgeting: You can preload all of your spending money on the card, and as you can only spend what's there, it's much easier to stick with a budget and not overspend.

✔️ Safer than cash : If you lose your prepaid card, or if it's stolen, you can get a replacement card sent to you. A prepaid card isn’t attached to a bank account , so you don’t have to worry too much about anyone potentially accessing your everyday banking.

✔️ No foreign exchange fees: Most travel money cards are made for spending abroad, so there are usually no foreign exchange fees.

✔️ Accepted in most places: Most countries accept prepaid cards. Double-check with your prepaid card provider if your card is accepted before you fly out to your destination.

✔️ Different foreign currency: You can spend money in your chosen currency.

✔️ Top-up on the go: Most prepaid cards have an app that allows you to add money, exchange multiple currencies and view transaction history in one place.

✔️ Good credit not required: Anyone can apply and use a prepaid multi-currency card and there are no credit checks .

❌️ Fees to cash withdrawals: Some prepaid cards charge you for cash withdrawals.

❌️ Other fees: Fees will vary between prepaid card providers, but there may be administration fees, monthly charges or other additional fees.

❌️ Limits: Some travel prepaid cards limit how much money you can hold on your prepaid card, and some cards have a minimum amount to deposit to use the card.

Best prepaid travel cards

Here are the best prepaid travel money cards:

1. Wise: Digital and physical cards available

  • Application fees: One-time fee of £7
  • Conversion Fees: Fixed fee + 1.75% after free allowance
  • Minimum loading amount: No limit
  • Cash withdrawal fee: Fee-free cash withdrawals up to £200 monthly

Wise Business logo

With the Wise Travel Money Card, you can use it straight away as a digital card.

If you want a physical card, there is a £7 delivery fee, but you can use a digital card instantly with Google Pay or Apple Pay. You can create up to three free digital cards.

With the mid-market rate, you can top up your currency card from the Wise app . On the app, you can check your balance and transactions and receive spending notifications to see how much you spend to help you stay within your budget.

You can manage your Wise account from the mobile app or their website. You can exchange money for over 40 other currencies in real time. If you have leftover money from your holiday or your plans have changed, you can spend the money at home in the UK with a small conversion fee.

You can use your currency card to withdraw cash from over 3 million ATMs worldwide. You can use your currency card in more than 160 countries. The Wise prepaid travel money card is eco-friendly, biodegradable, reloadable, and has no subscription fee. There are no fees if you choose not to use the Wise travel card. 

2. Asda Money Travel Money Card: Apply online or in store

  • Application fees: None
  • Conversion Fees: 5.75%
  • Minimum loading amount: £50
  • Cash withdrawal fee: Fee-free

ASDA Money logo

You can apply for an Asda Money Travel Money Card online or in-store.

You can load up to 15 currencies and use your card contactless worldwide. You don't have to worry about cash withdrawal fees when you use this prepaid currency card; you can manage it on the go with the app. You can exchange 16 currencies with a fixed conversion fee.

You can top up via the app, online, or over the phone. You can top up while abroad, so you don't have to worry about running short of money. There are no fees when you spend in a currency preloaded to your card.

There is a £2 inactivity fee per month after 12 months. With this card, you can withdraw £500 a day, but the maximum it can hold is £5,000. This card has no link to your bank account for fraud protection.

Asda Travel Money Card is issued by PrePay Technologies Limited pursuant to a licence by Mastercard International. The Financial Conduct Authority authorises PrePay Technologies Limited under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 .

3. Caxton Currency Card: Up to £12,000 on a card

  • Conversion Fees: Live exchange rates
  • Minimum loading amount: £10
  • Cash withdrawal fee: Fee-free abroad, £1.50 for domestic ATM withdrawals and transactions

Caxton logo

The daily cash withdrawal limit for the Caxton Currency Card is £300, and you can hold up to £12,000 on the prepaid card.

When you use this currency card abroad, you can make purchases fee-free with no worries. You can convert your money into 15 currencies with live exchange rates and hold multiple simultaneously.

You can use your Caxton prepaid card anywhere that accepts Mastercard; watch for the Mastercard Acceptance Mark. You can manage your finances from the mobile app as it allows you to check your card balance, top up, and block the card if you misplace it.

Caxton offers customer service that is live 24/7 to help with any of your issues or concerns. Caxton also runs an international trading online platform.

4. Easy FX Currency Card: Fee-free international cash withdrawals

  • Conversion Fees: Exchange rate plus 1.8% for up to £1,000
  • Cash withdrawal fee: International cash withdrawals are free

easyFX logo

There are zero international fees when you use the EasyFX Personal Currency Card.

There is a £1.50 withdrawal fee for using a cash machine in the UK. You can benefit from highly competitive exchange rates and store multiple currencies on one account.

There are conversion fees with this currency card. However, the more money you convert, the lower the cost. You'll pay 1.8% on top of the exchange rate for conversion up to £1,000. The conversion fee lowers to 1.2% for up to £4,000.

As well as a currency card, you'll gain access to risk management tools provided by VFX Financial. You can manage your balances in real time on any device using the smart app or EasyFx website. If you don't use your card for 12 months, you'll be charged £2 monthly for inactivity.

5. Travelex Money Card: Use in millions of locations

  • Application fees: One-time fee of £15
  • Minimum loading amount: £50 in person and £100 online
  • Cash withdrawal fee: None

Travelex logo

The Travelex Travel Money Card allows you to use your card across millions of locations that accept Mastercard Prepaid. Look for the Mastercard International Incorporated logo when you're travelling, and you can use the Travelex Travel Money Card at those locations.

With the Travelex Money Card, you'll get free WiFi worldwide without worrying about roaming fees. There are no charges for withdrawing cash from an ATM overseas. You can exchange GBP into 15 other currencies with fixed exchange rates.

There is a monthly £2 inactivity fee. There is currently a giveaway running with Mastercard that's open until 30 September, where all you need to do is load £220 or more onto a Travelex Money Card. You'll enter into a prize draw to win a dream holiday.

6. Post Office Travel Money Card: No fee for spending abroad

  • Cash withdrawal fee: Fees vary between locations

Post Office logo

Carry up to 22 currencies with the Post Office Travel Money Card. Wherever you see the Mastercard Acceptance Mark , you can use this travel money card, including millions of shops, restaurants, and bars in over 200 countries.

There are cross-border fees of 3% when you use your currency in other countries than what the Post Office offers. There is also a load commission fee of 1.5%.

Use the Post Office accessible Travel app to top up, manage your prepaid card, transfer funds between currencies and more. You can connect your prepaid card to Apple Pay and Google Pay. If you return from your holiday with money left on your card in another currency, you can use the wallet-to-wallet feature and transfer it to a new currency you choose.

7. Sainsbury's Bank Prepaid Travel Money Card: Lower exchange rate for Nectar cardholders

Sainsbury's Bank logo

You may get better exchange rates than a non-card holder if you're a Nectar cardholder and want to apply for Sainsbury's Prepaid Travel Money Card. If you hold a Nectar card, you can earn 500 bonus Nectar points when you load at least £250 onto your travel money card.

You can load money onto your card in 15 currencies at once. You can use your prepaid travel card to make purchases worldwide and withdraw cash without worrying about ATM fees.

You can check out all your transactions and load money onto the card with the Sainsbury's Bank travel money card app. There is no direct link to the prepaid card to your bank account, so you don't have to worry about security.

There is a 2% fee for loads and reloading into GBP purses. Additionally, if you don't use your card for 18 months, you may be charged a £2 inactivity fee.

8. FairFX Prepaid Card: Earn cashback in select retailers

  • Application fees: Free
  • Conversion Fees: 1.12%
  • Cash withdrawal fee: £2 flat rate + 3.75% of the transaction amount

FairFX logo

The FairFX Prepaid Card holds 20 major currencies, including GBP, Euros, US dollar, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, and more.

You can use this free multi-currency card in over 190 countries worldwide. You can top up on the go, either before you travel or whilst you're travelling.

Travel smarter with FairFX; when you become a customer, you can access offers and deals from partners to help your money take you further, for example, discounts on lounge access and more. You can earn 3.5% cashback in-store or online at select UK retailers.

If your car expires with a leftover balance, there will be a monthly £2 charge. Card renewal is free so that you can avoid expiration. There are no subscription fees or monthly fees.

Tips for looking after your money as you travel

Money is a massive element of travelling; it pays for your trips, food, and all the fun activities you get up to. A prepaid currency card can make your journey much more accessible.

We've compiled a list of further tips to help manage your finances a little more easily while you travel:
  • Check the expiry date on the card: For any cards you take with you on your travels, ensure they're within the expiry date. Otherwise, you may be stuck without access to money. If your cards are close to expiring, consider contacting your provider and getting a new one sent out before you fly out.
  • Travel insurance: Always travel with travel insurance to protect yourself and your belongings. Travel insurance can cover your medical costs if you become ill or have an accident.
  • Check exchange rate: If you choose a prepaid card provider that uses live exchange rates, keep an eye on the exchange rates at specific types of the day.
  • Top up your card online: If you're running low on holiday money, choose a prepaid travel card that allows you to top up online to add money to the card quickly.
  • Check foreign exchange fee: Most prepaid travel cards offer minimum foreign exchange fees, but always check with the card provider for potential fees before you travel.
  • Have card provider details at hand: If any issues occur, you should have the contact number or support team access to contact prepaid providers. If your card is stolen or you find fraudulent transactions on it, contact your provider, and it's worth alerting local police, too.

The verdict

A prepaid card is the ideal companion if you're someone who travels regularly and wants to be on control of tour cash.

They allow you to stay within budget, control your account from an app on your phone, and spend abroad without worrying too much about fees. With one of the prepaid currency cards from our best list, you can spend abroad securely and confidently.

Related Guides:

  • 7 Cheapest Ways to Spend Money Abroad
  • Best Avios Credit Cards
  • Best Air Miles Credit Cards
  • What Is Holiday Let Insurance?

Is it Worth Getting a Prepaid Travel Card?

Using your debit card or usual bank account can accrue many travelling fees. With a prepaid card, you can stick to your budget with no credit options available and know all the fees involved before spending. You can spend without worrying about security, as your prepaid card has no direct link to your bank accounts. Prepaid cards are safer than cash and are accepted in most places. You can spend money in your chosen currency and top up on the go.

How Does a Prepaid Card Work?

You can top-up prepaid cards on the go, usually by an app, and you can use it in most places worldwide. It works similarly to a debit card, like how you use it to spend, but a prepaid card isn’t attached to a bank account, and anyone can use one.

What is the Best Travel Money Card?

The Wise Travel Money Card is at the top of our best travel money card list. There is no minimum loading fee; you make free monthly cash withdrawals of up to £200. While waiting for your card to be delivered, you can use your balance immediately as a digital card with Google Pay or Apple Pay. You can create up to three free digital cards. You can use your currency card to withdraw cash from over 3 million ATMs worldwide.

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  • Travel Money

The savvy way to pay on holiday Travel Money Card

A safe-to-use, prepaid, reloadable, multi-currency card that’s not linked to your bank account

No charges when you spend abroad*

Make contactless, Apple Pay and Google Pay™ payments

Manage your account and top up or freeze your card easily with our Travel app

*No charges when you spend abroad using an available balance of a local currency supported by the card.

Why get a Travel Money Card?

Carry up to 22 currencies safely.

Take one secure, prepaid Mastercard® away with you that holds multiple currencies (see ‘common questions’ for which).

Accepted in over 36 million locations worldwide

Use it wherever you see the Mastercard Acceptance Mark – millions of shops, restaurants and bars in more than 200 countries.

Manage your card with our travel app

Top up, manage or freeze your card, transfer funds between currencies, view your PIN and more all in our free Travel app .

Safe and secure holiday spending

Manage your holiday funds on a Travel Money Card with our free travel app. Top it up, freeze it, swap currencies, view your PIN and more.

It’s simple to get started

No need to carry lots of cash abroad. Order a Travel Money Card today for smart, secure holiday spending.

Order your card

Order online, via the app or pick one up in branch and load it with any of the 22 currencies it holds.

Activate it

Cards ordered online and in-app should arrive within 2-3 working days. Activate it by following the instructions in your welcome letter.

It’s ready to use

Spend in 36 million locations worldwide, and top up and manage your card in the app or online.

What is Post Office Travel Money Card?

Discover how easy our Travel Money Card makes managing your spending aboard

New-look travel app out now

Our revamped travel app’s out now. It makes buying, topping up and managing Travel Money Cards with up to 22 currencies a breeze. Buying and accessing Travel Insurance on the move effortless. And it puts holiday extras like airport hotels, lounge access and more at your fingertips. All with an improved user experience. Find out what’s changed .

Order a Travel Money Card

Order your card online – or through the Post Office travel app – and we'll deliver it within 2-3 days. Just activate it and go.

Need it quick? Visit a branch

Pick up a Travel Money Card instantly at your local Post Office. Bring a valid passport, UK driving licence or valid EEA card as ID. 

Need some help?

We’re here to help you make the most of your Travel Money Card – or put your mind at ease if it’s been lost or stolen

Lost or stolen card?

Please immediately call: 020 7937 0280

Available 24/7

To read our FAQs, manage your card or contact us about using it:

Visit our Travel Money Card support page

Common questions

How can i order my card.

There are three ways that you able to obtain a Travel Money Card, each very simple.

Please note, you must be a UK resident over the age of 18 to obtain a Travel Monday Card.

  • Via our travel app: you can order and store up to three Travel Money Cards in our free travel app . Delivery will take 2-3 working days.
  • Online: follow our application process  to order your card online. Your card will take 2-3 working days to be delivered. Once it arrives you can link it to our Travel app to manage on the go. 
  • In branch: simply find a nearby Post Office branch and pop in to get your Travel Money Card there. Please remember to take a valid passport, UK driving licence or a valid EEA card in order to obtain your card, and you can take it away the same day.

Whichever way you choose to order your card, don't forget to activate it once it arrives. Full details of how to activate your card will be provided in your welcome letter, to which your card will be attached if it’s been sent in the post.

How do I use my card?

Travel Money Card is enabled with both chip & PIN and contactless, so you can make larger and lower-value value payments with it respectively. For convenience, you can also add it to Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

You can load it with between £50 and £5,000 (see more on load limits below). You can use it to pay wherever the Mastercard Acceptance Mark is displayed. And you can withdraw cash with it at over 2 million ATMs worldwide (charges and fees apply, see 'Are there top-up limits?' below).

Your Travel Money Card is completely separate from your bank account so it’s a safe and secure way to pay while you’re abroad.

How can I manage my card?

After you've activated your card, you can manage it using our travel app or via a web browser. You can check your recent transactions, view your PIN, transfer funds between different currency ‘wallets’, top up your card, freeze your card and more.

Our travel app brings together travel essentials including holiday money, travel insurance and more together in one place. As well as managing your Travel Money Card you can buy cover for your trip, access your policy documents on the move, book extras such as airport parking and hotels, and find your nearest ATM while overseas or Post Office branches here in the UK.

Which currencies can I use?

The Post Office Travel Money Card can be loaded with up to 22 currencies at any one time. You can top up funds on the card and transfer currencies between different ‘wallets’ for these currencies easily in our travel app or online.

Currencies available:

  • EUR – euro
  • USD – US dollar
  • AUD – Australian dollar
  • AED - UAE dirham
  • CAD – Canadian dollar
  • CHF – Swiss franc
  • CNY – Chinese yuan
  • CZK – Czech koruna
  • DKK – Danish krone
  • GBP – pound sterling
  • HKD – Hong Kong dollar
  • HUF – Hungarian forint
  • JPY – Japanese yen
  • NOK – Norwegian krone
  • NZD – New Zealand dollar
  • PLN – Polish zloty
  • SAR – Saudi riyal
  • SEK – Swedish Krona
  • SGD – Singapore dollar
  • THB – Thai baht
  • TRY – Turkish lira
  • ZAR – South African rand

What are the charges and fees?

Full details of our charges and fees can be found in our   Travel Money Card terms and conditions .

The Post Office Travel Money Card is intended for use in the countries where the national currency is the same as the currencies on your card. If the currency falls outside of any of the 22 we offer on your card, you’ll be charged a cross-border fee. For example, using your card in Brazil will incur a cross-border fee because we do not offer the Brazilian real as a currency. 

Cross border fees are set at 3% and are only applicable when you use your currency in a country other than the ones we offer. 

For more information on cross border fees, please visit our cross border payment page.

There are no charges when using your card in retailers in the country of the currency on the card. This means that a €20 purchase in Spain would cost you €20 and will be deducted from your euro balance. 

To avoid unnecessary charges to your card, wherever asked, you should always choose to pay for goods or withdraw cash in the currencies of your card. For example, if you are using the card in Spain you should always choose to pay in euro if offered a choice; choosing to pay in sterling (GBP) in this example would allow the merchant to exchange your transaction from euro to sterling. This would mean your transaction has gone through two exchange rate conversions, which will increase the total cost of your transaction. 

For loads in Great British pounds, a load commission fee of 1.5% will apply (min £3, max £50). A monthly maintenance fee of £2 will be deducted from your balance 12 months after your card expires. Expiration dates can be found on your TMC; all cards are valid for up to 3 years. 

A cash withdrawal fee will be charged when withdrawing cash from a UK Post Office branch or from any ATM globally that accepts Mastercard.  

We have listed all available currencies and their associated withdrawal limits and charges below: 

EUR – euro Max daily cash withdrawal: 450 EUR Withdrawal charge: 2 EUR

USD – US dollar Max daily cash withdrawal: 500 USD Withdrawal charge: 2.5 USD

AED – UAE dirham Max daily cash withdrawal: 1,700 AED Withdrawal charge: 8.5 AED

AUD – Australian dollar Max daily cash withdrawal: 700 AUD Withdrawal charge: 3 AUD

CAD – Canadian dollar Max daily cash withdrawal: 600 CAD Withdrawal charge: 3 CAD

CHF – Swiss franc Max daily cash withdrawal: 500 CHF Withdrawal charge: 2.5 CHF

CNY – Chinese yuan Max daily cash withdrawal: 2,500 CNY Withdrawal charge: 15 CNY

CZK – Czech koruna Max daily cash withdrawal: 9,000 CZK Withdrawal charge: 50 CZK

DKK – Danish krone Max daily cash withdrawal: 2,500 DKK Withdrawal charge: 12.50 DKK

GBP – Great British pound Max daily cash withdrawal: 300 GBP Withdrawal charge: 1.5 GBP

HKD – Hong Kong dollar Max daily cash withdrawal: 3,000 HKD Withdrawal charge: 15 HKD

HUF – Hungarian forint Max daily cash withdrawal: 110,000 HUF Withdrawal charge: 600 HUF

JPY – Japanese yen Max daily cash withdrawal: 40,000 JPY Withdrawal charge: 200 JPY

NOK – Norwegian krone Max daily cash withdrawal: 3,250 NOK Withdrawal charge: 20 NOK

NZD – New Zealand dollar Max daily cash withdrawal: 750 NZD Withdrawal charge: 3.5 NZD

PLN – Polish zloty Max daily cash withdrawal: 1,700 PLN Withdrawal charge: 8.5 PLN

SAR – Saudi riyal Max daily cash withdrawal: 1,500 SAR Withdrawal charge: 7.50 SAR

SEK – Swedish Krona Max daily cash withdrawal: 3,500 SEK Withdrawal charge: 20 SEK

SGD – Singapore dollar Max daily cash withdrawal: 500 SGD Withdrawal charge: 3 SGD

THB – Thai baht Max daily cash withdrawal: 17,000 THB Withdrawal charge: 80 THB

TRY – Turkish lira Max daily cash withdrawal: 1,500 TRY Withdrawal charge: 7 TRY

ZAR – South African rand Max daily cash withdrawal: 6,500 ZAR Withdrawal charge: 30 ZAR

Are there top-up limits?

Yes, all currencies have top-up limits and balances. See full information below, which is applicable to all currencies available on the Travel Money Card.

  • Top-up limit: minimum £50 – maximum £5,000
  • Maximum balance: £10,000 at any time, with a maximum annual balance of £30,000
  • Read more Travel Money Card FAQs

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Find out more information by reading the  Post Office Travel Money Card's terms and conditions .

Post Office Travel Money Card is an electronic money product issued by First Rate Exchange Services Ltd pursuant to license by Mastercard International. First Rate Exchange Services Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales with number 4287490 whose registered office is Great West House, Great West Road, Brentford, TW8 9DF, (Financial Services Register No. 900412). Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

Post Office and the Post Office logo are registered trademarks of Post Office Limited.

Post Office Limited is registered in England and Wales. Registered number 2154540. Registered office: 100 Wood Street, London, EC2V 7ER. 

These details can be checked on the Financial Services Register by visiting the  Financial Conduct Authority website  and searching by Firm Reference Number (FRN).

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Doing this saved me $80 on a trip abroad. can it save you money, too.

Traveling outside the U.S. gives you the chance to explore the wider world, try new foods, and attempt to decipher unfamiliar accents. But it also comes with the distinct possibility of spending a ton of money for the privilege.

I recently found a new way to stay connected on an international trip, and using it saved me $80. Read on for the details -- and stay to the end for a few more easy ways to save small amounts of money that could add up fast.

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It's important to stay connected -- without overspending

Being a geriatric millennial is wild -- I didn't get a cellphone until my senior year of high school (and no smartphone until I was 25!), but I couldn't imagine my life without one now. So it goes without saying that I'd need data service on a recent trip across the pond to Northern England. My cellphone service provider is Verizon Wireless, and I've always been pleased with the coverage map in the U.S. -- plus my unlimited data plan gives me service in Canada for no extra cost.

Traveling in Europe is a different story, however. My Verizon option was to use TravelPass at a cost of $10 per day. Since I would need service for nine days, I was looking at $90 extra tacked onto my cellphone bill for the month. Since I didn't want to spring for this, I looked for another way to stay connected when I was off wifi.

My colleague Lyle Daly here at The Ascent had written about eSIMs and specifically, Airalo, in one of his excellent travel tips articles. Since I own a fairly modern iPhone with eSIM capabilities, I did some digging. And I ended up purchasing an eSIM with 3 GB of data (valid for 30 days) from Airalo. My cost? Just $10 -- a savings of $80 over what my TravelPass tab would've been.

Small savings on vacation can add up

As a veteran budget traveler, I've found ways to save money on trip costs both large and small. For bigger savings, I've taken far more road trip vacations than ones requiring me to fly to a destination. But somehow, it's the little ways to save that feel the most satisfying. Here are a few I rely on.

Book a vacation rental instead of a hotel

I have long been a fan of vacation rentals for trips more than one or two nights long. I find them more comfortable than hotel rooms, and if I'm traveling with a companion, it's nice to have more space to spread out. But opting for Airbnb or another private rental can be a money saver, too -- especially in regard to your vacation food budget. I love to cook at home, and it's not a hardship to plan to cook simple meals while I'm traveling, too.

Booking a rental with a kitchen means you can shop at a local grocery store for cheaper meal options than you'd find from any restaurant. On my Hawaiian vacation earlier this year (not a cheap place to visit), I saved hundreds of dollars by committing to eating two meals in the condo I rented most days, and going out for either lunch or dinner.

Use public transportation or walk when feasible

I'm an American who's lived in rural or suburban areas for my entire life, which means I'm used to substandard public transportation. I love visiting places with great train and bus service because using it saves me money over renting a car or hailing an Uber.

For that matter, if you're physically able and it's safe to walk to tourist destinations you want to visit on your trip, consider it. You get the exercise, the money savings, and a unique perspective on the place you're visiting -- one you'd never experience if you were speeding along the road in a car.

Bring a credit card with no foreign transaction fees

If you like to travel outside the United States, this last tip is an absolute must. Foreign transaction fees usually amount to 3% of every purchase you make in a currency other than USD, and if you're not careful about the credit cards you take on vacation, they can make your trip more expensive.

And sure, 3% doesn't sound like a lot, but it can add up. If you spend $1,000 while you're visiting another country, that could come with an extra $30 charge. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend that $30 on a cheap lunch in an English pub than send it to my credit card issuer. Luckily, the best travel rewards credit cards come without this fee.

It pays to look for ways to save on your travels, even small ones -- after all, if you save $50, $100, $150, or more on one trip, that's more money available for your next one.

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We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Uber Technologies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

Doing This Saved Me $80 on a Trip Abroad. Can It Save You Money, Too? was originally published by The Motley Fool

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Your 2024 Credit Card Checklist for Summer Travel

Craig Joseph

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Checklists are a key step in travel preparation for many people. Passport — check. Phone charger — check. But have you checked to make sure you’re fully utilizing the travel perks offered by your credit card?

Whether you’re a seasoned jetsetter or a novice traveler seeing the world for the first time, benefits from the right credit card can make a trip more convenient and more comfortable. That’s good news for the 50% of Americans who plan to travel more in 2024 than 2023, according to a survey by IPX1031, a Fidelity National Financial Company.

Here’s a credit card checklist to review before you hit the road this summer.

travel card money abroad

1. Bring a card

First things first — be sure to bring a credit card! Many airlines, and even entire airports, are now cash-free. That means you’ll need a card to pay for that pre-departure drink or in-flight snack. You might even earn bonus rewards.

For example, if restaurants are a bonus category for your card, sit-down establishments within the airport will usually still earn that higher rewards rate. If your card earns a bonus on travel purchases, you'll usually earn that bonus for in-flight purchases.

2. Register for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or Clear

Airports are more crowded than ever, with air passenger growth up 6% and foreign travel up 24% year over year, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics.

To ease the burden of long lines, check if your card offers a credit that covers the cost of TSA PreCheck , Global Entry or Clear . These programs allow you to speed through the line at security or customs, but since they all require a background check and an in-person interview, you'll need to register well before your trip. Even if you haven’t been verified for this trip, register today to prepare for your next trip.

3. Register for lounge access

Airport lounges offer a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the airport terminal, with most offering free food and drinks. If your card offers access to Priority Pass lounges, you’ll need to register for that benefit before you hit the road.

Don’t forget your physical membership card, or even easier, download the Priority Pass app and use your phone to access the lounge.

4. Notify your issuer of your travel plans

Few things can create issues like having your card unexpectedly stop working when you’re away from home, especially internationally. With rates of credit card fraud increasing, it’s possible your card could stop working if you’re spending outside of your normal patterns or locations. To preempt this, notify your issuer before you travel. Often you can do this online or through the app, but just in case, be sure to travel with at least two cards .

5. Avoid paying foreign transaction fees

If you’re traveling abroad, make sure you have a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees . If your card does levy those fees, try to get a different card before you leave the country.

6. Pay with your most rewarding card

Be sure to identify opportunities to leverage your trip and earn outsized rewards. For example, if you know you’ll be staying at a Hilton brand hotel, you might consider applying for one of the Hilton credit cards offered by American Express and earn up to 14 Hilton points per dollar you spend at the hotel. Those points can stack up fast and easily defray costs for your future travel.

But you'll need to bring the physical card with you. Many hotels aren't able to accept digital wallet payments, so if you can't swipe your card, you'll miss out on those heightened rewards.

7. Check your card’s money-saving offers

Many issuers have programs, such as AmEx Offers, Chase Offers and BankAmeriDeals from Bank of America, that let you add rotating promotional offers to your card and earn additional points or cash back for making purchases at specific merchants. Be sure to review these offers for any merchants where you might spend during your travels. Just be aware of the fine print — often these offers exclude, or only include, international merchants.

On a similar note...

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travel card money abroad

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Martin Lewis issues warning about using your bank cards abroad

Martin Lewis issues warning about using your bank cards abroad

The money saving expert newsletter has issued 13 ways to cut costs when you're overseas.

Tom Earnshaw

Tom Earnshaw

Martin Lewis has issued more than a dozen tips on saving cash during your summer holidays. And one of them concerns simply using your debit or credit cards overseas.

The summer months are just around the corner and with that, millions of Brits heading abroad for a holiday in the sunshine, sipping cocktails on the beach.

Spain will be the destination of choice for most UK residents - although a warning has been issued ahead of expected blistering heat. There's also updated passport rules for Brits heading to Spain , as stated by the Foreign Office.

On the topic of saving cash when abroad in the likes of Spain, Lewis and his Money Saving Expert (MSE) team say you can 'save hundreds' if you follow their advice .

"It's time to STOP PAYING TO PAY when you go abroad," the MSE team writes in its email sent to subscribers last night (21 May).

"There are many hidden charges, so most people overpay every time they spend.

"Yet it only takes a few minutes to sort it - whether for the coming half term, or more likely the rapidly approaching summer holiday - and get peace of mind you're getting the max bucks (or baht) for your bang."

Martin Lewis using a cash machine in Spain (ITV)

Debit and credit cards abroad

On the topic of debit and credit cards, the warning is simple.

By using them overseas, you're spending extra than the amount you think you're paying.

Lewis' team say: "Spend in a foreign currency on plastic and most banks add a 3%-ish fee - technically the 'non-sterling exchange fee' - to the near-perfect exchange rates they get.

"So £100 worth of euros/dollars etc costs £103."

So, if you spend £2,000 with your bank cards while abroad, you're giving over an extra £60-ish. Not a whole lot in the grand scheme of things but 60 quid better off in your pocket, that's for sure.

Martin and his MSE team are urging you not to use your standard debit and credit cards overseas (ITV)

The way around it

The good news is it is pretty straightforward to make sure you don't spend the extra.

The answer is to get yourself a travel card. The MSE team says: "If you're planning an overseas trip, or regularly buy from overseas websites, a specialist travel credit or debit card is one of the cheapest way to spend as it gives near-perfect exchange rates worldwide."

You can actually end up saving money, given that some of the best deals on these come with cash back on spend.

Paying with your cards abroad is far more common than it used to be (Getty Stock Images)

Make money with the right deal

The MSE highlights the Chase Mastercard debit card, with has one per cent cash back on up to £15 every month.

There's also the Halifax Clarity Mastercard credit card, which will give you £20 back on your first overseas or UK purchase. And there's the Barclaycard Rewards Visa credit card, which has a 0.25% cash back feature on almost every overseas or UK purchase.

"Are there other near-perfect rate cards? Yes, but the ones above are our top picks, mainly due to the cash back," Lewis says.

"However, if you've a First Direct 1st Account, Monzo, Nationwide (FlexOne, FlexPlus, FlexStudent, FlexGraduate), Santander (Edge, Edge Up, Zero), Starling, and some NatWest and Virgin Money credit cards, then you're doing pretty well anyway, so there's no urgent need to switch."

Topics:  Hacks , Holiday , Martin Lewis , Money , Travel , UK News , World News , Cost of Living

Tom joined LADbible in 2024, specialising in SEO and trending content. He moved to the company from Reach plc where he enjoyed spells as a content editor and senior reporter for one of the country's most-read local news brands, LancsLive. When he's not in work, Tom spends his adult life as a suffering Manchester United supporter after a childhood filled with trebles and Premier League titles. You can't have it all forever, I suppose.

@ TREarnshaw

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COMMENTS

  1. Wise Debit Card Review: Is it the Best Travel Card? (2024)

    The Wise travel card is specifically designed for spending money outside of your home country, so as you would expect, it is pretty easy to use abroad. All you need to do is order your card, activate it, create a PIN, add money to your account, and you will be all set to use the card in a different country! 💡.

  2. Travel Money Card

    Travel money card. Spend like a local and explore the globe with a travel debit card. Whether it's a virtual or a physical card, we've got all your travel money needs covered. Need an international travel card? Take us all around the world. Exchange currencies, send money abroad, and keep 36 local currencies in-app.

  3. Prepaid Travel Card by Mastercard

    Prepaid Travel Card by Mastercard | Reloadable Travel Cards. MASTERCARD BENEFIT INQUIRIES. Within the U.S.: 1-800-Mastercard (1-800-627-8372) | Outside the U.S.: Mastercard Global Service Phone Numbers. Availability of insurance benefits on your card may vary by card issuer. Please refer to your issuing financial institution for complete ...

  4. What Are Travel Money Cards & How Do They Work?

    Travel money cards are a popular payment method for individuals headed abroad. Customers will load funds onto the card, using the money as foreign currency when overseas, much like a debit card is used at home. Also known as travel money prepaid cards or currency cards, they facilitate free foreign transactions and overseas ATM withdrawals.

  5. The best prepaid travel cards (travel money cards) in 2024

    Wise. Wise is one of the best travel cards out there. It's super popular, with over 16 million customers around the world. It's got some of the lowest fees you'll find, and it's available in over 40 currencies and 150+ countries. The card is contactless, and there's a great phone app (and website) to manage everything too.

  6. Prepaid travel money cards: Lock in the best rates

    Top prepaid travel cards. Revolut - top rates on weekdays. Wise - top rates with low fees. Zing - third party rates but lowest fees. Top cards for under-18s to use abroad. HyperJar - fee-free spending, can't use ATMs. Nationwide - fee-free spending & withdrawals. GoHenry - free for two months + £5 cashback.

  7. These Are the Best Prepaid Travel Money Cards in 2024

    Credit travel cards: You can find credit cards made for international payments offering good exchange rates and low fees to withdraw money abroad, but you'll need to pay interests in your international payment if you don't pay in FULL at the end of every month and interest on your ATM withdrawals each day until you pay them back.

  8. 8 Best Prepaid Travel Money Cards In 2024 (+ Pros & Cons)

    Here are the best prepaid travel money cards: 1. Wise: Digital and physical cards available. With the Wise Travel Money Card, you can use it straight away as a digital card. If you want a physical card, there is a £7 delivery fee, but you can use a digital card instantly with Google Pay or Apple Pay.

  9. Best prepaid travel cards May 2024

    A prepaid travel card, also known as a 'travel money card', is a debit card that you preload with money and take on holiday. It's a good way to stick to your holiday budget and avoid carrying a lot of cash. Prepaid travel cards can be used at cashpoints, in shops and restaurants, or anywhere that accepts Mastercard or Visa debit or credit cards ...

  10. Prepaid Cards for Abroad

    Make the most out of your travel money by getting the most competitive deals on prepaid cards with the MoneySuperMarket comparison tool. We'll give you a way to compare monthly fees, transaction fees, and any benefits that are worth knowing about. Compare travel money with prepaid cards for the best offers. You can also compare exchange rates ...

  11. The cheapest ways to get travel money

    Option 1: Travel credit cards. Spend on a credit card abroad and normally your card provider gets near-perfect rates, but then adds a 3%-ish 'non-sterling exchange fee'. This means that every £100 worth of euros or dollars costs you £103, and some add even more fees on top.

  12. Best prepaid travel money cards 2024

    Information in the table was updated on 25 April 2024. The Post Office Travel Money Card and Travelex card can load the most currencies, however, charges apply for some cash withdrawals at an ATM wth the Post Office deal. Asda Money, Caxton, EasyFX, Sainsbury's and Travelex had similar offers with free ATM withdrawals.

  13. Travel Money Card

    The savvy way to pay on holiday Travel Money Card. Travel Money Card. A safe-to-use, prepaid, reloadable, multi-currency card that's not linked to your bank account. No charges when you spend abroad*. Make contactless, Apple Pay and Google Pay™ payments. Manage your account and top up or freeze your card easily with our Travel app.

  14. Travel Money Card

    When you open a new Travel Money Card account online via NetBank or in branch. $0. Initial load/reload fee. When you initially load/reload funds onto your Travel Money Card or transfer funds from your Travel Money Card to an eligible CommBank account via NetBank or the CommBank app. The rate applicable is the CommBank Retail Foreign Exchange ...

  15. Top travel cards: the best credit and debit cards to use abroad

    This guide includes the top-pick travel cards, the cards to avoid, and how to check what your card's charging you. Top travel credit and debit cards. Chase - fee-free + 1% cashback. New. Halifax Clarity - fee-free + £20 cashback. Barclaycard Rewards - fee-free + 0.25% cashback. Currensea - links to your bank account + £10 cashback.

  16. Compare Travel Money Cards Australia

    A travel money card is a card that you can load foreign currencies onto. You can then use it like a regular debit card when travelling overseas, such as to make purchases and withdraw cash at ATMs. Most travel money cards are issued in partnership with Visa or Mastercard and are widely accepted.

  17. Compare Travel Money Cards 2024

    Going overseas? Avoid your bank's bad exchange rates as well as high FX charges from debit and credit cards by choosing the right travel card. We compare five travel money cards from Wise, Travelex, Air New Zealand, Mastercard and Westpac. Updated 28 March 2024. Summary.

  18. Monzo

    If Monzo is your main bank account,make unlimited fee-free cash withdrawals abroad in the European Economic Area (EEA),and up to £200 every 30 days for free outside the EEA. After that, we'll charge 3%. The 30-day period for allowances resets exactly 30 days after your first withdrawal, rather than at the start of a new month.

  19. Best Debit Cards To Use Abroad (2024)

    There are a number of options when it comes to spending and withdrawing money abroad. Travel credit card: There are a handful of credit card providers that offer cards with no foreign usage fees ...

  20. The 6 Best Prepaid Travel Cards for Australians 2024

    HSBC - no international transaction fees. HSBC. - no international transaction fees. Prepaid travel money cards let you load money - either in AUD or the foreign currency you need - in advance, which you can then use as you travel, for spending and withdrawals. Lots of cards let you top up and manage your account through an app, which means you ...

  21. Best Credit Cards For International Travel Of May 2024

    Ben is a credit cards and luxury travel writer, an immigrant with three citizenships and a husband. He speaks English, Spanish and Italian, has a background in linguistics and languages, and ...

  22. Best Travel Credit Cards of June 2024

    Best first travel card: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. Best features: The VentureOne card is a basic travel card for beginners who want to earn flexible rewards but aren't ready to commit to an annual fee (See Rates and Fees). VentureOne cardholders can earn bonus miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel ...

  23. NAB Travel Cards Explained

    In 2012, NAB released a Traveller Card with the intention to make it easier for jet-setters to access their cash while abroad. However, since November 2020, the bank closed the card to new customers.

  24. Doing This Saved Me $80 on a Trip Abroad. Can It Save You Money, Too?

    Featured offer: save money while you pay off debt with one of these top-rated balance transfer credit cards It's important to stay connected -- without overspending. Being a geriatric millennial ...

  25. Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards May 2024

    With a low $95 annual fee, high point-earning potential on travel and non-travel purchases, and a solid reward redemption rate through Chase Travel, the Sapphire Preferred is an exceptional card ...

  26. Your 2024 Credit Card Checklist for Summer Travel

    To ease the burden of long lines, check if your card offers a credit that covers the cost of TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or Clear.These programs allow you to speed through the line at security or ...

  27. Citi Strata Premier Card Review 2024

    The Citi Strata Premier Card is a revamped version of the Citi Premier card, keeping its sub-$100 annual fee but improving rewards, perks and travel insurance benefits. Read more in our full ...

  28. 11 Mistakes Even Experienced Travelers Make When Traveling Abroad

    Pro tip: Make sure you use a travel credit card that helps you earn rewards like cash back or points on future travel so you can protect your financial information overseas and help your money go ...

  29. Martin Lewis issues warning about using your bank cards abroad

    So, if you spend £2,000 with your bank cards while abroad, you're giving over an extra £60-ish. Not a whole lot in the grand scheme of things but 60 quid better off in your pocket, that's for sure.

  30. Credit cards offer to save you from all your travel troubles: What you

    Many of us lean on the free travel insurance credit cards provide, which can sometimes make sense. After all, premier travel credit cards offer most of the coverage you get with a travel insurance ...