Have plans for traveling abroad? Well, forex cards offer you one of the best options for spending money when traveling abroad. Here, we share with you 7 Best Forex Cards in India that will make your life easy and ensure a hassle-free journey.
These are the best forex cards to have in your wallet when traveling abroad. You can use these forex cards to withdraw foreign currency from ATMs abroad. You can even swipe them and pay for your shopping or any other expenses.
Forex cards tend to be more secure and cheaper than carrying foreign currency as cash.
Moreover, you get better exchange rates when you load foreign currencies in a forex card than when you buy foreign currencies as cash.
The rate is fixed when you load funds (foreign currency) into the forex card and do not fluctuate as per the changes in the forex market.
So, forex cards make traveling abroad truly fun for you, be it a family vacation or business trip. You don’t need to handle cash and exchange currency while traveling abroad.
Forex cards prove to be the best option for having foreign currencies in your wallet when you travel abroad. They allow you to make purchases and payments easily in restaurants, hotels, retail stores, or anywhere else.
What is Forex Card?
Forex card is a prepaid ready-to-use card in a regional currency. Forex card is also known as Prepaid Card, Prepaid Travel Money Card, and Travel Credit Card.
A forex card is available for a fixed amount. However, you can top up your forex card based on your requirement.
A forex card can be loaded with a foreign currency of your choice. It can be used like your debit or credit card and allows you to pay for expenses in local currency abroad.
Plus, you can also withdraw local cash from an ATM using a forex card. So, the forex card functions as your best friend when you travel abroad. It is the safest way to carry money when traveling abroad.
So, with a forex card in your wallet, you don’t need to carry loads of cash abroad.
You can use your forex card to pay for any expenses in a foreign land, including lodging or hotel charges, restaurant bills, shopping, entry tickets, rail and bus passes, etc. You can even swipe your forex card and pay for your shopping expenses.
Different Types of Forex Cards
A forex card is available in two main variants:
- Multicurrency Forex Cards
- Single Currency Forex Cards
A multicurrency forex card can be used wherever you go. It can be loaded with up to 23 currencies for use across the world. It allows you to shuffle funds from one currency to another when visiting two countries with different currencies.
However, a single currency card has limited use. Moreover, you need to pay higher cross-currency charges when you use it in another currency.
Plus, specialized forex cards cater to unique forex needs — for example, a special forex card designed for Hajj pilgrims. Students can even use Student Forex Cards to pay for their expenses in a foreign land.
Nowadays, the Contactless Forex Card is also used to make payments at retail outlets simply by waving or tapping at the payment terminal. It’s a safe and convenient way of making payments because your card need not leave your hand.
Benefits of a Forex Card
A forex card offers several benefits when you travel abroad.
It is the safest way of carrying foreign currency in your wallet while abroad. It’s safer than carrying cash. Moreover, it is convenient to carry and can be used for multiple trips. It is cheaper than other cards such as debit or credit cards.
Plus, with a forex card, you can enjoy special privileges and discounts wherever you go.
Imagine yourself traveling across countries and carrying cash in multiple currencies in your wallet. It’s such a headache every time you pay for something.
However, with a forex card (preferably a multi-currency forex card), you can simplify your payments. You just need to swipe your forex card and pay.
With a forex card, you usually end up getting better exchange rates as compared to cash or traveler’s cheques (TC). Plus, a forex card offers several other benefits too.
You get a host of exclusive discounts, waived off ATM access fee for withdrawals, zero cross-currency charges, and lower transaction charges than international debit or credit cards.
Moreover, a forex card protects you against forex fluctuations. The rates are locked in once the card gets loaded with currency.
A forex card is loaded with features that make it safe and secure. For example, you can change your ATM PIN online whenever you want. You can even temporarily block-unblock your card. You can block your lost card through Phone banking or Prepaid NetBanking.
Forex cards are widely accepted. Plus, a forex card can be used for withdrawing cash from an ATM instantly.
Forex cards have an expiry of about three to five years. So, they can be used across multiple trips and in multiple countries.
Sometimes forex cards come loaded with exclusive privileges such as special discounts, free international SIM Card, emergency cash assistance, etc.
So, you see that a forex card proves the best way of spending money abroad.
7 Top Forex Cards in India
Now, we list out the 7 Best Forex Cards in India:
The ICICI Bank Travel Card is one of the most power-packed forex cards that you can have for yourself for all your international trips. It proves to be the perfect alternative to carry foreign currency when traveling abroad.
The ICICI Bank Travel Card offers you a smart, cost-effective, convenient, and secure way of making payments abroad. The card comes with instant loading and activation.
So, it allows you to use it immediately after purchasing it for making your international flight and hotel bookings. You even get a free Replacement Card together with the ICICI Bank Travel Card, which can be activated instantly in cases of loss/damage/theft of the Primary Card.
The Card protects you from currency rate fluctuations.
Plus, it offers great discounts at major merchant outlets worldwide for your shopping, dining, stays, and other expenses.
There are even more additional benefits in Comprehensive Travel Insurance, Emergency Travel Assistance, and Zero Lost Card Liability.
The card makes use of smart technology. It can automatically choose the currency wallet according to the local currency of the transaction using the multiple available wallets on the card. If there is an insufficient balance in the wallet of transaction currency, the leftover balance of any other currency in the wallet will be debited.
Some key highlights and features of ICICI Bank Travel Card
- Buy/Reload/Refund Travel Card Online
- Superior Security
- Real-time account management
- Instant Wallet to Wallet fund transfer
- Free Replacement Card in the kit
- Easy usage at every corner of the world
- Free Comprehensive Travel Insurance
- Emergency Travel Assistance
- Duty-free shopping at Indian airports
- Splendid offers and discounts at merchant outlets
HDFC ForexPlus Cards are a safe, easy, and cashless way for carrying foreign currency on your travel abroad. It provides you a convenient way of making payments for shopping, dining, lodging, and other expenses.
It is safer than cash, cheaper to use than credit or debit cards, and easier to use than a traveler’s cheque. They protect you from fluctuations in foreign exchange and are widely accepted.
Moreover, these ForexPlus Cards are available in all popular foreign currencies. They can be used at all merchant establishments worldwide, which display the Visa/MasterCard symbol.
The HDFC ForexPlus Cards are available in 23 currencies, including US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Japanese Yen, New Zealand Dollar, South African Rand, Saudi Riyal, Bahrain Dinar, Hongkong Dollar, Korean Won, Qatari Riyal, Euro, Swizz Franc, Swedish Krona, and many other currencies, as well.
The currency value is preloaded into it. You can use the card to withdraw cash.
You can even swipe the card at any point-of-sale anywhere in the world. No charges are applicable if the transaction is in the currency that is loaded on the card.
Moreover, HDFC ForexPlus Cards can be used at all Visa/MasterCard merchant affiliated outlets. Plus, you can use them at all Visa/MasterCard affiliated ATMs worldwide.
The Cards are protected against misuse at ATMs using a PIN. These cards get additional security with a temporary block/unblock feature.
In case of theft or even when loss of card, there is the facility of getting a replacement card and emergency cash while traveling overseas. You need to call Visa’s Global Customer Assistance Services to avail of these services.
Plus, there is an Insurance Cover on HDFC ForexPlus Cards.
SBI Foreign Travel Card is one of the most cost-effective, secure, smart, and convenient ways of carrying your travel money abroad.
You can load one or more of the following currencies in the SBI Foreign Travel Card:
- US Dollars
- British Pounds
- Australian Dollars
- Canadian Dollars
- Singapore Dollars
- Saudi Dirham
The SBI Foreign Travel Card can be used to withdraw money from over 2 million MasterCard ATMs worldwide (other than India, Nepal, and Bhutan). You can use it for paying for goods and services in shops, hotels, and restaurants around the globe having the MasterCard Acceptance Mark.
The SBI Foreign Travel Card locks in the exchange rates on your currencies each time when you reload. The Forex Card is not linked to your bank account and comes with 24/7 Global Assistance.
In case your forex card gets stolen or lost, you can contact the SBI Card Services Team and get your card canceled immediately. You also get the facility of emergency cash replacement up to the available balance on your Cards.
The Forex Card can be reloaded with more funds ahead of your next trip until the Card expiry date. So, the SBI Foreign Travel Card proves a perfect way of carrying currency when you travel abroad.
Fee & Charges
Initial Purchase & Load Fee: INR 100
Reload Fee: INR 50
Cash-out Fee: INR 100
ATM Fee per Withdrawal: USD 1.75
ATM Balance Enquiry Fee: Free
Shortfall Fee: USD 15.00
Cash over the Counter Fee: USD 7.50
Replacement Card Fee: Free
Cross Currency Fee: 3%
IndusInd Bank Forex Card makes traveling abroad comfortable and secure. It offers the Multicurrency Travel Card, which is the most convenient way of having foreign currency in a single travel card when traveling abroad.
IndusInd Bank Forex Card allows you to enjoy a cashless experience wherever you go. The Forex Card offers you the benefit of loading up to 8 currencies like USD, EURO, AUD, GBP, CAD, SAR, SGD, and UAE Dirham.
The Forex Card can be bought and reloaded online at your convenience.
You can swipe the card and pay for your various expenses, including shopping, dining, lodging, etc. You can also use the card for withdrawing local currency from any VISA ATMs. So, you never land up in the hassles of exchanging or buying currency.
Moreover, the forex card safeguards you against FX fluctuations. It’s the most cost-effective, secure, and convenient option when traveling abroad. It’s best for frequent international travelers. You don’t need to carry different currencies for each destination.
You get regular SMS alerts for each of your transactions with the Forex Card. Insurance coverage is also offered with the IndusInd Bank Forex Card.
So, the Forex Card makes your trips abroad comfortable and secure. You can apply and pick up your Forex Card from 400+ IndusInd branches all over India. You can even get it couriered at your preferred location.
The Thomas Cook Forex Card makes it extremely convenient for you to explore the world with ease. It helps you to manage foreign exchange most conveniently. The Thomas Cook Forex Card is secure and easy, making it a preferred choice for many travelers. Thomas Cook Forex Card eliminates the hassle of carrying foreign currency of each country separately.
Thomas Cook offers two variants of forex cards:
- Borderless Prepaid Card (Multicurrency Card)
- One Currency Card
The Borderless Prepaid Card (Multicurrency Forex Card) is suitable for traveling extensively across the globe. You can load as many as eight currencies onto a single card.
So, the Borderless Prepaid Card offers convenience when you travel to different countries. These currencies include US Dollars, Euro, Australian Dollars, British Pounds, Japanese Yen, Canadian Dollars, Swiss Francs, and Singapore Dollars.
However, the Thomas Cook One Currency Card is a single currency card. It allows you to load US Dollars. It comes with the ‘zero currency conversion’ advantage. The card is valid for five years. The maximum amount of funds you can load in the card is $10000 (USD), and the minimum is as low as $100 (USD).
Prime Benefits with the Thomas Cook Forex Cards
- You can have an Insurance Cover of up to $10000 (USD)
- The backup card is available at zero cost
- You get a free replacement for your lost or stolen card
- The Forex Cards offer fraud protection
- It comes with the ‘Thanks Again’ airport loyalty program.
The YES BANK Multi-Currency Travel Card is an ideal payment solution when traveling abroad. It’s a convenient, secure, smart, and cost-effective forex card for carrying foreign currency when you travel abroad.
It’s a great option for all those who plan to visit multiple destinations abroad. The forex card offers superb discounts at merchant outlets worldwide for dining, shopping, stay, and other expenses. It is easy to use. Plus, fully secure.
You can load up to ten currencies on one card.
These currencies include:
- US Dollars (USD)
- Euro (EUR)
- British Pound (GBP)
- Singapore Dollar (SGD)
- Australian Dollar (AUD)
- UAE Dirham (AED)
- Japanese Yen (JPY)
- Canadian Dollar (CAD)
- Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
- Swiss Franc (CHF)
However, the default currency on this card is the US Dollar.
Fee & Other Charges
- Issuance Fee: Rs.125 (one time)
- Reload Fee: Rs.100
- Encashment Fee: Rs.75 (every time)
- Cross Currency Fee: 2.75%
Key Benefits with YES BANK Multicurrency Forex Card
- You can get up to 8% discount on Hotels.com
- It has one of the least cross currency fee
- You can reload and use the card for multiple trips
- It is valid for five years
- Card lost insurance coverage of up to 3 lakh
- You can withdraw cash from any VISA/MasterCard ATMs across the world
- It allows you to make payments on all international online merchant websites
- It can automatically choose the currency wallet according to the local currency of the transaction from its multiple available wallets
The Axis Bank Travel Forex Card is your perfect travel partner making your foreign travel a memorable experience. The Forex Card makes your journey abroad hassle-free and an enjoyable one too.
The Axis Bank Travel Forex Card is suitable for persons who travel extensively across the world. It allows you to load multiple currencies on the same card. So, you don’t need to carry multiple forex cards for different destinations.
The forex card is available on the Visa platform. It is available in various options, such as the Multi-Currency Forex Card, World Traveler Forex Card, and Diners Card.
You can load as many as 16 currencies on a single card.
Currencies available include USD, EUR, AUD, GBP, CAD, SGD, SEK, SAR, HKD, NZD, ZAR, JPY, THB, CHF, AED, and DKK.
So, it proves a single card for multiple destinations.
The forex card allows you to withdraw funds or access your account online using a single ATM PIN. You can swipe your card at over 30 million VISA Merchant Outlets. You can withdraw funds from one million-plus VISA ATMs.
The card allows you to enjoy locked-in exchange rates. You don’t need to pay cross-currency charges. One can make your payments abroad at the rate at which you loaded or reloaded your card. You can use the card for multiple trips. It is valid for five years.
In case you lose your Forex Card or your Forex Card gets stolen, you can Block the Forex Card. Moreover, you have an emergency cash facility with which you can pay for your hotel bills and return flights. You can even replace your lost card. You need to call Visa’s Global Customer Assistance Services to avail these services.
The Forex Card also comes with Insurance Coverage.
Things you should know before buying a Forex Card
A forex card proves the safest option for carrying foreign currency when traveling abroad. You can use forex cards for all sorts of transactions.
One can load multiple currencies onto a single card. You can load an equivalent of $2.5 lakh (maximum amount) per annum per individual as directed by the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) notified by RBI.
You can procure a prepaid forex card from a bank or even from an authorized forex dealer. There is no need to have an account relationship with the bank for purchasing the card.
You merely need to fill an application form with your details, amount of foreign currency, etc. You have to submit a self-attested photocopy of your passport, a copy of the visa, and other travel-related documents.
There are various options for a forex card. So, select the one as per your need.
Various charges are applicable on a prepaid forex card. However, there are no charges for swiping the card at a merchant outlet. Moreover, when the card gets loaded with the forex, you don’t need to worry about the conversion charges anymore.
Here, we list out a few of the main charges applicable on a prepaid forex card:
- Cash withdrawal charge at any ATM
- Balance inquiry charge
- International SMS Alert charge
- Replacement Card Fee
- Statement request charge
- Charge slip retrieval charge
- Statement request charge
- Cross currency markup charge
- Inactivity Fees
Plus, a forex card comes with a daily usage limit. Usually, $200 to $300 can be spent per day using a forex card. You also get different types of insurance cover on your forex card.
It is advised that you should not carry forex in just one mode when traveling abroad. You should have a certain amount of hard cash and forex cards for the remaining users. The recommended breakup mix of cash to forex travel cards is in the ratio of 20:80.
Lastly, you should explore the options of forex cards in advance and choose the one as per your need.
The post lists out seven Best Forex Cards in India. It can help you to choose the best forex card when you have to travel abroad. You end up enjoying your holiday to the fullest with the best forex card.