So you’re about to set off on your first big overseas trip?
Or maybe you’re a seasoned traveller, accustomed to crossing borders and handling multiple currencies – possibly even someone who can remember the bad old days, with a choice limited to clunky traveller’s cheques or wads of insecure cash – but currently frustrated by unpredictable exchange rates and high credit card foreign transaction and ATM withdrawal fees?
Whichever category you fall into, you’ll want to know about the Travelex Money Card, the new card for smart travellers who want to lock in currency exchange rates, minimise costs and manage their travel budget on the go.
Get it once, use it on every trip
The Travelex Money Card is a prepaid MasterCard. Once you have it you can keep it to use for every overseas trip you make. There’s no annual fee to pay, and when you’re ready to travel you can simply top up the card with amounts of your choosing in whichever currencies you think you’ll need.
However, there is a small fee to pay every month after a year of no activity in the card account, so if you have long gaps in your overseas travel itinerary, you’ll probably want to close your account at the conclusion of your trip, and get a new card when you are next ready to travel.
Lock in exchange rates to fix your budget
A sudden dip in the value of the Australian dollar, or a surge in the currency of the country you are visiting, can put a dampener on your holiday or increase your business costs if you are relying on a credit card to pay your way. That’s because credit cards convert foreign currencies back into Australian dollars on the exchange rate applying on the day you make each individual purchase.
But the Travelex Money Card potentially lets you pick the best exchange rate for all your foreign currency spending. For example, if you’re not travelling to the US until July, but the Aussie dollar looks strong in April, you can load your card right then with all the US dollars you think you’ll need. You’ll then have a fairly accurate idea of how much the cash spending part of your trip is going to cost – no nasty surprises.
Load multiple currencies onto a single card
Travelling to lots of countries in one trip? You can choose to load your card with any or all of ten currencies: US dollars, British pounds, euros, Japanese yen, New Zealand dollars, Canadian dollars, Singapore dollars, Hong Kong dollars, Thai baht, or even Australian dollars. The nine foreign currencies are all available for purchase online or in-store (Travelex stores and agents). Australian dollars can be loaded onto your card in-store only.
This list of offered currencies may change. If you’re going somewhere unusual, check that your required currency is available before you order the card.
It’s a good idea to try to anticipate all the currencies you are likely to need on your trip, and the probable amounts. You can, however, make withdrawals in a currency you don’t already have on the card, provided you have the equivalent amount remaining on the card in another currency. You will be charged a 5.95% fee, only from countries outside of the 10 available currencies.
Keep costs to a minimum
Unlike most credit cards, there’s no annual fee to pay when you have a Travelex Money Card. Here are some other fees you won’t have to worry about:
Secure and convenient
Carrying a prepaid Travelex Money Card is far safer than carrying cash. For a start, it occupies far less space in your wallet: it’s inconspicuous.
Access to the funds on your card is protected by a PIN (except for amounts under $100 or the local equivalent, because it’s a contactless card).
The Travelex Money app lets you check your balance, view transaction history, get a PIN reminder and move money between currencies.
If your card is lost, stolen or damaged, Travelex has 24/7 global assistance for quick, secure card replacement and, if necessary, an amount of emergency cash equal to the amount remaining in your card account.
How to get the card
There’s a very simple process involved to acquire and use the card:
How to use the card
Use the card just as you would any debit or credit card, to pay for:
Travelex recommend that you don’t use the card to pay for hotel accommodation, for car hire or on board a cruise ship. That’s because this type of merchant will often need to pre-authorise the estimated amount of your final bill, meaning that these funds will be temporarily inaccessible, even though only the actual amount of the final bill will be deducted from your card account.
A platinum card with platinum benefits
Since your Travelex Money Card is a platinum MasterCard, it comes with exclusive discounts and benefits attached. They include:
There are some fees to pay
Although you can avoid credit card foreign currency transaction fees and overseas ATM fees, there are inevitably some fees associated with a Travelex Money Card. Many of them can be avoided, however. They include:
Be aware of limits and restrictions
You can only have one Travelex card in your name (plus a supplementary card if required) at any one time. Your name does not appear anywhere on the card (although there is a space for your signature), apparently because issuing the card is quicker if there is no need to emboss the cardholder’s name.
There’s a minimum initial load or top-up amount of $100, and a maximum of $100,000 (or foreign currency equivalents of these amounts.)
The maximum amount you can withdraw from an ATM in any one day is $3,000, or the local currency equivalent.
There’s no minimum age limit when you apply for a Travelex Money Card in-store, although you must be at least 18 to make an online currency purchase.
The card can’t be used in Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and the Crimean peninsula.
Many banks have their own travel cards, which work in a similar way to the Travelex Money Card. But some cards charge for the initial card set-up and cash loading, and may charge a fee for each top-up as well. However, there are competing cards which charge a lower fee for currency conversion than the 5.95% charged by Travelex.
Think about the ways in which you are likely to use your card, and choose a card which charges least for the type of use you expect to make of it.
A great card for the organised traveller
The Travelex Money Card is ideal for the overseas traveller who likes to plan ahead and stick to a budget. You can minimise your costs and get the best exchange rates by working out in advance how much you are likely to need in each currency, and then relax knowing that Travelex has services in place to help you design your trip, take advantage of discounts, and come to your rescue if you run into trouble with your card or other problems.