There are three ways to spend money when travelling abroad cash, credit card and forex card.
Because, some cards charge you a fixed amount of Rs 150 for issuing the card while others offer it to you for a higher fee of Rs 500. Some cards are single currency while others are multi currency ones. Some are designed for frequent travelers while others are best for students.
Read myexperience of currency conversion when I travelled Thailand.
To make your life easy I have compiled a list ofbest forex cards in Indiathat will help you pick the right one based on your needs, ensuring a hassle free journey.
5. Yes Bank Multi-Currency Travel Forex Card
Here are some interesting points related to Forex Travel Cards
Forex card vs International Debit/Credit card
Conclusion (Which Forex Card is best for you)
Thomas Cook is the leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services which included foreign exchange, corporate travel, insurance, visa & passport services . Forex card is one of these mainstream services offered by Thomas Cook.
For being the best in this line, Thomas cook regulate two variant of forex card, Borderless prepaid card (multicurrency card) & One currency card.
The Borderless Prepaid Card is a multiple currency card designed for customers who travel extensively across the globe.
Borderless prepaid card enables you to load eight currencies onto a single card which provides convenience while travelling to different countries.
The currency conversion fee with Borderless prepaid card is 4.25% which is on the higher side.
You can load eight currencies onto your Borderless card. These currency includes
One currency card is second variant of Thomas cook forex card which is a single currency card. The single currency you can load is the USD.
One of the biggest advantage of One Currency card is zero currency conversion. You dont have to bear currency conversion charges when you require to convert your USD to pay in the local currency at the destination. This can be avoided by use of One Currency Card.
This card is valid upto 5 years. The maximum top allowed in the card is USD 10,000 and the minimum is as low as USD 100.
Benefits of Thomas Cook Forex Card ( Both Cards)
The card is chip and PIN enabled that comes with fraud protection.
Thanks Again airport loyalty program that lets you earn points on purchases made at North America airports.
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IndusInd Bank Multi Currency Forex card is specially designed for the frequent international travellers who travel across different countries. You can load 8 of the widely used currencies to your card to spend in different countries. This makes managing multiple currencies on trips abroad relatively simple.
Besides, you can use this card at over 1.6 Million VISA / VISA Plus ATMs and merchant establishments in over 200 countries worldwide. In addition, this card offers dining privileges and secure transactions.
While travelling abroad, you would need a backup card in case your primary forex card gets lost. Indusind bank multi-currency forex card comes with a paired card kit option. It equips you with an extra back-up card in case your primary card is lost.
Lastly, you dont need to have an account with IndusInd bank to get this multi-currency forex card.
You can load up to 8 currencies on this card and travel globally without any hassle. The best part is that with just one ATM pin you can access your account online or withdraw funds from multiple currencies.
Get 2 free ATM withdrawals per currency per month.
Get instant alerts for all the transaction made through your Forex card to avoid fraud.
Paired card kit equips you with an extra back-up card, in case your primary card is lost.
Also read Best Travel credit card in India
ICICI single currency forex card is a good choice if you are planning your visit to a single location. The best thing about this card is that you can reload it at any of the ICICI Forex branches, their online[emailprotected], or through their iMobile app.
This forex card also provides benefits such as upto 20% discount on dining,shopping, and other expenses at merchant outlets across the globe, online account management facility, and a travel insurance cover of up to Rs 10,00,000.
You dont need to have a savings or a current account with the ICICI bank for purchasing this ICICI forex card. You can avail this card through their online platform[emailprotected]and get a door delivery within 2 days.
You can load the forex card with any of the below 9 currencies
Up to 59% discount on dining, shopping, and stay.
Personal air accident cover (only death) upto Rs 10 lakhs.
Lost card Liability insurance cover upto Rs 2 lakh.
Easily reloaded forex card online through[emailprotected]or iMobile app
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HDFC Bank Multi Currency Platinum Forex Plus Chip card allows you to carry 23 currencies on one single card at a currency fee of 2%, which is the least possible fee.
This card comes with an issuance fee of Rs 500 which is a little higher than other forex cards but is worth paying for given the benefits it offers. The benefits include insurance cover, least cross currency fee, global assistance, special offers, and much more.
One more thing is that you dont need a bank account with HDFC Bank to purchase the HDFC Bank Multi Currency Forex Plus card. You can simply visit any HDFC Bank branch and purchase the card.
You can load up to 23 currencies on this card and travel globally without any hassle. The currencies are
Get 10% discount on booking a self-drive car through Europcar Rentals.
40% discount at US store shopping and delivery to India.
You can add money to your forex card easily through net banking.
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Yes bank multi-currency travel forex card is a good option for those people who plan to visit multiple destinations abroad and dont want to spend more money on card issuance fee. This forex card charges Rs.125 for issuance which is the lowest among all the forex cards in India.
Even with the lower joining fees, this card offers you 10 currency wallets and lower cross-currency charges of 2.75%. Cross currency charges are second lowest after HDFC forex card.
Besides, you dont need to have a savings or a current account with the ICICI bank for purchasing ICICI forex card. You can simply visit any ICICI branch & can purchase the card.
This card can be used as a single card for 10 different currencies but the default currency on this card is United States Dollar. You can load these currencies at any of the Yes Bank Branches.
Second least cross currency fee after HDFC multi-currency forex card.
The card is valid for 5 years during which you can reload it and use it for multiple trips
Get card lost insurance coverage upto 3 lakh.
You can withdraw cash at any VISA/Mastercard ATMs across the world.
You can make payment on all international online merchant websites.
The card automatically chooses the currency wallet as per the local currency of transaction from the multiple available wallets on the card.
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Students who travel abroad for studies or otherwise look to save money on every transaction they make- from air fares, travel insurance, university fees to cash withdrawal from local ATMs.
So, from a forex services point of view, Axis bank multi currency forex card is the best option for students. This card offers special benefits to students such as 1% cashback on POS/ECOM transactions, no charges on ATM transactions, and complimentary TripAssist service.
Besides, the issuance charges & reload charges are waived off as well.
Contactless forex card is powered by VISAs payWave technology. With this card, you can pay by simply waving your card at a secured card reader. You dont even have to hand over your card to any other person.
The Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex card can be personalised by adding an image of your choice to the card. You can add your own image or you can choose from the designs available in axis bank image gallery.
Lastly, the forex card comes with a validity of 5 years and can be purchased without the need of an account with Axis Bank. You can simply walk into any Axis Bank branch and sign up for the card.
You can load up to 16 currencies on this card as seen below
Earn 2 points for every USD 5 or equivalent amount in any other currency spent on your card at merchant outlets.
Get minimum 15% off at various restaurants across the world.
Withdraw cash at any VISA/Mastercard ATMs across the world.
If you are a student, then this card offers the following special benefits
Check out Best Cashback credit card in India
Here are some interesting points related to Forex Travel Cards
Banks issue forex travel cards at very low cost (Rs 150- 500).
The card will be loaded with foreign currency at todays exchange rate. So you dont have to worry about fluctuating currency rates.
Currency conversion fees is included in the price. HDFC bank charges least fee @ 2%.
You will not be charged any additional fees for purchases in shops and stores.
You can withdraw money from any ATM across the globe but will have to pay charges for cash withdrawal from an international ATM.
You cannot top-up the forex card abroad even if your bank has a branch there. You will have to contact the centre that has issued the card. A few banks provide option to reload your wallet through net banking.
As per RBI regulation, you cannot keep more than $2000 in your forex card.
Forex card vs International Debit/Credit card
If you compare forex card with an international debit or credit card, forex card is much better option than the other two for the following reasons
It is easy to apply and get as compared to the credit cards.
You can load multiple foreign currencies in one card for use abroad which is not possible with debit/credit card.
No currency conversion charges for shopping abroad by swiping forex cards.
Can get a replacement card without affecting your funds in case of loss or theft.
Fixed exchange rate even in case of currency fluctuations in the forex market.
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You might have made your decision of which forex card is best for you depending upon your requirements. Incase, you are still confused after reading all the information, you can go through my below recommendations and chose what is right for you.
If you are looking formaximum currency wallets, lowest cross- currency charges,and arelatively lower loading chargesthen go for HDFC Bank Multi Currency Forex Plus Chip.
If you are looking foreconomy forex cardwith lower charges on everything more like aentry level/starter card, go for Yes Bank Multi currency Travel Chip Card.
If you are looking forsingle currency forex cardyou can purchase the ICICI bank forex card.
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I am travelling to Paris,Germany,berlin and switzerland for a holiday trip from mumbai. Which is the best forex card to apply for? I may not go abroad soon after this trip. So just looking for 1time use
You can get HDFC Forex card or just use your credit card in Europe.
I am travelling to Canberra, Germany this summers(Mid-May to Mid-July). Ill have to spend 1000-2000 AUD using that card during my time there. Please let me know the best possible option.
Why dont you carry a credit card with low forex rate?
My son is going to US, in August 2019, for study. He will stay there for next 2 to 4 years. His expenditure would be around 50000 USD per year.
I am going to Egypt. So as a student which forex card is the best option for me.
Hi, Pradeep nice article. can you please suggest me which would be the best card for me HDFC or forex from bookmyforex .You have not mentioned anything about book my forex can you please highlight on that? I am travelling to France ,Belgium ,Netherlands and Norway. From your article i could see its only hdfc that is providing Norwegian krona in multi currency forex card .
Can you please help me review BookMyForex forex card. They charge Rs 100 for issuance. They dont charge a reload fee. They dont charge unloading fee. There conversion rate also seems to be compititive . They said they have a tie up with Axis bank and the card issued is from Axis bank.
Can you please also help review the forex card from BuyForexOnline as they seem to have better competitive rates than some of the cards discussed above.
It would be very helpful if you could share your comments on these cards.
I would be traveling to 3 cities Dubai, Sydney, and Singapore as a student, staying 3.5 months in each city. Can you please help me out finding the best forex cards for this purpose.
How would you rate the SBI Foreign Travel Card vis-a-vis the others that you have researched and published? Pl share your views. Thank you.
Hi . Does any of these cards allow withdrawal of large amount , at a bank counter while abroad ? Eg . Go to a bank and withdraw 5000GBP in 1 day , instead of paying ATM withdrawl fees with a limit of 800 GBP each day ?
you can not withdraw 5000 pounds in one go at any atm. if I am correct, maximum you can withdraw is 750 euro/pounds in one go.
Im going to Canada work permit whichis best forex .
Hi i am traveling to France Spain Netherlands.
Which will be the best card to use or shall i just stick with my current credit and debit card .. is it too expensive to use Indian issued debit card to withdraw local currency
I am going to Singapore and Malaysia for 13 days with family Please suggest what is the best forex option for me?
Is HDFC regalia forex card any good? I am travelling to the US this month and would like to get the best forex card available in terms of everything. Please help?
Yes, heard good things about HDFC regalia forex card.
Hi, Im travelling to prague for 5 weeks summer course. Could you suggest which forex card shall i take? With minimum cost
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