Tips On Juggling Multi-Currency Finances
In recent years it has become increasingly popular to use prepaid travel money cards when travelling abroad. There are many advantages to using these cards compared with burden of carrying cash, the inconvenience of using travellers cheques or the cost of relying on your usual debit and credit cards.
Using a prepaid card
To use a prepaid credit card you simply load the card with the amount of money you wish to take with you abroad and then use it as you would a normal debit or credit card. Most of these cards carry the Mastercard or Visa symbols allowing you to withdraw cash from ATM’s or spend it in shops and restaurants all over the world. Prepaid cards with a widely accepted partnership such as MasterCard or Visa are much more convenient compared with using travellers cheques. Traveller’s cheques are becoming outdated and a certainly not as widely accepted and often end up with you spending your valuable travel time at the hotel desk. Prepaid credit cards can be ordered from a wide variety of places like the Post Office or travel agents, and they can even be ordered online. There is an initial charge for some cards while others may take a commission on the amount of money loaded on to it.
Increasing convenience and security
Prepaid credit cards can be a very useful tool for frequent travellers as you can use the same card in any country that accepts Visa or Mastercard, regardless of the currency that is used. This is because you can load the card with your choice of currency of either British Pounds, US Dollars or Euros. Your funds will then be converted into the currency of your destination upon use there. This kind of convenience can save you a lot of time in changing up multiple currencies for use in different countries and it can also help you to keep your money in order. Anyone who has travelled between countries knows how easy it can be to confuse two or three different types of cash.
In addition to this, carrying lots of cash can take up a lot of room and can also present a security risk. Stolen cash is hard to replace even if you are covered on your travel insurance as it can be a lengthy procedure. The prepaid credit card comes with a pin number just like any other credit or debit card and if you were to lose the card you can simply call up the provider, have the card cancelled and order a replacement.
Managing your budget
As well as being more secure and convenient than cash, a prepaid credit card could also save you money and help you to manage your finances while you are abroad. While many people use their regular debit cards and credit cards when they are away, this can be costly. Many banks and lenders charge hefty fees for using their cards abroad. There are often charges for withdrawing cash along with currency conversion fees. Over the course of a long trip these charges can really add up.
In comparison, prepaid credit cards tend to have fewer fees, although this can vary between card providers. In addition to lower fees, a prepaid card can help you to stick to your budget. It can be very easy to overspend when using a normal credit card. Regular credit cards generally have a high spending limit which could leave you with a bigger bill than you can afford when you get home.
In a similar way, overspending on a debit card could mean that you don’t have enough money left over in your account to pay your bills back at home. Going overdrawn on your regular account can result in fees and charges and it can be difficult to get your finances back on track afterwards. To avoid all of this hassle just load your card with your maximum spend and you will not be able to go over it. You can even check your balance for free at ATM’s so that you know where you stand with your spending money.
By Gavin Whittaker – This article was written in association with Tuxedo, a leader in the field of currency cards and prepaid technologies.
Gavin Whittaker is a finance writer who specialises in topics that cover the advantages of currency cards, credit card safety and analysing the financial markets. He shares his insight on these issues with readers of a wide variety of blogs, online- and print-magazines.
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