You’ve packed everything, the house is locked up and you’re parking your car at the airport. Have that niggling feeling you’ve forgotten something and realise with a face palm motion before you check in for your flight that its currency? We’re all familiar with the traditional options available for currency exchange and we’ve all been there before and left it to the last minute.
Ideally currency exchange should be researched and budgeted just like any other part of your holiday. Why exchange your currency with an ineffective method and throw away money that could be used to indulge abroad. There are several options available to you when you’re changing your sterling to another currency: whether you want to grab cash at the airport and risk poor exchange rates, use your debt or credit card abroad and risk unexpected charges or you want to stick to the old reliable travellers cheques, you should be aware that there is another option available to you. Currency cards are prepaid cards that can be found in many places including many high street banks. The cards themselves function in a similar way to a debit card. You load up the amount of money you want onto the card in whichever currency it is you want it in, and you will then be able to use it abroad in a country that supports that currency. Currently the currency options are limited to popular currencies such as euros and dollars.
Because these cards are very similar to debit cards, they provide a level of security that cash can’t, with some companies returning your money if your card is lost or stolen and a PIN code required for you to access your accounts.
A currency card will also give you the luxury of a budget. With no way to accidently eat into your overdraft, you will be able to easily monitor your expenditure, without the stress and hassle of extortionate credit card charges when you return home.
Currency cards can still be used in conjunction with cash, travellers cheques and your debit card for a holiday, giving you a variety of payment methods, and making sure that you won’t be left in the lurch.
Many currency card suppliers also offer the option of multiple cards: both to hold different currencies and to give to a spouse. The cards are available at various outlets on the high street as well as online. A few of the places that offer the cards are Halifax, Nationwide, the Post Office and Lloyds.
There are other useful tips to remember when you travel: beware dynamic currency exchange, which generally carries poor exchange rates and if you are exchanging a large quantity of currency it might be worth looking into a foreign currency broker as they offer some of the best exchange rates available for things such as mortgages abroad and overseas trading.
If you fancy trekking through every major sight in Europe or you want to see everything that America has to offer, then this card could be for you. A currency card is ideal for anyone who travels on a regular basis and is relatively simple to obtain and use. Currency cards are an adventurous hybrid of debit cards and phone top up cards and act as the perfect solution for many currency exchange dilemmas. Be worldly wise, and take a travel currency card on your next adventure to save money and curb currency stress.