If you travel overseas frequently, you probably already know how important it is to stay within your budget and to ensure your money is safe at all times. Nowadays, it is reassuring to know that you can easily achieve both objectives by taking your international prepaid card with you each time you travel.
In several ways, international prepaid cards function just like general purpose prepaid cards but they come with extra features that are designed to make your life easier and more convenient when you’re travelling overseas.
Two Primary Types of International Prepaid Cards
There are two primary kinds of international prepaid cards:
General travel prepaid cards
These cards are more or less the same as the prepaid cards used locally. However, they come with features that are handy when you are overseas. For instance, it comes with emergency card and cash replacement, chip and PIN capability, and international ATM use.
Not all prepaid cards come with a chip however and it can be an issue. In many European countries, they have had chip functionality for ages now so you’ll likely encounter problems when using a prepaid card without a chip at automated payment points as well as unmanned kiosks.
Multi-currency prepaid cards
These cards will allow you to load cash in specific currencies prior to your trip. What makes this feature ideal is it allows you to lock in the exchange rate rather than paying for the current rate at point of sale or at ATMs.
However, it is not possible to load the card with just about any currency you like. In most cases, prepaid card issuers limit loading to a few currencies. Case in point, many prepaid card issuers allow loading of only 6 currencies, namely Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Mexican Peso, Japanese Yen, Euro, and the British Pound.
Unbeatable International Prepaid Card Benefits
Taking your international prepaid card with you each time you travel can bring benefits that are hard to miss. While there are several exciting advantages of using your international prepaid card, some of the most remarkable ones include:
It can help you with your budgeting. Adhering to your budget while travelling can be a challenge. Understandably, you’ll likely feel a bit light and happy when travelling so it can be a lot easier to spend more than you actually intend to.
Fortunately, with a prepaid card, you can still put a limit to your spending as you have the option to limit your spending to the amount that’s available in your card. Unlike when you use a credit card where the balance can seem infinite, you are more in charge of your spending when you use a prepaid card.
It can be used as a buffer for your other accounts. If you’re not very comfortable about using your credit or debit card on your trip, taking your international prepaid card with you is one of the best options you have at your disposal.
Come to think of it, when a shady character gains access to your credit or debit card, they might also be able to put your checking or savings account at risk. It is also possible that they’ll be able to compromise any of your personal information. Thankfully, when you use an international prepaid card, the risk is way lower.
It can help protect you from fraud. Many international prepaid cards nowadays offer almost the same level of protection other plastic cards offer in terms of fraud protection. This means that if anyone uses your card without your permission, your liability will remain at a certain amount given that you report the incident within 2 business days.
Other international prepaid cards go above and beyond and provide zero-liability that prevents cardholders from losing money even if the incident is not reported before the charges show up on the account.