Travel Card

Travel cards are multicurrency cards for use by travellers in foreign countries. A travelcard facilitates quick & easy conversion to local currency at the point-of-sale.

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Travel cards are designed differently to credit cards; they instantly exchange your currency into the local currency using OTC rates or live rates.

Travel cards are prepaid cards. That means you can only spend what you have available in your account. Credit cards have high limits and this can prove challenging with travellers on a budget. Credit cards are also expensive to use abroad, due to high fees, commissions, and charges. That’s why travel cards are increasingly popular among vacationers, business travellers, and academics studying abroad.

Travel cards provide many cost-effective and convenient features for travellers. We have reviewed three popular travel card providers, including Monese, Wirex, and Starling. The travel card features offered by each of these providers are listed below:

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Monese offers a prepaid, multi-currency card that is easily managed via app.

The exchange rates are the self-same wholesale currency forex rate. It’s also possible to lock in an exchange rate before you travel. That way you will not be hit with unwelcome exchange rate surprises while abroad. Simply open a secondary account from your Monese account, and use that for the overseas trip. If you need to top up, this is easily done from a debit card, bank transfer, or inter-account transfer. It is also easy to withdraw funds on your Monese travel card at any ATM abroad.

Another benefit of using Monese travel cards is that there are no hidden fees. Thanks to the real time wholesale exchange rate, using your Monese travel card assures you of the most competitive forex rate on every transaction. Read a full review.

Wirex is another popular option for travellers. This multi-currency VISA card confers all the benefits of a prepaid debit card with low costs, no hidden fees, and full transparency of currency exchange rates. Wirex prepaid travelcards qualify for WXT rewards, with online purchases and in-store purchases too.

As a multicurrency travel card, Wirex instantly converts your currency to the local currency while you’re abroad. This is done at the POS (Point-of-Sale) at competitive rates. With Wirex, travellers are able to enjoy instant foreign exchange on dozens of different currencies.

Wirex selects the best live rates, and there are no exchange rate fees associated with the card whatsoever. With instant rewards, global reach, and high-limits (up to SG$400 monthly ATM withdrawals), Wirex is a popular digital/physical travel card solution. Read a full review.

The Starling travel card is a bank card designed for travellers. It is a no-fee travel card, which provides quick and easy banking anywhere you travel. Travellers preload the Starling debit card with the required amount of funds before going abroad. This travel card is associated with Britain’s Best Bank, and a UK current account. Among the many benefits of a Starling travel card are real-time exchange rates, minimal fees (ATMs may charge you) and instant spending notifications. The Starling app provides 24/7 notifications regarding all financial transactions online or via Point-of-Sale transactions. For example, account holders receive updates on GBP and foreign currency amounts on all transactions.

Additional services available through Starling include 24/7 support for all issues, the option to lock lost cards via the app, and the ability to settle payments with travel companions through the app (Split the Bill or Nearby Payments). With Starling, it’s easy to begin spending prior to the arrival of your physical travel card. This is all possible through use of a mobile wallet. Starling’s exchange rates are calculated via MasterCard’s exchange rate with no extra fees. Read a full review.