Which prepaid currency card is best for you?

currency

Pre-paid travel cards are quick and fuss-free. Source: Andreas Raun Arnberg

BEING stranded in a foreign land without so much as two dimes to rub together, is far from ideal. So traveling with a means of getting cash is essential.

Whether you’re trekking through the jungle, escaping to the country, exploring urban cities or chilling on white beaches, it’s good to know you’re only a piece of plastic and an ATM away from retrieving your money. However, there are different travel credit cards to suit each destination and situation.

Here are some diverse travel cards to suit different circumstances when you’re abroad and away from the safety of your local bank branch.

Revolut

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Best all-rounder

Revolut is an app-based banking alternative and brilliant for a variety of travelers. As long as you’re a resident in one of the countries listed in the “Where is Revolut available” section on their website, which are predominately European countries, then you can purchase this card for the small fee of up to EUR30 (US$37).

You can use your card at any cash point or on any card reader that accepts Mastercard or Visa, so that means millions of places worldwide. Revolut will automatically convert to the local currency at real exchange rates so you don’t have to worry about it.

Travelex Multi-Currency Cash Passport

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Best for visiting multiple countries

This travel card allows you to carry up to ten currencies at one time, and being a smart card, it can automatically detect which currency you need. The card can be used again and you won’t incur any fees for leaving it dormant when home beckons. Simply just top it up next time you go traveling.

The multiple currencies cardholders can enjoy include British Pounds, US Dollars, New Zealand Dollars, Emirati Dirham, South African Rand and Turkish Lira. The card also has locked-in exchange rates, so you don’t have to worry about currency rising or falling while you are away.

In a situation where a cardholder has depleted all the money from one’s purse, the system will simply pull the funds from a different currency and convert it for you. 

Qantas Cash

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Best for earning air miles

The Qantas Cash card allows you to earn Qantas Points on all purchases including local and foreign transactions.

This card is recommended for business travelers who can utilize the points on future trips. Choose from 11 currencies to load up on the card, with the added ability of 24-hour topping-up via the secure customer portal.

It is accepted internationally at over 35 million locations in over 210 countries worldwide and is securely protected by MasterCard. Unlike other travel cards, there is no initial or reload fees either, so you can save while you spend.

ANZ

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Best for travel in Asia

The ANZ card is backed by VISA and can hold up to 10 currencies so you can travel without the fear of dreaded exchange rates fees.

The currencies include Hong Kong dollars, New Zealand Dollars, Thai Baht and Japanese yen. While there are no monthly inactivity fees, there is a 1.1 percent reload fee and small charges will be incurred for withdrawing cash from an ATM.

However, even if you lose both the cards you are sent, the card issuer will send you another free of charge, so you’ll never be stranded.

STA Travel

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Best for young travelers

The award-winning STA Travel ISIC CashCard for students is just one in the range of STAs prepaid cards. This card allows young travelers to budget and easily manage their spending with no devious hidden charges, which could be the difference between getting to their next destination or being penniless on a train platform.

The card also doubles up as a globally recognized identification card for those times when people are not convinced that the 12-year-old picture in your passport, is you.

The card is GBP12 (US$17) to buy up front but you’ll earn this back as the card is also internationally recognized as a student discount provider. This means you’ll save on flights, gig tickets, restaurants and so much more.