I am from India and I am looking forward towards a budget trip for the asian countries, Primarily Malayesia ( also probable Thailand, Malaysia Singapore Indonesia etc.). never have travelled outside India so far, so I want to know what is the most easy means carrying money to these countries.
Few questions in Particular.
1> does Normal Vias/Mastercard Credit or debit cards issued by different banks in India work outside??
2> if it works how are the Charges
3> How wise is it to carry Prepaid travel Card (the charges and all)
4>where to get travellers cheque for international trips and the charges for using them,
5>what is the rules for carrying cash to another country (restrictions and fees )
I'd personally just take my regular debet and credit cards and that hasn't gotten me into problems since 1995 or so. The only times you really have to watch out is if you are going to be in the middle of nowhere for a longer period of time, as you'll need to take out extra cash to get you through those periods.
There's fees obviously, but nowhere near the hassle or fees that travellers cheques bring along (do those even still exist!?)
Yes Sam, traveler's checks still exist though, in reality, they should really be phased out. Our last experience trying to use them was a major disaster. No one would take them - shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. We came home with all but 5 - $20 traveler's checks. Do not trust banks to cash them either depending on which checks you are issued.
Our bank use to issue American Express checks and we had little problem with those for several years. VISA gave our bank a better deal so they switched. We went to 10-12 different banks in Panama City, Panama, trying to cash some so we'd have enough 'pocket' money to pay for the airport parking once we got home. (The airport parking doesn't take traveler's checks or credit cards in Chicago.) Only about 3 banks accepted traveler's checks and they had to be American Express ones. We ended up using our Chase Visa credit card for the cash at a Chase bank. We haven't used traveler's checks since then.
When I travel, I bring along my ATM card and my credit card. But I only use then for back-up and/or emergency purposes. I do have case with me and I hide them on different compartments of my wallet and my bag. So that I won't lose them altogether.