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Prepaid Travel Cards

Travel Forums General Talk Prepaid Travel Cards

1. Posted by Katetaylor1989 (Budding Member, 26 posts) 19 Sep '12 06:48

Hi guys,

I will be travelling for quite a few months at the end of this year and was wondering if anyone has used the Prepaid travel cards (mastercard for example) for travelling with larger amounts of money?

Any advice on whether these are any good or not would be gratefully received! :)

Kate

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1934 posts) 19 Sep '12 09:56

Since the banking situation/costs are quite different from country to country, It would help if you told us where you live.

I'm in the US, and it's easier for me to use my checking account debit card - preloaded cards are not cheap, and cannot be used for things like renting a car, etc.

3. Posted by WomBatt (Full Member, 104 posts) 19 Sep '12 12:28

What advantages do you see?
I doubt there is any need to take with you any more than your atm card and a credit card and inform your finance houses, wherever in the world you go. Maybe they offer some advantage like free insurance to inveigle you which could be advantageous or you think you might need a back up if a card is lost.

All I will offer - they are not cheap and the subject is not black and white - you are in the UK and you may have heard of, or seen on TV, Martin - http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ see what the site has to say.

4. Posted by laurim (Respected Member, 259 posts) 20 Sep '12 08:42

Quoting WomBatt

What advantages do you see?
I doubt there is any need to take with you any more than your atm card and a credit card and inform your finance houses, wherever in the world you go. Maybe they offer some advantage like free insurance to inveigle you which could be advantageous or you think you might need a back up if a card is lost.

This is what I do. I use the credit card for large purchases, like hotels/hostels/restaurants/activities that take a credit card, and use the check card at the atm because the fees are cheaper that way. I take out the max I can each time, about 300 euro, to minimize the transaction fees.

I've never used a prepaid card but I suspect they have large fees that will chew up your money way faster than a credit card. You also need to find out how widely they are accepted because many hostels don't take ANY credit cards, let alone a no-name card. What are the atm fees?

5. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru, 2457 posts) 4 Oct '12 13:01

I have a couple of different prepay cards, from 2 different suppliers: Caxton and Fairfx.

I use both (which card depends on which country I am going to), and have never had a problem. I have travelled lots to numerous countries over many years, and done lots of calculations, and at the moment, find that prepay cards that I have work out as the cheapest possible way for me to access money when in most places abroad, although not in all situations.

Notes:
1) As with all cards, READ THE SPECIFIC CONDITIONS OF IT. So, basically, work out what charges you will incur using which card and in which situations. Yes, I use my prepay cards allot, but in some circumstances i use a debit card, or a credit card. Or i make a large cash withdrawal and pay with cash in most places. Each card, country and currency have different benefits and fees in different places. Learning them can save you A LOT over the course of a year's travel.

2) Although you can, and i have, do NOT use prepay cards for deposits for things like rental cars: It can take a long time for the block to be lifted, and so during that time you can't use all the cash on it. If you make the booking with it, fine. But the holding deposit should be done with a credit card.

3) If you do go down the prepay route, ensure you have at least one credit/debit card as well as a fall back option (very occasionally, prepay cards are not accepted in places). Also, don't pre-load all of your money on it. Plan to top it up online every few weeks or so from a different account, as an added security measure against losing your card/having it scammed.

6. Posted by autumnmay (Budding Member, 3 posts) 8 Nov '12 15:38

Hi there, I'm Autumn, 23 years old and single. I've been in the search marketing industry for a while and always looking to learn more and share my experiences. I love to travel in different places to enjoy my life.

I think mastercard can be use as a prepaid travel cards. :)