Best Prepaid Travel Money Cards

Explore the best prepaid travel money cards.

Updated: January 16, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

 

Prepaid travel cards have various names, such as travel money cards or multi-currency prepaid cards. Prepaid travel cards make spending abroad easier and allow you to spend overseas confidently.

Using your debit card or usual bank account on holiday can accrue many fees, and spending more than you have may be tempting, like dipping into your overdraft or savings accounts. With a prepaid card, you can stick to your budget and be aware of all the fees involved before spending.

In this article, you'll learn all about prepaid cards for paying in a foreign currency abroad, and we've got a list of the best prepaid cards on the market.

ServiceScoreRegister
1. Wise★★★★★Click Here
2. Asda Money★★★★★Click Here
3. Caxton★★★★★Click Here
4. Easy FX★★★★Click Here
5. Travelex★★★★Click Here
6. Post Office★★★★Click Here
7. Sainsbury's Bank★★★★★Click Here
8. FairFX★★★★★Click Here

What Are Multi-Currency Prepaid Cards?

A prepaid card works much like a debit card in terms of how you use it to make purchases and withdraw cash from an ATM. The only difference is that a prepaid card isn't attached to a bank account; you must top it up to use it.

Anyone can sign up for a prepaid card and use it for travelling. There are no credit checks, so even if you’ve got a history of bad credit, you can still apply for a prepaid travel card.

A prepaid multi-currency card is like a gift card in the same way you top it up and use it. With multi-currency prepaid cards, you use them as an alternative to carrying cash or traveller's cheques when travelling. You top the card up in the currency of your choice and then use it as you need it.

You can top-up prepaid cards on the go, usually by an app, and you can use it in most places worldwide. You’ll have to check with your prepaid card provider to see what currencies you can use on the card and where you can use it.

Multi-Currency Prepaid Cards Pros and Cons

Like any financial product, there are benefits and drawbacks to using a prepaid card.

Pros

✔️ Budgeting: You can preload all of your spending money on the card, and as you can only spend what's there, it's much easier to stick with a budget and not overspend. Sticking to a budget is much easier without credit options, so you could save yourself from getting into potential debt by borrowing money.

✔️ Safer than cash: You can have your holiday money on the card without worrying about carrying cash. If you lose your prepaid card, or if it's stolen, you can get a replacement card sent to you. A prepaid card isn’t attached to a bank account, so you don’t have to worry too much about anyone potentially accessing your everyday banking.

✔️ No foreign exchange fees: A travel money card is made for spending abroad, so there are usually no foreign exchange fees. You can shop in all your favourite places while travelling without worrying about transaction costs.

✔️ Accepted in most places: Most countries accept prepaid cards. Double-check with your prepaid card provider if your card is accepted before you fly out to your destination.

✔️ Different foreign currency: You can spend money in your chosen currency. You choose which foreign currency you'd like to use and can start spending abroad.

✔️ Top-up on the go: Most prepaid cards have an app that allows you to add money, exchange multiple currencies and view transaction history. Top-up options may vary between prepaid card providers.

✔️ Good credit not required: Anyone can apply and use a prepaid multi-currency card. There are no credit checks. You can apply for prepaid, and once it's delivered and you've added money, you can use it immediately.

Cons

❌️ Fees to cash withdrawals: Some prepaid cards charge you for cash withdrawals. You should check for fees with the provider before withdrawing cash.

❌️ Other fees: Fees will vary between prepaid card providers, but there may be administration fees, monthly charges or other additional fees. Some prepaid cards have a fee if you don't use them.

❌️ Limits: Some travel prepaid cards limit how much money you can hold on your prepaid card, and some cards have a minimum amount to deposit to use the card.

8 Best Prepaid Travel Money Cards – Reviews

Here are the best 8 prepaid travel money cards:

1. Wise: Digital and Physical Cards Available

  • Application fees: One-time fee of £7
  • Conversion Fees: Fixed fee + 1.75% after free allowance
  • Minimum loading amount: No limit
  • Cash withdrawal fee: Fee-free cash withdrawals up to £200 monthly

With the Wise Travel Money Card, you can use it straight away as a digital card.

If you want a physical card, there is a £7 delivery fee, but you can use a digital card instantly with Google Pay or Apple Pay. You can create up to three free digital cards.

With the mid-market rate, you can top up your currency card from the Wise app. On the app, you can check your balance and transactions and receive spending notifications to see how much you spend to help you stay within your budget.

You can manage your Wise account from the mobile app or their website. You can exchange money for over 40 other currencies in real time. If you have leftover money from your holiday or your plans have changed, you can spend the money at home in the UK with a small conversion fee.

You can use your currency card to withdraw cash from over 3 million ATMs worldwide. You can use your currency card in more than 160 countries. The Wise prepaid travel money card is eco-friendly, biodegradable, reloadable, and has no subscription fee. There are no fees if you choose not to use the Wise travel card. 

2. Asda Money Travel Money Card: Apply Online or in Store

  • Application fees: None
  • Conversion Fees: 5.75%
  • Minimum loading amount: £50
  • Cash withdrawal fee: Fee-free

You can apply for an Asda Money Travel Money Card online or in-store.

You can load up to 15 currencies and use your card contactless worldwide. You don't have to worry about cash withdrawal fees when you use this prepaid currency card; you can manage it on the go with the app. You can exchange 16 currencies with a fixed conversion fee.

You can top up via the app, online, or over the phone. You can top up while abroad, so you don't have to worry about running short of money. There are no fees when you spend in a currency preloaded to your card.

There is a £2 inactivity fee per month after 12 months. With this card, you can withdraw £500 a day, but the maximum it can hold is £5,000. This card has no link to your bank account for fraud protection.

Asda Travel Money Card is issued by PrePay Technologies Limited pursuant to a licence by Mastercard International. The Financial Conduct Authority authorises PrePay Technologies Limited under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011.

3. Caxton Currency Card: Hold Up to £12,000 on Your Card

  • Application fees: None
  • Conversion Fees: Live exchange rates
  • Minimum loading amount: £10
  • Cash withdrawal fee: Fee-free abroad, £1.50 for domestic ATM withdrawals and transactions

The daily cash withdrawal limit for the Caxton Currency Card is £300, and you can hold up to £12,000 on the prepaid card.

When you use this currency card abroad, you can make purchases fee-free with no worries. You can convert your money into 15 currencies with live exchange rates and hold multiple simultaneously.

You can use your Caxton prepaid card anywhere that accepts Mastercard; watch for the Mastercard Acceptance Mark. You can manage your finances from the mobile app as it allows you to check your card balance, top up, and block the card if you misplace it.

Caxton offers customer service that is live 24/7 to help with any of your issues or concerns. Caxton also runs an international trading online platform.

4. Easy FX Currency Card: Fee-free International Cash Withdrawals

  • Application fees: None
  • Conversion Fees: Exchange rate plus 1.8% for up to £1,000
  • Minimum loading amount: £50
  • Cash withdrawal fee: International cash withdrawals are free

There are zero international fees when you use the EasyFX Personal Currency Card.

There is a £1.50 withdrawal fee for using a cash machine in the UK. You can benefit from highly competitive exchange rates and store multiple currencies on one account.

There are conversion fees with this currency card. However, the more money you convert, the lower the cost. You'll pay 1.8% on top of the exchange rate for conversion up to £1,000. The conversion fee lowers to 1.2% for up to £4,000.

As well as a currency card, you'll gain access to risk management tools provided by VFX Financial. You can manage your balances in real time on any device using the smart app or EasyFx website. If you don't use your card for 12 months, you'll be charged £2 monthly for inactivity.

5. Travelex Money Card: Travel Card You Can Use in Millions of Locations

  • Application fees: One-time fee of £15
  • Conversion Fees: 5.75%
  • Minimum loading amount: £50 in person and £100 online
  • Cash withdrawal fee: None

The Travelex Travel Money Card allows you to use your card across millions of locations that accept Mastercard Prepaid. Look for the Mastercard International Incorporated logo when you're travelling, and you can use the Travelex Travel Money Card at those locations.

With the Travelex Money Card, you'll get free WiFi worldwide without worrying about roaming fees. There are no charges for withdrawing cash from an ATM overseas. You can exchange GBP into 15 other currencies with fixed exchange rates.

There is a monthly £2 inactivity fee. There is currently a giveaway running with Mastercard that's open until 30 September, where all you need to do is load £220 or more onto a Travelex Money Card. You'll enter into a prize draw to win a dream holiday.

6. Post Office Travel Money Card: No Charge for Spending Abroad

  • Application fees: None
  • Conversion Fees: Live exchange rates
  • Minimum loading amount: £50
  • Cash withdrawal fee: Fees vary between locations

Carry up to 22 currencies with the Post Office Travel Money Card. Wherever you see the Mastercard Acceptance Mark, you can use this travel money card, including millions of shops, restaurants, and bars in over 200 countries.

There are cross-border fees of 3% when you use your currency in other countries than what the Post Office offers. There is also a load commission fee of 1.5%.

Use the Post Office accessible Travel app to top up, manage your prepaid card, transfer funds between currencies and more. You can connect your prepaid card to Apple Pay and Google Pay. If you return from your holiday with money left on your card in another currency, you can use the wallet-to-wallet feature and transfer it to a new currency you choose.

7. Sainsbury's Bank Prepaid Travel Money Card: Lower Exchange Rate for Nectar Cardholders

  • Application fees: None
  • Conversion Fees: 5.75%
  • Minimum loading amount: £50
  • Cash withdrawal fee: None

You may get better exchange rates than a non-card holder if you're a Nectar cardholder and want to apply for Sainsbury's Prepaid Travel Money Card. If you hold a Nectar card, you can earn 500 bonus Nectar points when you load at least £250 onto your travel money card.

You can load money onto your card in 15 currencies at once. You can use your prepaid travel card to make purchases worldwide and withdraw cash without worrying about ATM fees.

You can check out all your transactions and load money onto the card with the Sainsbury's Bank travel money card app. There is no direct link to the prepaid card to your bank account, so you don't have to worry about security.

There is a 2% fee for loads and reloading into GBP purses. Additionally, if you don't use your card for 18 months, you may be charged a £2 inactivity fee.

8. FairFX Prepaid Card: Earn Cashback in Select Retailers

  • Application fees: Free
  • Conversion Fees: 1.12%
  • Minimum loading amount: £50
  • Cash withdrawal fee: £2 flat rate + 3.75% of the transaction amount

The FairFX Prepaid Card holds 20 major currencies, including GBP, Euros, US dollar, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, and more.

You can use this free multi-currency card in over 190 countries worldwide. You can top up on the go, either before you travel or whilst you're travelling.

Travel smarter with FairFX; when you become a customer, you can access offers and deals from partners to help your money take you further, for example, discounts on lounge access and more. You can earn 3.5% cashback in-store or online at select UK retailers.

If your car expires with a leftover balance, there will be a monthly £2 charge. Card renewal is free so that you can avoid expiration. There are no subscription fees or monthly fees.

Tips for Looking After Your Finances as You Travel

Money is a massive element of travelling; it pays for your trips, food, and all the fun activities you get up to. A prepaid currency card can make your journey much more accessible.

We've compiled a list of further tips to help manage your finances a little more easily while you travel:

  • Check the expiry date on the card: For any cards you take with you on your travels, ensure they're within the expiry date. Otherwise, you may be stuck without access to money. If your cards are close to expiring, consider contacting your provider and getting a new one sent out before you fly out.
  • Travel insurance: Always travel with travel insurance to protect yourself and your belongings. Travel insurance can cover you if you get stranded with no one to help you.
  • Check exchange rate: If you choose a prepaid card provider that uses live exchange rates, keep an eye on the exchange rates at specific types of the day. You may get a better deal at different times of the day.
  • Top up your card online: If you're running low on holiday money, choose a prepaid travel card that allows you to top up online to add money to the card quickly.
  • Check foreign exchange fee: Most prepaid travel cards offer minimum foreign exchange fees, but always check with the card provider for potential fees before you travel.
  • Have card provider details at hand: If any issues occur, you should have the contact number or support team access to contact prepaid providers. If your card is stolen or you find fraudulent transactions on it, contact your provider, and it's worth alerting local police, too.

Leading Prepaid Travel Money Cards for Foreign Currency: The Verdict

A prepaid card is the ideal companion if you're someone who travels. You can stay within budget, control your account from an app on your phone, and spend abroad without worrying too much about fees. With one of the prepaid currency cards from our best list, you can spend abroad securely and confidently.

Related Guides:

Best Prepaid Travel Money Cards: FAQs

Is it Worth Getting a Prepaid Travel Card?

How Does a Prepaid Card Work?

What is the Best Travel Money Card?

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