In the past, when you have travelled abroad you have had three main currency choices: you could either change your cash into foreign currency before you leave, take traveller's cheques or use your credit card. Now, though, more and more people are seeing the benefits of prepaid credit cards to use abroad.
Firstly, using a prepaid card offers many security benefits. You don't have to carry hundreds of pounds worth of foreign currency on your person or worry about storing it in your hotel room. Using a money card abroad you can withdraw smaller sums from an ATM as you need them and without incurring hefty transaction fees; or use it to make purchases when you're out and about.
In addition, using a holiday prepaid credit card can be convenient as they are welcomed in millions of locations worldwide. You will often benefit from a competitive exchange rate too, when you use your money card abroad.
Finally, using the best prepaid card for overseas travel can help you keep control of your holiday spending as you can never spend more than you have pre-loaded onto your card.
How to compare prepaid cards to use abroad
As with other financial products, some cards are better than others. So, if you're looking for the best prepaid card to use abroad then it's important that you do your research.
First, you should restrict your comparison to prepaid holiday money cards that support the currency you need, to ensure you can use it at your destination. Then you can compare prepaid travel cards based on what fees and charges will apply:
ATM charges for withdrawals
In order to get the best card for withdrawing cash abroad you'll need to know how you expect to use the card - whether you'll withdraw a lot in each transaction, but rarely, or if you intend to make many, smaller transactions. For the former, you should try to find a card that has a lower maximum charge per withdrawal; for the latter, concentrate on finding lower minimum charges per transaction.
Foreign transaction fees
Foreign transaction fees are added to purchases you make using your foreign currency card, and you should treat them in the same way as withdrawal charges. Small, regular purchases will be more cost effective at a lower minimum rate, and larger one-off purchase will be cheaper with a low maximum fee.
Charges for loading cash onto your card
Prepaid cards for use abroad may charge either a flat rate per transaction, or a percentage of the amount you load onto it - so, you should consider how much and how often you will want to load money in order to find the cheapest option.
Our comparison table helps you to compare the features, benefits and charges associated with the UK's leading pre paid cards for abroad, to choose the best option for your travel money.