If you're planning a trip to Europe, the chances are you are going to need to exchange your British pounds for euros. While you could carry hard cash, it's much safer and more convenient to pay on plastic.
A great way to cut down on the transaction fees for use overseas that many debit and credit card providers charge is to opt for a euro currency card.
This is a prepaid card which allows you to load up with cash either before you set off or whilst you are travelling; a hybrid option which offers the convenience and security of using a bank card but the budgeting and spending capacity of using cash.
We run through some of the factors you should consider when looking for the best prepaid euro currency card and how to find the right one to suit you.
Charges and costs on prepaid euro credit cards
Undoubtedly one of the biggest factors in deciding which prepaid euro card to apply for is the value for money which is on offer.
There are various factors which can influence this particularly exchange rates, loading fees and transaction charges.
When you opt for a euro credit card, the exchange rate is typically set when you credit money to your account, not when you spend it. This is actually a big help as it means you know in advance exactly what you have to spend and you can even work out the best time to load up your card to get the best exchange rate.
However, the exchange rates on offer can vary very significantly between euro travel card providers. These can be difficult to check because they can fluctuate as the market rates move up and down. The best way is to carry out your euro card comparison at the same time rather than looking at some one day and the others at a different time, this will make it easier to see which one offers the best value.
Other factors you will want to check on the euro travel cards are loading fees, transaction and ATM charges plus whether there is a cost to simply hold the card, even if you aren't using it.
The best euro prepaid card will be different for everyone depending on their spending patterns. It's therefore vital that you have an idea of how often you will be topping up, whether you will be spending in shops and online or using ATMs to withdraw cash and whether there is the possibility that your card will be inactive for several months at a time.
Other factors to consider on a euros card
If you are trying to find the best way to manage your travel money euro cash card providers don't just offer an easy way to pay for things, there's lots of other services to consider too.
Hopefully you will never be the victim of a mugging or a pickpocket, but unfortunately there is always the possibility. Of course, you might accidentally lose your card too. With euro cards prepaid accounts, this doesn't have to be the end of the world. Unlike losing cash, replacing your card should be quite simple and mean you don't lose all your travel money.
The best prepaid euro travel card providers offer a 24 hour helpline so if you need to cancel your card, you can get hold of them straight away before any damage is done. You can also transfer your balance to another account if you have more than one.
The best prepaid card for euros offer a bit more than just a cheap way to pay for things. Some providers also provide cash-back and rewards every time you use your card. Others credit your account with bonuses if you top up by more than a certain amount.
Little extras such as this can turn a decent card into a really good deal if it matches with your natural spending habits. If you compare prepaid euro cards you will be able to identify the providers that offer the best deals that meet your needs.