Compare Our Best Travel Money Prepaid Cards Deals

Find a travel money card that could offer you a cheaper way to spend abroad, by checking loading charges and transaction fees here.

  • Spend in multiple currencies
  • Get an up-to-date exchange rate
  • Avoid carrying around cash

Compare prepaid travel cards from top providers

You'll only find results from genuine companies. Our data experts check each company before we add them to our comparisons.

FairFX
Currensea logo
Post Office
easyFX logo
Wise logo

How to get a prepaid travel card

1

Compare cards

Use our prepaid card table to find one that offers all the features you need that will cost the least in fees.

2

Check the eligibility

Make sure you fit the eligibility criteria for your chosen card, and have proof of ID.

3

Apply for the card you want

Click 'view deal' and fill out the application form on the provider's website with your personal details.

4

Start using your prepaid card

Once you receive the card and your PIN, start to use and manage your prepaid card.

Prepaid travel card deals

5 results found, sorted by affiliated products. How we order our comparisons. Commission earned affects the table's sort order.
Sort
Post Office Travel Money Card
Administration fee
No fees for 12 months after expiry then £2 a month
Foreign transactions
Free
Overseas ATMs
Varies
Load charges
Debit card: free, Post Office: free
Over 60 currencies available for next day home deliver or collection from over 11,000 branches. Click and collect EUR and USD in two hours from a branch near you. Includes travel money refund guarantee. Ts & Cs apply.
Typical card expiry is four years.
Eligibility
Permanent UK Resident
Minimum Age18 years
Additional Cardholders Minimum Age18 years

Compare another type of prepaid card

What is a prepaid travel card?

A prepaid travel card, often known as a travel money card, is a card that you pre-load with money, and take away on holiday with you to spend on. It's a good way to avoid carrying a lot of cash.

It's not the same as a credit card, so you don't need to worry about overspending and getting into debt. You can only spend the amount you've pre-loaded it with.

You can choose which currency you preload your travel money card with depending on where you're going.

A travel money card can be used at cashpoints and in shops and restaurants.

They all have the MasterCard or Visa logo on them and are accepted anywhere that accepts MasterCard or Visa debit or credit cards.

You also get all the benefits of a standard prepaid card, such as protection if it gets lost, the chance to budget your spending, and an application process without credit checks.

travelling couple

Who can get a prepaid travel card?

A travel money card can be a good option for people who are on a budget when they travel. Not only do you often get a better exchange rate, but you can't overspend.

Sometimes parents like to get them for their children's holiday money, as it can help teach them about budgets and responsibility. Teenagers can even apply for one themselves. There's no need to have a bank account and no credit checks are needed.

Types of prepaid travel card

When you choose a prepaid credit card for travel, you can get one that holds one currency, or that holds several different currencies.

Single currency prepaid travel cards

These prepaid cards for travel only let you preload one currency. For example, you might get a prepaid euro card or a prepaid dollar card, depending on where you're going.

Multi-currency pre-loaded travel cards

These pre-loaded travel cards can hold several different currencies. If you're visiting a few different countries, taking one of these prepaid cards abroad could save you money.

prepaid card chart

The cost of a prepaid travel card

Once you've found the best travel card for your needs, it's time to find the cheapest. You should compare the fees for:

  • Buying the card

  • Keeping your account open (paid monthly or annually)

  • Taking money out from a cash machine

  • Spending on the card

  • Adding money onto the card

In our graph, we show the example of topping up a prepaid card with £10 each week over a year. One with no fee and one with a £1.50 fee.

You can see that a £1.50 fee might seem small initially, but over a year it can have a big impact on the amount of money you are able to spend. Make sure you think about how you are going to top up and spend so that you can watch out for any fees that might apply to you.

Checking the exchange rate on your prepaid travel card

When you add money onto your international prepaid card, you'll pay an exchange rate.

For example, if your bank account is in pounds sterling and you're adding money to a prepaid euro card, you'll pay the pounds-to-euros exchange rate. The best prepaid travel card will offer the lowest exchange rate.

Here's how exchange rates work on prepaid travel cards, and how much it can cost.

CurrencyExchange rateSpending money from £1,500
Euros (€)1.1€1.650
Euros (€)1.2€1,800
US Dollars ($)1.3$1,950
US Dollars ($)1.4$2,100
US Dollars ($)1.5$2,250

Finding the best exchange rate

The exchange rate is going to have a huge impact on how much you can spend abroad. How far your spending money goes depends upon how much local currency you can exchange it for.

Even if you are paying for something by card, you will still be exchanging pounds sterling to local currency at some point.

This table shows how even a seemingly small shift in the exchange rate can increase or decrease you holiday budget. So make sure you keep an eye on the rates while you are away, or choose a card that lets you exchange your money in one lump sum before you travel.

The advantages and disadvantages of a prepaid travel card

  • They're safer than carrying cash or leaving it in your hotel room or flat
  • Your money's safe if your card's lost or stolen as your provider can cancel it, and you might be able to get it replaced quickly
  • They make budgeting easier because you can't run up debts like you could with a credit card
  • They can sometimes be the cheapest option
  • They're hassle-free to use and accepted in most shops, restaurants and bars around the world
  • Application fees
  • Monthly fees
  • Charges to load money
  • Fees to withdraw cash
  • Fees on spending
  • Fees for not using your card at all

What are the alternatives to a travel money card?

Sometimes even the best prepaid travel card might not be the right option for you. There are several other ways to spend abroad. For example, you might like to get a prepaid credit card for travel. These work just like a regular credit card, but don't charge big fees for using them abroad like many standard credit cards do.

Another alternative to a pre-loaded travel card is to take travel money. If you're taking foreign currency with you and have no back-up option, you'll need to budget very carefully. You'll need to make sure you still have money towards the end of your trip.

Lastly, you could take travellers' cheques. You buy these in the UK and convert them into foreign currency while you're abroad.

For people who travel, prepaid card use can often be preferable to these alternatives. A travel card is a sensible way to spend money on holiday because it doesn't let you get into debt. Also, if your card's lost or stolen, your provider can cancel it.

Here's how to work out the cheapest way to spend abroad.

Keep in mind that travel prepaid cards are not credit cards. That means they're not covered by the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which protects purchases against a retailer going bust for faulty goods. They're also not protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)¹.

Plus, you can't use them absolutely everywhere. And you can't borrow money via one either.

But there are lots of benefits too, and the important thing is to find the best travel money card available.

"Prepaid cards can be a great tool to keep your spending in check, build your credit score or learn how to budget.

"But certain features, especially access to credit, might make a credit card or current account a better option."

Can you top up a prepaid travel card while you're away?

Prepaid travel cards can sometimes be topped up while you're away by text, online or via an app, or even via your debit or credit card. You can sometimes do it by phone, too, but check how much the phone call is likely to cost.

Some prepaid travel cards even allow you to have your salary paid directly onto them, which is a guaranteed way to get a top up if it's pay day while you're away.

Will I have to remember a PIN?

Yes, most prepaid travel cards are chip and PIN. However, some are now contactless so you might not need to enter a PIN for smaller purchases.

Avoiding card fees

Prepaid cards usually charge extra if you use them outside the UK. But the best travel money card for Europe or wider international travel cards don't charge these fees. Our comparison covers cards which are free to use outside the UK. If they're not free, the comparison table shows how much each card charges for foreign transactions and cash withdrawals.

When you're researching prepaid cards to use abroad, choose a card with fees that suit how you plan to use it. For example, if you'll be withdrawing cash often while travelling, pick one of the prepaid foreign currency cards with no withdrawal fees.

Prepaid travel cards FAQs

Explore travel prepaid cards guides

See more guides

Young man shopping online

Should you get a prepaid card?

Prepaid cards come with several pros and cons, but they could be the best way of spending for you. Here is how to work out if you should get a prepaid card.

Read More
Woman holding a credit card while using a laptop

What are prepaid cards?

You can use a prepaid card to buy things online or in person, and you could get one without a credit check. Here is how they work and how to get one.

Read More
Family shopping and paying with a card

How to use a prepaid card

Once you have your new prepaid card, you can start using it to buy things and pay bills. Here is how to use and manage your account.

Read More

Why compare prepaid card deals with money.co.uk?

Comparing prepaid cards could save you money. Our multiple award-winning comparison service makes sure you get the lowest fees and rates possible based on your individual circumstances. Our aim is to provide you with the most up-to-date information, as well as useful tools and calculators so to help you make life's most important decisions and take control of your money.

Proud to be award winning

We have always aimed to provide the best possible services to bridge the gap between our users and our clients. Over the years, we have been thrilled to be recognised by various prestigious bodies and organisations for those efforts.

¹To find out more about how the Financial Services Conduct Authority protects your money, visit FSCS.org.uk.

Last updated: 15 September 2021