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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting Better Exchange Rates With Currency Cards

day 76 - credit cardsImage by JudeanPeoplesFront via Flickr

Once you compare exchange rates offered by the various banks and credit card companies, you will come to realize that prepaid currency cards are the cheapest way to go when traveling abroad. Most financial institutions will charge a 2% premium plus a three pound transaction fee for currency conversions. Prepaid cards are a new, safe and more affordable option to carrying your money during foreign travel.

If you opt to go with a pre paid card that can only be used at ATM machines there are cards with the Visa or Mastercard logo that can be used to withdraw local currency from over one million Visa or Mastercard cash machines in more than 160 countries. You have 24 hour access to your cash. This proves to be more convenient than having to constantly go to the bank or exchange bureaus to get cash.

Prepaid travel cards are preloaded with money that you plan to spend while travelling abroad. You determine the amount and how and where you want to spend your funds. If there are remaining funds on the card you have two options. If you are a frequent traveller of your particular destination, then you can leave the funds on the card. Your other option would be to withdraw the money. Your funds are never lost if you do not use the balance.

These convenient travel cards can be used as a credit or debit card. You are not restricted on your purchases, as long as your vendor accepts the Visa or Mastercard logo. You can also withdraw cash from the cards in most countries.

Currency travel cards are a secure option to banks and currency exchange bureaus. You have the added protection against fraud and identity theft. Travel cards are not like bank debit cards, they are not linked to your personal checking or savings account. So if there is ever unauthorized activity on your account, you can rest assured that your checking or savings accounts will remain unharmed.

Customer service is always available if your card is ever lost or stolen. A hold will be placed on your account preventing any further funds from being withdrawn. They are also insured, therefore any stolen funds would be replaced. And like all credit and debit cards, these pre paid card has associated PINs that you assign, making your funds even more secure.

Prepaid cards offer security, convenience and a more affordable option than banks and currency exchange bureaus. Compare exchange rates They give you the flexibility to spend your money how you want without the added costs of transaction fees. You ultimately get the best currency rates since you can secure foreign currency exchange rates in advance of your visit. This will save you an additional 5 to 8% on conversion rates.


Tom Fisher is a travel writer for severla publications. He suggests FairFX - - for buying foreign currency becuase of their great value prepaid cards.


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