Travel Money Cards – Do They Offer Advantages Over Debit Cards and Traditional Credit Cards?

How do travel money cards work?

These cards are fairly recent additions to the cards that are available out there, and they give you the ability to place a certain amount of a specific currency on the card at a predetermined exchange rate, so that you have ready access to funds when you travel.

You can apply for these cards on the providers’ websites online, and the transfer of funds to the card can be made on the phone, the internet, or through SMS services, in some instances. At this time, only the pound, euro, and U.S. dollar can be uploaded onto currency cards.

How are travel money cards better than traditional credit cards?

One major benefit is that you will receive an exchange rate that is much more favorable than if you went to High Street and use the services of the bureaux de change. Another advantage is that the exchange rate of the uploaded funds is fixed, so there will be no surprises after you use it. Traditional credit cards and debit cards typically use the exchange rate that applies at the moment of the transaction, so you never know what you have spent until you see your bill.

Is that all there is to it?

Not at all. When you use a traditional credit card or debit card to make a purchase abroad, you are typically charged around 2.75% of the transaction as a fee for the foreign currency exchange.

These foreign currency exchange fees also apply in shops and eating establishments; however, a travel money card does not have these associated charges. The rates charged for obtaining cash with a credit or debit card can be very high, but since you have prepaid the amount on your currency card, it is not a loan, and there are no fees for the service.

Wonderful. Are there disadvantages to having a currency card?

Since you are uploading cash onto the card before your trip, your vacation is paid for up front, not with credit, so you must save for your trip. But, that may not be a disadvantage in the current economy. Currency card do have fees for withdrawing cash from ATMs, but the associated fees are much less that those incurred with credit or debit cards.

One example of this is that, when this article was written, NatWest and RBS both had a withdrawal fee of two percent, which amounts to about EUR6 each time you withdraw the sum of EUR300. Currency exchange cards, however, have a flat fee that amounts to as little as EUR1.50 no matter how much your ATM withdrawal is.

The major disadvantage of a travel money card is that you will be charged as much as 2.75% if you use the card for a currency that wasn’t assigned to it when it was issued. For instance, if you paid for something in U.S. dollars on a card issued in euros, then you would have to pay this foreign currency exchange fee. There are cards, however, that don’t carry an FX fee.

What about credit cards that can be used without FX fees?

Traditional credit cards like Post Office, Nationwide Gold, and Abbey Zero fit into this category. The first two cards, though, have 2.5% withdrawal fees for cash with a minimum charge of £3 per transaction, even though they don’t carry FX fees. This isn’t as good a deal as a travel money card, unless you don’t have the cash upfront for your vacation.

There are no cash withdrawal or FX fees associated with the Abbey card, however, which makes it the preferred credit card. Cash withdrawals do carry very high interests rates, though, which are at 25.9%; the cash withdrawal interest rates with Post Office and Nationwide are 20.83% and 22.9%, respectively.

Tell me more. So which travel money cards are the best?

The best card available for euros is the FairFX Euro Currency card, because its ATM fee is the least at EUR1.50; it has no foreign currency exchange fees and has fantastic exchange rates. Another euro card, the Indigo Travelcard Euro has just a slightly higher ATM fee of EUR1.95, but its convert fee is high at 2.75%. There is no convert fee associated with the ICE Travellers CashCard Euro, but the ATM fee is a whopping EUR3.

When considering dollar cards, again, FairFX is the best deal, as the currency card charges just $2 for ATM transactions, and it doesn’t have a convert fee. Another bargain for dollar cards is the ICE Travellers CashCard, because it does not have a convert fee, and the fee for ATM transactions is just $3. Keep in mind that when there is no convert fee, the cards can used for any available currency.

What’s the best travel money card for world travel?

FairFX have just launched what they call an ‘Anywhere Card’ which at the time of writing appears to be the best value of all the travel money cards for worldwide use.

With a FairFX Anywhere Card there are no loading fees and no ATM fees! the only fee that applies is a 1.5% transaction fee which as far as we can tell beats every other similar type of card in the market.

FairFX have just launched what they call an ‘Anywhere Card’ which at the time of writing appears to be the best value of all the travel money cards for worldwide use.

With a FairFX Anywhere Card there are no loading fees and no ATM fees! the only fee that applies is a 1.5% transaction fee which as far as we can tell beats every other similar type of card in the market.

Tours Of Bryce Canyon Available Starting In Las Vegas

Each year thousands of people begin the process of planning trips to the great national parks of the American southwest, and each year thousands of people abandon those plans as the reality of the situation sets in. Basically, flying from your home to the area surrounding most national parks is more difficult than you would think, and flying to the closest major airports leaves you with hours of driving before you will ever reach the park. For this reason, many will never experience the beauty of many parks like Bryce.

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in Utah, and is roughly 4 hours driving distance from both Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, which represent the closest major airports. While there are other airports that are closer, the majority of them are small and cannot accept traffic from major carriers or large planes. This severely limits the amount of flights available, and increases the prices of flights significantly. In addition to this, once you are on the ground in most of these small towns there is limited choices for hotels and restaurants, with even less in the form of entertainment. This is why most visitors to Bryce Canyon choose to leave from Las Vegas, arranging their trip as part of a larger vacation. Las Vegas is specifically set up to cater to tourists and has far more in terms of hotels and entertainment than other cities. Most people who are not locals in the southwest will choose to fly into Las Vegas and stay a few days before embarking on their trip to Bryce.

There are several professional tour companies offering tours of Bryce Canyon that leave from Las Vegas. These companies are generally very accommodating and will go as far as to pick you up at a major hotel and drop you off at the same place. The tours are usually scheduled to include several other parks like Zion or the Grand Canyon, so as to maximize the experience while minimizing the driving time. The four hour trip to the area makes more sense to travel another hour or so to get to another park than simply driving back to the original location. This will also provide those who are looking for a completely unique experience the ability to camp in the park. Allowing a professional tour company to take care of the details of your Bryce tour is the way to go.

Things to Remember While Travelling Within Your Country

Travelling is not just about going away to a foreign locale and clicking beautiful pictures. It’s also about making the most of what you have in your own country and ensuring that you travel even if it’s within 5 kms of your city.

Domestic travel can also help you get acquainted with the rest of your country and make new friends. You will be able to connect with some facets of your own country, you never knew existed. However, while you are out there, venturing and exploring your own rugged terrains, here are some of the things you need to keep in mind.

Check Out Different Modes of Travel

If you are short on time and want to cut down on the amount of time you spend travelling to a new place, then consider getting air tickets booked. Look for lowest airfares domestic when you are searching for flight tickets so that you get the best deal for yourself. You can also check out different website and compare prices so that you can avail the lowest airfares on domestic travel.

Apart from flights, some places in your country might be best enjoyed if you get there by train or road. So, dig around a bit and do some research so that you have the best travel experience.

Find Out about the Local Cuisine

When you are going to a different place in your country, you should check out their local cuisine and be prepared for it in advance. This will help you prepare yourself to take on a different diet than your normal one. You will be able to get some medicines so that in case you have trouble digesting the food, you will not fall sick. Also, checking out the local cuisine will help you find some local restaurants that make unique dishes, which are worth checking out while you are there.

Pack Your Clothes According to the Weather

In some countries like India, the climate varies from place to place. In some places, it will be extremely hot while other places receive rainfall all throughout the year. And, these places might be located within a few kilometers of each other. So, if your country is anything like that, make sure that you pack your clothes accordingly. Check out the weather forecast in advance so that you aren’t shocked when you reach the place.

These are 3 of the most important things that you need to keep in mind when you are travelling within your country. Apart from these, you could also check out the crime rate of a place and their security arrangements in order to be safe while travelling.