There are plenty of ways to access your spending money when you travel overseas. One method is a travel money card. So what are some of the possible benefits?
1. Ability to lock in your exchange rate before travelling
When the Kiwi dollar is strong, a travel money card can be a great way to lock in the exchange rate for your trip. It helps you to budget for your holiday by giving you certainty about just how much spending money you will have available. Of course, by locking in a currency well ahead of time, you also risk missing out on any improvements in the exchange rate from now until the time you hop on a plane.
No matter what the dollar is doing or the exchange rate you get, there are so many health benefits to be gained from travelling that you should do it anyway!
2. Ability to load multiple foreign currencies on one card
A travel money card is a fantastic way to juggle multiple currencies. Our recent research for the travel money card award found a range in maximum number of currencies allowed, from 9 to 14 different currencies.
Some of the most common currencies that can be loaded onto a travel money card are:
- Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Canadian Dollar (CAD)
- Euro (EUR)
- Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
- Japanese Yen (JPY)
- New Zealand Dollar (NZD) (not that you really need this one)
- Singapore Dollar (SGD)
- South African Rand (ZAR)
- UK Pound (British Pound) (GBP)
- US Dollar (USD)
- Thai Baht (THB)
3. Ability to reload card via online banking
Oops – it’s easy to overspend when you travel. But never fear; these days you can reload many travel money cards via your online banking portal – provided you have the funds available in your bank account, of course! Not all travel money card providers offer this feature, but 2 out of 4 do: Air New Zealand OneSmart and Kiwibank Loaded for Travel.
It’s wise to remember that any type of card reload may or may not happen instantly, depending on your card provider. So don’t let yourself get caught out, or you may be stuck in a foreign country without funds available.
Or you could make your pre-trip budgeting so organised that your card doesn’t run out of money at all…
Canstar is an information provider and in giving you product information Canstar is not making any suggestion or recommendation about a particular credit product. If you decided to apply for a (type of product) you will deal directly with a financial institution, and not with Canstar. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution. For more information, read our detailed disclosure, important notes and additional information.
4. Debit card functionality without linking to your bank account
One other significant security benefit of travel money cards is that they are a stand-alone card not linked to your bank accounts. This helps to minimise the risk of financial loss due to fraud or theft.
Other security measures on travel money cards include the chip, PIN code access, and the ability to block a card if stolen. Of course, you should never be complacent about your personal security when you’re travelling – here are some tips on keeping your money safe overseas.
5. Allows you to carry a minimal amount of cash
Cash is the least secure way to carry your holiday spending money. A five-second encounter with a pickpocket can leave you broke – and definitely not in a holiday mood! There will always be some instances where cash is the only payment method accepted, but for most transactions a travel money card does the job.
How to buy a travel money card
Not all travel money cards are created equal, which is where the Canstar Travel Money Card award ratings are an invaluable resource. Our most recent comparison of travel money cards has analysed the features, benefits and costs of the following cards:
- Air New Zealand – OneSmart
- Kiwibank – Loaded for Travel
- MasterCard – Cash Passport
- Qantas – Qantas Cash