About Forex Card
A forex card is a prepaid travel card that you load with a foreign currency of your choice, so you can access money when abroad. It is an efficient, effective and easy way of carrying foreign currency to use when travelling in another country. It works just like a debit or credit card; you can make purchases, withdraw from ATMs etc. Typically, travelers use this card as a more secure alternate to carrying cash. The card also offers better exchange rates than credit cards, depending on the types of foreign exchange markets. It’s also possible to lock in exchange rates ahead of time, to not be affected by currency fluctuations.
About Credit Card
A credit card is a financial service provided by the bank wherein the cardholder can borrow funds for expenditure and payment but will have to pay back the borrowed amount, with additional agreed-upon charges in a designated period. When using a credit card, you are being credited money and the bank is paying on your behalf.
The bank provides a pre-approved fixed credit slash spending limit issued based on your income and credit history. Usually, if you have a steady income, you will be granted a credit limit of three to five times your per month wages.
About Debit Card
A debit card is another payment card facility offered by the bank where the money used is directly deducted from the cardholder’s linked bank account. The amount you can spend depends on the funds you have in your account. You can use a debit card to withdraw from ATMs as well.
Forex vs. Credit vs. Debit
Forex cards are specifically designed for international expenses; therefore, they are more cost-effective than the two. Credit and debit cards typically have high foreign exchange mark-up fees called currency conversion fees. Credit cards are the most expensive when it comes to cash withdrawals, with additional charges like cash advance fees and finance charges, along with the general foreign exchange mark-up fee.
Forex cards are not linked to your bank account, unlike credit and debit cards. In case of situations like theft and misplacement, there is a quick deactivation procedure and free insurance coverage. You have the choice of selecting an expense limit for forex but for debit, you cannot.
Credit and debit cards’ foreign exchange rate cost can range from 1.5 to 3.5 per cent of the transaction amount whereas because the currency is pre-loaded in forex, you do not face a markup fee with it. At international ATMs, credit and debit cards incur more mark-up fees than forex cards. Forex charges depend on the currency but the rates remain less costly. Debit cards suffer from fluctuations in exchange rates while forex can lock in the rates prior.
Forex combines the functionality of a debit card, like transactions in more than one currency and having lesser exchange rates than the traditional counterparts. They are accepted worldwide, offering flexibility and accessibility across more than 133 countries. Easy payment and instant recharge via pre-paid net banking facilities make it the ideal companion to carry while travelling.
Forex cards have the upper hand when it comes to finance during travel, but can it be an option for daily expenses as well? Yes, with a zero forex markup card, it is possible. It operates alternatively like a debit card but incurs zero mark-up costs.