Jonathan Halloway

Expertly compared by Jonathan Halloway

Products Updated May 23, 2019

Pre-paid Cards For Traveling Abroad

We have compared and listed out best pre-paid cards to use when you’re traveling abroad or on holiday or business use in a foreign country. Choose a card that meets your needs and click though to apply direct with the card issuer.


Is using prepaid credit cards for travelling abroad a good idea?

Want to use money when you travel abroad, but don't want the inconvenience of having to carry a large wad of cash everywhere you go? Carrying all your money in a wallet can not only make you the target of thieves, but may also mean that you are left penniless in a foreign country should your wallet be stolen or lost. There are several ways for you to try to handle this problem, including storing your money in the hotel safe, but using a prepaid card can not only help you to get the money you need on holiday, but also keep your main bank account secure even if it should be stolen. The card also has no credit allowance, so you know thieves can't overspend on the card, even if you lose the amount that you have put on there. Although prepaid cards can seem like a good idea, choosing between cash and a credit card is not always as easy as it seems.

What are the benefits?

Prepaid cards are popular with people going abroad on holiday who don't want to carry around too much money in a wallet while walking around foreign streets. It can protect you if the card is lost or stolen, since it can be used to get credit, and it won't allow access to your bank account. You can also top up some of the accounts with foreign currency, so you don't have to pay high exchange rates. In addition, if you know that you are a bit of a spender, the prepaid card can help you to avoid getting into debt while you are on holiday, as you can only spend what you have put on the card. If you have any problems with bad credit, prepaid cards are open to everyone, so you don't have to worry about credit checks or refusals, since there is no credit on the card at all.

What are the disadvantages?

Although a prepaid card can be a good idea, there are also some reasons why money is still the best way to travel. Firstly, there are a lot of fees with the prepaid card, including ATM withdrawal fees, charges for topping up the card, charges for not using the card, and even charges for withdrawing money while abroad. While some cards won't charge for use while you are on holiday, the majority do. There are also several different methods of topping up a prepaid card, and some card companies will use some of those methods, while another company will use a completely different method. For example, you may be able to top up in stores or banks with one service, but another will ask that you top up online, or on the phone. Both of these methods can be inconvenient if you are abroad.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to the prepaid credit card is what happens if you don't use the card for some time. If you don't spend all of your money while on holiday, and want to spend it again next time, you can't just leave the card in limbo. Instead, you might be charged a fee for not using the card, or even have the card suspended. When you go to use the card, it won't work. In addition, if you decide that you want to take the money off of the card before it becomes inactive, you will have to pay a fee for doing this. Some card companies even charge as much as £5 to do this, so it can be costly either way.

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