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Travellers benefit from new pre-paid cards

Due to the high number of credit cards being frozen every year by banks because holiday-makers are mistaken for foreign fraudsters while using their cards abroad, travellers are now turning to pre-paid cards instead.

More from Spending Money Abroad
21 October 2008

Travellers benefit from new pre-paid cards

Travellers benefit from new pre-paid cards

Pre-paid cards offer a positive solution for backpackers and holiday makers who are in foreign lands because they don’t get frozen as often.

More popular than ever

Pre-paid cards have become more popular than ever before, both because consumers are looking for ways to stay out of debt and control their spending and also because a growing number of people are choosing to take money on holiday with them in safer ways.

Using a pre-paid card is simple and if you lose it while away it can easily be cancelled and replaced.

Banks advise those wishing to travel to inform them if they intend on using their credit cards abroad in order to not face having them frozen or cancelled.

However, due to computer glitches and system settings often even those who tell their bank about their travel plans still face credit and debit cards not working due to perceived fraud.

This can not only be embarrassing and inconvenient but could also ruin a holiday or leave someone stranded in another country with no money.

Pre-paid cards offer a positive solution for backpackers and holiday makers who are in foreign lands because they don’t get frozen as often.

What’s more, new cards specifically intended for use when travelling have now emerged which offer great exchange rates otherwise unavailable on the high street.

Great deals

Big industry players have cottoned on to the trend and amongst others. The Lloyds TSB Travel Money Card offers consumers the convenience of a pre-paid card at a cost of £3.65 a month and charges £7.50 as a card application fee, the cost of cash machine withdrawals is £1.50 both at home and abroad.

Meanwhile, The Post Office Travel Money Card is slightly more competitive offering a free set up, a monthly charge of £3.45 and ATM withdrawals in the UK for £1.50 and abroad for £2.00.

Although, an offer you should certainly consider is from FairFX.com which offers cards in either Euros or US Dollars for you to use abroad and in the UK.

While FairFX might not sound too familiar, it’s issued by the Newcastle Building Society and is licensed by MasterCard International.

Reloading a FairFX card is free and you can do it online. The monthly ownership cost is £2.24 for the dollar card and £2.50 for the Euro card and there are no application fees.

Taking money out of a UK cash machine with the FairFX dollar card costs £1.12 and it costs the same abroad, while the Euro Card charges £1.25 both for UK withdrawals and those made in other countries.

According to the FairFX website cards and PINs take between 7 and 10 days to arrive and signing up for a card is free if you visit the website via www.moneysupermarket.com, but it may not be free otherwise.

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