Best Travel Money Cards To Use

Best travel money cards to use

Travel money cards have emerged as a convenient alternative to carrying cash or using credit or debit cards while traveling abroad. These prepaid cards offer travelers the benefits of easy accessibility, competitive exchange rates, low or no fees, and greater security. 

Imagine it as a gift card for your vacation; you choose the amount of currency to add and can use it to make purchases or cash withdrawals overseas (or to make purchases online in foreign currencies). You know how much you have to spend and can’t go over that amount unless you reload because it functions like a debit card. 

A family hapilly traveling | best travel money cards to use

Either load it with pounds so it uses the exchange rate when you spend (though in practice it’s typically the rate on the day or two after) or load it in the currency of your choice before you leave (locking in a specific exchange rate).

The ‘interbank rate’ (the ideal exchange rate), the rate established by Mastercard or Visa, or one of these with an additional fee, often between 1% and 2.5%, are the three options that providers will utilize

While traveling abroad, you can conveniently make payments thanks to travel money cards. They simplify payment at ATMs, restaurants, hotels, and retail establishments. Similar to ATM cards, travel money cards function similarly. When you buy products or services abroad, they use a pin.

Find out which travel money cards are appropriate for your upcoming trip.

Is there a travel money card?

Yes, travel money cards, also known as prepaid travel cards, are a popular option for managing your finances abroad. They work similarly to debit cards, but you load them with a specific currency beforehand.

This allows you to avoid the hassle of carrying large amounts of cash and potentially eliminates foreign transaction fees charged by your regular debit card. You can use them for purchases and ATM withdrawals, although ATM fees might still apply.

Can you use a travel money card anywhere?

Travel money cards offer a secure and convenient way to manage your travel funds abroad, but it’s important to understand their reach. While generally accepted at stores and restaurants that accept debit cards, particularly those linked to major networks like Mastercard or Visa, they might not be universally accepted.

In tourist hotspots and developed countries, you’ll likely encounter a few issues using your travel money card. However, acceptance can be less widespread in smaller towns or areas with limited infrastructure. Additionally, some local vendors might not have the technology to process card payments, especially chip-and-pin which is common for travel money cards.

Another factor to consider is currency. Travel money cards typically lock you into a single currency. While some offer multi-currency options, using them outside the loaded currency might incur conversion fees.

To maximize flexibility, consider combining a travel money card pre-loaded with a common currency like Euros or US Dollars for specific expenses, with a debit card from your bank that offers competitive foreign transaction fees. This way, you’ll have the security of the travel card for everyday purchases and the flexibility of your debit card for situations where the travel money card isn’t accepted.

How do I put money on my travel money card?

Topping up your travel money card is a straightforward process, often done through the provider’s online platform or mobile app. Here’s a general breakdown:

  • Online Top-Up: Most travel card providers offer a secure online portal where you can link your bank account or debit card to your travel money card. Once logged in, you can simply select the amount you wish to transfer and follow the on-screen prompts. The funds are then electronically deposited onto your travel money card.
  • Mobile App: Many providers have mobile apps that mirror the functionality of their online platforms. Download the app, log in with your credentials, and look for a top-up or reload option. The process is usually similar to the online portal, allowing you to conveniently add funds on the go.
  • Bank Transfer: While less common, some providers might allow you to reload your travel money card directly through a bank transfer. This typically involves initiating a transfer from your bank account, specifying the travel card details as the recipient, and referencing a unique identifier provided by your travel card provider.

It’s important to note that processing times for these methods can vary, so plan accordingly to ensure your card is topped up before you need it. Be sure to also consult your travel card provider’s website or app for specific instructions and any associated fees for reloading.

10 Best Travel Money Cards

Here is a list of the 10 best travel money cards.

1. Revolut

Revolut is one of the best travel money cards and is a UK-based banking alternative that offers a Mastercard prepaid debit card. It allows users to convert and spend money in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate, with no fees on transactions up to a certain amount. 

This travel money card also provides a budgeting feature and the ability to freeze and unfreeze cards via the app.

For transfers worth less than £1,000 per month, Revolut’s Standard Plan only permits currency exchange at the base mid-market exchange rate. ATM withdrawals are similarly free for the first 200 euros, though weekend costs and withdrawal fees from third parties may also be charged. By upgrading memberships, these allowances are void.

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2. N26

N26 is a German-based online bank that provides a Mastercard debit card with no annual fees and no fees on foreign transactions. N26 is one of the best travel money cards and it offers real-time notifications for spending, budget tracking, and a user-friendly app. 

This travel money card also provides travel insurance coverage and free ATM withdrawals in Euros.

N26 travel money card
Source: N26 Travel Money Card

N26’s card is a useful tool for EU/EEA citizens who go abroad even though it lacks multi-currency functionality. N26 will apply the genuine exchange rate on all of your overseas transactions and will never impose a commission fee.

3. TransferWise

TransferWise is a UK-based financial technology company that offers a multi-currency debit Mastercard. It is one of the best travel money cards and it allows users to hold and convert money in up to 40 currencies at the mid-market rate, with low and transparent fees. It also provides worldwide ATM withdrawals and no monthly or annual fees.

4. Payoneer

A prepaid Mastercard debit card is available through Payoneer, a US-based provider of financial services.

Download 2
Source: Payoneer

It is one of the best travel money cards and it enables users to accept payments in several different currencies, all of which can be accessed without charge with the card. Additionally, a user-friendly smartphone app and real-time notifications are provided.

5. Travelex Money Card

Travelex Money Card offers prepaid Mastercard and Visa cards that can be loaded with up to 10 currencies. It is one of the best travel money cards and it provides competitive exchange rates and no fees for point-of-sale transactions. It also offers 24/7 customer support and worldwide ATM access.

The Travelex Money Card excels in every area. You can use it to withdraw cash from an ATM, make purchases at shops like restaurants, or even buy foreign currency online. Although the conversion rates aren’t as favorable as those offered by Wise or Revolut, the assistance system if the card is lost or stolen is excellent.

6. American Express GlobalTravel Card

American Express GlobalTravel Card is one of the best travel money cards and offers a prepaid Mastercard that can be loaded with up to eight currencies. It provides competitive exchange rates and no fees on point-of-sale transactions. It also enables users to lock in exchange rates and track spending via online access.

Image source: American Express

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7. WeSwap

WeSwap offers a Mastercard prepaid debit card that can be loaded with up to 18 currencies. It is one of the best travel money cards and provides secure online access and no transaction fees for spending. It also enables users to swap currencies with other cardholders directly, at mid-market rates.

Ass one of the best travel money cards, travelers can use WeSwap’s Mastercard to make purchases anywhere in the world by exchanging their Sterling for Euros, Dollars, and 15 other currencies. Users’ home WeSwap pairs travelers going in opposite directions and instantly swaps their trip money, in addition to allowing currency exchanges into any currency.

WeSwap, a London-based company, supported 18 different currencies when it first launched in full in 2015.

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8. Starling Bank

One of the best neobanks in the UK is Starling Bank and it is one of the best travel money cards. Because of its multi-currency capabilities, we highly suggest it to UK citizens who routinely make purchases in British pounds and euros.

Opening a Starling Bank account is free for UK residents and citizens. 

With this travel money card, there are no costs associated with making purchases abroad. It is a practical and affordable choice for frequent travelers simply because of this functionality. Even all ATM costs for machines abroad and in the UK are waived. The alternative is to exchange your British pounds for euros. You can send, receive, and retain euros for no cost by opening an account with them.

9. FairFX

FairFX is one of the best travel money cards and offers prepaid Mastercard and Visa cards that can be loaded with up to 15 currencies including euros, US dollars, and Japanese yen, and for use in more than 190 countries worldwide. It provides competitive exchange rates and no fees for point-of-sale transactions. It also offers free ATM withdrawals in selected countries and 24/7 customer support.

Earn up to 3.5% cash back at some of the best high street shops in the UK, and get Linked Cards to distribute money to loved ones and household assistance.

As one of the best travel money cards, it allows you to top up before you go or while you’re away at excellent rates. To prepare for your subsequent trip, transfer any leftover funds to a different currency. To keep track of your expenditures, go over transactions and check your balance.

If you lose your card, stop playing it and pick it up as soon as it’s safe to do so.

10. Monzo

Monzo offers a prepaid Mastercard debit card with no annual fees and no foreign transaction fees. It provides real-time spending notifications and budget tracking via the app. It also offers free ATM withdrawals in selected countries and 24/7 customer support.

Monzo travel money card
Image Source: Brokerchoser

As one of the best travel money cards, If they notice you using your card in another nation, they won’t block it. Instead, they’ll let you know the current conversion rate when you get there and provide you with a report on your trip’s expenses when you come home. You are always getting the greatest pricing because they don’t mark up the exchange rate. Make sure to select the local currency for the best exchange rate when some card machines prompt you to pay in pounds rather than the other option.

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Do travel money cards expire?

Travel money cards, like most prepaid cards, do indeed have expiration dates. These are typically printed on the front of the card, and expiry can range from 3 to 5 years depending on the issuer. The reason for expiry revolves around security measures and card inactivity.

An expired card simply won’t function. However, most providers allow you to transfer the remaining balance to a new card for a fee. This process usually involves contacting your travel card provider’s customer service and following their instructions.

To avoid the hassle of expiring cards, it’s wise to check the expiry date before your trip and plan your reload schedule accordingly. If you have leftover funds after your trip, address them well before the card expires to ensure a smooth transfer and avoid losing any remaining balance.

Can I use my travel money card in an ATM?

While travel money cards offer the convenience of pre-loaded currency, using them at ATMs requires some understanding. Generally, you can withdraw local cash using your travel money card at ATMs, especially if it’s linked to a major network like Mastercard or Visa. This provides peace of mind knowing you can access local currency when needed.

However, ATM withdrawals with travel money cards aren’t fee-free. There’s a double whammy to be aware of: the ATM operator might charge a withdrawal fee, and your travel card provider might also impose a separate fee for using an ATM outside their network. These fees can vary significantly, so it’s crucial to consult your card’s terms and conditions before relying solely on your travel money card for ATM withdrawals.

Remember, ATM acceptance isn’t guaranteed, particularly in remote areas. While travel money cards are a great budgeting tool, it’s wise to have a backup plan. Consider bringing a debit card from your bank that offers competitive foreign transaction fees. This way, even if your travel money card isn’t accepted by an ATM, you’ll have another option to access cash.


Travel money cards are a practical method to carry cash and make purchases while abroad. The best card for you will depend on your requirements, including the number of currencies you wish to use, the fees you are ready to pay, and the advantages you desire. It is simpler for you to choose the travel money card that best suits you because these 10 offer a wide variety of features and services.

These travel money cards are a great alternative to carrying a lot of cash because they provide convenience and security while you travel. This article has provided you with a thorough overview of the 10 best travel money cards now on the market to assist you in making an informed choice, assuring security and financial stability as you travel the globe.


Are travel money cards widely accepted across the globe?

Yes, travel money cards are accepted at millions of establishments around the world that accept major credit and debit cards.

Can I reload funds onto the travel money card while traveling?

Most travel money cards allow for online transfers, bank transfers, or even cash reloads at designated locations, providing flexibility in managing your funds while on the go.

Are travel money cards safer than carrying cash?

Yes, travel money cards offer added security as they can be easily replaced if lost or stolen, and many providers offer zero-liability policies in case of fraudulent use.

Can I use my travel money card for online purchases?

Absolutely! Travel money cards function like regular debit or credit cards, allowing you to make online purchases securely.


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