The Travelex Money Card — a prepaid card that simplifies travel

Travelex Money Card review

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Carry up to six foreign currencies on this prepaid travel card backed by an expert in forex.

With rising bank fees and fluctuating exchange rates, what’s the best way to exchange your money when traveling overseas? Finding a place to exchange your money at the best rate takes time, and carrying cash comes with its own problems.

One way to ease multicountry travel is with a prepaid money card. A travel money card from currency expert Travelex can simplify your foreign exchange with minimal fees and high daily withdrawals.

With the Mastercard-branded Travelex Money Card, you’ll find wide acceptance at millions of locations and many of the same protections as your typical credit card, including zero liability and purchase protection.

  • Reload and check your balance from the app
  • No ATM fees worldwide
  • Accepted at millions of locations

Pros

  • No ATM fees
  • Max balance of $8,500
  • Not linked to your bank account
  • Use contactless payments

Cons

  • Inactivity fee of $3/month after 12 months of inactivity
  • 5.5% foreign exchange fee

What is the Travelex Money Card?

The Travelex Money Card is a contactless prepaid currency card designed for travel overseas. You can load up to seven currencies — helpful if you’re traveling to more than one destination:

  • Australian dollar (AUD)
  • Canadian dollar (CAD)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Great British pound (GBP)
  • Japanese yen (JPY)
  • Mexican peso (MXN)
  • US dollar (USD)

When you swipe, dip or tap your card, it’s almost like using cash — but without the change. You’ll avoid international ATM fees and can manage your expenses through card services, your local Travelex or a mobile app.

Keep an eye on the market before you buy

Locking in your foreign exchange rate makes it easy to know how much you’re spending. But because forex rates fluctuate constantly, you might want to watch the forex market and time your purchase for when your currencies are strong.

How much can I carry on my Travelex card?

You may be that wide-eyed traveler who fully embraces the world as your oyster. A high $8,500 maximum balance ensures you can meet just about any adventure that comes your way.

You must put at least $50 on your card to start, and all future reloads must also be at least $50. But you can load up to $10,000 weekly and $20,000 monthly, with an overall cap of $30,000 a year — which gives you lots of flexibility for a memory-worthy vacation.

How much will the Travelex Money Card cost?

  • Loading money: $0
  • Withdrawing money: $0 from bank or ATM
  • Foreign transaction fee: $0
  • Card purchase fee: varies by state
  • Extra cards: $7.50
  • Inactivity fee: varies, starts after 12 months of disuse

Among the best thing about the Travelex Money Card is its minimal fees that won’t threaten to eat away at your travel budget.

The fee you’ll pay to purchase the card varies by your state of residence, and you’ll pay $7.50 for each card you add to your account. But you’ll pay no fees to load or reload your card, withdraw money from domestic or international ATMs, withdraw money at a bank or replace a lost or stolen card.

Unlike your typical credit or debit card, you also won’t pay a foreign transaction or currency conversion fee on your purchases. And once you initially purchase your currency, your exchange rate is locked in for those currencies. (However, foreign exchange rates apply when you move your card’s funds among the currencies you’ve loaded.)

That’s not the say the card is without fees. A couple to watch out for includes a fee on transfers you make from your card to your bank account and a potential inactivity fee if you don’t use your card after 12 months. To avoid both, plan to spend all the money on your card or withdraw any remaining funds from an ATM once you return home.

What is my default currency?

If you have more than one currency on your Travelex Money Card, set your default to whatever currency you wish. Simply update your default through your online account or app.

If you run out of the currency you need, the card automatically selects the next available currency. If you run out of that one, the card cycles from US dollars through any other currencies you have loaded until it satisfies your transaction.

But this convenience comes with a cost — a 5.5% fee on your transaction — which can put a dent in your balance.

Benefits

The Travelex Money Card makes it easy to preload multiple currencies for use when you’re traveling across borders abroad. You can keep an eye on your budget online or over the app, among other benefits:

  • Load multiple currencies. Includes seven currencies popular with travelers: US dollars, British pounds, Aussie dollars, yen, Mexican pesos, euros and Canadian dollars.
  • Minimal fees. Pay no fees for currency reloads, withdrawals at ATMs or banks or to replace a lost or stolen card.
  • Lock in forex rates. Purchase your currency, and you’ve effectively locked in your rates, protecting your money from future fluctuations.
  • Safeguard your info. Because the card isn’t connected to your bank account, your personal information is safe if you lose your card.

Drawbacks and limits

  • Daily limits. You won’t be able to withdraw more than $5,000 daily, and your ATM and bank withdrawals are further limited by transaction.
  • Not reliable for reservations. Because it’s essentially a prepaid card, avoid using the Travelex Money Card for reserving hotels, cars or cruises — or anything that requires a deposit.
  • Country restrictions. To avoid any surprises, be sure to check with Travelex to guarantee that you can use your card in the country you’re traveling to.

Tipping with your card? Watch out for holds.

When you use prepaid cards to pay for restaurant and bar tabs — or anywhere a gratuity is expected — budget a “tip tolerance” of 10% to 20% on top of your bill’s base amount.

When swiping your card, many establishments reserve what they expect you’ll add as a tip. If you don’t have enough money on your prepaid card to cover up to 20% on top of the base amount, consider using another card to avoid an uncomfortable card denial.

Where do I get a Travelex Money Card?

To get the Travelex Money Card, buy it on Travelex’s site or pick one up at any Travelex store. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old (or your state’s age of majority) with valid ID.

Once you’ve received your card, load or reload it online, by phone at 877-414-6359 or through the Travelex Money app.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Manage your currencies. Register your card online to keep track of spending and guarantee the money’s there when you need it.
  • Avoid currency conversion fees. If you run out of the currency you need, the card automatically selects the next available currency on your card — for a fee.
  • Get support. Before your travels, call 877-856-2471 with any questions. Outside of the US, find a country-specific number online.
  • Close your card after travels. To avoid inactivity fees, call Travelex to close your card when you’re back at home.

Bottom line

The Travelex Money Card can make it easy for you to preload currencies for easy spending abroad. You won’t need to worry about exchange rates, because yours are locked in at purchase. And you’ll save on the foreign transaction and withdrawal fees that come with most credit cards.

You have many options for travel money. As you get together your itinerary, compare the many cards out there before settling on one.

Frequently asked questions

Kyle Morgan

Kyle Morgan is a writer and editor for finder.com who has worked for the USA Today network and Relix magazine, among other publications. He can be found writing about everything from the latest car loan stats to tips on saving money when traveling overseas. He lives in Asbury Park, where he loves exploring new places and sipping on hoppy beer. Oh, and he doesn't discriminate against buffalo wings — grilled or fried are just fine.

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MichelleMarch 16, 2018

    How long does it take to receive my card?

    • Staff
      JhezelynMarch 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for your comment.

      From the order date of the card, you can have your card delivered Next Day or up to 21 days.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  2. Default Gravatar
    AyazJanuary 28, 2018

    Hi! I would like to travel to South Africa. Can i use Travelex money card in this country?

    • Staff
      kathyclairMarch 11, 2018Staff

      Hi Ayaz,

      Thank you for visiting finder, we are a financial comparison website and general information service.

      Travelex does not support South African currency. If you’re planning a trip to South Africa, decide the best way for you to exchange your USD for South African rand. You may compare your Travel card options on this page.

      Hope this helps!

      Kind regards,

      Kathy

  3. Default Gravatar
    PriyaJanuary 7, 2018

    Hi ,
    I need to give travel money card to someone traveling to India . Can you give us some details

    • Staff
      JoanneJanuary 8, 2018Staff

      Hi Priya,

      Thank you for visiting finder, we are a financial comparison website and general information service.

      You can use this guide to find the most valuable and easiest ways to take, use and spend money in India. This guide can help one decide which option, whether travel, debit or credit cards is the best way to access cash when traveling in India.

      The page will also discuss the different travel money products you can use in India and will detail how each product works.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

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