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)
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.
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.
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.
Yes. Your card’s expiration date is printed on the front of the card, just like your typical credit card. If you still have money on your card as you approach its expiration, you can transfer it to another card for a fee.
The Travelex Money Card defaults to the US dollar. But you can easily change your default currency online, by phone or through the Travelex Money app.
Contactless payments are transactions that don’t require swiping or dipping to pay for your purchase. Instead, for any purchase of up to $50, you tap your card on a contactless reader to pay without a signature or PIN.
It’s a good idea to carry a credit card when you leave the country — preferably a widely accepted Visa or Mastercard. A credit card can help with big purchases or unexpected emergencies that cash or a prepaid card isn’t set up to handle.
You’ll first want to know the mid-market rate for the currency you’re interested in. This rate is what your money’s actually worth on the global market compared to another currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves.
Use this rate as a baseline to compare against the rates provided by your bank or transfer service. With it, you’ll discover which companies offer the best rates.
Kyle Morgan is a producer 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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