Traveling is undoubtedly an exciting experience. However, coordinating a travel budget and deciding on the best way to make purchases on a trip is often stressful, particularly for frequent travelers. Whether you are dealing with currency conversion, ensuring adequate access to funds, or trying to avoid theft, finding the right card to use for travel can be somewhat nerve-wracking. Frequent travelers—particularly those who travel for business—often deal with these kinds of issues on a regular basis. Many of them have found that using a prepaid debit card is one of the safest and most convenient methods of making purchases when traveling internationally.
1. They are great for curbing travel spending.
One of the reasons why millions of people like prepaid debit cards is because of how easy it is to budget with them. Cardholders can use prepaid cards as a supplement or replacement for a bank-issued debit or credit card. The cards can be used anywhere that major credit and debit cards are accepted, all of which make prepaid cards ideal for managing your travel expenses.
Since prepaid debit cards aren’t linked to a checking account, cardholders can’t use more funds than what are already been loaded onto the card. This is a great feature for those who tend to overspend while they are on vacation. A prepaid debit card can make the process of planning activities and expenditures much simpler. For those who travel frequently, creating a budget is a must, and prepaid cards make that process much easier.
2. They help you avoid frustration overseas.
If you frequently travel outside of the United States—and particularly overseas—a prepaid debit card can help you avoid common problems. For instance, many places do not accept travelers’ checks. In addition, frequent travelers know that it’s helpful to have multiple forms of payment on hand. If you run into a problem with one payment method, having a prepaid debit card as an alternative can save you a great deal of frustration.
One of the main benefits of taking a prepaid debit card along with you on a trip is that it allows you to avoid having to deal with a bank-issued debit card and its accompanying hassles. Some banks require account holders to jump through hoops in order to use their own funds while traveling, with some putting a hold on their debit card or even freezing their funds. While banks often explain that this is for the protection of the cardholder against potential fraud, it often results in embarrassment or frustration when a customer cannot complete basic transactions. Banks will often suggest that cardholders advise them if they plan to take a vacation. However, for frequent travelers, this is not really practical. Prepaid debit cards eliminate this problem, since the money is pre-loaded and not tied to a bank’s funds.
Converting your currency to the local exchange rate can be another inconvenience. When using a conventional bank-issued credit or debit card, currency exchange rates can be perplexing. In the case of a credit card, a standard fee ranging from 3 to 5 percent of your total purchase amount is collected at an international merchant’s point-of-sale. By using a prepaid card that mirrors the currency of the country in which you’re staying, you can avoid currency conversion fees altogether.
3. They offer easy reloading options.
If you have a traditional bank account, it can be virtually impossible to deposit additional funds if you find yourself in an area in which your bank doesn’t do business. Even if you are traveling domestically, there is a chance that your bank doesn’t have branches or ATMs in the location where you are visiting. In this case, it can be difficult or impossible to add more cash to your debit card.
Prepaid debit cards are unique in that they offer many ways to load and reload funds to your card. For example, most cards can be loaded online or at a register at participating retailers. Multiple loading options offer another benefit for travelers, who can obtain quick access to their funds in the event of travel delays or any other sort of emergency.
As financial technology continues to evolve, and with the advent of virtual currency, traveling is becoming less complicated as time goes on. Prepaid cards are yet another way to help people navigate globally without the hassle of worrying about how they will access their money.
When choosing a prepaid debit card for travel, it’s important to conduct thorough research before choosing a card. Always compare the various prepaid debit card options, and pay close attention to customer service reviews and any fees. Once you’ve found a card that suits your needs, you can rest assured that your future travels will go more smoothly.
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