By Ankur Mittal
Updated On September 23, 2022

Using your regular credit card while you’re on an international trip might not be the wisest of decisions, as international transactions, which are usually in a foreign currency, attract an additional forex mark-up fee, which, for most credit cards is around 3.5% of the transaction amount. For this reason, banks offer prepaid forex cards, which are tailored for the needs of the customers who make frequent international transactions. With the best forex card, a person can get the most out of their foreign transactions.

As the name suggests, these are prepaid cards, i.e., unlike credit cards, you need to load some balance on these cards before you can make any purchases. Almost all the best forex cards in the market support multiple currencies- you can load the card in any of the supported currencies. Spends in the currency loaded on the card do not attract any foreign currency mark-up fee. Therefore, it’s a good idea to carry a forex card on an international trip loaded with the home currency of the country you are visiting.

Best Forex / Pre-Paid Cards In India

List of Top Forex Cards in India

Here we have shortlisted some of the best-prepaid forex cards offered by the various banks in the country. Many of these cards, just like credit cards, also offer add-on benefits like complimentary lounge access, insurance plans, discount vouchers, etc. You can go through their detailed features and benefits in this article and then choose one that seems to suit you the best:

Table of Contents

BookMyForex YES Bank Forex Card

Welcome Benefits

Get a Rs. 200 discount on your first transaction with BookMyForex

Rewards Rate

NA

Joining Fees

Nil

Issuance Fee Nil
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2 plus applicable taxes
Currencies Supported USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, SEK, SGD, AUD, JPY, CHF, AED, HKD, SAR, THB, NZD, and ZAR
Forex Markup Fee Nil
Additional Benefits Flat Rs. 200 discount on making a transaction worth Rs. 1,000 or more on EazyDiner

The BookMyForex YES Bank Prepaid Card is a recently launched co-branded foreign travel card. The card aims at providing its customers with hassle-free international travel experiences. Not only this but it supports multiple currencies, making it even more convenient for you to travel to different countries without any worries about finding a currency conversion center there. Along with all these features, the card also offers several great deals and discounts across different categories.

HDFC Bank Regalia ForexPlus Card

Welcome Benefits

N/A

Rewards Rate

N/A

Joining Fees

Rs. 1,000 (plus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 1,000 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 4
Currencies Supported USD
Cross-Currency Usage Fee Nil
Additional Benefits 2 Complimentary lounge access at international airports across India

 

The Regalia ForexPlus Card is a sub-premium prepaid foreign exchange credit card by HDFC Bank. Although the card comes with zero annual fee, an initial fee of Rs. 1,000 is payable at the time of card issuance.

Regalia ForexPlus Card can be loaded in US Dollars. The best part about the Regalia ForexPlus Card is, not only that you are not charged any mark-up fee on transactions in USD, there is no cross-currency usage fee applicable on transactions done in any other currency either. You may refer to this article for more information on HDFC Regalia ForexPlus Card.

MakeMyTrip HDFC Bank ForexPlus Card

Welcome Benefits

Complimentary MMT Black membership, Ola voucher worth Rs. 500 on loading a minimum of USD 1,000 (or equivalent), issuance fee waiver with a valid MMT flight/hotel/holiday booking ID, or on the first loading of a minimum of USD 1,000 (or equivalent)

Rewards Rate

N/A

Joining Fees

Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2
Currencies Supported 22 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 2% of the transaction amount
Additional Benefits MMT Bllack Membership, 2 complimentary lounge access at international airports across India

 

MakeMyTrip HDFC ForexPlus Card is a co-branded prepaid forex card by the bank. The card comes with an initial issuance fee of Rs. 500 (plus GST), however, you do not pay any annual membership fee for the card.

The card can be loaded in 22 different currencies including  Australian Dollar, Dirhams, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Hongkong Dollar, Japanese Yen, Singapore Dollar, Sterling Pound, Swiss Franc, Swedish Krona, Thailand Baht, South African Rand, Oman Riyal, New Zealand Dollar, Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone, Saudi Riyal, Korean Won, Bahrain Dinar, Qatari Riyal, Kuwait Dinar and US Dollar. Transactions made in the currency loaded on the card do not attract any forex mark-up fee, however, a cross-currency usage charge of 2% of the transaction amount is applicable on spends on the card in a currency other than the one loaded on the card.

As it is an MMT co-branded card, it comes with some exclusive benefits from MakeMyTrip like complimentary MMT Black membership and discounts on flight/hotel/holiday bookings via MMT. Apart from these add-on privileges from MakeMyTrip, you also get many other benefits with the card like complimentary airport lounge access, Amazon and Ola vouchers, a comprehensive insurance plan and many more. Refer to this article to learn more about MakeMyTrip HDFC ForexPlus Card.

HDFC Bank Multicurrency Platinum ForexPlus Chip Card

Welcome Benefits

Issuance fee waiver on the first loading of a minimum of USD 1,000 (or its currency equivalent)

Rewards Rate

N/A

Joining Fees

Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2
Currencies Supported 22 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 2% of the transaction amount

 

Just like MakeMyTrip HDFC ForexPlus Card, the Multicurrency Platinum card can also be loaded in 22 different foreign currencies- Australian Dollar, Dirhams, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Hongkong Dollar, Japanese Yen, Singapore Dollar, Sterling Pound, Swiss Franc, Swedish Krona, Thailand Baht, South African Rand, Oman Riyal, New Zealand Dollar, Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone, Saudi Riyal, Korean Won, Bahrain Dinar, Qatari Riyal, Kuwait Dinar and US Dollar. No mark-up fee is charged on transactions made in the currency loaded on the card, a cross-currency usage fee of 2% of the transaction amount is applicable on transactions made in a currency other than the one loaded on the card.

Multicurrency Platinum ForexPlus Chip Card comes with an initial issuance fee (joining fee) of Rs. 500 (plus GST) which is waived off on the first-time loading of a minimum of USD 1,000. Although the card does not earn you any reward points/cashback, you do get plenty of add-on benefits like Amazon vouchers, emergency assistance, global concierge service, etc. with the card. Check out this article for more info on HDFC Multicurrency Platinum ForexPlus Chip Card.

Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card

Welcome Benefits

N/A

Rewards Rate

N/A

Joining Fees

Rs. 300 (plus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 300 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2.25 (plus applicable taxes)
Currencies Supported 16 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 3.5% of the transaction amount

 

The multi-Currency Forex Card by Axis Bank is a prepaid international travel card. The card supports 16 widely used currencies including United States Dollar, Euro, Pound Sterling, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, Singapore Dollar, Swedish Krona/Kronor, UAE Dirham, Saudi Royal, Thai Baht, New Zealand Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, South African Rand and Danish Krone. As with all foreign exchange credit cards, transactions in the currency loaded on the card do not attract any mark-up fee, however, transactions in a currency other than the one loaded on the card attract a cross-currency mark-up fee of 3.5% of the transaction amount.

Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card comes with an initial issuance fee of Rs. 300 (plus GST) which is waived off for Burgundy and Priority account holders. Although the card does not have any reward structure, you however do get many value-added benefits like discounts on international roaming packs by VI, a lower currency conversion rate for Southeast Asian currencies, and 247×7 travel assistance by TripAssist. You may want to refer to this article for more information on Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card.

Axis Bank Club Vistara Forex Card

Welcome Benefits

500 Club Vistara Points (CV Points) on loading the card for the first time

Rewards Rate

3 Club Vistara Points (CV Points) per USD 5 spent with the card

Joining Fees

Rs. 500m (pus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2.25 (plus applicable taxes)
Currencies Supported 16 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 3.5% of the transaction amount
Other Benefits 3 CV Points per USD 5 spent, Rs. 1,000 cashback on VI international roaming packs

 

Axis Bank Club Vistara Forex Card is a co-branded prepaid forex card by Axis Bank in collaboration with Air Vistara. The card comes with an initial issuance fee of Rs. 500 (plus GST), however, no annual membership fee is applicable on the card.

Axis Bank Club Vistara Forex Card can also be loaded in 16 different currencies including United States Dollar, Euro, Pound Sterling, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, Singapore Dollar, Swedish Krona/Kronor, UAE Dirham, Saudi Royal, Thai Baht, New Zealand Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, South African Rand and Danish Krone.

Since it is an Air Vistara co-branded forex card, you earn Club Vistara Points (CV Points) as rewards on Axis Bank Club Vistara Forex Card. You earn 3 CV Points for every USD 5 spent with the card. Apart from CV Points, you also get complimentary Club Vistara base membership. Other add-on benefits that you get with the Club Vistara Forex Card include cashback on international roaming packs and 24×7 emergency assistance during international travel.

Like most other forex cards, transactions made in the currency loaded on the card do not attract any foreign currency mark-up fee, however, a cross-currency usage charge of 3.5% of the transaction amount is applicable on transactions made in a currency other than the one loaded on the card. You may refer to this article for more information on Axis Bank club Vistara Forex Card.

ICICI Bank Student Forex Prepaid Card

Welcome Benefits

Get an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) membership voucher worth INR 999 and several other deals & discounts as a joining benefit.

Rewards Rate

NA

Joining Fees

Rs. 499

Issuance Fe Rs. 499 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2
Currencies Supported USD
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 3.5%
Additional Benefits Welcome benefits worth up to Rs. 5,000

The ICICI Bank Student Forex Credit Card is a great option for those who are planning to go to a foreign country for high studies. It comes with an issuance fee of Rs. 499 and a renewal fee of Rs. 199 plus taxes. This Student Forex Card allows you to make international transactions without any hassle and with much lower charges compared to credit & debit cards. The cardholders get introductory privileges worth Rs. 5,000 and several other benefits, such as complimentary insurance cover and zero liability protection are there.

Axis Bank World Traveller Forex Card

Welcome Benefits

1,000 Miles on loading the card for the first time.

Rewards Rate

5 Miles for every USD 5 spent with the card

Joining Fees

Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2.25 (plus applicable taxes)
Currencies Supported 16 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 3.5% of the transaction amount
Other Benefits 5 Miles on Miles & More per USD 5 spent, Rs. 1,000 cashback on VI international roaming packs

 

Axis Bank World Traveller Forex Card is another prepaid travel card by Axis Bank in collaboration with Germany-based Lufthansa airlines. Like the other two Axis Bank forex cards, the World Traveller Forex Card can also be loaded in 16 different foreign currencies including United States Dollar, Euro, Pound Sterling, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, Singapore Dollar, Swedish Krona/Kronor, UAE Dirham, Saudi Royal, Thai Baht, New Zealand Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, South African Rand and Danish Krone.

Like most other forex cards, no forex mark-up fee is applicable on transactions made in the currency loaded on the card, however, a cross-curremcy usage fee of 3.5% of the transaction amount is applicable on transactions made in a currency other than the one loaded on the card.

As it is an Air Lufthansa co-branded card, as a cardholder, you are entitled to complimentary membership of Air Lufthansa’s Miles & More loyalty program. As far as the reward structure is concerned, you earn 5 Award Miles per USD 5 spent with the card. These Award Miles are added to the Miles & More account linked with your mobile number registered with the bank. Apart from the AirMiles, you also get a few other benefits like a cashback of up to Rs.1,000 on VI international roaming packs. You may refer to this article for more information on Axis Bank World Traveller Forex Card.

State Bank Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card

Welcome Benefits

N/A

Rewards Rate

N/A

Joining Fees

Rs. 100 (plus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 100 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 1.75 (plus applicable taxes)
Currencies Supported 7 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 3% of the transaction amount

 

State Bank Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card is a prepaid forex card by the State Bank of India. There is no annual membership fee applicable on the card, however, an initial issuance fee of Rs. 100 (plus GST) is chargeable at the time of issuance. The issuance fee of the SBI Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card is the least amongst all the forex cards presently offered in India.

State Bank Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card can be loaded in seven different currencies- USD, Euro, Pound, Singapore Dollar, Canadian Dollar, UAE Dirham, and Australian Dollar. No mark-up fee is charged on transactions made in the currency loaded on the card, however, a cross-currency usage fee of 3% of the transaction amount is applicable on transactions made in a currency other than the one loaded on the card. See this article for more details on State Bank Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card.

IndusInd Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card

Welcome Benefits

Rs. 150 discount of issuance fee on loading the card with a minimum amount equivalent to Rs. 50,000.

Rewards Rate

N/A

Joining Fees

Rs. 300

Issuance Fee Rs. 300 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2 (plus applicable taxes)
Currencies Supported 14 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 3.5% of the transaction amount

 

As the name suggests, IndusInd Multi-Currency Travel Card is a prepaid forex card by IndusInd Bank. You do not pay any annual membership fee for the card, however an initial fee of Rs. 300 is payable at the time of issuance.

The card supports 14 international currencies- US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Great Britain Pound, Hong Kong Dollar, Japanese Yen, New Zealand Dollar, Singapore Dollar, South African Rand, Swiss Franc, Thailand Baht, Saudi Riyal and UAE Dirham. No forex mark-up fee is charged on transactions made in the currency loaded on the card; a cross-currency usage fee of 3% of the transaction amount is however applicable on transactions made in a currency other than the one loaded on the card. Check out this article to learn more about IndusInd Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card

ICICI Bank Sapphiro Forex Prepaid Card

Welcome Benefits

Central shopping voucher worth Rs. 500 and Uber vouchers worth Rs. 1,000

Rewards Rate

N/A

Joining Fees

Rs. 2,999 (plus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 2,999 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2 (plus applicable taxes)
Currencies Supported 15 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee Nil
Other Benefits 2 complimentary international airport lounge access

 

Sapphiro Forex Prepaid Card is a premium prepaid forex card by ICICI Bank. The card comes with a hefty joining (issuance) fee of Rs. 2,999 (plus GST), and being a premium forex card offers plenty of add-on privileges like shopping vouchers, Uber vouchers, complimentary international lounge access with Dragon Pass, discounts on international roaming packs and many other benefits. There is no annual membership fee applicable on ICICI Sapphiro Forex Prepaid Card.

One differentiating feature of the Sapphiro Forex Prepaid Card is, just like HDFC Regalia Forex Card, no cross-currency usage fee is applicable on ICICI Sapphiro Forex Prepaid Card either, which means that you can transact in any currency without being charged any extra fee. You may want to refer to this article for more details on ICICI Sapphiro Forex Prepaid Card.

Goibibo ICICI Bank Forex Prepaid Card

Welcome Benefits

goCash+ gift vouchers worth Rs. 500, Goibibo vouchers worth Rs. 15,000

Rewards Rate

N/A

Joining Fees

Rs. 499 (plus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 499 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2 (plus applicable taxes)
Currencies Supported 15 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 3.5% of the transaction amount
Other Benefits Gift vouchers from Goibibo

 

Goibibo ICICI Forex Prepaid Card, as is obvious from the name, is a co-branded forex card by ICICI Bank launched in collaboration with the travel portal Goibibo. The card comes with an initial issuance fee of Rs. 499 (plus GST), while no annual fee is applicable on the card.

Since it is a Goibibo co-branded card, you get many Goibibo exclusive benefits with the card like goCash+ gift voucher worth Rs. 500 and Goibibo vouchers worth Rs. 15,000 with the card as a welcome gift. Apart from these Goibibo exclusive benefits, you also get cab vouchers worth Rs. 1,000 on loading a minimum of USD 1,000 on the card, discounted rates on dining at Indian restaurants across Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok, and a comprehensive insurance plan with covers against air accident, checked-in baggage, loss of passport/ticket, etc. Check out this article for more details on Goibibo ICICI Forex Card.

ICICI Bank Coral Prepaid Forex Card

Welcome Benefits

BookMyShow and Uber vouchers worth Rs. 500 each

Rewards Rate

N/A

Joining Fees

Rs. 499 (plus applicable taxes)

Issuance Fee Rs. 499 (plus applicable taxes)
Cash Withdrawal Charges USD 2 (plus applicable taxes)
Currencies Supported 15 Currencies
Cross-Currency Usage Fee 3.5% of the transaction amount
Other Benefits BookMyShow and Uber Gift Vouchers

Coral Prepaid Forex Card is another prepaid forex card by ICICI Bank. The card comes with an initial joining fee of Rs. 499 (plus GST), however, an annual fee of Rs. 299 (plus GST) is applicable second year onwards.

Although ICICI Coral Prepaid Forex Card does not have a reward structure (like Reward Points of cashback), you do get plenty of value-added benefits with the card like BookMyShow and Uber vouchers, comprehensive insurance plan, complete card protection by OneAssist, etc. You may refer to this article for more information on ICICI Coral Prepaid Forex Card.

Forex/Prepaid Cards – Features and Benefits

Like the general credit cards, some of the forex cards are also issued by the major card issuers in the country. These cards comes with various features and benefits across different categories. Some of the common advantages of the forex credit cards are as follows:

  • Rewards Rate: Some of the forex credit cards, such as the Axis Bank World Traveller Forex Card & Axis Bank Club Vistara Forex Card, also reward their customers in all their spends. As these cards are most suitable for international travelers, they offer travel-based rewards such as air miles, CV points, etc.
  • Support Multiple Currencies: Almost all forex credit cards support not just one or two, but multiple currencies and hence one can make transactions in different currencies and different countries without any hassle.
  • Lounge Access: Some of the premium forex credit cards also offer complimentary airport lounge access. These cards let you avail the airport lounge facility without paying the usage fee for it.
  • Other Features: Some cards also provide cardholders with complimentary insurance covers and zero liability protection against a lost/stolen card.

What is Forex Card?

A forex card is a kind of prepaid card in which you can load money to spend in a foreign currency. Using a forex card, you can not only make online purchases is a different currency, but you can also withdraw cash in a foreign currency of your choice, provided that your card supports that currency. Many people think that forex cards are similar to credit cards, but it is not so. They can be similar only in terms of their benefits, but a forex card is much different from that of a credit card.

What are The Types of Forex Cards?

Forex cards are generally of two types of forex cards. These have been classified on the basis of number of currencies that they support. The following are the two major types of forex cards:

  • Single Currency Forex Cards: Single Currency Forex Cards, as suggested by their names, support a single currency and these card suitable for individuals who often travel to a particular country for some time. These cards can only be loaded in te one currency that they support.
  • Multi Currency Forex Cards: The Multi Currency Forex Cards support multiple currencies and can be used in different countries without much additional charges. Nowadays, most of the card issuers offer multicurrency forex cards so that the cardholders can travel all across the world with a single forex card.

How to Use a Forex Card?

Unlike Credit Cards, a forex card doesn’t come with a credit limit, but you need to load it on your own. Forex Cards are of best use when you are traveling to a different country as these cards allow you to make transactions in foreign currencies. Load your card as per your requirements and as per the currency of the country you are traveling to. After that, you can very easily use your card just like a debit or a credit card. You can withdraw cash in a foreign currency using your forex card and also use it for online/in-store transactions anywhere.

How To Get a Forex Card?

Getting a forex card is as simple as getting a general debit card. The only difference is that you might have to submit a few additional documents like your Passport, Visa, and other travel documents. So, just check the eligibility and document requirements on the respective bank’s official website or by contacting their customer care. You can visit the branch with all the necessary documents and ask the bank officials if there is an offline procudure to apply for the card. If there is one, you can apply for the card by filling in the physical application form and completing all other formalities. You can also apply online for the card of your choice as follows:

  • Visit the respective bank’s official website.
  • Find an option to apply for a forex card.
  • Choose the card of your choice.
  • Procced further to apply for it and fill in all the required details in the digital application form.

Documents Required To Apply For a Forex Card

The forex cards don’t have very strict eligibility criteria in general, but there are some important documents that are required to get a forex card:

  • Copy of your passport and Visa.
  • Flight ticket copy.
  • Address Proof (required in case the address mentioned on your passport is different from your current address).
  • Latest bank statements/bank passbook, or canceled cheque.

What is the difference between forex cards & credit cards?

Many people consider Forex Cards and Credit Cards as the same things, but there is a huge difference between these two. The following table will help you understand the difference between the forex and credit cards in detail:

Credit Cards Forex Cards
  • Credit Cards come with a certain credit limit that cardholders can use to make purchases and pay them back later.
  • Credit Cards generally charge a high forex markup fee on international transactions.
  • There is an interest rate charged on credit cards’ outstanding balances.
  • Credit cards have slightly higher cash advance charges.
  • The credit score of the applicant is checked by the issuer.
  • Forex Cards do not have any credit limit but these are prepaid cards and you need to load them on your own.
  • Forex cards generally come with a very low or no forex markup fee.
  • No interest is charged on forex cards as the cardholders don’t own anyone else’s money but load their cards by themselves.
  • Forex Cards have a lower cash withdrawal fee and cardholders can make transactions in foreign currencies as well.
  • No credit score is required.

Comparison Between Forex Cards & International Debit Cards

International travelers often get confued about whether they should get forex cards or international debit cards as it might not be a good idea to visit a different country without any of these. In this article, we will help you understand why forex cards should be prefered over international debit cards:

Forex Cards International Debit Cards
  • The forex cards can be used for all purchases as well as for cash withdrawals overseas. These are accepted almost by every merchant.
  • Can be used for transactions in different currencies as multi-currency forex cards support almost all the major currencies.
  • Forex Cards in India come with a card liability protection cover against lost/stolen cards.
  • International Debit Cards can also be used for cash withdrawals and also widely acceptable.
  • International debit cards attract high charges for foreign currency transactions.
  • All international debit cards may not offer a card liability cover.

Advantages of Using a Forex Credit Card for Foreign Travel

Using Forex Cards can be advantageous for international travelers in so many ways as these cards make their travels more convenient and hassle-free. All the benefits of forex cards are mentioned below:

  • Multi-currency forex cards support multiple currencies and hence the cardholders can travel to different countries without much hassle.
  • The Forex Cards don’t charge a high foreign currency markup fee like that charged by credit and debit cards.
  • Forex Cards are widely accepted and hence can be used for offline as well as online transactions. Not only this, but you can also withdraw cash without so many additional charges.
  • The money you load in forex cards is valid generally for five years and hence you can use it again & again on your foreign trips. You can also transfer the money back to your savings account if required.

Do’s and Don’ts While Using a Forex Card

To maximize the benefits of a forex card, the cardholders should keep certain points in mind, which are mentioned below:

Do’s

  • Before you leave for a trip, make sure to check the PIN of your card at a local ATM.
  • Keep checking the available balance on your forex card after every purchase you make.
  • In case of any suspected/unauthorized transaction, contact your forex card customer care as soon as possible.
  • Try to make most of your transactions directly using the card rather than withdrawing cash to avoid cash withdrawal charges.

Don’ts

  • Don’t leave your forex card inactive for a long time.
  • Don’t make transactions in a currency different from the one that you have loaded on your card.

Bottom Line

While credit cards are an extremely useful financial tool, using credit cards while on foreign trips can cost you a lot as almost all credit cards charge you a mark-up fee of around 3.5% of the transaction amount (it may be less in case of some premium and super-premium credit cards) on transactions made in a foreign currency. Therefore, it is almost always a good idea to carry a forex card on foreign trips and use the same for foreign currency transactions.

As you can see above, SBI Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card has the least issuance fee of just Rs. 100 amongst all forex cards and premium forex cards like HDFC Regalia ForexPlus Card and ICICI Sapphiro Forex Card can be used to make payments in any currency without any cross-currency usage fee. Then, there are also co-branded forex cards like Axis Bank Club Vistara Forex Card, Goibibo ICICI Forex Card, MakeMyTrip HDFC ForexPlus Card, etc. You must find the right forex card that suits your needs the best. For example, for someone who does not travel very frequently, a simple and less expensive forex card like SBI Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card might be a good pick, on the other hand, if you fly frequently via a particular airline, say Air Vistara, an Air Vistara co-branded forex card like Axis Bank Club Vistara Forex Card will suit you the best.

FAQs:

Prepaid forex cards or travel cards are prepaid cards that are tailored for the needs of frequent international travelers. One of the most common features of prepaid forex cards is, most of these cards can be loaded in multiple foreign currencies and no mark-up fee is charged on transactions made in the currency loaded on the card.

State Bank Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card has the least issuance fee of Rs. 100 (plus GST).

HDFC Regalia ForexPlus Card and ICICI Bank Sapphiro Forex Prepaid Card are two forex cards that have zero cross-currency usage fee, i.e., you can spend in any currency with these cards without being charged any additional fee.

Forex Cards are not same as credit cards as you don’t get a credit limit with them. Unlike credit cards that allow you to pay later for your purchases, the forex card are prepaid cards that need to be loaded by your first. Talking about their usage, you can use the forex cards online as well as for in-store transactions just like credit cards.

Yes, the Forex Cards are totally worth it for international travels as these cards make it convenient for you to make transactions and withdraw cash in different currencies without any additional charges.

A cross currency fee is charged on a Forex Card when you want to make a transaction in a different currency from what you loaded onto your card.

Some best credit cards with low forex markup fees are: HDFC Infinia Credit Card, IndusInd Celesta Credit Card, Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card, HDFC Regalia, etc.

Some of the best multi-currency forex cards are: State Bank Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card, IndusInd Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card, ICICI Bank Sapphiro Forex Prepaid Card, Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card, and HDFC Bank Multicurrency Platinum ForexPlus Chip Card.

No, you can not pay credit card bills using a forex card.

Yes, you can easily transfer the leftover amount from your Forex Card to your bank account.

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