Money really matters during a foreign tour. Regardless why you are going abroad, it makes good sense to carry a little more money than you would possibly spend.
Also, there can be many emergencies while travelling abroad like falling sick, getting waylaid or simply losing money due to sheer carelessness.
You can avoid these scenarios of running out of money while travelling abroad.
Simply by buying a GOOD forex card issued by any reputed bank or travel company.
Forex cards allow you to preload whatever amount of MONEY you will require for a foreign trip.
And the Best Part…
They are protected against LOSSES. Meaning, even if the card is stolen or misplaced, you do not lose the money.
So let us first understand what is a Forex card, It benefits, and finally…Which are the best forex cards in India.
What is a Forex Card?
As the term implies, a forex card is simply an ATM and debit card that allows you to carry foreign currency instead of currency notes.
When you buy a forex card, it will be loaded with one or more foreign currencies. It is usually a prepaid card that can be topped up whenever needed.
A forex card is useful to pay in foreign currencies when you are abroad. This helps you avoid unnecessary service charges that come when you use an international credit card or debit card.
You do not lose money if a forex card is lost or stolen, provided it is reported to police and the bank immediately.
Since the card has a fixed amount of foreign currency, your losses even if a criminal uses it illegally. In stark contrast, a lost credit card of a debit card can send your finances in a tailspin if lost or stolen.
Why Forex Cards?
Generally, we tend to overspend while Holidaying or on Business Trip in a foreign country. Hence, we can accumulate large credit card bills after returning from abroad. Using a debit card can cause us to spend outside our budget.
Using a credit card or a debit card to withdraw cash at ATMs in foreign countries can prove very expensive: they charge a stiff fee to allow access to your OWN cash.
In earlier years, people would carry traveller’s cheques to protect their money against thefts and loss during a tour.
In modern times, these traveller’s cheques, which were physical financial instruments of paper have been replaced by plastic.
Instead of carrying several traveller’s cheques, you need only one forex card.
So in Article, We will discuss about the best forex cards in India.
List of 10 Best Forex Cards in India
With the Indian economy on the upswing, increasing number of people are enjoying holidays in foreign countries.
Among businessmen, travel to foreign countries has risen for trade purposes. Banks and financial institutions in India have also risen to the occasion.
They now provide forex cards that can be preloaded with a fixed amount of money and come packed with attractive features.
The next time you are planning a trip abroad, go for one of the top 10 forex cards in India which we list below.
1. ICICI Bank Travel Card
This is the best forex card in India by any standards. ICICI Bank Travel Card can be bought for 15 currencies.
In addition to US Dollar, UK Pound Sterling and Euro, the card is available in local currencies of various destinations popular among Indians for holidays and studies.
This is not all… You get FREE comprehensive travel insurance when you buy an ICICI Bank Travel Card.
This means… you do not have to spend separately on travel insurance.
The comprehensive travel insurance feature is very useful if you lose the passport, cash and other valuables while abroad. Check this Link to get Complete Details about ICICI bank travel Card.
2. HDFC Bank ForexPlus Card
Available in 22 different currencies, this card is ideal if you are a frequent traveller to foreign countries.
This means you can travel across 20 countries without worrying about currency conversion rates and fluctuations.
You can preload currencies of the destination before departure. You can also convert these currencies for others not available on the card. HDFC Bank charges only two percent markup for such conversions.
The bank issues forex cards for specific purposes including Hajj and Umrah.
The bank has tie-ups with an Indian online travel agency to offer co-branded foreign currency card.
HDFC Bank ForexPlus Card comes with added features like insurance against card loss or theft. You can also request emergency cash if the card is lost for any reason while abroad.
HDFC Bank Forex Card comes with complimentary travel insurance too. This insurance covers accidental death and loss of baggage, among other features.
HDFC ForexPlus cards co-branded with MakeMyTrip and Regalia also offer free lounge access at airports in India and abroad. This means, your wait for flights becomes enjoyable.
3. Standard Chartered Multicurrency Forex Card
Standard Chartered Multicurrency Forex Card allows you to carry 20 currencies in a single card. Since Standard Chartered Bank operates across the world, you can utilize their ATM network at the destination for cash withdrawals.
Using their ATMs allows you to save on charges that apply for using ATMs of other banks when abroad.
This forex card also comes with free travel insurance from HDFC ERGO.
It covers the accidental death of the forex card holder and loss of baggage too. You can get emergency cash as well as card replacement very quickly.
The card also has an insurance against loss due to any reason, except for acts of terrorism.
4. Deutschebank Navigator
Navigator is the brand name for this excellent forex card issued by Germany’s banking giant, Deutschebank, which also operates in India.
Navigator allows you to carry as many as 16 currencies in a single card. This means you need not worry about cross conversion rates.
Deutschebank Navigator is an excellent forex card if you are travelling to Europe since the bank has a wide network of ATMs on the continent that you can use to withdraw cash without extra charges.
This card also comes with an insurance of up to Rs.150,000 if your card is lost or stolen. Fast replacements are also available from Deutschebank.
The issuer, Deutschebank has agreements with various world-class providers across the globe to assist Navigator customers, if the card gets lost or is stolen.
This arrangement provides extra piece of mind while travelling abroad.
Also Read: Top 10 Most Trusted Foreign Banks in India
5. Citi Forex Card
Citi, the American banking major has one of the best forex cards that allows you to pay in Indian Rupee.
It works on a simple principle: you decide how much money in Indian Rupees you want to spend abroad.
When you travel abroad, every spending will be charged in Indian Rupee instead of the foreign currency.
For all transactions in foreign currencies, Citi changes a markup of 3.5 percent for conversion from Indian Rupee.
In cases where Dynamic Currency Calculation (DCC) is used, you will be notified of the rate you will pay in Indian Rupee before making a purchase.
Citi Forex Card also offers complimentary lounge access at select destinations worldwide.
Citi Forex Card is very handy if you are travelling to the US for studies, work or leisure. You can avoid high service fees simply by using Citi ATM network.
Further, you can get an instant conversion to US Dollar without worrying about other charges.
6. SBI Foreign Travel Card
SBI Foreign Travel Card is available in eight currencies. It allows you to withdraw cash at over two million ATMs worldwide.
This is a no-frills card that packs in several salient features for the user. You stand insured against loss of card due to any reason.
Immediate replacements of SBI Foreign Travel Card are available in cases of emergency, making it one of the best forex cards in India.
The most salient feature of SBI Foreign Travel Card is exchange rate lock. This means you can lock the price of the foreign currency on the day of the purchase.
For example, if you have paid Rs.100 for Euro, the same rate will be applied when you withdraw in that currency.
This means you do not have to pay extra if the price of Euro has risen against Indian Rupee.
7. Axis Bank Forex Cards
Axis Bank offers a selection of three forex cards. Axis Multicurrency Forex Card allows you to carry as many as 16 currencies in your pocket.
This eliminates hassles of converting different currencies. You earn two points for every US$5 you spend on the card. The points can be redeemed for attractive incentives.
The Axis World Traveller Forex Card is the best forex card in India if you are travelling to Europe.
The card earns a free membership to Miles & More frequent flyer program that is widely used in Europe. You can earn frequent flyer miles and redeem them for free flight tickets and other incentives.
Axis Diner Card offers access to over one million ATMs and countless merchants worldwide. It also offers complimentary lounge access at airports.
The bank offers TripAssist emergency cash service, should you lose your card for any reason. Forex cards issued by Axis Bank also have other attractive features including protection against loss.
8. IndusInd Forex Card
IndusInd Forex Card ranks among the 10 best in India. It is available for 14 different currencies and ranks among 10 best forex cards in India.
You can order it online and have it delivered to home or office. Additionally, you need not worry about the cash running out: it can be reloaded by anyone from India using a bank account.
With IndusInd Forex Card, you can select the currencies that are necessary for a foreign tour. You can select one or all currencies, depending upon your needs.
This card also comes with free emergency replacement and emergency cash features. It is protected against loss due to any reasons.
9. Thomas Cook Forex Card
If you are looking for a top forex card in India that comes with zero conversion rates between Indian Rupee and various foreign currencies, go for the one from Thomas Cook.
This reputed travel house has a prepaid forex card that can be used in any country. You simply need to put in the amount needed for a tour in Indian Rupees.
This amount can be withdrawn in local currencies at the destination.
Thomas Cook Forex Card is very handy if you are travelling to countries whose currencies are unavailable in India or can be cumbersome to carry due to exchange rates.
Additionally, you can get discounts for purchases made at select merchants during your foreign tour. This card also comes with protection against loss and includes emergency cash assistance.
10. PNB Forex Card
PNB Forex Card ranks among top 10 forex cards in India because of its sheer simplicity. It is issued by Punjab National Bank and comes with no frills.
Applying for a PNB Forex Card is very simple. It can be ordered online or by visiting your nearest branch. PNB Forex Card is available for four currencies only.
The card includes regular features including protection against loss, easy replacement and emergency cash assistance.
It comes with a validity date. This validity can be extended if you are a frequent traveller. Exchange rates provided by PNB on its forex card are very attractive since the bank does not charge hefty conversion rates.
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As you can see, forex cards offer several distinct benefits over carrying foreign currency or using a credit/ debit card during a trip abroad.
Generally, veteran travellers carry at least two forex cards for their foreign tours.
Carrying more than one card allows them peace of mind, in case one is lost for any reason, in countries where immediate assistance may not be available.
Look for cards that reduce or eliminate currency exchange rate fluctuations. Swings in rates of Indian Rupee and foreign currency can send your budget spiralling upwards.
Before buying any of the top 10 forex cards in India, we advise you read their terms, conditions and other relevant information before making a choice.