Credit card vs prepaid card abroad

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Credit Cards
6 replies 944 views
u0362565u0362565 Forumite
63 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Credit Cards
Hi all,

I'm considering buying a Travelex Globe prepaid card for use abroad, but struggling to compare charges for using my mastercard vs one of these prepaid cards. Travelex have listed the purchase transaction fee which is 2.49% but they also mention a usage fee of 1.49% in a pdf usage guide i found. Does this mean the total is 2.49%+1.49%.

The confusing thing about my credit card is that they say they will charge a 2.75% non-sterling transaction fee. However this doesn't apply if you pay in sterling but they add you may be charged more due to the exchange rate of the merchant or ATM which i assume is different from the Payment Scheme Exchange Rate set by MasterCard?

I've always exchanged currency and used cash abroad which is very transparent once you know the exchange rate, but doesn't seem like the best option these days.

Thanks for the help

Replies

  • redpeteredpete Forumite
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    You need to check the fees. We have recently used a Travelex Cash Passport prepaid card which allows you to load it in the foreign currency and there is no fee for usage.

    You do have to manage these cards carefully though. Don't use them to pre-authorise charges at hotels etc. - it can take weeks for the pre-auth to drop off the card and hence it locks up your money. Also if you try to use it when you are near the limit the transaction will be rejected but again the amount can be locked for a couple of weeks.
    loose does not rhyme with choose but lose does and is the word you meant to write.
  • PeacefulWatersPeacefulWaters Forumite
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    Halifax Clarity?

    If you're after prepay I'd head for the Kalixa prepay card ahead of Travelex due to the excellent exchange rate.

    Minimise ATM withdrawals on it (flat fee charge so larger occasional withdrawals are better value).

    Your search engine should find you a code to minimise the up front fee.
  • u0362565u0362565 Forumite
    63 Posts
    Thanks for the comments. The Kalixa pay card looks good actually the fee's seem straight forward, perhaps because there doesn't seem to be many, the exchange rate is good as you say peaceful waters. Do you happen to know how you can take money out of the account if you have funds left over when you get back?
  • PeacefulWatersPeacefulWaters Forumite
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    u0362565 wrote: »
    Thanks for the comments. The Kalixa pay card looks good actually the fee's seem straight forward, perhaps because there doesn't seem to be many, the exchange rate is good as you say peaceful waters. Do you happen to know how you can take money out of the account if you have funds left over when you get back?

    I'm fairly sure you can use it fee free as a debit card in the UK.

    Check the charges part of their web site.
  • u0362565u0362565 Forumite
    63 Posts
    there is a fee for using an ATM in the UK, so wondered if you could use an online transfer to a another bank account. I'll ask them, thanks.
  • u0362565u0362565 Forumite
    63 Posts
    Having said all that there are some pretty scathing reviews here:
    http://www.money.co.uk/prepaid-cards/card-issuers/Kalixa-Prepaid-Card.htm#reviews

    its about 50/50 good/terrible, not sure i like those odds when it comes to money.
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