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Going abroad? Don't forget your travel card

September 02, 2014 17:29 IST
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Carrying cash or credit cards can be risky when travelling abroad. One always wishes that one could have a safe ‘money carrying’ medium that would provide money in whichever currency you require at the instance. Travel cards fulfill these requirements of yours.

What are travel cards?

Travel cards are like debits cards-loaded with the currency of your choice or which the lenders offer. You can pay this money at your bank in rupees. These cards can be used to transact all over the world, wherever that currency is accepted. When you return to India, you can get your card unloaded. You will get the remaining amount in rupees, and you can again get the card recharged the next time you pay a visit abroad.

The exchange rate applicable to you would be of the day when you get your card loaded. While unloading it when you return, the exchange rate of the day when you get your card unloaded, would be applicable.

How you can benefit

  • Travel cards are easily accessible through your bank and you get the desired currency easily. You can relax and travel.
  • You can withdraw your money in foreign currency at ATMs worldwide. Thus, your travel card give you access to your money round the clock, in the currency that your card is loaded with.
  • You can also use these cards at Point of Sales at malls, shopping areas and eateries. You can also use these cards for shopping online.
  • Many cards come with additional features and memberships for the country that you are travelling to. You can use these memberships to gain privileges that are available through these cards.

What if I lose the card or last out my balance?

If you lose your card, you can always call your bank to get it blocked. In addition to that, you can ask your bank to provide you with SMS alerts whenever your card is used. This service will prevent any misuse and will keep you informed in case of misuse.

Banks also provide you with online access of these cards. When you buy a travel card, you get a login ID and a password, where you can access your online account to track card usage, get statements and also block your card in case you wish to, or if it gets stolen.

If your card in hand gets lost or stolen, you can always ask for replacement. The bank will give you another card, loaded with the remaining amount of money that is still there in your lost card and will also block your stolen card for you. The bank is at a liberty to charge for this service.

How secure is my card?

Similar to a credit or a debit card, your travel card is secured with a help if a 4-digit PIN that you have to use when you transact. In addition to that, you will be asked for your signatures at POS similar to what you do when you transact with your credit card.

Most banks provide you with insurance of your card, so you can always claim it in case your card gets misused or stolen. You, however, should read all terms and conditions carefully so that you know your chances of getting your claim amount settled.

The exchange rates applicable

The exchange rates of loading and unloading have been already spoken about. In addition to that, when you transact, you may get discounts on exchange rates applicable if your banks has tie-ups with merchants that you use your travel card at.

How to apply

If you already have an account with the bank that you gave approached for travel card, your documentation would be easier since they already have your documents with them. Otherwise you need to submit your ID proof, your proof of address, your passport and your PAN card along with Form A2.

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