BEST Travel Money Debit Cards

WOWCOMPARE® – Compare Travel Money Cards for the best foreign currency exchange rates

Prepaid travel money cards are a great way to buy foreign currency for overseas travel and holidays. Compared to bank debit cards a travel money card can help you save money with competitive foreign exchange rates, plus travel money cards shouldn’t incur additional transaction fee’s as they enable you to pay in your destination currency.

Travel money cards can be used for day to day purchases in shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and online. Travel money cards are compatible with Apple Pay & Google Pay (G Pay) so you can store them on your phone to enable card free payments, or simply keep them saved as a backup just in case you loose the physical card while you are travelling.

Travel Money Cards = Safer Holiday Money

Travel money cards are available as either Mastercard or VISA and they work just like a conventional payment card. Using a travel money card for holiday spending money is often seen as safer option, as it eliminates the need to change up and carry around cash in your wallet or bag.

There are 4 card options to consider:

    1. A Single-currency prepaid travel money card

      A travel money card restricted to a single currency for example €EURO or $US. You load up via your home currency and lock in an exchange rate provided when you top up. This can be beneficial as you can choose to load up whenever there is a favourable rate of exchange. Cards are available from providers including: Cashplus

    2. Multi-currency prepaid travel money cards

      A travel money card that allows several currencies to be loaded on a single card, perfect if you plan to visit multiple destinations. For example with a multi-currency card you could have £100, $100 and €100 all stored on a single card. Basically the card is smart and provides different digital ‘wallets’. With a multi-currency card you can lock in rates by converting currencies when you load up. Alternatively you load up you card with your national currency and convert balances later via your app, at a time when you choose e.g. when exchange rates are more favourable. Cards are available from providers including: Mastercard (Prepaid own brand card), WISE, Revolut, EasyFX and others.

    3. Bank account or card linked travel money cards

      Account linked cards are a fairly new concept they basically act as a payment bridge allowing you to pay with an existing bank account or payment card when abroad, the payments are made in the foreign currency with the currency exchange handled in the cloud, they eliminate foreign transaction fees and generally offer some of the best exchange rates (based on a spot rate at each transaction). Examples of linked cards are Currensea and Curve card.

    4. NEW Crytpo/Fiat currency cards

      Many of the new crypto currency prepaid debit cards also allow you to load up and spend selected fiat currencies. They basically work in the same way as a Multi-currency travel money card with smart technology and digital wallets to store  separate currencies. Cards are available from providers including: Bitpanda, Wirex, Coinbase, Binance and others.

Check out some of UK’s most popular prepaid travel currency cards & crypto/fiat currency cards for holidays or travelling.

Compare Multi Currency Cards

BEST Travel Money Cards 2022

WISE CARD

FEATURES

✅ PRE-PAID multi-currency Mastercard (UK & EU)

✅ Supports 50+ currencies including: £GBP, $US, €EURO

✅ Top-up electronic transfers & card management online or via app

✅ FREE loading via Bank Transfer

✅ Contactless payments Apple Pay / G Pay

✅ FCA & EEA Regulated

FEES

  • £5 CARD ISSUE FEE

  • NO MONTHLY / ANNUAL FEE

  • Mid-market exchange rates better other travel money cards and many banks.

  • NO instore fee/usage fees

  • ATM withdrawls up to £250/$350 per month FOC

CURRENSEA CARD

FEATURES

BANK LINKED multi-currency Mastercard (UK & EU)

✅ Supports over 180 currencies including: £GBP, $US, €EURO 

✅ NO loading or top-ups required, just link your Curresnsea card to a chosen bank account

✅ Card management online or via app

✅ Contactless payments Apple Pay / G Pay

✅ FCA Regulated

FEES

  • NO ISSUE FEE 

  • NO MONTHLY / ANNUAL FEE on Essential Plan

  • Premium - £25 /year

  • Elite - £120 /year

  • Interbank exchange rate spot at time of purchase

  • NO instore fees/usage fees

  • ATM £200 - £800/month FOC then charges applyNew List Item

CURVE CARD

FEATURES

CARD LINKED multi-currency Mastercard (UK & EU)

✅ Supports 50+ currencies including: £GBP, $US, €EURO

✅ NO loading or top-ups required, link your CURVE card to any or all of your debit & credit cards

✅ Card management online or via app

✅ Contactless payments Apple Pay / G Pay


✅ FCA & EEA Regulated 

FEES

  • £5 ISSUE FEE / CARD REPLACEMENT FEE

  • NO MONTHLY / ANNUAL FEE

  • Interbank exchange rate spot at time of purchase

  • NO instore fees

  • Usage £500 /month FOC then exchange rate +2%

  • ATM £200 /month FOC up to 10 withdrawls, then 2% + £0.50 charges apply

REVOLUT CARD

McAfee Total Protection

FEATURES

PRE-PAID multi-currency Mastercard (UK & EU)

✅ 'Standard' (FREE), 'Plus', Premium' & 'Metal' (pay monthly accounts)

✅ Supports over 30 currencies including: £GBP, $US, €EURO

✅ Top-up electronic transfers & card management online or via app

✅ Contactless payments Apple Pay / G Pay

✅ FCA & EEA Regulated

FEES

  • NO ISSUE FEE (card delivery charged for).

  • NO MONTHLY/ANNUAL FEE Standard Plan

  • Plus - £2.99/mth

  • Premium - £6.99/mth

  • Metal - £9.99/mth

  • FX exchange rate

  • ATM withdrawls up to £250/$350 per month FOC

  • ATM £200 - £800/month FOC then charges apply

WIREX CARD

✅ COMING SOON!

Travel Money Cards FAQs

Travel money cards are designed to hold at least one foreign currency, most cards have the ability to load and store multiple currencies which is very handy if you do a lot of travelling and plan to  visit different countries with different national currencies.

YES - Travel money cards are designed to be used when on holiday or abroad, travel money cards allow you top up with your destinations currency and use your card like a debit card to pay for goods and services in the correct currency (e.g. EURO in Europe). No conversion fees or usage fees should apply as you will be paying in the correct currency of your destination.

Prepaid Travel Money Cards

Prepaid cards are designed to be loaded up with foreign currency, they are basically work like a digital wallet. A prepaid travel money card allows you to buy foreign currencies (usually at competitive rates of exchange), to store and spend the currency just as you would using a regular debit card with zero transaction fees as you are able to pay in the currency of your destination.  Prepaid cards can be 'topped up' or 'loaded' in advance or as needed.

Bank/Card Linked Travel Money Cards

Bank and card linked travel money cards are a relatively new concept, they basically act as a currency exchange bridge and allow you to spend in a foreign currency with zero transaction fees. What they do is link to a designated bank account or card and debit from the linked account as you spend using your travel card.

Currensea is a bank linked card, you can use Currensea card when abroad to pay in your locations currency. Currensea pays in the currency of your destination therefore eliminating individual foreign transaction fee's, and the corresponding amount in £'s is debited from your linked bank account

Curve works in a similar way and allows you to link chosen bank cards and credit cards to your Curve account & card. Once linked you can use your Curve card to spend from linked cards while abroad. Curve uses a wholesale currency exchange rate for each transaction, Curve pays in the currency of your destination therefore eliminating individual foreign transaction fee's, and the corresponding amount in £'s is debited from any one of your chosen linked cards.

YES - Travel money cards allow cash withdrawals from most cash machines, however using a travel money card at an ATM may incur withdrawal fees. Each ATM should notify you of any usage charges before you commit/agree to a withdrawal. Fee's should not be applied without knowledge.

Most travel money cards offer a limited withdrawl ammount FOC each month, if you choose to withdraw more then fees usually apply.

Travel money cards are available from a number of providers these include currency exchange providers like Post Office, FairFX & Travelx. New Fintech companies have also launched very competitive travel money cards, these include: Currensea, Revolut & Wise.

Some new crypto currency cards can also be used to convert currencies and spend from foreign currency balances.

Most cards can be applied for online and will be posted out to you in a couple of days. Many providers issue cards free of charge, although some card providers charge a card issue fee &/or delivery for new cards.

Travel money cards are a great choice for many people, however not all cards are the same and it is important to consider which are the best cards for your travel and foreign currency needs. Key things to look out for when choosing a travel money card are:

Ongoing administration fees: Does the card have an ongoing monthly/annual admin fee?
Whilst most prepaid travel money cards have zero transaction fees. Other fees may apply, including annual or monthly subscription fees, this is often for premium cards which usually offer more incentrives and better exchange rates. Some services also charge fees for low use or dormant cards (typically after 12 months of zero use).

Load charges: Loading foreign currency onto your card may incur a loading fee each time. Card providers often also make a small percentage on currency exchange (fees and exchange rates should be clearly stated when you load up your card so you know exactly how much foreign currency you are getting at the time of conversion/loading). 

Transaction / card use fees: Individual transaction fees in shops and restaurants should be zero as a travel money card allows you to pay in your destinations currency. Always remember to select to pay in the currency of your destination if you are offered more than one option (make sure you have a balance in the correct currency (i.e. pay in Euro in Europe or $US in USA).

Loading rate of exchange - for most cards the rate of exchange is provided each time you go to load money onto your travel money card. You choose your desired foreign currency, how much you want to buy or the value of your home currency you want to convert. You get a quote providing the exchange rate, any charges applied and the amount of foreign currency you will receive on your card.

POS (point of sale) conversion rate of exchange - newer cards like Currensea & Curve work a little differently. These cards work like a bridge, Currensea card can be linked to a bank account of your choice, Curve card can be linked to some or all of your debit and credit cards. When you use Currensea or Curve cards they use POS currency conversion in real time, the equivalent in GBP pounds will be debited from your linked bank account if you have a Currensea card or your chosen debit or credit card if you have a Curve card. Either way you pay no conversion fees the Currensea or Curve card handles the exchange for you, allowing you to pay in your destination currency each time.

Currensea card & Curve card provide a relatively new way of spending abroad, many customers appear to like these new innovative services, giving them 4.8⭐ & 4.3⭐ Trustpilot ratings.

Exchange rates and card usage fees are subject to change, please ensure you have read and are happy with the terms of individual travel money card providers prior to signing up with a service. Full details including up to date terms and fees are provided on individual travel card websites.

Disclaimer: WOWCOMPARE is not a financial service provider, broker or bank. We are a consumer focused website, we are unable to provide financial advice and we do not recommend or endorse any products or services featured on this website.

All providers of financial and insurance products and services featured on this website are individually registered and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

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