Currency exchange cards - your flexible friend abroad

8 June 2009

Foreigners in Magaluf, yesterday.

In times gone by, when you were on the Grand Tour for example, a signed photo of Queen Victoria was all you needed to buy you a vast array of goods and services on your holiday. Maybe. Now though, you have a choice: wade through the queues to pick up traveller's cheques, get yourself a Nationwide Flex Account and pay 1% on purchases if you holiday outside Europe or take a chance on using cash machines in your host country which you'll no-doubt spend the entire first week of your holiday looking for.

Or you could always get a currency exchange card. It's basically a debit card for the pay-as-you-go generation, a bit like traveller's cheques but without the pain of. You get the actual card from someone like CaxtonFX - theirs costs a tenner but they put that on the card's opening balance, load up the minimum amount in dollars or euros and then jump on the last Ryanair flight out of Nowheresville. Bosh.

You will get stung with charges though if, having found the only ATM in your resort, you use the card to withdraw cash. Otherwise, you can use it or its fellow cards in places wherever they accept Mastercard or Visa as these networks back many of them. You can't go overdrawn because you can only spend what's on the card but you can also top it up pretty much whenever you want. If you're really geeky, you can load up the card when the exchange rate's good instead of doing it just before you go away when you can guarantee that the pound has tanked against pretty much every other currency including the Zimbabwean dollar.

It's not a perfect holiday spending solution, those fees when you withdraw cash are a bit annoying and there are plenty of pre-paid cards on the market that aren't as good as Caxton's but I predict it's going to, um, take off in a big way.

TOPICS:   Economy

10 comments

  • Mike L.
    I used the TravelEx one in Florida (available through Tescos). Very handy. Clearly they are intended as a replacement for travellers cheques.
  • acecatcher3
    are u a new writer alexa??
  • acecatcher3
    if ur here for a long while u must add myself and another member "mike hock" into ur next article somehow...just give us a mention..thanks Luke
  • Tizer
    You Mong Burger
  • MinstrelMan
    stop chatting up the writers you bell end...... they are the enemy! lol
  • MinstrelMan
    a few things to point out about this story....... 1 - Its actually quite helpfull, you wont last long at BW 2 - The girls in the picture have far too much clothing to be english C - For those who wish to find out more about said product the website is here: http://www.caxtonfxcard.com/index.asp?dist=CAXTGENL (thought I'd add that for you, how else will you ever make commission eh?)
  • cheapskate
    @MinstrelMan: they've not got enough tats or piercings and there's no muffin-tops either. Definitely not English.
  • Uncle T.
    I'd give them all one...just had a new delivery of blue tabs, so can keep at it up all night (& day)
  • mark
    so how do they offer such a good exchange rate?
  • Dave P.
    Alexa? A lady? Hubba Hubba. Come play Get Your Own Back with me. mmmmmmmmmm Goo.

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