11 Best Prepaid Cards to Use Abroad in 2018

11 Best Prepaid Cards to Use Abroad in 2018

credit card advice

Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Posted: August 16, 2018
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

The advantages of prepaid cards are obvious: they’re safer than cash, easy to get, universally accepted and convenient to use. Some prepaid cards can even save you on exchange fees if you pre-load them with the local currency before you leave home. Finally, since a prepaid travel card isn’t a credit card, it requires no credit check or top-tier credit score.

There are prepaid cards designed for all types of travelers and destinations.

US Travelers | UK Travelers | Euro Travelers

4 Best Prepaid Cards for American Travelers

While travelers from Europe, Asia and the Middle East have been using prepaid travel cards for years, they are a relatively new phenomenon for American travelers. As such, there are fewer prepaid card choices available for Americans traveling abroad.

Here are four of the best and most widely available prepaid travel cards available in the U.S., along with their primary features:

Pink Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card Review

at Netspend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.5/5.0
  • With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the Netspend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your account and no more waiting in line to cash your check!
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. "Apply Now" for full details.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fee
No Credit Check
Brink

at Netspend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • Brink's gives you the peace of mind you deserve. Securing cash and valuables since 1859.
  • With Brink's Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster* than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the Brink's Money Prepaid Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply.)
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your Card Account and no more waiting in line to cash your check!
  • *Card issued by BofI Federal Bank, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Mastercard Debit cards are accepted. "Apply Now" for full details.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fees
No Credit Check
Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card Review

at Netspend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

3.6/5.0
  • With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the Netspend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your account and no more waiting in line to cash your check!
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. "Apply Now" for full details.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Up-to $9.95 monthly
No Credit Check
AccountNow® Prepaid Visa® Card Review

at AccountNow'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

2.5/5.0
  • $0 Monthly Fee Pay As You Go Plan (See Cardholder Agreement on site)
  • No Credit Check. No Overdraft Fees, ever.
  • Free† direct deposit and online bill payment
  • Use it Everywhere Visa Debit Card Accepted in the U.S.
  • Easy Online/Mobile Account Access
  • Perfect for Occasional Usage
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
$0
No credit check

When considering one of these prepaid travel cards, it’s also important to consider things like maximum ATM withdrawal amounts, maximum load and reload balance amounts and other spending restrictions. There are advantages and disadvantages to each card type, so you should always do your research carefully.

4 Best Prepaid Cards for U.K. Travelers

Photo of the Statue of Liberty.

Travelers heading to the U.S. from the United Kingdom have a lot more options available when it comes to prepaid travel cards. In fact, they can purchase prepaid dollar cards from a variety of sources.

Here are some of the best prepaid dollar cards for Brits planning to visit the U.S.:

1. WeSwap

  • Card fee: None
  • Transaction fees: None in 18 Wallet countries
  • ATM fee: None for transactions of £200/$200/€200 or more
  • Other fees: Variable swap fee based on turnaround time

2. Caxton Mastercard Currency Card

  • Card fee: None
  • Transaction fees: None abroad; £1.50 domestic
  • ATM fee: None abroad; £1.50 domestic

3. FairFX Dollar Currency Card

  • Card fee: None
  • Transaction fees: None
  • ATM fee: $2
  • Other fees: 1.75% out-of-currency fee for non-USD purchases

4. ICE Travellers US Dollar Prepaid Card

  • Card fee: None
  • Transaction fees: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • Bonus: 1.5% cash back on transactions over $50/£50

3 Best Prepaid Cards for Other European Travelers

Image of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, at night. Travelers looking to make purchases in Euros also have a range of prepaid card options to help make purchasing easier, many of which charge the same low fees as offered by cards for UK travelers.

Here are some of the best deals on prepaid cards for travel around Europe:

1. ICE Travellers Euro Prepaid Card

  • Card fee: None
  • Transaction fees: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • Bonus 1.5% Cashback on transactions over €50

2. FairFX Euro Currency Card

  • Card fee: None (when minimum amount is preloaded onto card)
  • Transaction fees: None
  • ATM fee: €1.50
  • Other fees: 1.75% out-of-currency fee for non-EUR purchases

3. ACE-FX

  • Card fee: None
  • Transaction fees: None
  • ATM fee: €1.25

Enjoy Your Travels!

Prepaid cards have long been a favorite among budget-minded folks and those who want to gain more control over their finances. Surveys show travelers – especially those who travel abroad – are using prepaid travel cards more frequently during their journeys.

Whether you’re traveling to Europe, the United Kingdom or here in the U.S., consider a prepaid travel card instead of carrying cash. Prepaid travel cards can keep you on budget, get you a better exchange rate and protect you from fraud or theft. That lets you spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time worrying about your money. Bon voyage!

Photo credits: deanza.edu, dvlotterystategov.us, hawaii-all-inclusive.net