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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

11 Best Prepaid Cards to Use Abroad in 2020

Best Prepaid Cards To Use Abroad

credit card advice

Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Updated: November 6, 2019
Advertiser Disclosure

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. We’ve explored the many offerings available today and compiled our choices for the best prepaid cards to use abroad. So, if you’re traveling abroad in the near future, keep reading for what we believe to be some of the top prepaid cards out there.

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:

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® Review

at Netspend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.6/5.0
  • Move money from your PayPal account to fund your prepaid card account.
  • Earn cash back and personalized offers, just for using your card.
  • With Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • Card issued by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted.
  • Click PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® for additional features & program details, and to request a Card.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fee
Not applicable
Bluebird by American Express® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days faster with free direct deposit
  • Cash your checks to your Account with the Bluebird Mobile app. Access your money in minutes for a fee or in 10 days for free if your check is not returned unpaid.
  • Enjoy Card Membership benefits such as Purchase Protection and Fraud Protection when making purchases online or in store with Bluebird
  • Get free ATM access at over 30,000 MoneyPass® ATM locations. You can also pick up cash at over 4,500 Walmart® stores with Cash Pickup Powered by Ria®.
  • Pay no monthly fees or overdraft fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
$0
Not applicable
American Express Serve® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Enjoy FREE withdrawals at over 30,000 MoneyPass ATM locations nationwide.2 You can also use non MoneyPass® ATMs, but fees may apply
  • Get access to your money up to 2 days faster with early Direct Deposit
  • With Serve, you can pay anyone, anytime. Use FREE Online Bill Pay or Write a Check online and we'll mail it to anyone you need to pay.
  • Check your balance and recent transactions, pay bills on the go, add checks, get SMS text alerts, and send money to family or friends who have a Serve Account
  • No credit check, no minimum balance, no hidden fees
  • Transfer cash to anyone from anywhere. Cash is ready for pickup in minutes.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
$0 - $6.95 monthly fee
Not applicable
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.
  • No Overdraft Fees on purchases using your 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).
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. Click "Get My Card" for full details.
  • See additional NetSpend® Prepaid Visa® details.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fee
Not applicable

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

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