Cash money cards

Hi all, does anyone have any experience with these prepaid cards. I usually take cash and travellers cheques but it is getting harder to cash traveller cheques these days in Mallorca. I was thinking of trying one of these cards just so I don't have to take all cash and don't want to use my bank cards unless I have to due to charges my bank puts on.
13:30 Wed 22nd Feb 2012
 
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The various charges for loading/spending/conversion on these cards may well be more than your usual bank cards.

There are still some (relatively) honest credit/debit cards around who mdon't fleece you for using them abroad - best buys are here

http://www.moneysuper...ds/overseas-spending/
Question Author
Hi dave it's just that my bank isn't one of the honest ones you are talking about, it costs a fortune to use them overseas. I know that I will have to pay to use a money card but but just thought it may be safer than carrying all cash with me.
Certainly safer than carrying cash - and often 'free to use' for purchases or in ATMs.

The hidden charge seems to be the currency conversion when you load the euros onto the cards from you UK debit card. Looks like it's about 3% - 5% depending on the card - which is still less than some standard credit cards. Another question to ask is how you retrieve any unspent cash at the ened of a holiday - you may pay again to get it back out as ££
Thanks for asking the question - the market has evolved since I last had a look & may be a bit more competitive than I thought.

dave
Question Author
Yes I know about cashing in what is left on the card and the related costs but thought maybe it will give a bit of security. Anything to do with money and involving banks usually ends up costing us as they always seems to catch us somewhere.
Good comparisons here

http://www.moneysupermarket.com/prepaidcards/

Click on the Euro Currency Card tab
Question Author
Ok thanks will have a look at the different ones on there.
I'm also interested in looking at this for my holiday.I'm seriously considering the new Post Office one, it looks hassle free.
Yes, the Post Office one looks good (though I haven't used it myself), but the Post Office credit card is brilliant for purchases overseas. You can even use it to get your currency at the Post Office with no extra charges.
Question Author
I looked at the Post Office one but can't find if there is a fee if you don't use the card for a certain length of time as there is with some cards.
AFAIKS there is no inactivity fee on the PO card until it expires (there will be a date on it). After that there is a charge if you don't renew it.

And whilst it's a convenient card, the exchange rate used to load euros isn't that good. You can certainly do better
Have a look at Nationwide - that's the card we take for use overseas - very limited transaction charges and their current new credit card doesn't penalise you for purchasing outside the UK. We find their small charges quite acceptable.

We looked at the money cards but the charges for putting money on, and using them, are more than Nationwide.

We never take cash abroad now, just take it out of the ATM when we get there.
Question Author
Looked at the reviews for Post Office one and they don't seem too good. The Travelex one looks better and I can pick one of them up at my local Thomas Cook branch. Got a few months yet so I am not in hurry but just wanted to know if anyone else had experience of them. Thanks.
Question Author
Hi boxtops didn't really want to get another bank card as I don't want to mess about with my account, too many things to change if I do that. Just looking at taking a cash card just that I don't have to take all cash.
here's info about Nationwide http://www.nationwide...reigntransactions.htm
my parents got a post office one when they went to america. It didn't work!
i use the prepay credit cards all the time however most have a limit to the amount you can top up at any one time and also to there is usually a 2500 max limit on the cards until you register you're official id with them and then they up the limit. however i am in ireland so not sure if this helps!
ive just come back from the us having used a fairfx card. it costs £10 to set up, but i got it free via a link on a disney fan site. i paid no charges for loading it with my debit card and got a great exchange rate.
it was easy to use as a card and also at an atm (though there is a charge for atm)
i also bought a family and friends card £6 for my other half, so that i could transfer funds between the two and it meant we had a spare card should one get lost.
i still took some cash for purchases and tips but i would certainly be using this again for future holidays.
There's a proliferation of these cards as providers jump on the bandwagon of a lucrative market. Which means that most of them are going to be if not poor value, not that good.

They will all work (most of the time anyway) and most of them are fairly upfront about their charges but fairly coy about the exchange rate they use (you can usually find it but it takes a bit of work and in most of them it's not very favourable)

So what are you looking for? Convenience and safety but not too concerned about the cost? Then go ahead and get one. Doesn't that much matter where.

Concerned about the cost? Then get one of the better ones - eg Caxton or FairFx, Travelex Global (not any of their others). Possibly others - I don't keep up with the entire market. But if you are that concerned then change your bank to one that doesn't charge for overseas use and forget prepaid.
We use CaxtonFX cards all the time abroad, both in Europe and the US.
We find them completely hassle-free and the exchange rates are pretty good too.
We use them both to pay for things..hotels, restaurants shops ...and to get cash. The cash advances so far have always been free.
You do have to use up the money on them, though as it is quite expensive to have it refunded. Not a problem if you don't load too much on in the first place and keep an eye on your spending.
If you have internet banking and secure access when you are abroad you can reload any time.
I wouldn't be without them now. Cheaper than using a credit card abroad, safer than carrying lots of money and much less hassle than traveller's cheques.

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