When you are travelling abroad, these forex cards are used in order to make payments and make your travel convenient. Forex cards are pre-loaded and these let you access money in the required local currency. The better part of forex cards is that you can always top them up as per your cash requirement. If you want to withdraw cash in the foreign currency you can always do that with this card. At the same time you can also check your balance and shop. There are many banks in India that offer forex travel cards they are ICICI banks, HDFC bank, SBI bank, Standard Chartered Banks, Axis banks offer forex cards.
How do you apply for a forex card and is there a limit on them?
Form A2 requires to be submitted by you and at the same time any other required forex document as is mandated under the Foreign exchange management act regulations, some other documents needed to be submitted are proof of passport and required funds. The card gets activated only when the funds are cleared or paid to the bank. If in case you are planning for a trip you can load up the card with a maximum of Rs 4.5 lakhs or $10,000. If in case you are undertaking a business trip, you have a limit of Rs 11.25 lakhs or $25,000. The banks charge Rs 100 to Rs 300 per card and this charge varied from one bank to the other.
Are these better than the other cards that are available?
A service charge of 3% for each usage is levied on the debit and credit cards and if in case you are withdrawing from ATMs, it would attract a flat withdrawal fee of Rs 300. You have ti be prepared to be billed at the exchange rate prevailing on the date you are converting the money and you will also be charged according to the conversion rate. Also you have to be swift enough to pay all your bills on time because any delay in the bill payment will attract a penalty of 2.95 percent every month. There travellers cheques are accepted at limited outlets and therefore when compared to the other options forex cards are economical because the exchange rates get locked on the day the transaction was done. Just because the forex cards are available in a lot many currencies you can avoid currency conversion as well that will in turn save you a lot of money.
Does the use of the forex cards get impacted by the exchange rates?
Of course it does. You have to be very careful of the exchange rates when you are doing a transaction with a forex card.