Why a Travel Money Card Could Be a Must-Have Item For Holidaymakers This Summer

Since the birth of the travel money card and its increased availability as another method to pay for items when abroad, the global economic crisis has plunged sterling into a state of impressive weakness and the travel industry into uncertainty as to whether any UK holidaymakers will even bother going abroad this summer. So could the travel money card be the saving grace for those who want to hit the Eurozone this August?

April saw a trend amongst banks that quickly became reported in the national press. Amongst others, both The Northern Echo and The Independent outlined the introduction of bank charges on credit cards used abroad – ranging from 0.81 to 2.99 percent of the transaction value from names such as Nationwide and Thomas Cook Financial. The moves were seen as a direct response to the tumultuous economic climate and the ongoing need to make a profit wherever possible.

Travel money cards are increasingly being seen as a viable alternative to credit cards because of a number of reasons. Unlike standard credit and debit cards, travel money cards do not incur charges when used (provided your card is allocated to the correct country, region, continent), yet are still allowed in the same shops and outlets that any Visa and Mastercard would be used.

However, for all their similarities, there are some differences also: travel money cards are not connected to your bank account but are instead charged (or topped up) via bank transfer online, SMS or over the phone – in much the same way as a pay-as-you-go mobile phone.

This top-up method is not only convenient, but is also becoming noted for its added security. Losing a credit card abroad is a massive hassle because if it gets into the wrong hands, your entire bank account is available – however, a travel money card ensures that the rest of your savings are not at risk whilst you are on holiday. Additionally, if your card is stolen and reported promptly any money will be instantly transferred back to your account.

As it becomes increasingly expensive to spend money abroad, and whilst sterling remains at a low compared to the euro and dollar, the convenience and safety of travel money cards seem set to entice holiday spenders into a new age – and one that ensures your pennies go further.