While holidays are a distant memory we’re still hearing horror stories of people that were stranded without cash while overseas. No matter how many times a traveller get ripped off at the airport or abroad, travel money always seems to be at the bottom of a holiday list. For many travellers, a casual approach costs.
Our solution: the prepaid card.
Prepaid cards, with Chip & Pin secure are made for use abroad. You get a multi-currency prepaid card (which looks like any other bank card, displaying the MasterCard Acceptance Mark) and then get your four-digit pin number. Finally, just load money onto the card and you’re set to travel.
The handiest part is the fact that you don’t have to worry about looking after a wad of cash that you’ve taken out at the airport. There are many occasions, especially for backpacker, when it’s debatable whether it’s safer to keep money on your person in a travel body wallet, in a rucksack or back at the hotel/hostel. The benefit of having the prepaid card is that all you need is the card itself. And, if it gets lost or stolen, you can cancel your card like any other bank card; your prepaid card has the same Chip & Pin protection.
The other benefit is that you can take cash out as and when you need it. In the past users have been known to take out a reasonable amount of cash in one fell swoop, if using a debit card abroad, to avoid a series of ATM fees. With a prepaid card, this is no longer an issue.
Standard Bank has a great solution for prepaid, the TravelWallet.
You can also register to get an SMS every time you use your card, allowing you to keep track of activity on your account. You also have access to a free online statement. To take advantage of these services, simply visit http://www.standardbank.co.za/travelwallet and click on TravelWallet account status.
With TravelWallet your money is safe. In the event of theft or loss, your card can be stopped and replaced as soon as you have reported it by calling the lost card call centre on 0800 020 600 from South Africa or +27 11 299 4114 whilst abroad.
You also have the assurance of a fixed interest exchange rate if you use the card in the same currency as that loaded on your card. If you run out of money whilst abroad, your TravelWallet card can easily be topped up.
For travelling you cannot beat a prepaid card for both the safety and cost control abilities. Bon Voyage!