An analysis of prepaid travel cards
By Ankit Sharma
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Travel overseas has been made a lot easier with prepaid travel cards. The traveler earlier was troubled by the burden of carrying cash during travels or encashing traveler's check or having to pay extra charges for ATM withdrawals. The introduction of prepaid travel cards has made the customer overcome these hassles.

What is a prepaid travel card?

A prepaid card is one which can be loaded with desired amount of money and used for expenses thereafter. Unless it has the option of being reloadable, the card can be used only till the time the amount in the card when it was first purchased has not exhausted. It is different from a credit card in that it doesn't allow any debt to get piled up for the customer. Its difference from debit card lies in the fact that it is not linked to the bank account of the user.

A prepaid travel card is a prepaid card which can be loaded with foreign currency. Once the amount in the card is loaded in the desired foreign currency, it can be used as a normal card.

Benefits of prepaid travel cards:

•These cards release the burden of carrying large amount of cash during travel.

•The fees and charges associated with these cards are lower than what it would have cost the customer to make purchases and ATM withdrawals using domestic credit or debit cards.

•These cards are reloadable.

•Some of these cards have locked in exchange rate facility which prevents the user from hassles of exchange rate fluctuation.

Few major prepaid cards issuers:

Standard Chartered Bank: Card name: Smart Travel Prepaid Card

•It is a Gold MasterCard prepaid card.

•It can be accessed at all the MasterCard ATMs as well as merchant locations all over the world.

•It offers a host of lifestyle as well as travel benefits. Lifestyle benefits include shopping, recreation facilities, benefit of spa and beauty salons while travel benefits include hotel, airlines, car rentals and chauffeured transport amongst a host of other facilities.

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