The market for prepaid travel (foreign exchange) credit cards is constantly moving and evolving. There was a time when only a select group offered these products, but fortunately those days are long gone! A quick look through a prepaid card comparison table shows that there are a number of issuers all vying for our foreign exchange business. What that means, in a practical sense, is that customers can get some great prepaid travel credit cards if they are willing to shop around. Unfortunately, many individuals leave arranging their foreign currency to the last minute, or they buy products on impulse which are sold in convenient travel related businesses (airlines, travel agents etc.). No doubt some people still do get a reasonable deal by selecting a product in this unplanned fashion, but (as with all impulse shopping) many will discover they could have obtained a considerably better deal on their foreign exchange if they had shopped around and researched the best prepaid travel credit card for their needs.
With so much choice available in the Foreign Exchange Card/Prepaid Travel Credit Card space, the products themselves had to diversify to appeal to different segments of a very wide market. This means you can get cards specifically designed to offer the best foreign exchange rates on specific currencies. Dollar prepaid cards and Euro prepaid cards are perhaps the most common, but some prepaid travel credit cards allow individuals to select other currencies. Indeed, some prepaid travel credit cards offer the ability to use them across a host of different currencies in a host of different countries.
Prepaid travel credit cards are fast replacing historically popular methods for obtaining foreign currency (like travellers' cheques or locking away bundles of sterling in a safe for exchange), and there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly they offer a great deal of security; they are protected using the same chip and pin technology that ensures conventional payments are secure. Secondly, they can be used in ATMs, meaning there's no need to spend hours looking for a shop or bank to exchange currency or travellers cheques (perhaps even longer if you're looking for a good rate!). Thirdly, they can put a barrier between foreign ATM access and your personal current account - There is potentially less concern in losing a prepaid travel card than losing your current account debit card. However, despite the obvious benefits, it's essential you compare prepaid travel credit cards to ensure you get the best product for you.