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Debit card or prepaid card? Tips for travellers

[ 1 ] October 10, 2011 | Alison Adey

Looking for the best card to use abroad? Avoid bank charges, ATM fees and bad exchange rates by getting your hands on a prepaid card.

Read on for our top tips and advice on finding the right deal for you and start saving money for your big trip!

Travel money | Currency exchange rates | Fabulous travel guide

Save money abroad with our top tips and advice

* Choose a card with no ATM fees

Travelling to a remote corner of the world? Many places won’t accept card payments so it’s important to choose a card with no ATM fees as you’ll be withdrawing on a regular basis.

* Find out the exchange rate

Banks often charge a fee to convert money into local currency. If you’re using a Barclays debit card abroad you may be charged a 2.99% foreign exchange charge. Not good if you’re on a budget.

* Check you can use your card online/ in store

Going on a shopping spree? Need to pay for a last-minute flight? Check there are no foreign purchase fees when using your prepaid card online or in store.

* Keep up-to-date with the latest deals is a fantastic website to use if you’re not sure where to start. Not only does it keep an updated list of the best cards to use, it has exclusive deals and offers that are perfect for travellers.

* Ask the right questions

Does it cost money to ‘load’ the card? What happens if you lose it? Are there charges if you stop using the card? All these are important things to consider so give the provider a call to clear things up.

Find out how to get the best deal on your trip and bag yourself a good exchange rate before you leave. Got a question? Get in touch via Twitter or Facebook!

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Category: Advice, Money-saving tips, Solo travellers, Staying safe abroad, Travel news

About Alison Adey: I was previously Channel Editor for IPC's Homes network (;; and but I bid them a fond farewell in December 2010 to embark on this trip. I also worked for as a features writer for two years. View author profile.

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  1. [...] our advice on choosing the right bank card for your travels. Countless backpackers get stung by ATM fees and bank charges when they’re [...]

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