Traveling overseas? Make sure you have guaranteed funds and money when you need it.
If you have an overseas trip planned, whether for business or pleasure, one of the biggest expenses you will have to plan for is foreign exchange (forex). With South Africa’s sensitive currency, which seems to fluctuate daily, making sure you have the same amount of forex from the day of purchase, to the day you arrive at your overseas destination is critical.
There are so many ways to take money with you on holiday or when travelling for work and, although cash might hold its value, it also presents a security risk. Travellers cheques are more secure, but at the mercy of currency fluctuations, and often a hassle to redeem.
So, what is the best option? The recommendation from one of the top foreign exchange banks in South Africa, Bidvest Bank, is to use a prepaid forex card.
“Preloaded forex cards, like our Mastercard World Currency Card, are growing in popularity among South African business and leisure travellers who are looking for a simple, secure and budget-friendly way to purchase foreign exchange when they go abroad. These cards offer a smart and safe alternative to carrying cash,” explains Japie van Niekerk, MD of Bidvest Bank. The cards not only protect travellers from currency volatility but also allow them to easily manage multiple currencies if they are travelling to more than one country.”
Prepaid cards, allow for currency to be preloaded prior to departing on a trip and therefore protect travellers against currency fluctuations. The Bidvest Bank Mastercard World Currency Card has the added benefit of enabling travellers to purchase their required currency at the rate of exchange on the day, and avoid future fluctuations. This works well for both business and individuals trying to manage tighter budgets.
Travellers can load up to 17 currencies onto their World Currency Card including US Dollar, Euro, Great British Pound, the Australian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar and Thai Baht. The cardholder can then use the card globally to pay for goods and services at millions of merchant locations or withdraw cash from ATMs wherever the Mastercard Acceptance Mark is displayed.
The card is smart and intelligently matches the relevant currency loaded onto the card with that of the country they are in. For example, if both Great British Pounds and Euros are loaded onto the card at the same time and the cardholder is in London, the card will automatically default to the Pound ‘pocket’ in order to avoid additional foreign exchange fees.
An added feature is an online app that allows travellers to check balances and move funds from different currency ‘pockets’, using their smart phones.
For increased safety, travellers are issued with a second card, not linked to their credit card, so should they lose or damage their card during travel, they will still have access to their funds without any issues. The card also comes with Chip and PIN protection, providing a more secure way to pay while abroad.
“It all comes down to guaranteed funds – money when you need it. Global acceptability, multiple currencies, easy withdrawal, acceptance by retail outlets, top-up abilities, high level of safety and security measures, insurance, fraud protection and a 24-hour call centre all make sure funds are guaranteed,” Van Niekerk concludes.
Northern KZN Get It September 2017