Best Forex Cards in India 2020 – Comparison and In-Depth Reviews

BEST FOREX CARDS IN INDIA


1. HDFC Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card


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2. ICICI Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card


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3. Thomas Cook Multi-Currency Forex Card


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Forex cards are a brilliant way to spend smartly and securely when abroad. 

Prepaid forex cards are gaining more and more momentum, especially among travellers who frequently visit abroad. Thanks to the amazing advantages they offer, including better exchange rates. 

Here, I am going to share 10 amazing forex cards for Indian travellers.

What is a Forex Card?

So, what is a forex card exactly? And how is it different from a credit card?

A forex card looks and works exactly like a credit card. They can be used to pay for anything; from as small as your taxi bill to paying your hotel expenses. 

In layman’s language, a forex card is a prepaid credit card where you virtually carry foreign currency. Most of the forex cards can be used at ATMs so you wouldn’t have to worry about going cashless abroad.

Why Opt for Forex Cards Over Credit Cards?

Although forex cards work exactly like credit cards, the exchange rate on them is much less than credit cards, making them more affordable and pocket-friendly. 

ReadBest Credit Cards in India

Moreover, with credit cards, the foreign exchange rate is not predetermined. This can be a problem when dealing with foreign currency. 

With forex cards, the exchange rate is predetermined making them more comfortable and reliable to use.

If you are Indian travellers planning to go abroad, here are the top 10 choices for forex cards that you can consider.

Top 8 Best Forex Cards in India 2020

1. HDFC Multi-Currency Platinum ForexPlus Card

HDFC multi currency

HDFC’s multi-currency Platinum Forex Card is a great way to spend money smartly. Whether you are a traveller, on business, a student or a temporary resident in a foreign country, the multi-currency card will help you balance your transactions smartly.

The currencies you can deal in with the HDFC Multi-Currency Platinum ForexPlus card are 

  1. US Dollars (USD)
  2. Euro (EUR)
  3. Swiss Francs (CHF)
  4. British Pound (GBP)
  5. Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  6. Australian Dollar (AUD)
  7. Japanese Yen (JPY)
  8. Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  9. UAE Dirham (AED)
  10. Swedish Krona (SEK)
  11. Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  12. Thailand Baht (THB)
  13. South African Rand (ZAR)
  14. New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  15. Omani Riyal (OMR)
  16. Danish Krone (DKK)
  17. Norweigan Krone (NOK)
  18. Saudi Riyal (SAR)
  19. Korean Won (KRW)
  20. Bahrain Dinar (BHD)
  21. Qatari Riyal (QAR)
  22. Kuwait Dinar (KWD)

Benefits of Using HDFC Multi-Currency Platinum ForexPlus Card

Here are some of the benefits of HDFC Multi-Currency Platinum ForexPlus Card to help you decide if it is a good option for you.

1) Supports Multi Currencies

The HDFC multi-currency Platinum ForexPlus card supports more than twenty currencies with all the popular travel destinations. 

If you are planning to travel more than one country, at once or in the future, then the HDFC forex card can reduce your hard work of finding the best forex card every time you travel.

2) Protection from Forex Rate Fluctuations

One big problem that every traveller faces is the fluctuating forex rates. But with the forex card, these rates are already locked in, making it super easy to keep up with your finances while spending abroad.

3) Safe and Secured Interface

HDFC bank offers various security features in their ForexPlus cards to help you spend without worry. 

The user needs to enter their PIN every time they want to make a transaction. Moreover, they will be informed via an SMS with each transaction made. 

The bank also offers an online service to change the PIN number if the user feels insecure with their current PIN number.

The third advantage is that you can block your card with the Prepaid NetBanking system.

Lastly, HDFC offers insurance in case of unauthorised transactions on the card.

4) Globally Accepted

The HDFC multi-currency Platinum ForexPlus Card is accepted all around the world and can be used at ATMs for cash withdrawal.

5) Save Money with Discounts

With the HDFC ForexPlus Card, you also get their additional services like discounts across various travel services, free international SIM card and emergency cash in case you lose your forex card.

In addition to these services, HDFC also offers 24X7 personal concierge service.

6) Easy Reload

You can easily reload the HDFC multi-currency platinum card through the online NetBanking service. 

Fee and Charges

  • Forex Card issuance fee: ₹500
  • Reload Fee: ₹75
  • Fee for re-issuance of card: ₹100

The above charges don’t include GST. GST is added at the time of transaction.

To know the details of ATM withdrawal charges and Balance enquiry fee for different currencies click here 

2) ICICI Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card

icici multi currency

The ICICI bank multi-currency forex card supports 15 foreign currencies including United State Dollar (USD), Great Britain Pound (GBP), Euro (EUR), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Australian Dollar (AUD), Singapore Dollar (SGD), UAE Dirham (AED), Swiss Franc (CHF), Japanese Yen (JPY), Swedish Krona (SEK), South African Rand (ZAR), Saudi Riyal (SAR), Thai Baht (THB), New Zealand Dollar (NZD) and Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)

Benefits of ICICI Multi-Currency Forex Card

ICICI Bank has one of the most comprehensive plans. From replacement to insurance, they cover everything.

1) One Free Replacement

When you apply for the travel card, you get an additional replacement card in case you lose your primary card. 

To activate the replacement card, all you need to do is contact the bank at their toll-free number and your funds will be transferred to your replacement card while the primary one will automatically get blocked.

2) Online Services

ICICI Bank offers a comprehensive online portal that can be used from applying for the card to every other card related service like viewing the balance, transaction history, card replacement request and filing a claim.

You can also reload or refund the funds through the online portal.

3) Discount and Offers

They have amazing travel offers on both their Visa and MasterCard.

For Visa Cards:

Get up to 59% off in restaurants, shopping, hotels and many other merchants.

For MasterCard:

With 59% off on various restaurants, shopping and hotels you can also avail amazing discounts on special experiences in the beautiful cities around the world. 

The ICICI Bank priceless cities help you enjoy the hidden gems of culturally rich cities with an enriching experience of cultural events. To know more visit https://www.priceless.com/

4) Online Fund Transfer

When travelling to multiple countries at once it can be a little confusing to load your card with different currencies. To help solve this problem, the ICICI bank lets you transfer your funds from one wallet to another with a few simple steps through their self-care portal.

5) Travel Insurance

ICICI Bank also offers comprehensive travel insurance to provide complete protection during international journeys.

Here are a few details of what the policy covers.

Personal Air Accident Cover (Death Only)

 ₹10,00,000

Missing of connecting international flight during transit

 $300

Loss of travel documents (Passport, Visa, Tickets)

 $500

Plane Hijacking

 Up to $3000

Delay in receipt of checked baggage

 $300

Lost Card Liability Insurance Cover

 ₹2,00,000

Counterfeit Card Liability Insurance Cover

 ₹2,00,000

6) Emergency Services

Not only travel insurance, but you can also get emergency cash in case you lose your card and other concierge services.

Fee and Charges

  • Joining Fee: ₹150
  • Reload Fee: ₹100
  • Cross Currency Fee: 3.5% 
  • Wallet to wallet transfer fee: 2.5% of the transferred amount

The mentioned charges don’t include GST.

To get detailed information on the fee structure of the ICICI Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card, click here

3) Thomas Cook Multi-Currency Forex Card

thomas cook multi currency

Thomas cook is one of the oldest companies in India offering Forex cards. They offer highly reliable and integrated services that include various financial services like insurance. 

The Thomas Cook multi-currency forex card makes travelling around the world super easy, especially if you are travelling more than one country at a time. 

Currently, the multi-currency card supports nine currencies that include Euro (EUR), Swiss Francs (CHF), US Dollars (USD), Australian Dollars (AUD), Singapore Dollars (SGD), British Pounds (GBP), Japanese Yen (JPY), Canadian Dollars (CAD) and Arab Emirates Dirham (AED).

Benefits of Thomas Cook Multi-Currency Forex Card

Thomas Cook, one of the oldest and trusted financial service providers, offers amazing benefits with their forex card.

1) Globally Accepted

One of the best parts of using Thomas Cook forex card is that it is accepted globally. Wherever you go, you wouldn’t have to worry about facing problems while using the Thomas Cook card.

You can also use the card to withdraw cash through the card. They have 1.9 million active ATMs across the world. Moreover, you will be notified for every transaction you make through SMS and email.

2) Security

Thomas Cook’s forex cards help you carry your money safely. Like your credit or debit card, the forex card is also PIN protected. Moreover, with every transaction you make, you will be notified via SMS as well as an email.

Thomas Cook also offers 24X7 customer care service. Not only this but with addition to 24X7 help they also offer you a replacement forex card in case you lose yours. 

3) Easy to Reload

Reloading your multi-currency forex card is super easy. You can reload the card through their website by logging in to your Thomas Cook account.

You can also keep a track of all the transactions from your account.

4) Travel Insurance

Thomas Cook offers a USD 10,000 insurance with their multi-currency forex card.

Fee and Charges

  • Issuance Fee: ₹150
  • Reload Fee: ₹100

Exclusive of GST

4) Yes Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card

yes bank multi currency travel

Another card for all the globetrotters. The Yes Bank multi-currency card lets you load up to 15 currencies at a single time. 

The currencies supported by the Yes Bank multi-currency card are-

  1. US Dollar (USD)
  2. Great Britain Pound (GBP)
  3. Euro (EUR)
  4. Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  5. Australian Dollar (AUD)
  6. Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  7. Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
  8. Swiss Franc (CHF)
  9. Japanese Yen (JPY)
  10. Swedish Krona (SEK)
  11. South African Rand (ZAR)
  12. Saudi Riyal (SAR)
  13. Thai Baht (THB)
  14. New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  15. Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)

This globally accepted card makes it very easy to make purchases across 31.4 million merchant outlets across the world.

Benefits of Yes Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card

Yes Bank made sure they offer forex cards with amazing advantages so as to compete with the top service providers.

1) Online Account Management

Yes Bank offers online account management service for prepaid cardholders. Their online portal is a single destination for almost all the card related queries and activities. 

With the online portal, the cardholder can view the card summary, the last 10 transactions, transaction listing, check their balance and change the password. In addition to these services, you can also temporarily lock your card when not in use and unlock it whenever you wish. 

For any transaction related problems, the cardholder can download the dispute form from the portal itself.

2) 2 Year-long Validity

The Yes Bank multi-currency forex card is valid for up to 2 years. During this period, the user can reload the card as many times as they require.

3) 24X7 Customer Care Service

No matter what country you are in, Yes Bank has got you covered. 

They offer 24X7 customer care service for all the prepaid cardholders. Here are 4 toll-free numbers for major locations.

  • USA – 1877 659 8044
  • Canada – 1877 659 8044
  • UK – 8000 3570 3089
  • Other locations – 91 22 3099 3600

4) One Step Encashment

Yes bank offers one-step encashment if you want to withdraw the remaining funds in your card. This is best for users who do not plan to use the card for a long period.

To encash your card, all you need to do is submit a request for residual balance.

5) Insurance

Yes bank automatically enrols the cardholder to the insurance plan which offers maximum insurance of up to 3 lakhs. The insurance covers the expenses in case of lost card or an unauthorized transaction.

Fee and Charges

  • Issuance Fee: ₹125
  • Reload Fee: ₹100
  • Refund Fee: ₹75

To get more details on their fees and charges to visit their website

5) IndusInd Bank Multi-Currency Platinum Forex Card

indusind multi currency

Another well known multi-currency forex card in India is the IndusInd multi-currency Platinum Forex Card. 

Currently, the forex card supports the following 14 currencies.

  1. US Dollar (USD)
  2. Euro (EUR)
  3. Australian Dollar (AUD)
  4. Great Britain Pound (GBP)
  5. Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  6. Saudi Riyal (SAR)
  7. Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  8. UAE Dirham (AED)
  9. Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  10. Swiss Franc (CHF)
  11. Japanese Yen (JPY)
  12. New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  13. South African Rand (ZAR)
  14. Thai Baht (THB)

The IndusInd multi-currency travel card offers amazing offers on travel bookings and also at various tourist destinations. Not only you get a single card for making purchases but also make cheaper purchases when abroad.

Benefits of IndusInd Multi-Currency Platinum Forex Card

IndusInd claims to be one of the leading forex card service providers in the country and true to its word, here are some of the advantages that come with the card.

1) Free ATM Withdrawals

Unlike many other travel card service providers, IndusInd doesn’t charge any transaction fee on ATM cash withdrawals.

2) Easy Card Replacement

In case of lost card or expiry of the current card, you can contact the branch at their toll-free number and replace your card at the nearest IndusInd Branch.

3) Amazing Discounts

Although already mentioned this added benefit of the IndusInd forex cards helps you spend money sensibly when abroad. 

You get discounts for most of the travel bookings with a minimum discount of 10%.

4) Online Portal for tracking transactions

You can track all the transactions made on the card through their website by logging in to your account. 

In addition to this, you can also check your remaining balance through it.

5) Multiple Reloads

As long as your card is active, you can reload it as many times as you wish to without any restrictions

Fee and Charges

  • Issuance Fee: ₹150
  • Reload Fee: ₹100
  • Fee for Re-issue of Card: ₹100.

You can visit their website for detailed fee structure.

6) Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card

axis bank multi currency forex

The Axis Bank multi-currency forex card lets you travel hassle-free around 16 countries. The contactless money card supports the following currencies.

  1. United State Dollars (USD)
  2. Great Britain Pound (GBP)
  3. Euro (EUR)
  4. Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  5. Australian Dollar (AUD)
  6. Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  7. Japanese Yen (JPY)
  8. Swiss Franc (CHF)
  9. Swedish Krona (SEK)
  10. Thai Baht (THB)
  11. UAE Dirham (AED)
  12. Saudi Riyal (SAR)
  13. Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  14. New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  15. Danish Kroner (DKK)
  16. South African Rand (ZAR)

Benefits of the Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card

Just like previous forex cards mentioned in this list, the Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card also has a strong game which makes it popular among travellers.

1) Trip Assist Service

The trip assist service by Axis Bank ensures 360-degree protection against travel-related problems. 

The trip assist lets you block your forex card in case of lost or misplaced card. Moreover, you can also get emergency cash for hotel bills and return flights.

You can also get help through the Trip Assist in case of lost passport.

2) Travel Offers

Axis Bank offers various offers and discounts on the use of forex cards. The offers keep changing and there are new ones added every once in a while. 

For details visit https://www.axisbank.com/retail/forex/travel-forex-card/multi-currency-forex-card/offers#menuTab

3) Insurance

Axis Bank multi-currency forex comes with travel insurance that covers the following-

  • Lost or stolen card – up tp ₹1,50,000
  • Counterfeit Card – up to ₹1,50,000
  • ATM assault and robbery – ₹60,000 (with the expenses incurred towards medical treatment)

The current insurance scheme does not cover ATM Withdrawal in case of lost or stolen card.

4) Lost Card Replacement

You can easily replace the lost or stolen card by contacting the Global Customer Assistance Service.

To handle your expenses securely, make sure you register your international mobile number and email address with the bank so as to get instant alerts on transactions.

5) After Return Services

Axis bank various services even after you return from your trip. You can refill, refund or transfer your funds to a dollar account or get encashment on the remaining funds.

Other than this, you can also choose to transfer the residual funds to a domestic account.

Or if you are planning more foreign trips, you can leave the funds as it is.

Fee and Charges

  • Issuance Fee: ₹300 + GST
  • Reload Fee: ₹100 + GST
  • Card Renewal Fee: ₹100 + GST
  • Encashment Charges: ₹100 + GST

Click here for other charges

7) Axis Bank Diners Card

axis bank multi currency

Axis Bank Diners Card is a globally accepted prepaid card that can be loaded with denominations of US Dollars. This single currency card is best for travellers who prefer exclusive discounts and high-end vacations.

Benefits of Axis Bank Diners Card

Axis Diners Card is not just a forex card. It can be used for various international purchases too. Here are some of the benefits that can help you decide if it is the best option for you or not.

1) Convenient and Easy to Use

Axis Bank’s Diner card is super easy to use and can be swiped across 22 merchants around the world. 

The card can be used to withdraw cash from ATM while still using it directly for transactions.

2) Insurance Cover

Axis Bank Diners Card covers the following in their insurance.

  • Lost or stolen card – up tp ₹1,50,000
  • Counterfeit Card – up to ₹1,50,000
  • ATM assault and robbery – ₹60,000 (with the expenses incurred towards medical treatment)

The current insurance plan doesn’t cover ATM withdrawals in case of lost or stolen card.

3) After Return Services

Just like the Axis Bank Multi-Currency Card, you can reload, refund or transfer funds to a dollar account.

To encash the remaining funds, all you need to do is to fill out an application form at the bank. 

4) International Online Purchases

The Axis Bank Diners card can be used to make online purchases on international e-commerce websites. So, even if you don’t plan to make a foreign trip soon then the funds can be used for shopping and won’t just stay dormant.

Fee and Charges

  • Issuance Fee: ₹150 + GST
  • Reload Fee: ₹100 + GST
  • Refund Fee: ₹100 + GST
  • Encashment Charges: ₹100 + GST

To know more, visit their website.

8) HDFC Bank ISIC Student ForexPlus Card

hdfc isic student

If you are moving to a foreign country for studies and are looking for a smart way of spending money then the HDFC Bank ISIC Student ForexPlus Card is a great option.

Currently, the card can be loaded with three currencies – US Dollars (USD), Euro (EUR) and Great Britain Pound (GBP).

Benefits of HDFC Bank ISIC Student ForexPlus Card

ISIC Student ForexPlus Card is specially designed for students studying abroad which gives the students great benefits for their years abroad.

1) ATM Withdrawal

The HDFC ISIC Student ForexPlus card can be used for ATM withdrawals for local currency, making them very convenient.

2) No Forex Fluctuations

When staying abroad for a long period, forex fluctuations can be tiring to deal with. With the ISIC Student ForexPlus Card, you won’t have to worry about the constant fluctuations.

3) Easy to Reload

The ForexPlus Card can be easily reloaded through Prepaid net banking system through your online account.

4) Globally Accepted

You can use the HDFC ISIC Student ForexPlus Card as a student identification card across the globe.

5) World Wide Customer Care

HDFC bank offers worldwide assistance for their cardholders. You can easily contact their customer care helpline through their international toll-free numbers in case you are facing any card related issues including lost card, card not functioning or even if you require emergency cash due to the above-mentioned reasons.

6) Insurance

The complimentary insurance covers the following:

Card Misuse/Counterfeit/Skimming

 Up to ₹5 lakhs

Accidental death (air/rail/road)

 ₹ 25 Lakh

Loss of Baggage

 ₹ 50,000

Loss of checked-in Baggage

 ₹ 20,000

Passport Reconstruction

 Up to ₹ 20,000

  1. Exclusive Offers

HDFC Bank offers great discounts on the purchase of books, food, accommodation, shopping, travel and even leisure activities across 130 countries on their Student Forex Card.

Fee And Charges

  • Issuance Fee: ₹300
  • Reload Fee: ₹75
  • Re-Issuance Fee: ₹100

For more details click here

Eligibility

To apply for the ISIC Student ForexPlus Card you do not have to have an account with HDFC Bank. 

Documents Required

  • ISIC ForexPLus Card Application form with Aadhaar number mentioned in it.
  • Appointment letter, Admission letter or the University Identity Card of the student.
  • Photocopy of your passport
  • Passport Size Photo with white background
  • Photocopy of your Visa or ticket.

Things to Consider While Choosing a Forex Card in India

Forex Cards are the first thing that comes to one’s mind while looking for ways to smartly spend money abroad. But while you choose a forex card, it is important that you get a 360-degree review of the product. 

Some of the things that you must consider before getting a forex card are:

1) Daily Card Limit

When planning a trip abroad, it is always better to have a rough plan of your daily expenses. This will not only help you keep track of your expenditures but it will also help you to choose your forex card.

Make sure that the card you choose caters to your daily expenditure and doesn’t have a constricting withdrawal limit. You do not want to worry about going out of funds in a foreign city.

2) Forex Card Fee and Charges

One of the most important things while choosing a forex card is their fee and additional charges and what are they offering in that amount. 

The first step towards smart spending is to determine what you are paying for the card. Sometimes, banks or other forex card service providers tend to add additional charges on their cards making them very expensive. 

Moreover, do not go for a card just because it is cheaper. Compare it with other cards and look into the services that you will be getting with the card.

3) Forex Card Kit

When you buy a forex card, you usually get extra benefits with it. Like, the ICICI Bank offers a replacement card which comes with your primary card. This card can be activated within hours in case you lose your primary card.

Additional perks and replacement services can be extremely helpful in emergency situations, so do not compromise with cheaper cards and make use of the benefits.

4) Global Customer Services

It is always a good idea to prepare yourself for an emergency during travel, especially if you are leaving the comforts of your homeland.

Look into the customer care service of your forex card provider and what are they offering. Although most of the forex card providers offer insurance and other emergency services (like emergency cash in case of lost card), it is still better to get the complete details and conditions.

5) Fund Encashment

How much does it cost to get your funds encashed?

If you are not a frequent traveller and you do not want your deposited money to stay dormant, then it is important that you can get your funds cashed without having to pay a hefty amount.

It is important that you put in efforts and look into the services and compare it with other forex cards.

So invest a little time, especially when you are planning your international expenses.

How to Choose the Best Forex Card in India?

Even if you segregate all the cards and bring out the best ones, it can still be difficult to decide on the perfect one. 

To know what is the best card for you, here is a little to-do list to get started.

1) Get an Estimate

Before you start researching on different forex cards, it is better to make an estimate of your daily expenses and how much you are planning to spend every day. This is because forex cards come with daily withdrawal and usage limit which can be hindering if you don’t plan it beforehand.

2) Decide Your Priorities

What are the services that you absolutely want with your card? 

Most of the forex card service providers offer complimentary insurance but the things covered are different.

If it is security that matters to you the most then go for cards that come with chip technology which helps you make transactions with ease and safely.

3) Decide Your Budget

What is your overall budget?

Compare the fees, charges and additional costs of various cards and what are they offering in it.

It will help you decide the suitable forex card for yourself.

4) Talk to the Service Provider

Even when you do complete research, there would still be some doubts and unanswered questions. 

Call your service provider and clear every doubt you have about their service before buying their product. 

Not only it will give you a clearer view of the product, but it will also tell you the complete potential of a forex card when travelling abroad.

4) Currencies Supported

Although this may not be important to people who are travelling to a single country, if you are travelling to more than one country in a single journey then it is important that you check whether your travel card supports all those currencies. 

Or you can decide to get multiple cards, which ruins the point of convenience.

Also, look into the currencies supported by the card at a single time. 

Most of the cards support 4 to 6 currencies at a time so it shouldn’t be a problem for you to find a card that supports multiple currencies. 

Even if your card doesn’t support the number of currencies you want, you can load the currencies as you move forward. Just make sure that they have the option of fund tranfer and prepaid net banking.

Travel Stress-Free With the Best Forex Cards

Deciding a travel budget is not only tiresome but also stressful. Moreover, with the constant forex fluctuations it is difficult to plan a trip with a fixed budget. 

Forex Card can help you stay safe from these frequent fluctuations and also get insured while travelling abroad. 

With loads of advantages, they make it super easy to travel to a place with foreign currency. Especially when you are travelling to more than one country.

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