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August 8, 2023 Forex Card Travel
13 minutes, 33 seconds Read

7 Best Forex Cards in India for International Travel – Ranked by Our Expert

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Summary: Discover the top 7 Forex cards in India for your international travel! Our team of experts has evaluated different forex cards in India based on various features and criteria to provide an unbiased ranking. Choose the best Forex card for your specific needs!

When traveling abroad, a Forex card is the most convenient and affordable way to make payments abroad. In this blog, our team of experts has carefully assessed and compared the top 7 Forex cards available in India. We have considered essential factors like exchange rates, issuance fees, withdrawal limits, reload/unload fees, and additional features provided by each card. Our aim is to equip you with the necessary information so you can pick the best Forex card that suits your specific travel needs.

What are Forex Cards and how are they comparatively better than other payment options?

Planning an international trip? If so, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to pay for your expenses while you’re abroad. Carrying cash can be risky, and using your regular credit card can be expensive due to high foreign transaction fees.

A Forex card is a great option for international travel. It’s a prepaid card that you can load with foreign currency before you leave India. This means you won’t have to worry about carrying cash, and you’ll avoid high foreign transaction fees. Here’s how a Forex card is better than other payment methods:

1. A convenient and secure alternative to carrying cash

2. Equipped with chip-and-PIN technology for enhanced security

3. The exchange rate can be locked at the time of loading the card

4. Widely accepted by millions of merchants and ATMs globally

5. Transparent fee structures and no rate fluctuations

6. Comes with a user-friendly mobile app for spend management

7. Suitable for online transactions and multi-currency options available

8. Lower foreign transaction fees than credit cards or debit cards

Our Ranking Criteria for Choosing the 7 Best Forex Cards

By evaluating each forex card against the below-mentioned criteria, we aim to provide travelers with an unbiased and comprehensive ranking to help them choose the best forex card that suits their specific requirements for international travel.

1. Card Issuance Ease: How easy is it to apply for and receive a Forex card? Some cards have a lengthy application process, while others can be issued online quickly.

2. Card Delivery: How long does it take to receive a Forex card after you apply? Some cards are delivered on the same day, while others may take two-three days.

3. Reload/Unload Process: How easy is it to reload or unload funds on a Forex card? Some cards have a complicated reloading process, while others have a free reloading/unloading process.

4. Fees and Charges: What are the different fees and charges associated with using a Forex card? We have evaluated various fees like issuance fees, transaction fees, annual maintenance fees, etc.

5. Exchange Rate: What is the exchange rate offered by the Forex card? We have compared the rates with prevailing base rates to determine markups in rates.

6. Rate Lock Feature: Does the Forex card offer a rate lock feature? This allows users to lock in their desired forex rates. 

7. Withdrawal Limit: What is the withdrawal limit for the Forex card? We have reviewed the maximum daily withdrawal limit per day or per transaction.

8. Expense Management: Does the Forex card offer any expense management features? This could include features like tracking your spending or setting spending limits via a mobile app.

9. Replacing a Lost or Stolen Card: How easy is it to replace a lost or stolen Forex card? We have reviewed the process and ease of getting a replacement card in case of loss or theft.

10. Card Security: How secure is the Forex card? Some cards have advanced security features, while others may be more vulnerable to fraud.

Top 7 Best Forex Cards in India

Whether you are a frequent traveler or planning a one-time vacation, a Forex card provides a convenient and efficient way to manage your foreign currency transactions abroad. Below are the top 7 forex cards in India based on our ranking criteria:

 

S . No.Best Forex Cards in IndiaRating
1BookMyForex Card4.5/5
2Axis Bank Forex Card4.0/5
3HDFC Bank Forex Card3.8/5
4ICICI Bank Forex Card3.7/5
5Standard Chartered Forex Card3.4/5
6SBI Bank Forex Card3.4/5
7Bank of Baroda Forex Card3.1/5

Please find the details below for each of these top forex cards:

BookMyForex Card

BookMyForex mutli currency forex card is proven to be a good choice for international travelers. The card can be loaded with 14 different currencies, and the exchange rates on the Forex card remain fixed, unlike any INR-based debit or credit cards. BookMyForex card is available at an Interbank rate*, hence it is a true zero markup forex card. Interbank forex rates are the rates at which banks deal with each other for currency exchange and are considered true foreign exchange rates.

Features & Benefits with Ratings

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Features/BenefitsDetailsRating
Card Issuance EaseVery easy to apply, online booking option, no account opening required, quick issuance4.5/5
Card DeliverySuper fast delivery, Same-day doorstep delivery of the card 5/5
Reload/Unload ProcessFree reloading/unloading, Reload/Unload through the website or mobile app 5/5
Fees and ChargesZero, Annual/Inactivity fee: Zero , Reload/Unload fee: Zero Replacement fee: INR 250, ATM Withdrawal fee: USD 2 or eqv 4/5
Exchange RateInterbank-linked exchange rates*, true zero markup rates 5/5
Rate Lock FeatureBook Now & Pay Later option available, lock-in rates for up to 3 days. No rate fluctuations once the card is loaded4.5/5
Withdrawal LimitUSD 7,500 or eqv limit for POS/ Ecommerce/Cash Advance, USD 1000 limit or eqv for ATM Cash Withdrawal 4/5
Expense ManagementManage transactions using BookMyForex App, Real-time transaction notifications, and In-app virtual card to manage online transactions4.5/5
Replacing a Lost or Stolen CardEasy replacement process, Insured against Lost card liability, minimal replacement charges 4.5/5
Card SecurityChip-and-PIN enabled, SMS alert feature4.5/5

 

Axis Bank Forex Card

The Axis Bank multi-currency forex card is aimed at Indians who travel abroad on a regular basis. The card offers protection against currency fluctuations, thereby helping you maximize savings. The Axis Bank multi-currency forex card can be loaded with 16 currencies. Boasting Visa’s payWave technology, the Axis Bank forex card can save plenty of your precious time while making payments. Instead of swiping your card, you just have to wave it in front of the merchant terminal and the payment will be completed.

Features & Benefits with Ratings

 Overall Rating: 4/5

Features/BenefitsDetailsRating
Card Issuance EaseHassle-free issuance process, Apply online or visit any Axis Bank branch, the documentation process can be slightly lengthy4/5
Card Delivery4-5 working days, dispatched via reliable courier services3.5/5

Reload/Unload Process Login to Axis Mobile Banking App or Internet Banking to reload, Reload fee is Rs.100.00 + GST3.5/5
Fees and Charges Issuance Fee: 300+GST, Annual/Inactivity fee: USD 5 or eqv, Reload/Unload fee: 100+GST, Replacement fee: USD 3 or eqv, ATM Withdrawal fee: 0.5% of transaction amount3.5/5
Exchange Rate2.50% markup over base rates3.5/5
Rate Lock FeatureBook Now & Pay Later option not available, no rate fluctuations after the card is loaded4/5

Withdrawal Limit USD 10,000 or eqv limit for POS/ Ecommerce/Cash Advance, USD 1000 limit or eqv for ATM Cash Withdrawal4.5/5
Expense ManagementManage transactions using Axis Mobile App, check balance either online or via the app itself4/5
Replacing a Lost or Stolen Card Customer support team to block the lost or stolen card, replacement card to be provided within 7-8 working days3.5/5
Card SecurityUnique built-in secret key, Emergency assistance, insurance coverage4.5/5

 

HDFC Bank Forex Card

HDFC Bank offers different types of Forex cards for travelers namely HDFC Bank ForexPlus Card, HDFC Bank Multicurrency Platinum ForexPlus Chip Card, and HDFC Bank ISIC Student ForexPlus Card. These different types of Forex cards provided by HDFC Bank cater to the specific requirements of customers, ensuring a hassle-free and secure travel experience. Offering support for multiple currencies, the Forex card from HDFC is also backed by chip technology which makes the card incredibly secure.

Features & Benefits with Ratings

Overall Rating: 3.8/5

Features/BenefitsDetailsRating
Card Issuance EaseBoth online & offline application modes available, issuance is not free3.5/5
Card DeliveryFor an HDFC Bank Savings Account customer, the card is delivered within 3 working days. For others, it can take up to a week3/5
Reload/Unload ProcessVisit the HDFC Bank branch or use Internet Banking to reload the card, Reload fee is Rs.75.00 + GST3.5/5
Fees and ChargesIssuance Fee: 500+GST, Annual/Inactivity fee: N/A, Reload/Unload fee: 75+GST, Replacement fee: 85+GST, ATM Withdrawal fee: USD 4 or eqv3.5/5
Exchange Rate2-3% markup over base rates3.5/5
Rate Lock FeatureBook Now & Pay Later option not available, rates get locked only when the currency is loaded4/5
Withdrawal LimitDaily limit of USD 5000 or eqv for ATM Cash Withdrawal4.5/5
Expense Management Easy online Card management using Prepaid Card Netbanking 4.5/5
Replacing a Lost or Stolen CardHDFC Bank PhoneBanking to be informed, Replacement card gets activated. Be sure to avail backup card facility during card application3.5/5
Card SecurityRobust PIN protection, emergency assistance, insurance coverage4.5/5

 

ICICI Bank Forex Card

Whether you are a student, a frequent traveler, or a corporate professional, ICICI Bank has a Forex card that suits your needs. The Bank offers a range of forex cards that cater to the needs of individuals traveling abroad. These forex cards are designed to provide a convenient and secure way to carry foreign currency while traveling. With an ICICI Bank forex card, customers can easily make payments and also withdraw cash in the local currency of the country they are visiting.

Features & Benefits with Ratings

Overall Rating: 3.7/5

Features/BenefitsDetailsRating
Card Issuance EaseOnline Application Process, ICICI Bank account is mandatory4/5
Card DeliveryThe shipping time is 48-72 hours. Card to be delivered within 4-5 working days.3.5/5
Reload/Unload ProcessInstant reload facility, Visit the HDFC Bank branch or use Internet Banking or iMobile App to reload the card, Charges to be applicable4/5
Fees and ChargesIssuance Fee: 150+GST, Annual/Inactivity fee: 299+GST, Reload/Unload fee: 100+GST, Replacement fee: USD 3 or eqv, ATM Withdrawal fee: USD 2 or eqv3/5
Exchange Rate3.5% markup over base rates3/5
Rate Lock FeatureBook Now & Pay Later option not available, no other information available1.5/5
Withdrawal LimitDaily limit of USD 2000 or eqv for ATM Cash Withdrawal3/5
Expense Management Online Card management using iMobile App4.5/5

Replacing a Lost or Stolen CardICICI Bank Customer Care to be informed, Free replacement card, balance to be transferred to the Secondary Card.5/5
Card SecurityHigh-end security, Emergency travel assistance, travel insurance4.5/5

 

Standard Chartered Forex Card

The Standard Chartered Forex Card is a prepaid travel card offered by Standard Chartered Bank, designed to provide a secure and convenient way to carry foreign currency while traveling abroad. It allows you to load up to 20 different currencies on your card. The Forex Card is also equipped with chip-and-PIN technology to enhance security and protect against fraudulent transactions.

Features & Benefits with Ratings

Overall Rating: 3.4/5

Features/BenefitsDetailsRating
Card Issuance EaseOnline Application Process, Standard Chartered Bank account may be required.3/5
Card DeliveryNo information available on the Standard Chartered website about card delivery1/5
Reload/Unload ProcessReload the Forex card at any of the branches locally or through online banking4.5/5
Fees and ChargesIssuance Fee: INR 299, Annual/Inactivity fee: USD 5 or eqv, Reload/Unload fee: Zero, Replacement fee: INR 349, ATM Withdrawal fee: USD 2 or eqv3.5/5
Exchange Rate3.5% markup over base rates3/5
Rate Lock Feature Book Now & Pay Later option not available, Exchange rate is locked once you load the card3.5/5
Withdrawal LimitDaily limit of USD 2000 or eqv for ATM Cash Withdrawal3/5
Expense Management Online Card management using SC Mobile App or Online Net Banking 4/5
Replacing a Lost or Stolen CardReport to the bank about a lost/stolen card, Raise a card replacement request3.5/5
Card SecurityChip-and-PIN secured, pre-loaded insurance cover4/5

 

SBI Bank Forex Card

The SBI Bank Forex Card is a secure and convenient way to carry currency while traveling abroad. Designed to meet the needs of frequent travelers, it offers various features and benefits that make it an ideal choice for managing foreign currency transactions. The card is widely accepted at millions of Visa/Mastercard merchant establishments worldwide, except for Nepal and Bhutan. It is issued in association with VISA International and MasterCard Asia/Pacific Pte. Ltd.

Features & Benefits with Ratings

Overall Rating: 3.4/5

Features/BenefitsDetailsRating
Card Issuance EaseBoth Online & Offline Application Processes, Lengthy and time taking3.5/5
Card DeliveryStandard delivery time: 7-10 working days, express delivery: 2-3 working days, but an additional fee is applicable3/5
Reload/Unload ProcessCard can be reloaded only at any authorized branch2.5/5
Fees and ChargesIssuance Fee: INR 100+GST, Annual/Inactivity fee: USD 1.5 or eqv, Reload/Unload fee: INR 50+GST, Replacement fee: INR 100+GST, ATM Withdrawal fee: USD 1.75 or eqv3.5/5
Exchange Rate3% markup over base rates3.5/5
Rate Lock FeatureBook Now & Pay Later option not available, exchange rate locked-in when you load the card 3.5/5
Withdrawal LimitDaily limit of USD 10,000 or eqv for ATM Cash Withdrawal and USD 10,000 eqv for POS4.5/5
Expense ManagementCard management using Online Net Banking only 3/5
Replacing a Lost or Stolen CardReport to the bank about the lost/stolen card, A replacement card will be issued (subject to location), and may arrange for funds in case of an emergency situation3.5/5
Card SecurityGood safety features, PIN & Chip secured3.5/5

 

Bank of Baroda Forex Card

The Bank of Baroda Forex Card is another secure option for travelers to manage foreign currency while abroad. With its multi-currency support, chip and PIN security, and worldwide acceptance, it provides a hassle-free travel experience. The Forex Card support contactless payments, allowing users to make quick and secure transactions for purchases by simply tapping the card on a compatible Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal.

Features & Benefits with Ratings

Overall Rating: 3.1/5

Features/BenefitsDetailsRating
Card Issuance EaseOffline Application Process, Can be purchased by both account holders and non-account holders.3.5/5
Card DeliverySame-day delivery of the card, card to get activated after 1-2 days

4/5

Reload/Unload ProcessCard can be reloaded only at any authorized branch2.5/5
Fees and ChargesIssuance Fee: INR 150+GST, Annual/Inactivity fee: USD 5 or eqv, Reload/Unload fee: INR 50+GST, Replacement fee: USD 5 or eqv, ATM Withdrawal fee: 0.9% of the transaction amount3.5/5
Exchange Rate3% markup over base rates3.5/5
Rate Lock FeatureNo information available on the bank’s website1.5/5
Withdrawal LimitNo Information available about the daily limit on the bank’s website1.5/5
Expense ManagementForex card can be managed using the bank’s mobile app3.5/5
Replacing a Lost or Stolen CardReport to the bank about the lost/stolen card, A replacement card will be issued on request3.5/5
Card SecurityPIN & Chip secured, emergency assistance available3.5/5

Tips to Consider Before Buying a New Forex Card

Make sure you consider these factors before buying a new Forex card for your next trip to get the best value for money.

a) Be aware of RBI guidelines and other charges involved

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the latest RBI guidelines and other charges ensuing your card’s usage. The overall foreign exchange limit for each person is 2,50,000 USD or equivalent per financial year. 

b) Daily spending limit of the Forex card

The card you are planning to purchase might come with a spending cap. Once the spending limit of your card is exhausted, you will not be able to use it anymore for that particular day. 

c) Card activation and PIN generation

You should always ask your Forex card provider how long it would take for your card to get activated from the date of purchase. You can also inquire about card reloading time, delivery schedule, etc.

d) Check the Fees and Charges

There are different fees and charges associated with forex cards such as Card issuance fees, Replacement Card Fees, Cross Currency Mark-up Charges, Inactivity Fees, etc. Make sure to check with your service provider about these charges.

e) Check Insurance on Your Card

As with credit cards, forex cards also provide some insurance coverage. Insurance may cover you against personal injury, baggage loss at the airport, and card fraud. Verify with your service provider to check what type of insurance coverage your card offers. 

Wrapping up

People go abroad for a variety of purposes like availing healthcare facilities, building lucrative careers, exploring tourist spots, etc. Since international travel comes with a plethora of expenses, a Forex card can work miracles for making overseas payments faster and simpler. While there are so many forex card providers nowadays, you should make the final selection keeping in mind all the vital points and rankings discussed in the blog.

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