Niyo Global Card vs Bookmyforex Forex Card – A Quick Verdict
For most practical purposes, travellers would be better off carrying a BookMyForex pre-loaded forex card that can be used to pay in the country’s local currency. BookMyForex provides special discounted rates on the Forex card. The card has so many exclusive features & benefits that make it far superior to the Niyo Global Card in every way. For a more detailed take on this, read further.
What is a Niyo Global Card?
Niyo Global Card is a rupee-based card linked to a savings account and accepted in 150+ countries, including India. This card is similar to any other international debit or credit card provided by banks, however, unlike most other banks, Niyo does claims to charge 0 forex markup. This, however, can be a little misleading as Niyo exchange foreign currency at the underlying Visa rates, which itself are marked up a little over the interbank rates (the rates seen on Google etc.). In other words, when spending internationally, the conversion happens at the Visa forex rate prevalent at the time the transaction is executed. It is important to note that Visa rates will always have a premium over interbank rates.
With a Niyo Global INR card, currency rates are however not fixed. The live Visa rates are applied at the time of the transaction at a merchant location, i.e., when you swipe your card. A quick comparison between the rates on google and the rates on Visa will show the additional difference that one can expect to pay when using the Niyo Global card.
The Niyo card comes in both physical and virtual forms and the latter can be accessed via the Niyo Global app. The virtual card can be used only for online transactions while the physical card can be used to pay at stores, ATMs and online merchants across the globe, wherever Visa is accepted.
How Does a Niyo Global Card Work?
Niyo Global cards are loaded in INR, which is then automatically converted into the local currency of the country you’re spending money in. Hence, the card does not require any particular foreign currency to be loaded. Opening a savings account with SBM Bank is a prerequisite for using the card, which can be a hassle since most other travel cards do not require opening an account. Niyo Global SBM accounts can be opened by any Indian resident over the age of 18. Whether you have an Android or iOS device, you can download the Niyo Global app and register for a Niyo Global SBM account. To register, you need your PAN, your Aadhaar number, and your mobile number linked to your Aadhaar.
At present, Niyo Global debit cards no longer work overseas, and only Niyo Global credit cards may be accepted at VISA-accepting merchants in other countries. You can use Niyo global credit card to make domestic and international card swipe/contactless payments at POS terminals, withdraw cash from ATMs, and check your balance online. However, there may be certain transaction limits associated with your account and card. With Niyo Global app, you can manage your foreign transactions. To say it all, Niyo Global card works just like your normal Visa debit or credit card.
Features of Niyo Global Card
Niyo Global card works on the VISA network and only their credit card variant allows you to make payments or withdraw cash from ATMs abroad. Nevertheless, Niyo Global card may offer a few good features to make foreign currency payments easier:
- Zero forex markup card but on VISA exchange rates
- Global presence in 150+ countries (Not Applicable to NIYO global debit card)
- Access to airport lounges across India for free
- Niyo Global app integrated to manage cards and accounts
- Swipe niyo credit cards at stores and online with merchants that accept VISA
- Contactless payments with the Tap and Pay card
- On-the-go PIN reset & card lock/unlock/block via app
- VISA Signature-powered concierge services
- Updates on transactions in real-time
What is a BookMyForex Forex Card?
BookMyForex forex cards are prepaid foreign currency-denominated cards in which one can load actual foreign currency at a locked-in rate. One of the main benefits of forex cards is that unlike INR-denominated cards (such as Niyo Global Card) they allow you to lock in the forex exchange rate at the time of loading. However, what really sets apart BookMyForex’s cards is that one can load foreign currency on these cards at the exact interbank rates. Interbank rates are the rates that you see when you search for foreign currency rates on Google or other search engines. In other words, with BookMyForex, travelers can convert INR into foreign currency without losing any money at all as the conversion happens at zero markups over the base interbank rates. Additionally, the exchange rates remain locked in irrespective of how the INR performs against foreign currencies.
Features of BookMyForex Forex Card
BookMyForex forex card is India’s True Zero Markup card. It is accepted everywhere such as in stores, ATMs, and e-commerce websites worldwide. Up to 15 currencies can be loaded onto the Forex Card at once. The card will work worldwide and will dispense local currencies at ATMs. The following are some of the amazing features of this card:
- At exact interbank rates with zero added margin
- Can be loaded with 15 different currencies
- The exchange rates on the forex card remain fixed, unlike any INR-based card
- Free International SIM for Unlimited Incoming calls & WhatsApp chats with the card
- 100% digital and paperless online booking process
- Same-day doorstep delivery of the card
- Zero issuance, reload, unloading or maintenance charges
- Forex card is Chip & Pin secured
- Emergency cash across all the major international cities
- The card also comes with free insurance cover
- No need to pay TCS without usage
- The card can be digitally topped up
- Manage your spending via BookMyForex app
- Minimal ATM fees for cash withdrawals
Why is BookMyForex Forex Card the better option for travelling in comparison to Global INR Cards?
There are several advantages to having a BookMyForex forex card. It’s safer than cash; it’s cheaper than global INR cards; it’s more convenient than a credit or debit card; you can use it for multiple trips, and you get free insurance coverage and other special privileges and discounts. Let’s take a look at the detailed comparison between BookMyForex forex card and the Niyo Global card to see why BookMyForex forex card is the best option when travelling abroad!
Comparison Between Niyo Global Card and BookMyForex Forex Card
A complete comparison of a typical Forex card and the Niyo Global card is provided under following points, keeping both the practical and theoretical aspects in mind.
Card Issuance Ease
A Forex Card can be activated within 4-5 business hours as it is an instant prepaid instrument designed specifically for foreign travel. Only basic travel documents are required to get a BookMyForex forex card. Same-day delivery is available. It is not necessary to open a new account. The Niyo global card can only be obtained after opening a new account with a bank. The bank would require you to complete a KYC verification process. It may also take up to 15 days to receive the actual physical card from the time of KYC verification. Savings account terms and conditions will apply, including dormancy rules, maintaining balances, etc. Thus, getting a Niyo Global card always takes longer.
Using a Card Abroad
Both the cards are accepted abroad, but before you decide, you should consider this important factor. Niyo global debit cards are currently not working overseas due to recent regulatory restrictions. You may have no choice but to go for Niyo global credit cards instead.
Also, since Niyo Global Card is a rupee-based card, the Online payments in foreign currencies will be processed after the INR balance on your Niyo card is converted to foreign currency. VISA network exchange rates would apply (which may be higher than prevailing interbank rates).
In several countries, Niyo Global Card transactions are subject to 5% TCS (Tax Collected at Source). This TCS charge is reversed within 12 days after you verify that your foreign exchange usage in that financial year does not exceed Rs 7 lakh. This is a major disadvantage because you must factor in 5% TCS for every transaction using your card. For instance, if you spend $1000, you are required to pay TCS $50 upfront, which is a significant sum. Hence, your expenses would have to be meticulously managed, and your funds on the card would have to be carefully handled.
It is recommended to carry a BookMyForex forex card, as it is accepted globally if you are planning to stay abroad. In the long run, it will save you more money. Over time, the Indian rupee’s exchange rate is increasing against foreign currencies. Exchange rate fluctuations do not affect the foreign currency loaded on the BookMyForex forex card, which is a great advantage. In addition, there is no TCS on each spend on the card inadvertently and then reversing but it will be collected at the time of purchasing the forex if the purchase amount exceeds Rs. 7 lakh in a financial year. Overall from a usage perspective, you may not feel the difference but it matters when a large portion of the amount is loaded on the card.
Users can load the Niyo Global card by transferring funds using IMPS, NEFT, RTGS, and online banking. When your Niyo Global Card is about to run out of funds while you’re abroad, this feature may come in handy. All you need to do is reload the account and you’ll be able to spend your money.
The money for reloading a Forex card needs to be in foreign currency. Generally, forex cards have a hassling reload process but with BookMyForex, one can book a reload order directly from its mobile app which makes the process paperless and fast.
Theft or Loss of a card
If a card is lost, Niyo suggests reporting it to SBM bank in India on their contact number immediately. Once you return to India, file a police complaint and submit a written request for a duplicate card. After that, the bank will decide whether to issue a replacement card. In the event of card loss, Niyo’s response isn’t ideal, and there is room for improvement. In most cases, forex cards come with a backup card evidently within the same kit or can be opted for while buying a new card. In case you lose a card abroad, requests can easily be placed by calling or emailing and replacement cards can reach you abroad within 5-10 working days.
Fee and Charges
It is not well known that forex cards are based on interbank rates while Global INR cards are based on visa rates. The inter-bank rate is the rate that banks use to transact with each other for larger amounts, and it will always be better than a Visa rate. Although Niyo claims to offer INR Global cards with no markup fee, these cards are based on visa rates, which can be up to 1% higher than interbank rates. Thus, even though the card doesn’t charge a markup, the base rate is still quite high on the Niyo Global Card. On the other hand, now that online platforms like BookMyForex are offering forex cards at interbank rates, you can actually buy forex cards at zero forex markup. Here’s everything you need to know about fees and charges:
|Fees & Charges||BookMyForex Forex Card||Niyo Global Card|
|Reissue of Lost, Stolen or Damaged Card||In India Rs. 200, abroad 30 $/eqv||INR 250|
|Initial Funding requirement for card issuance||0||INR 5000|
|Balance Enquiry Fee at International ATM||0.50 $/eqv||INR 100|
|International ATM Cash Withdrawal Fee||2$/eqv||INR 100|
*Fee mentioned is exclusive of GST 18%. GST Will be applied along with the Fee while transacting
Both Niyo Global and BookMyForex offer similar withdrawal limits. As far as the withdrawal limit is concerned, neither of them has any specific advantages over the other.
|Withdrawal Limit||BookMyForex Forex Card||Niyo Global Card|
|ATM cash withdrawal||$ 1000 (equivalent)||INR 1,00,000|
|POS Transactions||$ 7500 (equivalent)||INR 7,50,000|
|Contactless payments||$ 40 (equivalent)||INR 5,000/Transaction|
|Online Transactions||$ 7500 (equivalent)||INR 7,50,000|
Card Closure Ease
In order to cancel the Niyo Global Card, you must send an email to email@example.com along with a copy of your PAN / Aadhar card and a cancelled cheque from one of your bank accounts. Your cancelled cheque will show the bank account number to which any remaining balance will be credited. However, if you have not completed the full KYC, you will need to close your account at the respective branch of SBM. For these two banks, there are very few branches across the country. Thus, the process of closing a Niyo global card is a little complex and not straightforward.
On the other hand, The process of closing a BookMyForex forex card is quite simple. You can simply send an email to BookMyForex. You need to mention the card number and the fact that you wish to unload the forex card. You should also attach a copy of a cancelled cheque from one of your bank accounts. The balance of your forex card will be converted and deposited into your bank account number.
Volatility in the Rate
A forex card offers protection against rate volatility. Once you load money onto a forex card, the rate is locked. Thus, using BookMyForex forex cards when travelling abroad eliminates the lack of transparency associated with foreign exchange-related charges on a credit or debit card. You are certain about the conversion rate you are paying with a forex card. Niyo Global INR cards, however, do not offer protection against volatility as the currency rates are unclear. The rates are applied when a transaction is made at a merchant location, i.e. when you swipe your card. As a result, whatever the prevailing rates are at that point will apply.
Oftentimes, your account might be debited many hours after the transaction has been completed, despite the fact that you had not anticipated it. Even though an INR card would be charged with the exchange rate on the day of the transaction, real settlement occurs two to three days later at that day’s exchange rate. There is a possibility that the new exchange rate will be higher and further money will be charged to your card. It is therefore possible that your account may be debited much later even after the transaction is complete to your surprise.
Management of Expenses/Control of Transaction Costs
BookMyForex forex card has the local currency of the country where it is used. Thus, you have complete control over each transaction and your overall spending. In the case of Niyo Cards, because the currency in INR is being spent overseas, it will take a lot more effort to determine whether the actual conversion rate was good, bad or very bad. In this case, you would need to record the time of each spend and then figure out what the conversion rate was at the time of the expenditure, which is often when the Indian markets are closed. Overall, both cards notify you any time you make a transaction so you can keep track of expenses easily.
Card Security Management
In addition to setting/resetting your card PIN through the app, the Niyo Global card also allows you to temporarily lock/unlock your entire card for both domestic and international transactions. BookMyForex is also top-notch when it comes to the security and safety of your forex cards. By logging in to the Forex Card management portal, you can lock or unlock the card without a lot of hassle. Additionally, BookMyForex and Niyo global cards allow you to set a daily transaction limit to reduce risk. Thus, they both have similar advantages in this respect.
Other Complimentary Features
A Forex Card offers a few more complimentary features than a Niyo Global Card.
Niyo Global Card
- Access to Indian airport lounges
- VISA Network-powered concierge services
- A 5% interest rate is paid on the balance of the account
BookMyForex Forex Card
- Visa Network-powered concierge services
- Free International SIM card with free WhatsApp and incoming calls
- Insurance included with forex cards
|Comparison||BookMyForex Forex Card||Niyo Global Card|
|Card Issuance Ease||Yes||No|
|Using Your Card Abroad||Yes||No|
|Smoother Reload Process||Yes||Yes|
|Simple Process for Replacing a Lost or Stolen Card||Yes||No|
|More Reasonable Fees and Charges||Yes||No|
|Better Withdrawal Limit||Yes||Yes|
|Card Closure Ease||Yes||No|
|Rate Lock Feature||Yes||No|
|Efficient Expense Management||Yes||Yes|
|Better Card Security||Yes||Yes|
Reasons to Buy Niyo Global Card
Here are a few reasons you must go through before you even plan to buy a Niyo Global card:
- This VISA Signature Niyo Global Card claims to have no forex markup, however, it is based on the VISA exchange rates.
- You can load your Niyo Global card in INR which automatically converts to the local currency.
- Payments can be made at merchants who accept Visa throughout 150+ countries but only through their credit card as the Niyo Global debit card is not working overseas currently.
- You can access airport lounges at domestic terminals across India.
- You can use the In-App ATM locator to locate the nearest ATM if you need cash.
- You can lock, unlock, and block your cards for enhanced security using the Niyo Global App.
- There are no additional fees associated with NEFT, RTGS, and IMPS fund transfers.
Who Should Buy Niyo Global Card?
As of now, Niyo Global cards no longer work overseas. You can perhaps use it in India once you return from your trip abroad since it is a Rupee-based card. However, the TCS charge of 5% is added to each foreign exchange transaction and is refunded after 12 days (only if you spent less than Rs 7 lakh on foreign exchange in that financial year). In any other case, refunds for TCS can only be claimed when filing tax returns. It is therefore not advisable to take this card if you will be abroad for a long period of time and will not be filing taxes in India.
Reasons to Buy BookMyForex Forex Card
Due to their worldwide acceptance, BookMyForex forex cards are gaining popularity. Here are some of the amazing reasons why forex cards are ideal for tourists and students:
- You can purchase a Forex card online from the comfort of your home and load it in a foreign country.
- The amount loaded on the forex card is based on exact interbank rates. This literally means that you exchange currency for free
- A solid chip and PIN protection along with robust security mechanisms make the forex card safer to carry.
- Top-notch security and safety of your forex cards. By logging in to the management portal, you can lock or unlock the card without a lot of hassle
- The foreign currency is loaded at a fixed rate, so you are protected from market risk.
- The card allows you to load multiple currencies at once, saving you time and effort in the long run.
- By tracking your expenses in real-time, you can also avoid spending money extravagantly.
- Over 30 million stores globally accept forex cards, giving them an edge over other methods of carrying foreign exchange.
- Prepaid forex cards also function as debit cards, allowing cash withdrawals from almost 2 million ATMs worldwide.
- You can save up to 5% on debit and credit cards, and up to 1% on Global INR cards with a BookMyForex forex card.
- Taking cash out of an ATM abroad with your forex card will result in minimal withdrawal charges.
- As soon as you return, you can encash the remaining balance online.
- You can reload the BookMyForex forex card balance online without leaving your home if it runs out.
- You will be notified through email & SMS and be up to date with all your purchases. In case you notice any unusual transactions, you can temporarily block the card through our portal in no time.
- BookMyForex travel card also comes with free insurance coverage so, in case of an unfortunate mishap, you should not worry at all as we have got you covered.
Who Should Buy BookMyForex Forex Card?
Getting a BookMyForex Forex Travel Card is highly recommended if you plan on studying abroad or immigrating or vacationing abroad. They provide the best savings, especially to those who will be living abroad for an extended period of time since they are not affected by fluctuations in exchange rates. The cards come with a host of other features, such as Emergency Cash Assist, in case of theft abroad and complimentary insurance.
Final Verdict: BookMyForex vs Niyo Comparison
BookMyForex Card clearly outperforms Niyo forex card in every aspect. Travelers who wish to enjoy a smooth trip overseas should use BookMyForex card, which has no issuance fee, zero reload/unload charges, & a better ATM withdrawal limit. Save money and enjoy convenience with BookMyForex card.
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