In the past there was Travellers’ Cheques to get you through your overseas holiday or business trip and of course cash in the various currencies of the countries you intended to visit. Then came the Credit Cards, several of which are accepted in many countries by hotels, restaurants and major shops.
As long as you had good credit to draw on the only other problem was
the exchange fees, transaction fees and cost of the credit, particularly if you used the card to draw cash from. Actually it still applies today.
Then came the debit cards which also extended their usefulness to selected overseas use and then came prepaid credit cards and then the travel cards available from the local banks and some foreign exchange companies and other institutions.
Air NewZealand recently offered their version of a combination Fly Buys/Airpoints and travel Card acting as a Airpoints earning card where Fly Buys are available and at the same time it can be used as a travel card. So what is a travel card?
The Air NZ card can be loaded with up to 4 different currencies [out of a choice of eight] all at the same time, so when you travel overseas you already have ready access to an amount with which to pay you expenses, avoiding the various fees for each transaction, and having the advantage of the fixed rate of exchange for the currency from the time you purchased the funds. There is no commission being charged either, but a small monthly charge for the card.
This can be a significant saving particularly if you draw cash from an ATM with your card overseas. The other worthwhile advantage is that should you run out of a loaded currency being used then costs charged to your card will then be debited to the secondary currency, then the third etc.
Air NZ calls their Airpoints card account a OneSmart account and there are additional features available. If you are planning to travel overseas it may pay to take a look at their OneSmart card to learn all the details.
The Banks also provide travel cards. They charge for the issue and have a minimum amount for loading on to the card. The card then works much the same as any other prepaid card. The big saving is still the transaction fees which are up to $8.00 each time you use it to get some cash from an ATM overseas. It pays to check the details with your bank before deciding which method or bank to use, and also if their card has other functions like Air NZ’s ‘PayPass’ and ‘Tap and Go’ and more.