Saturday, October 15, 2011

TRAVELLING ABROAD ? TAKE FOREX CARD, GIVE "CASH" A MISS

For those who travel abroad frequently either due to personal or professional reason have to carry foreign exchange with them for using it during their stay outside the country. Most of the people carry currency notes with them which is fraught with various risks. But if you want to avoid the risk of travelling while carrying currency notes , you may seriously consider taking forex cards given by the banks for this purpose. 

What is Forex Card? Forex card is a plastic based card like a debit card or credit card, which is prepaid in nature. The person taking the card can get the desired amount in the desired currency loaded on the card which can be subsequently utilised while on tour. The person needs to approach the bank and pay in Indian rupees for the equivalent amount in foreign currency which needs to be loaded on the card.

Who issues Forex Card? Most of the to league banks in India do offer forex cards to their customers. One can approach bank like ICICI, SBI, HDFC etc for forex cards.

What are the charges? You may have to pay issuance fee of Rs 100-300 for every forex card that you take. Other than this , you may have to pay RS 50-200 as loading fee while loading the card with the desired foreign currency. You may have to pay 1.5% - 3% on ATM cash withdrawal too.

How much forex can you load on your card? As per current RBI regulations, one can load upto maximum of USD 10000 across all forex cards in a year.

Can I have multiple forex cards? Yes. You can have multiple cards for loading cash in different currencies viz USD, Pound,, Euro etc. 

Whats the exchange rate applicable on my spend? You will be charged the exchanged rate of the day when you got the card loaded with the desired currency. The conversion rate is applicable on the day when the rupee is converted in foreign currency which in this case is the day of loading the card in India.

Documents Required ? You will have to give PAN Card copy, Passport,Visa and tickets .

Benefits of the card? Following are the benefits of the card
1. This card will provide you immunity against the risk of physical loss of cash while travelling.
2. It allows you to control the exchange rate applicable . You can choose when to load the card depending on the exchange rate movement. Once loaded, you are not exposed to any adverse movement in currency exchange rate. 
3. Accepted  across all major stores and ATM abroad.
4. Add on benefits like travel insurance and accident insurance being offered by some Banks.

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