New Delhi, October 7: A question many people face while taking off for their first trip abroad is whether they should carry foreign currency in cash or forex card, or whether they should use their credit and debit cards.
With a little homework, one can make the most of their money overseas. But for those who don't have enough time for doing that homework, here is what they need to know.
Ever since forex cards came into the picture, they have been a preferred choice of travelers for the simple reason that they are the safest way to carry currency. They are protected by a pin, can carry multiple currencies and often come with insurance and other benefits like access to airport lounges. They are also fully replaceable in case lost or stolen. They also offer better rates than currency notes.
While credit and debit cards also have the same safety features, but they often have higher transaction costs incurred every time a transaction is made.
Also, withdrawing cash using a credit card is an expensive proposition. However one can withdraw cash using a debit card. And if they do so, it is advisable to withdraw large sums at a time because each withdrawal will attract a transaction fee.
Cash is an option that most people find themselves comfortable with but it has a high risk. If one loses the wallet, there is no way to get the cash replaced and the whole trip may get jeopardised. However, one should always carry some cash in hand in the local currency. It will come in handy for having a meal in the airport, taking a cab and for making small purchases before one finds an ATM.
However, it is never safe to carry large amounts of cash. Also, exchanging Indian rupee to local currency would not get you the best exchange rate. It's better to carry cash in either the local currency or in dollars.
Again, one should analyse their own needs and plan accordingly. But for most practical purposes, a forex card would be a good option.