Finance and money forum

Good PrePaid Card, Credit card or Debit Card (from UK)...?

  • lukusmaca

    Joined Travelfish
    28th May, 2013
    Posts: 2

    I'm based in the U.K and am travelling Asia for about 9 month to a year? I'l be starting in Nepal and then down through India, eventually making my way over to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

    I'm looking for a good Prepaid Card or Debit Card. And might be tempted into taking a Credit Card for emergencys. Can anyone recommend any good value cards? I'm very new to this and dont want to be caught out on all the hidden fees.

    Thank you

    #1 Posted: 28/5/2013 - 16:47

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  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    The Halifax Clarity credit card is great for overseas travel. There is a 0% fee and you tend to get an excellent exchange rate too. Best of the bunch if you can get one.

    Debit cards are expensive generally as you get hit by a 2.75% fee (usually) for the amount you take out of an ATM, plus often another £1 charge, for example. In addition you will usually be charged a fee by the bank which owns the ATM. (I think 150 Baht in Thailand, for example). Even using the card in hotels etc can mean a surcharge on your bill. This can all add up to quite a hefty charge, especially if you only take smaller amounts from an ATM.

    Some Prepaid cards get good reviews, though haven't personally used one. Also have the added bonus of the ability to add money to the card from UK (by parents, for example). Fairfx is one I've heard good things about, but take a look at their website and get a handle on how the charges work.

    #2 Posted: 29/5/2013 - 07:55

  • lukusmaca

    Joined Travelfish
    28th May, 2013
    Posts: 2

    Thanx Nokka, think I'm pretty sold on taking a Credit Card now! I will have someone in England keeping an eye on it and paying off the balance every month.

    #3 Posted: 1/6/2013 - 17:27

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    Don't use the credit card for cash advances though - either through an ATM or any other method - you'll get even bigger fees. Also, some places add on fees for using the credit card at their establishments. I'm afraid, in the end, a bank will make money out of you.

    My own preference is to have more than one payment route possibility - a credit card (Halifax Clarity for me), a Debit Card, maybe some Travellers Cheques depending where I'm going and some cash to start out with. If something goes wrong with one method you'll still have a back up plan.

    #4 Posted: 3/6/2013 - 10:45

  • antoniamitc-

    Click here to learn more about antoniamitchell
    Joined Travelfish
    13th May, 2012
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 436
    Total reviews: 3
    Places visited:
    At least 39

    Another credit card option from the UK is the Santander Zero credit card - they offer a decent exchange rate and don't charge you additional foreign transaction charges or even interest/fees on cash advances using the card.... provided you pay the full bill before they day they close the statement. That's the big "but" for this card.

    You have to remember what day they close the statement, log into internet banking before that day (so before your month's statement is ready to be sent out to you), check how much you've charged to the card since your last statement (remembering to add on any really recent transactions that haven't shown in your internet banking account yet), and then pay the full amount.

    Basically, if you're organised enough to do this every month, it's a cheap way to avoid bank fees by your home bank - but if you do forget any month, you're looking at some very annoying fees (I forgot one month, and it cost me almost £20 - but if I hadn't forgotten, my UK bank would have charged me no fees at all for the entire trip).

    The local banks will still charge you they always do for using their ATMs, of course.

    Good luck and have fun.

    #5 Posted: 3/6/2013 - 14:11

  • JennyJ

    Joined Travelfish
    19th November, 2013
    Posts: 1

    Hi Lukus,

    Another option that you can potentially take is using NETELLER's prepaid debit card (check here for more information which from my experience is a good alternative for transferring money as it is cheaper and quicker than using a bank transfer and makes it easier to manage your money during travelling.

    As for credit cards I agree with Antonia providing you know all the T&C's they can be a good way of getting money especially in a last resort situation, however, you have to be organised enough to ensure the balance is paid off by the set date to avoid any additional charges.

    I hope this helps and have fun on your travels, when you go to Vietnam be sure to visit Hoi An & Ha Long Bay they are both amazing places.

    #6 Posted: 19/11/2013 - 04:38

  • caroline451

    Joined Travelfish
    19th May, 2015
    Posts: 1


    There are several websites such as or uswitch where you can fin a good comparison of which card you can take when travelling.
    My personal favourite is WeSwap, it is a prepaid card so you don't have to worry when it lost
    here are all the details if you are interested

    #7 Posted: 19/5/2015 - 05:45

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