Best Forex Cards for Indian Students in the UK

Best Forex Cards for Indian Students in the UK

If you travel abroad, wouldn’t you rather have a prepaid card before you land in another country so you don’t have to scramble for money? That’s exactly what a forex card is. It is an indispensable tool for international students set to travel and to live in another country.There are plenty of forex cards to choose from, which can make the choice pretty confusing and daunting, given all the attractive offers. So, in this blog, we will cover the best forex cards for Indian students in the UK but before this, let’s explore a little bit more about these prepaid cards.

Table of Contents

What are Forex Cards

Forex cards, also called Forex Travel Cards or Prepaid Travel Cards, are convenient for international travel. You load money onto the card before you leave, locking in the exchange rate to avoid fluctuations. Many banks, such as HDFC and ICICI, offer these cards for free, though there might be a small fee from ATM withdrawals.

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Difference Between Forex Card & Debit Card

BasisForex CardDebit Card
Card IssuanceIt can be activated within 4-5 business hours. Some companies even offer same-day delivery!You can only get it after opening a new account at a bank. It’s a lengthy process and may take up to 7 to 10 days 
Card UseThere are no such high fees for every transaction.When used abroad, you’ll be charged for currency conversion and 1% network service fee.
Volatility of the RateIt protects against rate volatility as the exchange rate gets locked in when you load the money.It does not offer any protection against rate volatility.
Theft or Loss of CardIf you lose it abroad, you can request for a replacement by calling or emailing and get it within 3 working days.If you lose it abroad, you must report to your bank immediately and submit a written request to get another one 
ChargesYou only have to pay a small sum like:Reissuance: INR 250Balance inquiry fee: $1International ATM Withdrawal: $2
There are more charges involves in comparison:Markup fees: 1-3%Issuance fees: INR 500-1000Annual fees: INR 750-1000Reissuance: INR 100-200Initial funding requirement: INR 5000Balance inquiry fee: INR 100International ATM Withdrawal: 3.5-4% of the amount.
Withdrawal LimitThe withdrawal limit is around $1000.The withdrawal limit is around INR 1,00,000.
Control Over Transaction Cost You have control over each transaction and your spending.You might not have as much control as with each transaction, you will end up paying a lot of extra charges.
Card SecurityIt has top security and safety. It also comes with insurance coverage.It is chip and pin secured. You can get insurance coverage too.
Card Closure EaseSend an email to the Forex card provider to close it.Visit the bank to close it.
Rewards & OffersThey offer a range of benefits like free international SIM cards, and exclusive offers on dining, travel, accommodation, etc. They have loyalty programs and benefits like discounts, gift cards, travel vouchers, and more. 

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Advantages of Forex Card for Indian Students in the UK

Here are of the benefits of using a Forex Cards for Indian students in the UK:

  1. Fixed Exchange Rate: When you load money onto a Forex Card, the exchange rate is locked in at that time. This means you don’t have to worry about market fluctuations.
  2. Safe and Convenient: Traveling with a Forex Card is safer and more convenient than carrying cash. If your card gets lost or stolen, you can block it immediately. Plus, Forex Cards are widely accepted worldwide.
  3. Easy Management: You can easily manage your money with a Forex Card. It allows you to check your transactions, view your bank balance, and reload money online. This helps you track your expenses and budget effectively.
  4. Global Acceptance: Forex Cards are accepted in many places around the world.
  5. Low Markup Fees: Forex Cards typically have a markup fee of up to 3.5% on transactions, which is lower than many other methods of transferring money abroad.
  6. Easy Refunds: If you have money left on your card, you can easily get a refund from the bank.
  7. Multiple Currencies: Forex Cards can hold multiple currencies, and you can switch between them as needed.

Looking for another safe way to transfer money abroad? Try HiWiPay. This service allows you to transfer money safely by filling out an A2 form, completing a one-time KYC, and submitting the required documents. You can do it all online at any time. Visit HiWiPay website or download their app now.

Read More : How to Transfer Money from India to UK

Best Forex Cards for Indian Students in the UK

1. Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card

Why people choose it:

  • Supports 16 currencies, including USD, Euro, and Pound.
  • Locks in exchange rates at the time of loading.
  • Includes insurance coverage.
  • Offers special discounts on hotels and dining.
  • Allows contactless payments.
  • Provides emergency cash assistance.
  • Priority and Burgundy customers get an issuance fee waiver of INR 300.

Charges:

  • Initial Sale Fee: INR 300 + GST
  • Reload/Renew Card Fee: INR 100 + GST
  • Add-on Card Fee: INR 100 + GST
  • Encashment Charges: INR 100 + GST
  • Axis Bank ATMs:
  1. Pin Change: Free
  2. Balance Inquiry: Free
  • International Visa/Master ATMs:
  1. Cash Withdrawal: € 1.69
  2. Balance Inquiry: € 0.50
  • Replacement Card Fee:
  1. Domestic: € 3
  2. International: € 15
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: 0.50% of the transaction amount
  • Inactivity Fees: € 3.75
  • Currency Conversion Fee: 3.50%

Note: These charges are subject to change, and it’s always a good idea to check with the bank. Last updated 29/05/2024.

2. IDFC First Bank’s FIRST WOW! Credit Card

Why people choose it:

  • Zero Forex Markup Charges
  • Accepted Globally
  • Complimentary Roadside Assistance
  • Cash Withdrawals up to 100% of FD value, 0% interest for 48 days
  • Discounts at 1500+ restaurants and retailers
  • Low Interest Rates (starting at 9% p.a.)
  • UPI Benefits with up to 3X reward points

Charges:

  • Joining fees: INR 199 + GST
  • Annual Fee (2nd year onwards): INR 199 + GST
  • Limited Period Offer: Get 100% cashback up to INR 200

Note: These charges are subject to change, and it’s always a good idea to check with the bank. Last updated 29/05/2024.

3. HDFC Credila ISIC Student ForexPlus Card 

Why people choose it:

  • Works as both a forex card and a globally recognized ISIC student identity card.
  • Endorsed by UNESCO and recognized by institutions worldwide.
  • Discounts on over 150,000 products and services in 130+ countries.
  • Available in 3 currencies: USD, EUR, and GBP.
  • Accepted at all VISA/MasterCard merchants and for online shopping.
  • Easy to block if lost via Prepaid Card Net Banking.
  • Complimentary insurance:
  • Misuse protection: up to INR 500,000.
  • Road/Rail accident: up to INR 200,000.
  • Air accident: up to INR 500,000.
  • Checked-in baggage loss: up to INR 20,000.
  • Personal documents loss (Passport): up to INR 50,000.
  • Cash in transit loss: up to INR 60,000.
  • Chip and PIN for POS transactions, with some exceptions internationally.
  • Can be used for e-commerce with OTP or Prepaid Card Net Banking password.

Charges:

  • Card Issuance Fee: INR 300 per card
  • Reload Fee: INR 75 + GST per card
  • Reissuance/Replacement Fee: INR 100 + GST per card
  • Transaction Charges: €0.50 per EUR transactions
  • Cross Currency Conversion Markup: 3% on transactions in different currencies

Note: These charges are subject to change, and it’s always a good idea to check with the bank. Last updated 29/05/2024.

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Tips to Choose Best Forex Cards for Indian Students in the UK

You can’t live without money in another country that’s for sure. In such a case, a Forex Card is your go-to companion. Here’s how to pick the best Forex card for your needs:

  1. Understand your needs: Think about whether you’ll be staying in one country or traveling to many. Also, consider your spending habits. Decide if you need a single currency or a multi currency card.
  2. Know about the features of the card: Different cards have different features. Make a list of Forex cards and compare what they offer, like currency options and student discounts. Choose the one that suits you best.
  3. Read reviews: Do some research and read reviews of Forex cards. Watch videos from other students on YouTube to get honest opinions.
  4. Check Security Features: In case you lose your card, it is important to have a Forex card with good security features. Some cards let you get a replacement with your remaining balance. Look into other security features offered by banks as well.

How to Apply for a Forex Card 

Applying for a Forex Card is simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose your provider: Look up popular and reliable Forex card providers. Make a list to compare their features and benefits, and pick the one that suits you best.
  2. Visit the website or bank: You can apply for a Forex card online on the provider’s website or by visiting the bank in person.
  3. Fill out the application: Complete the application form with your personal details, travel plans, and card preferences.
  4. Submit documents: Provide self-attested copies of your passport, visa, and travel ticket.
  5. Make payments: After your application is approved, load your card with the desired amount.

Note: The exact process and requirements may vary by provider, so it is important to check with them before taking any action.

Read More : Tax Benefits on Education Loan for Abroad Studies

Documents Required for Forex Cards for Indian Students in the UK

You need the following documents:

  1. Forex Card application form
  2. A self-attested copy of your Passport 
  3. A self-attested copy of your Visa (For non-customers)
  4. A self-attested copy of your Ticket (For non-customers)

Note: Carry original documents at the time of submission for verification. It is also advisable to check with your bank or forex card provider for the most accurate and up-to-date information. 

How to Use a Forex Card for Indian Students in the UK

Now, you know almost everything about a forex card, except how to use it. Let’s go over it to cover all the bases, shall we?

  1. Apply for a Forex Card: Choose a card and apply for it.
  2. Set up a PIN: Create a PIN and complete any other necessary setup.
  3. Load the Card: Transfer money from your Indian bank account to your Forex card using secure online banking or other methods.
  4. Ready to Use: Now, you can make payments with your Forex card.

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Conclusion

Forex cards are a must-have for international students, offering security, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. By locking in exchange rates and minimizing fees, these cards streamline financial management abroad. With careful selection, you can find a card tailored to your needs, ensuring a seamless experience while studying overseas.

FAQ for Forex Card for Indian Students in the UK

What is a student forex card?

A student forex card is a prepaid card specifically designed for students traveling abroad for education purposes. It allows them to carry foreign currency in a convenient and secure manner.

Which forex card is best?

The best forex card will depend on your needs and preferences. Consider factors like exchange rates, fees, ease of reloading, acceptance at overseas locations, and additional features when choosing.

How to get a Forex card for studying abroad?

To get a forex card, you must apply for it at a bank or financial institution. The application process usually involves providing necessary documents such as passport, visa, admission letter from the educational institution, and proof of residence.

How much money can students carry in a Forex Card?

The amount varies depending on the regulations of the home country and the destination country. So, check with your bank for specific limits.

How do I choose the right forex card for my needs as international students?

To choose the right forex card for you, choose based on the following criteria:

1. Competitive exchange rates
2. Low or no transaction fees
3. Wide acceptance at international merchants
4. Easy reloading options
5. Online account management
6. Security measures
7. Additional benefits

References:

Works Cited

“Apply for Multi Currency Forex Card Online – Axis Bank.” Www.axisbank.com, www.axisbank.com/retail/forex/travel-forex-card/forex-card.

“Forex Card – Apply for Forex Travel Credit Card | IDFC FIRST Bank.” Www.idfcfirstbank.com, www.idfcfirstbank.com/credit-card/wow/traveller.

“Forex Card vs Cash vs Debit Card – Which Is the Best Option for Travelling?” Blog-Best Foreign Exchange, 12 Oct. 2017, www.bookmyforex.com/blog/forex-card-cash-debit-card/.

“Forex Cards Benefits: 15 Benefits of Forex Cards That You Need to Know | HDFC Bank.” Hdfcbank.com, 2020, www.hdfcbank.com/personal/resources/learning-centre/pay/what-are-the-benefits-of-forex-card.

“How to Get a Forex Card What Are the Documents Required for a Forex Card | HDFC Bank.” Www.hdfcbank.com, www.hdfcbank.com/personal/resources/learning-centre/pay/how-to-get-a-forex-card.

“ISIC Card – ISIC Student ID ForexPlus Chip Card | HDFC Bank.” Www.hdfcbank.com, www.hdfcbank.com/personal/pay/cards/forex-cards/isic-student-forexplus-chip-card.

Raj Vimal. “Top Forex Cards for Indian Students Going Abroad in 2024.” Shiksha.com, Shiksha Study Abroad, 26 Apr. 2024, www.shiksha.com/studyabroad/forex-cards-for-indian-students-articlepage-163051#:~:text=Tips%20to%20Choose%20Student%20Forex%20Card.

“What Is Forex Card for Students Best Forex Card for Students | HDFC Bank.” Www.hdfcbank.com, www.hdfcbank.com/personal/resources/learning-centre/pay/what-is-a-forex-card-for-student.

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