Traveling is great fun until you run out of cash on hand. No one wants to carry a ton of cash while traveling in a foreign country, but you need to have quick access to your funds in case of an emergency. To help you out, here are some great ways you can easily access cash while you travel.
Many banks and financial companies offer prepaid cards that you can conveniently use at ATMs to withdraw money around the world. Your bank and companies like PayComp offer prepaid cards as a payment method or a means to withdraw money, which is great when you are abroad. Just be sure that the type of prepaid card that you get will be supported in ATMs in your destination country.
You can either get the prepaid card for free or purchase it from the bank or financial company. You usually put a deposit into the prepaid card so that you can use it when needed. Once that is done, you may use the card to withdraw funds from compatible ATMs. There is still a fee when you use this card in ATMs, but the fees tend to be much smaller compared to using your normal debit card to withdraw funds in a foreign country, but this will still depend on the type of prepaid card that you get. Prepaid cards may also come with reload fees, maintenance fees, conversion fees, etc.
Perhaps the most convenient way to have access to your money while you are abroad is to use a credit card. Most credit cards will work all over the world (especially if you use a Visa or MasterCard), so you should not have much trouble when you pay at most restaurants, shops, hospitals, etc. However, there is a huge downside to credit cards – the fees. The fees to use credit cards abroad are pretty high, so frequently using your credit card can take a toll. Plus, it can quickly raise the debt profile, which may not look good for you. Therefore, it would be ideal to only use your credit card when you really have to. Otherwise, you should opt for the other methods instead.
Electronic cash transfers, or money wires, are great options to transfer cash across the world within minutes. The sender of the funds typically chooses the destination bank for the money, gives the recipient the reference number, then answers security questions if needed. The recipient will visit a branch of the destination bank to access their funds. The recipient will need to show a legitimate ID (driver’s license, international passport, etc.) to have access to the money.
Money wires are a great option if you are in a pinch and you need someone else back home to send you money. However, it is important to know that money wires usually have high fees for currency conversion and transfers, so it may not be a good go-to option. It is best for emergencies.