A prepaid or travel money card works by allowing you to pay in the real exchange rate, securely, and in the local currency. You can spend in multiple currencies and the card works worldwide.
Travel cards have many benefits to other methods of spending on your gap year. Most banks charge hefty transaction fees for using their credit and debit cards abroad, but a prepaid travel card can save you money by reducing these fees and allowing you to pay in local currencies.
Unlike a credit or debit card, you can only spend the money which is available to you on a travel card, so there's no danger of going overdrawn or getting into any debt when you're on your gap year. If your card is lost or stolen, it can be reported and blocked, so nobody else will be able to spend your money.
A travel card can be a great way to spend money on your gap year, however, much like insurance policies, it is important that you make sure to choose the card which is best for you. Using a travel card means you get the best exchange rates on foreign currency. When choosing your travel money card, look at the different rates of each card. Unexpected charges can creep up on you, so make sure you're aware of all the features of your card, such as whether or not it charges ATM fees or transaction fees.
Using a travel money card on your gap year makes it easy for you to keep track of any money you spend. Most companies will allow you to check your transactions online, while many offer an SMS service to inform you of your balance. The cards are easy to top-up, so you can get your parents to put more money on your card if needs be.
A card from our partner Wise can be set up online and allows you to spend money in 200 countries with no hidden fees. It also works with Apple Pay and Google Pay! Apply for your Wise card here.