Many people who do not want to carry a large amount of cash with them or want to avoid the hassles of carrying with them loads of travelers cheques.
Most Indian banks do offer some kind of prepaid foreign exchange/ foreign currency/ travel card. These cards are very different from the traditional International ATM-cum-Debit Cards. Firstly, you cannot use the FOREX Cards here in India (or in Nepal or Bhutan). Secondly, these cards transact in Foreign Currency, US Dollars, in our case. So, inherently, you are insulated from fluctuations in conversion rates.
You will spend Dollars at the rate you buy the dollars, not at the rate of the day.
These cards are also a good method to get money from home during your stay in the US. They are better, in most cases, than a wire transfer, because :
- Wire transfers generally take upto 1 week (more in some cases) to complete. Card loading can be completed in a matter of minutes (Can take a max of a couple of hours).
- Wire Transfers typically attract a charge from both participating banks , which together can be as high as $8-$25, depending on the 2 banks.
Also, there is a daily withdrawal limit for the ATM Cash withdrawals for most cards. In that case, you might want to reconsider if you want to take out humongous amounts of money.
Suppose I wanted to withdraw an entire semster’s tuition fee from an ATM It is not at all a good idea For Example, BofA can dispense a max of 40 bills in one transaction. And the highest denomination is a $20 bill. So, in one go, you can withdraw upto $800. You might have to repeat it approximately 15-16 times if you want to take out money for 1 sem. I would prefer using this card for a regular usage, where I will not need to take out more than 500$, for example taking money out for rent and for daily usage.
All these cards come with the facility of checking the balance online, so do not waste your money by checking your account balance at an ATM- Even checking the balance is chargeable.
These cards are not associated with an operative account, so you cannot do funds transfer from this card!(No NEFT, RTGS, SWIFT transfers). You can buy stuff online through payment gateways though.
Some of the Prepaid FOREX Travel Cards For Ms in us
IDBI BANK :- http://www.idbi.com/world-global-currency-card.asp
Limit For students pursuing studies abroad :-USD $100,000 per academic year , Form more information visit the above link
(Travel Currency Card – VISA, Debit)
Initial Card Fee: INR 150+ 16 (Tax) = Rs. 166
Reload Fee: INR 100+Taxes
Replacement Fee: INR 100+Taxes (to be collected from branch, shipping and handling additional if it is to be sent home)
ATM Cash Withdrawal: $2.00 per transaction
Charges for swiping at POS: NIL
Cross Currency-charges : 3%
Availability: Nearest Axis Bank Branch
Daily ATM Withdrawal limit: $10,000 (Check before you buy)
Minimum Balance : $0.00
(You or ur sponsor need to have an account in AXIS Bank for reloading the card)
Schedule of charges
|Fees and Charges|
|ATM Usage Fee||Replacement Card Kit Fee|
|Currency options||Card Joining Fee||Reloading Fee||Cash withdrawal at ATMs||Balance enquiry at ATMs||At foreign locations||In India|
|US DOLLAR||Rs. 400||Rs. 100||USD 1.50||USD 0.50||USD 20.00||USD 3.00|
|EURO||EUR 1.50||EUR 0.50|
|POUND STERLING||GBP 1.50||GBP 0.50|
|AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR||AUD 1.50||AUD 0.50|
|CANADIAN DOLLAR||CAD 1.50||CAD 0.50|
|No fee for payments to merchants directly using POS terminals|
|No fee for online transactions and payments to merchants through Merchant websites|
|Cross currency fee or Mark up fee is 3.5% + Service Tax|
|All charges are exclusive of service tax, currently service tax is 12.36%|
STATE BANK OF INDIA :- https://prepaid.onlinesbi.com/sbiviswa.html
Initial Card Fee: INR 112
Reload Fee: INR 56
Replacement Fee: $5 (if replacement to be collected in India, $25, if in the US)
ATM Cash Withdrawal: $1.75
Charges for swiping at POS: NIL
Cross Currency-charges : 3.00%
Availability: Select SBI Branches
Daily ATM Withdrawal limit: $1,000 (Check before you buy)
(You or your sponsor need to have an account in SBI Bank for reloading the card)