Here are my top tips to get the best from a prepaid card.
- ALWAYS carry enough currency to see you through a couple of days in case the ATMs near your hostel or where you are travelling are either empty, damaged, charge £10 per withdrawal or woe betide your card goes missing.
- Make sure the cash card you have paid for has NO withdrawal fees, especially if you’re going on a long trip away. Having to pay £3 once doesn’t seem a lot but could add up to a lot if you’re getting money out once a week for a year!
- When you can always pay in the local currency. If a retailer offers you the option of paying in sterling when using your prepaid card, say no. He may say you will save money but infact you won’t as if you pay in sterling the retailer will then convert your payment at their exchange rate (which could be anything they choose) and thus you lose out.
- Never ever, ever use your prepaid card to place a security deposit on your hotel or car hire booking. As I said in my previous post it could mean that money is then not released back on to your card for up to 30 days! Try to pay in cash or using another card if needs be.
- When buying petrol for your campervan or hire car make sure you keep note when paying at automated petrol stations. They may temporarily reduce your balance by more than the petrol cost for several days.
- Please look after your card! If you lose the card not only are you stuck without a card, you could even loose what is on there! When buying a prepaid cash card always buy a second one, or make sure you can get a free replacement just in case. Also, if your card is stolen, you can block it and use the back-up.
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