Travelex Money Card

When you are planning a trip overseas, there are lots of things you have to think about before you fly out. You will need to pack converters to adapt to any different type of electrical outlet, money like traveler’s checks, and of course, your passport. It’s also always a good idea to alert your bank or credit card company that you will be using your cards overseas. One thing that some people forget about is exchanging currency; that’s where the Travelex Money Card can help you.

Personally, I always look for a bank-affiliated ATM when abroad to exchange money because you typically get the best exchange rate using one. But, there are many times when you cannot immediately find one, and you need local currency for transportation from the airport. Overseas, many taxis and public transportation systems don’t take a credit card (or one without a chip and pin system). That’s why exchanging money at the airport can be a life saver for many people. It also helps to relieve the anxiety of what you might need when you land.

What is it?

The Mastercard Travelex Money Card is a new offering from Travelex, which is often seen in international airports and a convenient place to exchange currency. What makes this card unique is that instead of using a credit card, you can load this card with various international currencies. It delivers the safety and security of knowing the card is protected. You can load foreign currency before you leave to assure that you have what you need when you arrive. That is a comfort for those that may not speak the local language where they are going.

You can load the card with six different currencies. These include Euros, British pounds, Australian dollars, Japanese yen, Canadian dollars, and Mexican pesos. This allows you to lock in the exchange rate at the time you load the card. That’s better than riding the waves of interchange rates each time you use it. You can even watch the exchange rate months before your trip to be sure to lock it in at the best time. This can be done online, at a Travelex office, or via the Travelex app.

Since the card has the Mastercard logo, it can be used as a credit card at thousands of locations around the world. The card also functions as an ATM card allowing you to withdraw local currency at participating ATMs that accept Mastercard. Don’t use this card at hotels or rental car companies. They typically pre-authorize a certain amount and blocks the currency from being used until it is released. Still, the card is convenient for shopping and dining.

If the card is lost or stolen, you can request a back up card and continue to use the pre-loaded funds. This gives you an added layer of security and protection.

Earn miles with Travelex

In general, Travelex can be a helpful resource. Even before you go to the airport, you can check the exchange rates online and even order currency online. My favorite new feature is that Travelex will reward you one United Airlines Mileage Plus mile for every two dollars you exchange. If you exchange more than $500, then you can earn one mile for each dollar you exchange. While not the cheapest way to score United miles, this is a great perk since few other currency exchange offices offer this type of bonus. You can earn up to 3,000 miles per transaction. The mileage offer is only valid for regular currency exchange (sadly, not for loading your Travelex Money Card).

United miles are a valuable currency. The airline and its Star Alliance partners put lots of award seats on sale via making it the easiest North American carrier with which to redeem miles affordably.

If you have an international trip coming up, consider exchanging cash with Travelex to earn United miles. Or you can order and pre-load a Travelex Money Card for the added convenience of being ready to go the moment you land.

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Ramsey Qubein is a travel journalist who has visited 154 countries covering the hotel and airline industry from every corner of the globe. His work appears in travel publications and outlets including Travel+Leisure, Business Traveller, Airways, Singapore Airlines’ Silver Kris, US Airways magazine, Northstar Travel Media, Yahoo Travel, and BBC. He serves as the National Hotels Travel Examiner and writes for numerous blogs and web sites. He travels more than 350,000 miles a year and is highly recognized as an expert in loyalty programs, business travel and the luxury travel segment. You can follow him on Twitter at DailyTravelTips or at his website

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