Carrying a lot of currency when you’re abroad can be a bit a nightmare in terms of keeping it safe, but it’s also a pain not knowing how much to take with you. You don’t want to take so much currency that you’re afraid of losing it but you also don’t want to be restricted by not taking enough. To do away with this uncertainty it’s worth considering a Post Office Travel Money Card.
The Post Office Travel Money Card allows you to pay for goods or services when you’re in the US exactly like a debit or credit card but without the bank charges or interest incurred. You simply top up the card with between £50 and £5,000 and use it wherever you see a Mastercard Acceptance Mark. It’s also contactless so can be used for small purchases. The maximum balance that the card will hold is £10,000.
You can also use the card to withdraw money up to a maximum of $500 per withdrawal for a fixed fee of $2.50 (it’s therefore better to withdraw enough money to last you a few days rather than withdrawing small amounts). When I used it on a Route 66 trip I took about £200 worth of dollars with me and used the card to make as many payments as I could, therefore making my cash last as long as possible. Then, when my cash was depleted I’d withdraw the equivalent of another £200 to carry with me, and so on. I didn’t ever have a problem using the card and I really appreciated the convenience and security it gave me.
If you find you need more money while you’re away you top up at any time either online or via the mobile app. In fact, the mobile app allows you to check your balance, top up your card, view your transactions and find the nearest cash machines – it’s definitely worth having. However, if you’re not able to use the app for any reason (maybe you don’t use a smartphone) then in the case of an emergency you can ask a friend or relative to top up for you at any Post Office branch and you’ll have access to the funds within 3 hours.
If the card is lost or stolen you can request a replacement 24/7 which is certainly a lot more convenient than if you lost the equivalent in cash!
I hope you’ve found this information useful as I know I certainly found the card invaluable on my own Route 66 trip. I’ve also used it on subsequent trips as it’s not just limited to US dollars – it can actually be used with 13 different currencies. You can apply online or at any Post Office to receive your card within 4 to 6 days.
You can get more information on the Post Office Travel Money Card by visiting their website.
PS. I don’t work for the Post Office I promise – I just think this is a great way of managing your money abroad!