Holidaymakers beware of hidden charges on Prepaid cards

As prepaid currency cards gain in popularity as a means to lock in the exchange rate and take money on holiday, ICE – International Currency Exchange is suggesting travellers check out the terms and conditions and fees related to prepaid currency cards before they apply.  Some card charges add up to over £40 according to research conducted by ICE (see table below).  The ICE Travellers Cashcard in Euros and US Dollars is free of many of the charges levied by competitor currency cards and comes with additional benefits such as cashback and airport premium lounge access.

 

Koko Sarkari, COO of ICE said: “A number of prepaid currency cards apply inactivity fees that could easily catch out unwary consumers. Some also charge customers for the privilege of giving them any cash left on the card at the end of the holiday.  Others apply fees for additional cards, replacement cards or for ATM withdrawals – it all adds up.  While the rate of exchange offered is important and we can understand it’s tempting to make a choice selected on this alone, we do suggest travellers weigh up all the pros and cons before they make their decision on which Prepaid currency card is right for them.”

 

ICE Euro Travellers Cashcard

Post Office Euro Card

My Travel Cash Euro Card

Caxton

Fair FX

Card Purchase Fee

Free(1)

Free

Free(3)

Free

€9.95(6)

Monthly Fee

Free

Free

Free

n/a

Free

Top up/Reload Fee

Free (4)

Free

Free(5)

Free

Free(5)

Cash Machine Fee – UK (2)

Free

€ 2.00

Free

€ 1.75

€ 1.50

Cash Machine Fee – International (2)

Free

€ 2.00

Free

Free

€ 1.50

International Point of Sale fee

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Card Replacement Fee

Free

Free

€ 4.00

€ 7.50

€ 9.00

Additional Cards Fee

Free

Unknown

€ 4.00

€ 7.50

£6.00

Account Cashout/ Redemption Fee

Free

€ 6.00

€ 6.00

€ 2.00

£10.00

Inactivity Fee

Free

€2.50 per month

€2.50 per month

n/a

n/a

Admin Fee for any disputed transactions

Free

Unknown

€ 14

Up to €50

£10.00

Negative Balance Fee

Free

Unknown

€ 14

n/a

n/a

 

(1) ICE Travellers Cashcards purchased with less than £700 loaded onto them will cost £4.75.

(2) Some cash machine operators may levy their own charges.

(3) Subject to a minimum load of €30.

(4)  Free by Debit Card/ Bank Transfer. 2% of load value for Credit Cards.

(5) Free by debit card. 2.50% of load value for Credit Cards

(6) Unless purchased through a special partner offer

 

 

 

“Look for added extras, for example, The ICE Travellers Cashcard is the only prepaid currency card to offer a 1.5 % cashback on qualifying purchases[1] .  We also offer complimentary annual membership for DragonPass, the premium service global airport lounge provider, when you order or top up an ICE Travellers Cashcard  with £1,000 or more* plus 1 year’s Gourmet Society Membership with top ups of £550 or more or on orders £1,000 or more of Travel Money**.”

 

A PIN protected prepaid currency card allows cardholders to travel light along with some coins and notes for tips and small transactions.  It may help protect against fraud, but also helps holidaymakers budget as you can only spend what’s on the card.  An additional benefit of a prepaid currency card is that the rate of exchange will stay fixed at the time you loaded money to the card.

Key Benefits of the ICE Travellers Cashcard | iceplc.com/cashcard

  • 1.5% cashback on all purchases made of £50/$50/€50 or more on the respective cards
  • No commission
  • Free to obtain if the initial load is £700 or more. £4.75 if the initial load is less than £7001
  • Free cash withdrawals from ATMs 2
  • Free backup card in case of loss/theft
  • Free supplementary Family Cards for up to 2 family members
  • Free to top-up the Euro and US Dollar cards 3
  • Free balance enquiries either online or at ATMs 4
  • Free 7 day same rate buy-back guarantee – funds can be converted back to sterling at the same exchange rate5
  • No penalty fees, e.g. no charge if you fail to use your card for long periods of time and if you lose your card and need a replacement ICE will replace it for free
  • Accepted wherever the MasterCard® Acceptance Mark is displayed 6
  • Free Annual Membership of Dragonpass, the premium global lounge provider when you load the card with £1000 or more
  • Free membership of Gourmet Society offering 50% off or 2 for 1 at over 6,500 restaurants nationwide

 

1 There is a Top Up fee of 2.85% for sterling card. Top ups made by credit card incur a fee 2%

2 Some ATM operators and merchants may charge a fee or set their own limits

3 A 2% fee will be levied if topping-up with a credit card

4 Some ATM operators may levy their own charge for checking account balances

5 Up to $100/€100, 7 days from the date of the last top up

6 The card cannot be used for participating in online gaming websites, at casinos or other gambling institutes, or to make regular money transfers

*https://www.iceplc.com/prepaid-currency-card/cardholder-extras

**https://www.iceplc.com/deals-and-offers/dotm

iceplc.com | © Press Association 2015


[1] on all purchases of £50/$50/€50