Forex Cards in India For International Travel

Forex Cards in India For International Travel

A Forex card is a safe way to carry foreign currency when travelling abroad. It's like a prepaid card loaded with foreign currency, and you can use it almost anywhere. Traveling overseas has become pretty common nowadays, thanks to easier transportation and globalization. With a Forex card, you don't have to worry about carrying cash or dealing with complicated payment methods while you're on your trip.

Best 10 Forex Cards in India

If you're searching for the best forex card in India for Europe or the UK, you'll want to find one that offers all the features and benefits you need for smooth transactions while traveling abroad. While there are many cards available for international travel, we've compiled a list of the top 10 cards to make your trip comfortable and hassle-free.

1. Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card:  

Axis Bank's multi-currency forex card supports 16 currencies and has a joining fee of INR 300. It charges a 3.5% cross-currency fee. The card offers benefits such as cashback on international roaming packs and 24/7 emergency assistance. The issuance fee is waived for specific account holders, and the card includes additional travel assistance services. You can load multiple currencies simultaneously, and the card system will automatically select the currency wallet based on your location.

2. Standard Chartered Forex Card:

Standard Chartered's forex card allows you to load 20 currencies and has a minimal issuance fee of INR 299, making it suitable for students and global travelers. While the card is relatively easy to apply for, it may require having an account with Standard Chartered Bank. With a 3.5% markup over base exchange rates, it's slightly less competitive in terms of costs. However, it offers convenient management through the bank's mobile app and online banking.

3. HDFC Bank Multicurrency Platinum ForexPlus Chip Card:

HDFC Bank's multicurrency forex card can be loaded with 22 currencies and has a joining fee of INR 500, which is waived upon loading USD 1,000. It does not charge a markup fee on transactions in the loaded currency but applies a 2% cross-currency charge otherwise. Additional perks include emergency assistance and concierge services.

4. State Bank Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card:

The State Bank Multi-Currency Foreign Travel Card has a low issuance fee of INR 100 plus taxes and doesn't have an annual fee. It supports 7 currencies (USD, Euro, Pound, SGD, CAD, AED, and AUD), with no markup fee on transactions in the loaded currency. However, a 3% cross-currency usage fee is charged on transactions in other currencies. This card is a cost-effective choice for travelers seeking flexibility.

5. ICICI Bank Student Forex Prepaid Card:

The ICICI Bank Student Forex Prepaid Card is tailored for students studying abroad, particularly in the USA. It charges an issuance fee of INR 499 plus taxes. The card supports transactions in USD and applies a cross-currency markup fee of 3.5%. Cardholders can benefit from welcome perks up to INR 5,000, comprehensive insurance coverage, and zero liability protection.

6. TripMoney Global Cash Card:

The TripMoney Global Cash Card, offered by MakeMyTrip, has an issuance fee of INR 499 plus taxes. It supports a wide range of 15 currencies and doesn't charge any cross-currency usage fee. Cardholders enjoy perks such as a complimentary subscription to MMT Black and significant discounts on the MakeMyTrip platform. With no cash withdrawal charges and acceptance in over 150 countries, this card is perfect for frequent international travelers seeking added benefits.

7. Yes Bank Multicurrency Travel Card:

The Yes Bank Multicurrency Travel Card has an issuance fee of INR 125, along with a similar renewal fee. It supports transactions in 14 different currencies and offers enhanced security with its chip-based card and insurance coverage. With a cross-currency usage fee of 2.75%, it stands out as one of the most cost-effective cards available.

8. IndusInd Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card:

IndusInd Bank's Multi-Currency Travel Card comes with an issuance fee of INR 300 plus taxes. It supports a wide range of 14 currencies and offers benefits such as comprehensive insurance and travel perks. While no forex markup is charged on transactions made in the loaded currency, a 3.5% cross-currency markup applies to transactions in other currencies.

9. Niyo Global Card by Equitas Bank:

The Niyo Global Card is a digital savings account that offers a 7% interest rate and doesn't charge any forex markup fees. It can be loaded with INR and used for payments in over 130 currencies without extra charges. There's no issuance fee, and domestic ATM withdrawals are free three times a month, with subsequent charges applicable. Key benefits include international lounge access, a user-friendly app with features like a Global ATM Locator, and TCS exemption on international spending up to INR 7 lakhs annually.

10. BookMyForex YES Bank Forex Card:

The BookMyForex YES Bank Forex Card, co-branded with YES Bank, supports 14 major currencies and doesn't charge any forex markup fees. Issuance is free, and cash withdrawals cost USD 2 plus taxes. Perks include a free international SIM card, insurance coverage, and the convenience of managing expenses through its app. Additional offers include discounts on EazyDiner with transactions over INR 1,000.

How Does a Forex Card Work?

Forex cards are becoming increasingly popular for international transactions because they're safe, convenient, and widely accepted. They work just like debit and credit cards. When applying for a forex card, it's a good idea to explore the options offered by different banks and institutions. You can choose between a single currency card (for specific regions or countries) or a multi-currency card, which can hold up to 16 different currencies.

After submitting all the required paperwork and receiving the forex card along with the PIN, it's important to change the PIN and check the card balance at an ATM of the issuing bank or financial institution. Alternatively, you can check the balance online if the bank offers internet banking services. Once activated, the forex card can be used at overseas merchant establishments by swiping or dipping the card. Since the card comes preloaded with currency, your balance will reflect any transactions instantly. You can keep track of your balance and transactions through SMS alerts or notifications from the issuing bank or financial institution.

Benefits of Using a Forex Credit Card for Foreign Travel

  • Load multiple currencies: Forex cards can be loaded with single or multiple currencies, making them convenient for trips to multiple countries. Instead of carrying multiple cards for different currencies, a multi-currency forex card allows you to load different currencies onto one card, reducing hassle.
  • No currency exchange hassles: With a forex card, there's no need to exchange currency in foreign countries, saving you time and hassle. Loading currency onto a forex card is also cheaper than purchasing foreign currency in cash.
  • Shop without limits: Forex cards can be used at most merchant outlets worldwide, as well as for online transactions, just like regular credit or debit cards. Point-of-sale and online transactions are usually free of charge.
  • Cash withdrawal from any ATM: Forex cardholders can withdraw cash from any international ATM, with the card automatically dispensing the local currency. However, a flat ATM withdrawal fee per transaction may apply.
  • Safe and secure: Forex cards typically come with chip technology, which is more secure than magnetic strip technology used in regular debit and credit cards. The chip encrypts confidential information, providing enhanced security against counterfeiting and credit card fraud.
  • Globally accepted: Forex cards are accepted globally and can be used for various purposes such as booking air tickets, hotel rooms, dining, shopping online and offline, and withdrawing money from ATMs abroad.
  • Extended expiry date: Funds loaded onto a forex card typically remain valid for at least 5 years, depending on the card's validity. There's no need to convert remaining funds to another currency after your trip. You can simply use the card in the country of your choice until the funds are depleted, and then replenish it for future use.


Forex cards provide a secure and cost-effective method for managing funds while traveling abroad, avoiding the high forex fees associated with regular bank cards. With options like the zero-forex-markup Niyo Global Card and the widely accepted HDFC Multicurrency Platinum ForexPlus Chip Card, there is a suitable card for every type of traveler. When choosing a card, it's essential to consider individual travel needs, currency requirements, and financial benefits to ensure a seamless overseas spending experience.

Credit Cards