Advantages of pre-paid credit cards when travelling

When travelling abroad it’s often easier if you have a credit card, however, up until recently it’s not always been possible for everyone to have access to this safer method of carrying money. With the recent advent of pre-paid credit cards however, this has now become something that everyone can do if they wish to.

Pre-paid credit cards allow you to put any amount you like onto a card which can then be used in the same way as a regular credit card. So on your holiday, you can use it to pay for dinner, excursions, gifts you want to take home, and anything else just as you would any other credit card. Most of these pre-paid credit cards offer the same insurances as regular credit cards as well, so you are safeguarding yourself when you make the purchase this way.

Additionally, because a pre-paid credit card can only be used to spend the money that’s been pre-paid onto it, if your card was to get lost or stolen the maximum debt that could be run up would be the amount on the card. There’s also no risk to your other assets – bank accounts etc. for example, as these details are not linked to your pre-pay credit card.

Many issuers of pre-paid cards that are designed for use when travelling offer emergency card or cash replacement facilities too, so once again, if you did lose your card or find it stolen you would be secure in the knowledge that you wouldn’t be left stranded and penniless. Add to this the fact that they are often available in Euros or US Dollars as well as Pounds Stirling, and it becomes much easier to keep tabs on how much you’ve spent too – you just pop your money onto the card in your own currency, but while on holiday you can work in the local currency knowing that you can’t over spend as you can see your balance easily on the card.

It’s also very much worth noting that it is not just when you’re abroad that these pre-paid credit cards can be useful. If you’re planning on reaching your destination via aeroplane, and are travelling with Ryanair, you could in fact save money by using one of these to book your flight even if you already own a regular credit card. The reason is that Ryanair charge a booking fee per person per flight of £5 unless you pay with a pre-paid credit card. So if a family of four books a holiday where they’re flying with Ryanair they could save £40 on the cost of the trip by using this payment method.

Just like regular credit cards, not all pre-paid credit cards are the same, if you are planning on using your card abroad, then it’s important to choose one which will be readily accepted in the location you are visiting. Maestro, Visa and other options are available to you and so you can choose according to what is most likely to be accepted where you are travelling to.