Planning a foreign trip: Best travel cards compared - SBI vs ICICI vs HDFC vs Bank of Baroda
To facilitate foreign transactions, taking security and convenience of the customer into consideration, many public and private banks have travel card services.
It is summer and the statistics of holiday travels maximize during this time, whether domestic or international. While transactions and purchases with cash can be made with ease in case of domestic trips, the same is not the case with international trips. In the age of cashless, one cannot carry chunks of paper money. Moreover, the concerns of safety and convenience also arise. To facilitate foreign transactions, taking security and convenience of the customer into consideration, many public and private banks have travel card services, through which one can transfer a certain amount of foreign currency into the card to utilize the same for making any number of financial transactions.
Here is what the major bank firms have to offer the customers with their travel cards
State Bank of India
Any Indian who wishes to travel to any foreign country except Nepal and Bhutan, can acquire the State Bank of India's Foreign Travel Card, wherein the chip-based card allows one to carry cash to any corner of the world. Due to the chip, the data of the card holder is encrypted and hence remains safe and secure. There is a four pin system to get access, similar to common debit cards.
The State Bank of India's Foreign Travel Card is available in eight foreign currencies which are US Dollars (USD), Pound Sterling (GBP), Euro (EUR), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Australian Dollar (AUD), Japanese Yen (YEN), Saudi Riyal (SAR) and Singapore Dollar (SGD).
The card is accepted across 1.8 million Visa ATMs, over 28 million Million Merchant Establishments (MEs). The card can be availed by any SBI branch. The minimum amount one has to recharge the card with is USD 200/GBP 120/Euros 150/CAD 200/AUD 200/ YEN 15,800/SAR 750/SGD 250. Transactions made by the card will levy charges according to the norms of the bank.
ICICI Bank has a variety of travel cards under its umbrella, some of which are in collaboration with eminent firms like GoIbibo. The ICICI travel card allows one to make transactions overseas, covering over 15 currencies. Additionally, the card comes with an encrypted chip system that helps in locking the data of the card holder and making it safer.
Apart from this, ICICI Bank customers can also benefit from free home delivery of the card, free replacement of the card if it is lost or spoil and travel insurance. The card holder can exploit the duty-free purchases at the airport using the ICICI Travel card and can get great deals up to 59% on VISA and discounts on MasterCard at various outlets overseas. Global Customer Assistance Service (GCAS) of VISA available to all cardholders.
Similar to ICICI bank, HDFC Bank too has several varieties of travel cards, in collaboration with several eminent firms such as MakeMyTrip. The HDFC ForexPlus Cards makes it easier and safer for the traveler to make financial transactions at foreign lands.
The MakeMyTrip HDFC Bank ForexPlus Card and Multicurrency ForexPlus Card are available in 22 currencies whereas the Regalia ForexPlus Card is only available for US dollars.
HDFC also has specialized travel cards catering to students and Hajj going individuals. The ISIC Student ForexPlus card benefits the student customers with discounts at various spots worldwide and is recognized as a valid identity card. Meanwhile, the Hajj Umrah Card caters for the individuals partaking the pilgrimage. The card is available in Saudi Riyal.
Bank of Baroda
The TravelEasy Card by Bank of Baroda can make your transactions in an international trip hassle free. The card makes it safer, secure and convenient for the user, instead of carrying cash or cheques. The TravelEasy Card is available in US Dollars (USD), Euros, Sterling Pound (GBP) and has to have a minimum recharge of $ 200 or its equivalent foreign currency.
It is to be noted that the card has a validity of three years and cannot be used in Nepal and Bhutan. The card can be used to make withdrawals at VISA accepting ATMs and various merchant outlets and online stores.