6 Best Forex Cards in India – 2020 (Review and Comparison)

There are three ways to spend money when traveling abroad – cash, credit card and forex card.

It’s difficult to find the best forex card.

Because some cards charge you a fixed amount of Rs 150 for issuing the card while others offer it to you for a higher fee of Rs 500. Some cards are single currency while others are multi-currency ones. Some are designed for frequent travelers while others are best for students.

To make your life easy I have compiled a list of best forex cards in India that will help you pick the right one based on your needs, ensuring a hassle-free journey.

You can check my complete guide on forex trading in India if you want to learn about forex trading.

Best Forex Card in India 2020

#1. Thomas Cook Forex Card

Thomas Cook is the leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services which included foreign exchange, corporate travel, insurance, visa & passport services . Forex card is one of these mainstream services offered by Thomas Cook.

For being the best in this line, Thomas cook regulate two variant of forex card, Borderless prepaid card (multicurrency card) & One currency card.

Borderless Prepaid Card

The Borderless Prepaid Card is a multiple currency card designed for customers who travel extensively across the globe.

Borderless prepaid card enables you to load eight currencies onto a single card which provides convenience while travelling to different countries.

The currency conversion fee with Borderless prepaid card is 4.25% which is on the higher side.

Currencies You Can Load

You can load eight currencies onto your Borderless card. These currency includes

US DollarsEuro
Australian DollarsBritish Pounds
Swiss FrancsCanadian Dollars
Singapore DollarsJapanese Yen

One Currency Card

One currency card is second variant of Thomas cook forex card which is a single currency card. The single currency you can load is the USD.

One of the biggest advantage of One Currency card is ‘zero currency conversion’. You don’t have to bear currency conversion charges when you require to convert your USD to pay in the local currency at the destination. This can be avoided by use of One Currency Card.

This card is valid upto 5 years. The maximum top allowed in the card is USD 10,000 and the minimum is as low as USD 100.

Card Fee & Charges (Both Cards)

  • Initial Load & Issuance Fee – Rs 150
  • Reload Fee – Rs 100

Benefits of Thomas Cook Forex Card ( Both Cards)

  • Insurance cover upto USD 10,000
  • Backup card available at zero cost.
  • Free replacement of lost or stolen card.
  • The card is chip and PIN enabled that comes with fraud protection.
  • ‘Thanks Again’ airport loyalty program that lets you earn points on purchases made at North America airports.

#2. IndusInd Bank Multi Currency Forex card

IndusInd Bank Multi Currency Forex card is specially designed for the frequent international travellers who travel across different countries. You can load 8 of the widely used currencies to your card to spend in different countries. This makes managing multiple currencies on trips abroad relatively simple.

Besides, you can use this card at over 1.6 Million VISA / VISA Plus ATMs and merchant establishments in over 200 countries worldwide. In addition, this card offers dining privileges and secure transactions.

While travelling abroad, you would need a backup card in case your primary forex card gets lost. Indusind bank multi-currency forex card comes with a paired card kit option. It equips you with an extra back-up card  in case your primary card is lost.

Lastly, you don’t need to have an account with IndusInd bank to get this multi-currency forex card.

Fee & Charges

  • Issuance fee for chip single card  – Rs 150 (one time)
  • Issuance fee for chip paired card – Rs 250 (one time)
  • Reload Fee – Rs 100
  • Reactive Fee – USD 5
  • Cross Currency Fee – 3.5%

Currencies You Can Load

You can load up to 8 currencies on this card and travel globally without any hassle. The best part is that with just one ATM pin you can access your account online or withdraw funds from multiple currencies.

US Dollar (USD)Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Australian Dollar (AUD)Saudi Riyal (SAR)
Euro (EUR)Singapore Dollar (SGD)
British Pound (GBP)United Arab Emirates Dirham(AED)

Benefits of Indus Multi Currency Forex Card

  • Get 2 free ATM withdrawals per currency per month.
  • Hassle free refund process.
  • Get instant alerts for all the transaction made through your Forex card to avoid fraud.
  • Paired card kit equips you with an extra back-up card, in case your primary card is lost.

Also readBest Travel credit card in India

#3. ICICI Bank Single Currency Forex Card

ICICI single currency forex card is a good choice if you are planning your visit to a single location. The best thing about this card is that you can reload it at any of the ICICI Forex branches, their online platform-Forex@Click, or through their iMobile app.

This forex card also provides benefits such as upto 20% discount on dining, shopping, and other expenses at merchant outlets across the globe, online account management facility, and a travel insurance cover of up to Rs 10,00,000.

You don’t need to have a savings or a current account with the ICICI bank for purchasing this ICICI forex card. You can avail this card through their online platform Forex@click and get a door delivery within 2 days.

Fee & Charges

  • Issuance Fee – Rs 150 (One time)
  • Reload Fee – Rs 100
  • Reactive Fee – USD 5 (for every 180 days of inactivity)
  • Cross Currency Fee – 3.5%

Currencies You Can Load

You can load the forex card with any of the below 9 currencies

US Dollar (USD)Singapore Dollar (SGD)British Pound (GBP)
Australian Dollar (AUD)Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Euro (EUR)Swiss Franc (CHF)Japanese Yen (JPY)

Benefits of ICICI Forex Card

  • Up to 59% discount on dining, shopping, and stay.
  • Personal air accident cover (only death) upto Rs 10 lakhs.
  • Lost card Liability insurance cover upto Rs 2 lakh.
  • Loss of travel documents cover upto $500.
  • Hassle free refund.
  • Real-time account management.
  • Easily reloaded forex card online through Forex@Click or iMobile app

You must check outBest credit card for airport lounge access in India

#4. HDFC Multi Currency Platinum Forex Card

HDFC Bank Multi Currency Platinum Forex Plus Chip card allows you to carry 23 currencies on one single card at a currency fee of 2%, which is the least possible fee.

This card comes with an issuance fee of Rs 500 which is a little higher than other forex cards but is worth paying for given the benefits it offers. The benefits include insurance cover, least cross currency fee, global assistance, special offers, and much more.

One more thing is that you don’t need a bank account with HDFC Bank to purchase the HDFC Bank Multi Currency Forex Plus card. You can simply visit any HDFC Bank branch and purchase the card.

Fee & Charges

  • Issuance Fee – Rs 500 (one time)
  • Reload Fee – Rs 75
  • Re-active Fee – Rs 100
  • Cross Currency Fee – 2%

Currencies You Can Load

You can load up to 23 currencies on this card and travel globally without any hassle. The currencies are

US DollarNew Zealand DollarKuwait Dinar
Australian DollarHong Kong DollarQatari Riyal
Canadian DollarSingapore DollarBahrain Dinar
EuroOman RiyalKorean Won
UAE DirhamsJapanese YenSaudi Riyal
Sterling PoundMalaysian RinggitNorwegian Krone
Swiss FrancThailand BahtDanish Krone
Swedish KronaSouth African Rand 

Benefits of HDFC Multi-Currency Forex Card

  • Get 10% discount on booking a self-drive car through Europcar Rentals.
  • 15% discount on Airbnb reservations.
  • 40% discount at US store shopping and delivery to India.
  • Least cross currency fee.
  • You can add money to your forex card easily through net banking.

#5. Yes Bank Multi-Currency Travel Forex Card

Yes bank multi-currency travel forex card is a good option for those people who plan to visit multiple destinations abroad and don’t want to spend more money on card issuance fee. This forex card charges Rs.125 for issuance which is the lowest among all the forex cards in India.

Even with the lower joining fees, this card offers you 10 currency wallets and lower cross-currency charges of 2.75%. Cross currency charges are second lowest after HDFC forex card.

Besides, you don’t need to have a savings or a current account with the ICICI bank for purchasing ICICI forex card. You can simply visit any ICICI branch & can purchase the card.

Fee & Charges

  • Issuance Fee – Rs 125 (one time)
  • Reload Fee – Rs 100
  • Encashment Fee  – Rs 75 (every time)
  • Cross Currency Fee – 2.75%

Currencies You Can Load

This card can be used as a single card for 10 different currencies but the default currency on this card is United States Dollar. You can load these currencies at any of the Yes Bank Branches.

USD(United States Dollar)GBP (British Pound)
EUR (Euro)SGD (Singapore Dollar)
AUD (Australian Dollar)AED (UAE Dirhams)
JPY (Japanese Yen)CAD (Canadian Dollar)
HKD (Hong Kong Dollar)CHF (Swiss Franc)

Benefits of Yes Multi-Currency Forex Card  

  • Get upto 8% discount on Hotels.com
  • Second least cross currency fee after HDFC multi-currency forex card.
  • The card is valid for 5 years during which you can reload it and use it for multiple trips
  • Get card lost insurance coverage upto 3 lakh.
  • You can withdraw cash at any VISA/Mastercard ATMs across the world.
  • You can make payment on all international online merchant websites.
  • The card automatically chooses the currency wallet as per the local currency of transaction from the multiple available wallets on the card.

#6. Axis Bank Multi Currency Forex Card

Students who travel abroad for studies or otherwise look to save money on every transaction they make-  from air fares, travel insurance, university fees to cash withdrawal from local ATMs.

So, from a forex services point of view, Axis bank multi currency forex card is the best option for students. This card offers special benefits to students such as 1% cashback on POS/ECOM transactions, no charges on ATM transactions, and complimentary TripAssist service.

Besides, the issuance charges & reload charges are waived off as well.

In addition, this forex card is of two types

1. Contactless Forex Card

Contactless forex card is powered by VISA’s payWave technology. With this card, you can pay by simply waving your card at a secured card reader. You don’t even have to hand over your card to any other person.

2. Image Forex Card

The Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex card can be personalised by adding an image of your choice to the card. You can add your own image or you can choose from the designs available in axis bank image gallery.

Lastly, the forex card comes with a validity of 5 years and can be purchased without the need of an account with Axis Bank. You can simply walk into any Axis Bank branch and sign up for the card.

Fee & Charges

  • Issuance Fee – Rs 300 (one time)
  • Reload Fee – Rs 100
  • Reactive Fee – Rs 100
  • Cross Currency Fee – 3.5%

Currencies You Can Load

You can load up to 16 currencies on this card as seen below

USDEuroBritish PoundSingapore Dollar
Australian Dollar)Canadian DollarJapanese YenSwiss Franc
Swedish KronaThai BahtUnited Arab Emirates DirhamSaudi Riyal
Hong Kong DollarNew Zealand DollarDanish KroneSouth African Rand

Benefits of Axis Multi-Currency Forex Card  

  • Earn 2 points for every USD 5 or equivalent amount in any other currency spent on your card at merchant outlets.
  • Get minimum 15% off at various restaurants across the world.
  • Air travel insurance upto Rs 3 lakh.
  • Zero card lost liability.
  • Withdraw cash at any VISA/Mastercard ATMs across the world.

Special Offers for Students

If you are a student, then this card offers the following special benefits

  • Issuance/reload fee is waived
  • Earn 1% cashback on POS/ECOM transactions
  • ATM transaction fees is waived off
  • Complimentary TripAssist service
  • A discount of Rs. 750 on outward remittance

Here are some interesting points related to Forex Travel Cards

  • Banks issue forex travel cards at very low cost (Rs 150- 500).
  • The card will be loaded with foreign currency at today’s exchange rate. So you don’t have to worry about fluctuating currency rates.
  • Currency conversion fees is included in the price. HDFC bank charges least fee @ 2%.
  • You will not be charged any additional fees for purchases in shops and stores.
  • You can withdraw money from any ATM across the globe but will have to pay charges for cash withdrawal from an international ATM.
  • You cannot top-up the forex card abroad even if your bank has a branch there. You will have to contact the centre that has issued the card. A few banks provide option to reload your wallet through net banking.
  • As per RBI regulation, you cannot keep more than $2000 in your forex card.

Forex card vs International Debit/Credit card

If you compare forex card with an international debit or credit card, forex card is much better option than the other two for the following reasons

  • It is easy to apply and get as compared to the credit cards.
  • You can load multiple foreign currencies in one card for use abroad which is not possible with debit/credit card.
  • No currency conversion charges for shopping abroad by swiping forex cards.
  • Lower issuance fee.
  • Can get a replacement card without affecting your funds in case of loss or theft.
  • Lesser currency conversion fee charged.
  • Fixed exchange rate even in case of currency fluctuations in the forex market.

Conclusion (Which Forex Card is best for you)

You might have made your decision of which forex card is best for you depending upon your requirements. Incase, you are still confused after reading all the information, you can go through my below recommendations and chose what is right for you.

If you are looking for maximum currency wallets, lowest cross- currency charges, and a relatively lower loading charges then go for HDFC Bank Multi Currency Forex Plus Chip.

If you are looking for economy forex card with lower charges on everything more like a entry level/starter card, go for Yes Bank Multi currency Travel Chip Card.

If you are looking for single currency forex card you can purchase the ICICI bank forex card.

328 thoughts on “6 Best Forex Cards in India – 2020 (Review and Comparison)”

  1. I am a student leaving to UK for studies for 1 year from Sep 2020 to Sep 2021. Whish is the best credit or forex card to take from India ?

    Reply
  2. Hi ,

    I am going to UK for my studies . I have HDFC times points platinum debit card and HDFC money bank credit card with me. Which Forex card should I opt for?

    Reply
  3. Hi Pardeep,
    My daughter is going to Sweden for her 2-years masters. She has SBI Global Card. In addition, which FOREX Card do you suggest for her?
    Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Hi!

    I am immigrating to Ireland. Once I reach there, my employer will provide me with all the banking requirements but till then I need a back up card.

    I have a ICICI bank account in India and a HDFC Diners ClubMiles.

    Do I need a Forex card and if yes which?

    Reply
  5. I have a HDFC forex card issued by Thomas cook. I have misplaced my card. Whom should I contact to get a duplicate card? And what is the US Toll free number.

    Reply

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