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7 replies
travelex cash passport any good ?
Pratty
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Hey i’m planning a long 8 months travel through Europe with a couple of mates and wondering if anyones used the travelex cash passports ? any feedback ?

I am leaving from Australia with $20000 for 269 days
Madrid, Valencia, Ibiza Town, Barcelona, Marseilles, Monaco, Milan, Rome, Athens, Mýkonos, Bar, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, Zagreb, Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Zürich, Interlaken, Geneva, Bordeaux, Nantes, Rennes, Paris, Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, London
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luv_the_beach
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I have never heard of a cash passport before, so I looked it up: http://www.cashpassp…

Okay, so basically it’s a prepaid credit card (or cash card), that comes with the protections that travelers cheques do (you lose it, they replace it, and you don’t lose any of your money). Although, this can just as easily be done with a credit or ATM card (you can always call them to report your card lost or stolen), but Travelex looks like it has the added service of being able to physically visit a Travelex location. And it looks like Travelex cards are Visa or Mastercard cards (I would opt for Mastercard), so you’ll be able to use them wherever Visa/Mastercard is accepted . It’s actually not a bad idea, and if you use it for this reason alone, then I’m all for it. Just don’t rely on it 100%, in case you can’t find an ATM when you most need one (although this is unlikely, but you never know). So, if you want to leave credit and ATM cards behind, just always have some emergency cash on you. If you decide not to get this after all, and opt for just bringing your credit and/or ATM card, make sure you call the institutions that issued these cards (before you leave for Europe), and ask them to give you a NON-toll-free number you can call to report your card lost or stolen. This is because the toll-free number on the back side of your USA-based or Canada-based credit/ATM card cannot be reached from outside the USA/Canada. The minimum-wage representative on the phone may not know this, so insist they give you a number you can call that’s not toll-free (be open and honest about what you need it for), and then call that number to test it.

I wouldn’t get a Travelex card solely for protecting yourself from currency exchange fluctuations. Travelex claims that it’s a great way to buy foreign currency, and save it up over the years, in order to make your dollars go further. This, however, is assuming that the US Dollar (assuming you’re coming from the USA) will lose significant value against, let’s say, the Euro between the time you start putting money into the card, and the time you physically travel to Europe. This may have benefited you if you started putting money into a Euro Travelex card in 2002, when the Euro was barely over US$0.80, and then traveled to Europe in 2004 when the Euro had climbed to US$1.30 (basically, it’s the same as buying paper Euros in 2002, and hanging on to them for 2 years). But had you started doing this in the summer of 2008 when the Euro reached a brief high of US$1.60, and then traveled to Europe in the summer of 2009, when the Euro had returned to its usual rate against the dollar (~ US$1.30), then you would have lost money. So, unless you have a crystal ball and can predict which way your home currency will go vesus the host currency of the country/countries you plan to visit, don’t waste your time buying a Travelex card solely for this reason. Since 2004, the Euro-USD exchange rate has hovered at around EUR1.00=USD1.30 anyways, except for that brief period in 2008. It’s unlikely there will be much of a change between now and when you land in Europe, and there’s also the question, of course, of what rate Travelex is willing to sell you Euros for.

Hope I’ve helped.


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luv_the_beach
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I noticed you come from Australia, so the same advice applies, including the toll-free number advice.


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Pratty
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^ wow cheers 4 that man. I’ve decided to go with the Travel card offered through my bank which is practically the same deal. The $Aussie against the Euro is actually quite reasonable atm so locking in the exchange rate gives me some peace of mind (especially with all this economic uncertainty)…. I’ll take your advice and hook up a good credit card also. Will be in Europe as of the 25th!!! F****** pumped would be an understatement

I am leaving from Australia with $20000 for 269 days
Madrid, Valencia, Ibiza Town, Barcelona, Marseilles, Monaco, Milan, Rome, Athens, Mýkonos, Bar, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, Zagreb, Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Zürich, Interlaken, Geneva, Bordeaux, Nantes, Rennes, Paris, Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Itinerary, Nightlife, Sights
elly_mac
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hey pratty, i just came back from 3 months in america, and i got a travel card through anz. was preety sweet. $11 to set it up, you get two cards, and you can transfer money onto it via bpay, so having internet banking is also a good thing. you can also look up on the net how much is left on the card. i know ill be going through them again and my trip to europe.

looks like i not the only one saving up heaps to travel there!!!!

I am leaving from Australia with $5000 for 26 days
Leighton Buzzard, Bucharest, Deva, Sighişoara, Braşov, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, Neum, Split, London
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1992 – England and Wales
2002 – Papua New Guinea
2008 – Bali
2009 – USA and Canada
2010 – USA
2011 – New Zealand
2012 – Europe and USA

paul33
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Bugger my computer just crashed and I lost my message

Basically what i wrote about this card is be VERY carefull in its use and watch for the fee’s even closing the card down costs you $AUD10.
Read other reviews on this card on the problems and fee’s
Try using travellers cheques same security but not as convienent (that is what you are paying for) You are not able to fully with draw 100% of you money as the fee’s must be paid ie if you have only $200 left on the card the max you can withdraw is $180 because of the fee’s (asuming the ATM dispenses $20 notes) the last bit of your money will cost $10 to recover if you close the card or is you leave it open $4 per year fee.

This card seems good at first but I am not a fan of it grab a visa card and use that instead

luv_the_beach
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Thanks for the advice, Paul.

Seems like travelex is quite expensive if they keep $1 from you for every $10 you deposit. I haven’t bought traveler’s cheques for a very long time, so I’m not sure if it’s the same with physical traveler’s cheques. But if this is the case with travelex, it’s quite expensive then.

The only benefit is that, if it’s lost or stolen, you can get it replaced right away. For an ATM card, obviously you can report it lost/stolen, but cannot get a replacement card until you go back home.


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augustin25
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luv_the_beach wrote:
The only benefit is that, if it’s lost or stolen, you can get it replaced right away. For an ATM card, obviously you can report it lost/stolen, but cannot get a replacement card until you go back home.

You can get a new card while traveling, at least with some companies. Visa has an emergency card replacement service that will get you a new card really quickly almost anywhere in the world. I had to use this service to get a new Visa check card last summer while I was in Spain. I called my bank, they got Visa to issue the card, the card was printed in Germany, and then overnighted to me. I imagine other companies have similar services.