Forex Card Vs International Debit Card: Choose Wisely

5 Best Forex Cards for Indian Students Studying in UK

Forex Card Vs International Debit Card: While planning to study abroad, international transactions are something that bothers a lot. Most of the time, it gets difficult to decide which mode should be chosen for international transactions and which method is a preferable choice. If you are confused about choosing a card from a Forex card or an international debit card, this blog is for you. Here is a comprehensive guide for you to choose between the two. Let’s identify the major differences between the Forex card and the international debit card.

Also Read: Are you worried about the prices charged on the Forex cards? Check out our blog on List Of The Cheapest Forex Cards For Students: Send Money Internationally With Low Transfer Fee!

Understanding Forex Card

Forex card is a prepaid foreign currency-denominated card. It enables the user to load actual foreign currency at a locked-in rate. It is the most popular way of doing transactions. Generally, it is a preferable choice for travellers due to its wide acceptance across the globe. This card also allows users to withdraw money from the ATMs. The best part about the Forex card is that it allows the user to lock in the foreign exchange rate at the time of loading of the card. This card is specifically designed for the purpose of foreign transactions that help users withdraw cash or make transactions in the local currency.

Understanding International Debit Card

International debit card is widely accepted across the globe. It is a rupee-based card generally connected to a savings account. The biggest setback about the international debit card is that the foreign currency rates are not fixed and they may vary depending upon the regulations of RBI. Also, some banks don’t allow users to exceed a certain limit. It is mandatory to have a savings account in the required bank.

Differentiating Forex Card and International Debit Card

In many ways, a Forex card is different from an international debit card. Generally, the differences between the two ease the process. Let’s identify the main difference between a Forex card and an International debit card.

Obtaining the Card

A Forex card generally takes 4-5 business hours for activation while an international debit card may take 7-10 business days. The user needs to open a bank account to obtain an international debit card and the KYC verification process should be completed. Forex cards can be booked online 24*7 and there is no requirement of opening a bank account. It can be delivered on the same day as well.

Conversion Rate

As an international debit card is a rupee-based card, the currency needs to be converted from INR to foreign currency, so there would be conversion charges that may vary from bank to bank. In this case, forex cards are advised to minimize the cost.

Lock Forex Rate

The best part of the Forex card is that after loading the card, you generally lock the foreign exchange rate at the time of loading. Whereas, in an international debit card, there is no requirement to load the card as it is directly connected to the bank account. The foreign currency rate is volatile in the case of an international debit card. It keeps on fluctuating and you won’t have any option of locking the forex rate.

Replacement of Card

In the case of theft or loss of a Forex card, there is no requirement to reach out to the bank in person, rather an email or call to the bank would work. The replacement Forex card can reach the user within 3 working days, irrespective of the country you are in. But in the case of an international debit card, the user needs to report back to the bank in India and contact the bank in person for the replacement of the card.

Withdrawal Limit

The withdrawal limit is almost the same in both cases. The charges for the withdrawal of money may vary. The Forex card charges a minimal flat withdrawal fee, whereas the transaction value upon withdrawal may go up to 4% in the case of an international debit card. 

Check Out the Table of Comparison

Forex CardInternational Debit Card
Single foreign currency can be loaded in Forex cards.Multiple currencies can be withdrawn with the help of an international debit card.
The forex rate is fixed at the time of loading the card.Chances of fluctuating forex rate. Depends upon the latest regulations.
The currency conversion fees are on the lower side.Conversion fees are quite high, depending upon the amount decided by the bank.
ATM withdrawal generally depends upon the bank.ATM withdrawal fees are quite high in this case.
Generally, the limit depends upon the loading price.There is a specific limit set by the banks. The limit may vary from bank to bank.
It is generally suitable for specific travel destinationsIt is versatile for various expenses.
It may not be accepted everywhere. The acceptance may vary from bank to bank.It is widely accepted but again the acceptance rate may vary from bank to bank.
The reloading options are limited and can’t work if not loaded.There is no requirement to reload the international debit card as it is connected to the bank account

Also Read: Are you confused about choosing the appropriate mode of international money transfer? Check out our comparative guide on Wire Transfers Vs Forex Cards!


Which mode is better for international money transfers?

Generally, International wire transfer is a preferred method of transferring money abroad.

Can I use a Forex card for online transactions?

Indeed, you can use a Forex card for online transactions. Also, you can withdraw cash from the ATM machines that too in the local currency.

What is a Forex card?

Forex card is a prepaid card that allows a user to load multiple currencies onto a single card.

Be sure to check out the prices and fees charged by the particular banks. The prices and charges may vary depending on the RBIs regulations. Always cross-check the benefits offered by the several banks.

To know more about the best bank accounts for students, forex and banking experience for global students or international money transfers, reach out to our experts at 1800572126 to help ease your study abroad experience. 

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Why Should You Get A Bank Of America Student Credit Card? Here Are The Reasons
Study Abroad: Credit Cards For International Students In The USA

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About Farina Khan

Farina Khan is a journalist by profession and a writer by passion. She carries over a decade of experience in Journalism and Mass Communication and worked with some renowned media organisations like Doordarshan and Zee Media. She performed numerous roles during her work tenure including reporting, anchoring, and heading output as well. Her passion for writing, combined with dedication in delivering high-quality content, drives her to excel in the dynamic field of content writing. From thought-provoking articles to SEO-friendly blog posts, or engaging website content, She is here to bring the ideas to life through words.

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