Best Multi-Currency Card 2024

One of the best ways to save money on holiday is by using a multi-currency card. What’s more, it’s also a safe and efficient method for managing your finances overseas, reducing the need to carry excessive amounts of cash and risking it being lost or stolen.

In this guide, we’ll take you through our top five prepaid cards for travel, explaining their costs, standout features, and the use cases that make them the most appropriate options.

Top 5 multi-currency cards (at a glance)

 Holiday Money Card  FX Fee  Overseas Merchant Fees  Overseas ATM Fees
 Wise Multi-Currency Card  Varies per currency (low and transparent)  None  Free for the first £200 per month, then 1.75% over
 Revolut Travel Money Card  Varies per currency (low but additional 1% on weekends)  None  Free for the first £200 per month, then 2% over
 Zing Multi-Currency Card  Visa exchange rate + 0.2%  None  1st withdrawal free, then £2 per withdrawal
 Travelex Money Card  Varies per currency (expensive)  None  Free
 Post Office Travel Money Card  Varies per currency (expensive)  None  £1.50 or similar equivalent in foreign currencies

What is a multi-currency card?

A multi-currency card is a type of travel card that allows you to hold balances in multiple currencies and spend from these balances around the globe. Common features include the ability to pre-fund your account in the currencies of your choice, easy currency management through a mobile app, and lower FX fees compared to using most bank cards abroad.

Wise Multi-Currency Card

Using Wise’s Multi-Currency Card is Better than Cash.

  • Excellent Rates: Get real-time exchange rates with no hidden fees.
  • Convenient: Spend in multiple currencies and make free international ATM withdrawals.
  • No Need for Cash: Use your Wise card worldwide, safer and easier than carrying cash.
  • Great Exchange Rates: Get the Wise exchange rates.

💳 Learn More & Apply Now

They’re not to be confused with debit cards…

Multi-currency cards are not fully-fledged debit cards. Although they might appear to be for all intents and purposes, they’re usually linked to e-money accounts rather than fully-fledged bank accounts.

The debit cards associated with the entry-level bank accounts of the UK’s largest mainstream banks offer terrible foreign currency fees and various other fixed charges when you spend abroad.

A notable mention goes to the Starling debit card and Monzo debit card, two major challenger banks. These debit cards make excellent travel cards due to having no foreign currency fees. However, since they do not allow users to hold multiple currencies, they are not included in this guide.

And not to be confused with travel credit cards

There are also several credit cards that offer zero foreign transaction fees. However, these do not allow you to hold multiple currencies, and you are, of course, paying for things on credit. For more information, you can also see our guide to the top 5 travel credit cards.

Advantages of a multi-currency card

There are a tonne of benefits that come from using a travel currency card. Some of these include:

Improved rates

With the overwhelming majority of currency cards, you’ll get a better foreign exchange rate than if you used your bank debit card abroad, or visited a bureau de change to get yourself some holiday cash. Most bank debit cards charge a 2.99% foreign currency, so it’s easy to compare if you’re getting a cheaper deal.

Convert when the markets in your favour

Rather than being at the mercy of the exchange rate whenever you withdraw cash or use your card abroad, you can take advantage when the FX rate swings in your favour. Load up the currency you require, when you can achieve the most value. This can make a huge difference when you see how much currencies move across a month, week, or even a day.  If you’re financially savvy, this can be particularly appealing.

Hold balances for future trips

Ever brought back a small amount of foreign currency notes from a trip and decided it wasn’t worth the hassle and cost of visiting a bureau de change? A bit like this, you can choose to keep hold of your foreign currency balances in your multi-currency accounts. This saves on the FX fees of constantly exchanging one currency to another.

Earn interest on your funds

Some providers, like Wise and Revolut will even pay you interest on the funds held in your currency accounts. You’d be surprised, these stack up very favourably against even top tier savings accounts and there are no limitations on adding or withdrawing funds from the account.

Easy in-app management

All of the travel cards included in this comparison allow you to seamlessly manage everything in-app, including adding funds, viewing your payment history, setting spending limits and viewing your PIN.

With some providers, you’ll even receive instant payment notifications when you withdraw cash or use your card to pay at a merchant.

You’ll also be able to make contactless Google Pay or Apple Pay payments from your phone at eligible merchants.

Improved safety

There are various safety benefits to opting for a foreign currency card. As your card is not linked to your main UK transaction account, this provides an extra layer of security against potential financial threats. Most importantly, you’re also reducing the risk that comes with carrying cash. If you lose your card, or fear it’s been stolen, you’ll be able to instantly freeze it within the mobile app.

Disadvantages of multi-currency cards

There are also some negative points to consider when using a travel card abroad. These include:

Possibility of commission fees

A number of travel money cards, like those offered by Travelex and the Post Office, charge a commission fee when you load the card with GBP. As there is no currency exchange fee involved, these providers choose to make money in this way. These fees do not apply with Wise, Revolut or Zing.

Money not protected under FSCS

When you load money into an e-money account, safeguarding policies apply. This means client funds must be kept separate from company funds and certain protections are in place. Should your provider go bust, returning client money takes priority over all other creditors, except for when the administrator’s own costs exceed the cash held by the provider. In this scenario, the administrator is entitled to recover their own costs first.

Limited top-up and withdrawal options

Some foreign currency cards have restrictions on how much you can top up or withdraw at a time. For example, daily ATM withdrawal limits and a cap on the number of times you can fund an account could apply. Don’t get caught in a pickle and risk upsetting your travel plans.

Top 5 multi-currency cards (explained)

Here are our top 5 foreign currency cards explained in more detail:

1. Wise Multi-Currency Card

Wise Multi-Currency CardThe Wise card is specifically designed for individuals who live a life on the move. It eliminates exchange rate markups and high transaction fees when spending abroad. What exactly do we mean by this? Rathern hiding behind an exchange rate, Wise displays the FX fee they apply to all of your overseas card transactions on their pricing calculator.  Quite crucially, they also apply their foreign currency fee on top of the mid-market rate, as opposed to the rate that’s passed on by the card network. Wise’s 0.35% fee for EUR transactions comes out very similar to Zing’s rate once they add a 0.2% fee to Visa’s exchange rate.

When compared with other travel cards, you’ll see that their ability to hold over 40 different currencies is market leading. What’s more, you can even opt to earn interest on your major currency balances at very favourable rates (4.66% on GBP · 5.04% on USD · 3.65% on EUR as of June 2024).

2. Revolut Travel Money Card

Revolut Travel Money CardThe Revolut Travel Money Card is another travel card that was originally designed to seamlessly manage your finances while on the move. You can hold balances in up to 37 different currencies, that’s slightly less than with Wise, but ahead of the rest of the competition. Once you have a Revolut account, you also gain access to a whole range of other financial services. Some of the aid accounts even include travel insurance.

Switching currencies is done at the ‘Revolut exchange rate’. It’s not always clear what this is, and Revout has certainly reduced their transparency in this regard. However, due to European Central Bank legislation, you can see the currency fees when converting some major currencies to EUR, and it has to be said the Revolut exchange rate is generally very good.

One thing to watch out for is the additional 1% fee for using your card on the weekend. Revolut doesn’t want to be left short when the FX markets are closed, but this operational risk impacts all companies and Revolut is the only company to add an additional fee.

3. Zing Multi-Currency Card

Zing Multi-Currency CardThe Zing Multi-Currency Card is one of the newest currency cards to launch in the market. It’s backed by MP Payments UK Limited, part of the HSBC Group, but e-money rules still apply and funds aren’t linked to a FSCS-backed fully fledged bank account.

You can hold 20+ different currencies and it’s a very cost-effective way to spend like a local anywhere in the world. Their pricing structure is simple – Zing adds a flat 0.2% conversion fee to the rate they receive from Visa. In our view, this makes it one of the best multi-currency cards for travel in Asia and more remote destinations. In these countries, the Zing fee structure should prove cheaper than even the rates possible with Wise.

4. Travelex Money Card

Travelex Money CardThe Travelex Money Card is a prepaid currency card brought to you by Travelex, one of the names most synonymous with travel money. It’s pretty versatile – you can pre fund balances in up to 22 currencies and you get a pretty generous £3,000 daily spending limit.

It’s also the only card in our travel money card comparison that offers free ATM withdrawals worldwide, no matter how many withdrawals you make and the value that you withdraw (though there is a daily withdrawal limit for safety purposes of £500). The downside is the cost. Currency fees are hidden behind exchange rates – we calculated these ourselves against the mid-market rate and found them to start at a minimum of 1.5%. As there’s no money to be made on the currency exchange, Travelx will also charge you a 2% commission to load it with GBP.

5. Post Office Travel Money Card

Post Office Travel Money CardThe Post Office Travel Money Card also allows you to hold up to 22 currencies in an e-money account. As with all of the other holiday money cards, there are no hidden charges for spending abroad in supported currencies. The card is powered by Mastercard and can be used in any of the 36 million locations worldwide where Mastercard is accepted. Cash withdrawals are changed at a pretty low fixed fee (£1.50/€2/$3 or a similar currency equivalent), meaning you don’t have to pay more the more you withdraw.

By conducting our own exchange rate analysis, we think the Post Office Travel Money Card is the most expensive of all 5 travel cards we compared. You get the same rate as if you visited a bureau de change in the post office for physical cash. It seems to be around 2.5% – 4% off the mid-market rate. There’s also a 3% commission charge to load a balance in GBP when no foreign currency conversion takes place.

Summing Up

Using a multi-currency card is one of the smartest and safest ways to manage your finances while travelling abroad. They offer competitive exchange rates, reduce the risk of carrying large amounts of cash, and provide convenient, in-app management. The travel money cards we’ve compared each have unique benefits, such as the Wise card’s transparency and ability to earn interest on balances, Revolut’s extensive number of other financial services, and Zing’s straightforward fee structure. However, it’s also important to consider potential drawbacks, such as potential spending limits and the fact that some providers are still hiding their fees behind an exchange rate. By weighing these various factors up, you can choose the best multi-currency card that suits your travel needs and preferences.