What are sterling prepaid cards?
Sterling prepaid cards can typically be used worldwide and aren't restricted to one currency.
Unlike with currency specific prepaid cards - such as a Euro or US Dollar prepaid card - with a sterling prepaid card the exchange rate you get will be decided at the time you make the transaction, rather than when you top-up the card.
So, one downside of this is that you won't be able to 'lock-into' a specific exchange rate when you top-up the card.
However, this is isn't guaranteed to be bad news as exchange rates may also improve between when you top-up the card and use it buy something.
Using Revolut to spend abroad
Revolut is a stand-out sterling prepaid card, offering market-leading exchange rates and no fees for overseas spending.
It is managed via smartphone apps, and you will need to download the app before you can get the card.
Once you have a Revolut account, you can transfer money to it via your debit card, Apple Pay (if you have an iPhone) or bank transfer.
It offers fee-free foreign spending and overseas cash withdrawals, but withdrawals of more than £200 a month are charged at 2% per withdrawal.
So, this may not be the right card for you if you regularly take out cash on holiday.
The app come with a number of handy features, such as the ability to track your foreign transactions in real-time (including how much they cost you in £s) and instantly block your card if it is lost/stolen.
Alternatively, a credit card with low fees on overseas spending can work out as the best option for purchases made abroad, as long as the bill is paid off in full each month.
Which? Money Compare: Credit cards for overseas spending – find a credit card for your needs at Which? Money Compare
The best Sterling prepaid cards
The table below shows the range of sterling prepaid cards available on the market, how much they charge to withdraw money, spend and top up. The table was last updated in April 2017.
|Sterling prepaid cards|
|Card name||Foreign exchange mark up||Foreign ATM fee||Debit card top-up fee||Reload options|
|AA Worldwide card||n/a||Free if over £50a||Free if over £50a||Internet/Cheque/Selected Branches|
|ICE Traveller's Cashcard||n/a||Free||2.85% load fee||Internet/Phone/Branch|
|FairFx Anywhere card||1.40%||1% plus 1.4% transaction fee||Free||Internet/Phone/SMS|
Up to £200 (or equivalent) per calendar month. 2% thereafter