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8 Oct 2021

'I can't get my money out of my prepaid foreign currency card'

What to do if you've got leftover funds after your holiday
Getting money out of a prepaid currency card

Do you have an issue you need put right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted.

Dear Which?,

I have u20ac216 on my EasyJet Euro Currency Card.

The card expired last year, and I didn't renew it, and have been trying to get the money returned to me since April.

Should I be worried about this?

Giovanni, Surrey

Put to Rights

Simon Dicey, Which? Money Helpline adviser, says:

Potentially. You're one of many Which? members to contact us about prepaid cards since travel was restricted last year.

Prepaid foreign currency cards can offer excellent exchange rates, low or no fees, and save us from a wallet weighed down by unused foreign coins at the end of a holiday. But we don't recommend leaving money on prepaid cards for a long time.

Some cards charge fees if they're not used for a certain period, and funds aren't protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if the card provider goes out of business.

If a card has expired getting your money back can be trickier - though not impossible. The provider should be able to transfer you the money and close your account.

EasyJet eventually wrote to cardholders apologising for a number of disruptions to the currency card service caused by its third-party supplier and it has now decided to close the card programme. I understand during the closure your money was eventually refunded to you.

Other readers with money on prepaid cards may want to move it elsewhere.

As international travel resumes, a fee-free travel credit card offers extra purchase protections through Section 75 without you having to load money in advance.

Alternatively, Which? Recommended Provider Starling Bank offers a current account with no fees overseas and FSCS protection. Virgin Money's M Plus Account and Monzo also offer fee-free spending and withdrawals abroad (the latter bank within limits). Read more in our travel debit cards guide.

Need to know

  • Aim to use unused funds from a prepaid card within 12 months of returning home, or before the card's expiry date, whichever is sooner.
  • Check your card's terms and conditions before withdrawing cash in the UK, as some charge fees. It may be cheaper to use the card to pay for purchases.
  • If your card has expired, contact your provider to request your money back - this may involve a fee.
  • Travel credit cards and some bank accounts may be a better option.

Get in touch. If you've got a consumer rights problem you need put right, email us at yourstory@which.co.uk.

Please be aware that we can't help with, or respond to, every email that we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

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