Best prepaid travel cards to use in 2024

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
11 May 2023

This is the most comprehensive comparison of the prepaid travel cards available to UK travellers. We’ve picked the best all-round prepaid travel card, Wise, plus four other highly recommended cards to look at in detail.

Plus, we’ve got an exhaustive list of other travel cards available at the bottom of this article, so you can compare your options and check out which will work best for you.

Wise - our pick for prepaid debit card

  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies with the mid-market exchange rate and no hidden fees
  • Autoconvert feature means you can wait for the best rate before loading foreign currency
  • Send payments to 80+ countries and get paid from 30+ countries with a Wise account

Learn more about the Wise card.

Get a Wise card

Revolut - mid-market exchange rate

  • Hold 30+ currencies, and exchange with the mid-market rate up to your plan limits
  • Fee free ATM withdrawals which vary based on the plan you pick
  • Earn cashback on some travel bookings - higher tier accounts also get some insurance cover and airport lounge access

Learn more about Revolut's travel card.

Get a Revolut card

Post Office travel card - fast delivery

  • Order online for delivery in 2 - 3 days, or pick up a card instantly in a Post Office branch
  • Store up to 22 currencies, and use your card in 36 million locations around the world
  • Top up and manage your balance in the Post Office app

Learn more about the Post Office travel card.

Get a Post Office card

FairFX - good choice to use in the UK

  • Up to 3.5% cash back when you use it at selected UK high-street partners
  • Add extra cards for family members or helpers, which are linked to one central account
  • Covers 15 currencies with customer support available year round, 7 days a week

Learn more about the FairFX card.

Get a FairFX card

TUI - second card for free

  • Free to order a card - plus you get a second card free in case the first is misplaced
  • Supports 12 currencies
  • If you can’t access your cards, you can have the funds sent to you for cash collection via Western Union for no extra cost

Learn more about the TUI travel money card.

Get a TUI card

Is it worth getting a prepaid travel card?

In our opinion: yes. Prepaid cards are worth it. Getting a prepaid card is usually easy, and can be free. A travel card helps you budget as you’ll only be able to spend the balance you load on the card - and could save you money on currency exchange, too.

Don't just take our word for it, though. We've covered the most important topics on prepaid cards below to help you make an informed choice about whether you need a prepaid card for your next holiday.

  1. Are prepaid travel cards safe?
  2. Is my money protected?
  3. Advantages of prepaid cards
  4. Disadvantages of prepaid cards
  5. How to get a prepaid card
  6. Fees and charges
  7. Cash withdrawals
  8. Alternative prepaid cards
  9. More info on our top 5 prepaid cards

Are prepaid cards safe?

Prepaid travel cards are usually considered safe to use as long as you take normal security precautions like keeping your account details and card PIN secret.

If your prepaid travel card is stolen you’ll usually be able to freeze or cancel it in an app - and it’s not linked to your main bank account, which can also offer peace of mind.

Some providers like Wise and Revolut also offer virtual cards which can add an extra layer of security when spending with merchants you don't fully trust.

Icon showing a padlock superimposed on a map of Europe.

Is my money protected?

Most prepaid travel money cards are issued by financial technology companies. These services aren’t banks - but they are usually regulated in a very similar way to banks for the services they offer.

While different card providers may have slightly different regulatory requirements, you’ll usually find your money is protected through safeguarding.

Safeguarding is when customer funds are held in trusted third-party accounts, separate to their own operating capital, so it can always be easily accessed and won’t be mixed with the funds needed to run the business.

If you’re looking for a travel card with a provider which has a large user base, and a global presence, check out Wise or Revolut.

Both companies are used by over 15 million customers already, and global businesses, they are overseen by several regulatory bodies - so your money is protected no matter what currency you hold.

Advantages of prepaid travel cards

The main advantages of prepaid travel cards are convenience, safety and budgeting.

Prepaid cards are safer and more convenient than carrying cash - with the added benefit that they’re not connected to your main bank account.

This can make it easier to budget as you’ll only ever be able to spend the funds you’ve loaded to your card - and also means that even if your card was stolen, the thieves can’t access funds in your primary bank account.

Because prepaid cards like these have been built specifically for travel, you may also find you can save money and get access to a flexible range of international and multi-currency services.

Disadvantages of prepaid travel cards

The most common disadvantage of prepaid cards is the fees.

The fees of travel cards can vary greatly - which means you’ll need to compare a few to make sure you get one that suits you.

Some cards - like the British Airways multi-currency travel card - have monthly fees. Others charge a fee if your card is inactive for too long.

Other cards charge a fee if you load up in pounds rather than a foreign currencies. And some - like the Travelex card - have a staggeringly high foreign exchange fee when you spend a currency not supported (5.75% in the case of Travelex).

How to get a prepaid card

The process of getting a prepaid card is usually simple and involves fewer checks than a credit card.

Signing up

The process to sign up for a prepaid travel card varies by provider.

In most cases you’ll have to show or upload proof of your identity, and then load an initial amount onto the card.

You’ll then be given your card if you’re applying in person, or sent it in the post if you’re applying online.

The good news is that it’s usually more straightforward to sign up for a prepaid card than a credit card as there are no credit checks to complete.

Loading money on to the card

You can usually load money onto your travel card online, using a bank card or bank transfer. Prepaid cards providers in the USA sometimes accept cheques, but this is less common in the UK.

Some cards also offer the option to top up in cash - but there are usually higher fees for this option.

Prepaid travel card fees

The fees you’ll pay with a prepaid travel card can vary pretty widely.

Read through the terms and conditions of any card you’re interested in before you sign up - and look out for charges like:

  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • GBP top up fees
  • Cross currency / money exchange fees
  • ATM withdrawal fees
  • Inactivity fees
  • Replacement card fees
  • Cash out or account closure fees

Also look out for fees hidden in the exchange rate. Cards offering the market exchange rate (i.e. the one you see on Google) are Wise and Revolut.

Can I use a prepaid travel card to withdraw cash?

You can usually use your prepaid travel card to withdraw cash at an ATM, and in some cases over the counter.

The fees you pay - and the withdrawal limits which apply can vary by card.

Some cards, like the Caxton travel card, don’t have their own ATM withdrawal fees at all. Other cards have a fee-free limit (which, once exceeded, will incur fees).

One thing that is out of your control is the fees that ATMs themselves may charge for cash withdrawls. If you want to avoid these, you'll have to find another cash point!

Other prepaid travel cards available in the UK

The list of prepaid cards available in the UK does not end at our top 5. Here are a few more to consider if you’re looking for a prepaid travel card to take abroad in 2024.

CardKey featureMinimum top-up
British Airways Prepaid MastercardEarn Avios points on card spendingNot specified
CashplusLink Euro or US dollar cards to your Cashplus bank accountNot specified
CaxtonNo Caxton fee for overseas ATM withdrawals£10
Co-op TravelAward winning service, and emergency cash if your card is lostNot specified
EasyFXAdd extra cards for family members£100
Multi-currency Cash PassportPriceless Cities programme available offering experiences to card holders£50
Sainsbury’s travel cardFree Nectar points£50
Travelex Money CardAccess to free wifi£50
WeSwap32 currencies supportedNot specified

More info about our top 5 prepaid cards

Read more about the benefits and limitations of our top 5 prepaid cards.


Open a free Wise account online or in the Wise app and order a Wise card for spending and withdrawals in 170+ countries around the world.

You’ll be able to hold and exchange over 50 currencies in the Wise app, with no fee to spend any currency you hold - and all currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup and no hidden fees.

There’s a one time fee of £7 to get your Wise card, with no ongoing charge after that. Some transaction charges apply, depending on the services you use.

Read our full review of the Wise card..


Revolut offers travel cards and multi-currency accounts you can manage in-app, with a free standard plan and 3 higher tier plans which offer more features and fee free transactions.

Use your Revolut account to hold 30+ currencies, exchange between them fee free up to plan limits (£1,000/month for the free plan), and spend on your linked card around the world.

Some out of hours and fair usage fees may apply to your account - and you’ll need to pay a monthly fee to unlock the full range of account features and benefits.

Read our full review of Revolut.

Post Office

Post Office has a handy Travel Money Card which you can apply for online for home delivery - or get in a branch instantly if you’re in more of a hurry. Use your card to spend any of the 22 supported currencies - which cover many popular holiday destinations - and there's no extra fees to pay.

You can manage your card and balance in an app, to top up, freeze or unfreeze your card, and view transaction history.

There’s a 3% fee whenever you spend a currency not supported by the card, plus ATM withdrawal costs which vary based on currency.

Read our full review of the Post Office travel card..


FairFX has a multi-currency prepaid card which can hold 15 currencies, and which offers extra perks when you spend in the UK with partner retailers.

Get cashback on spending with partners, and order extra cards to give to family members - or helpers like baby sitters - to allow them to spend from the same central account conveniently.

Some transaction fees do apply, including a 1.75% charge when you spend in a currency not supported on the card.

Read our full review of FairFX..


TUI’s Travel Card is free to get - plus you’ll get an extra card in case your first is misplaced.

Lost both cards? Don’t panic, you can have your money sent over for cash collection via Western Union instead. TUI cards support 12 currencies and it’s free to spend any currency you hold on the card.

While the TUI card has some great free features, there’s a 3% cross border fee when you spend a currency not supported by the card - plus conversion fees may apply when you load funds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best prepaid travel card?
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