7 Best Forex Cards in India for Students and Tourists in 2023

I am updating the list of forex cards for your upcoming international travel in 2023.

Sharing my personal experience as an international tourist.

  • I use credit cards instead of forex cards for international shopping because I earn reward points and cashback on credit cards.
  • I carry some foreign currency cash and Indian currency cash on my international trips. It’s easy to find forex conversion shops in international tourist destinations where INR can be converted to foreign currency at a good conversion rate.
  • I withdraw foreign cash from an international ATM using my Indian debit card.

The short answer is that I do not use forex cards and you can also manage without a forex card if you are holding premium credit and debit cards that do not charge high forex transaction charges.

Carrying a forex card makes sense for students and travelers who do not have premium credit cards.

Forex cards are issued independently by popular banks like HDFC, ICICI, Axis, IndusInd and SBI.

Forex cards are also issued by private companies by collaborating with banks like Thomas Cook, Niyo Global, Wise, MakeMyTrip and BookMyForex.

For your quick reference, here is the list of the best forex cards in India

  1. Niyo Global Forex Card
  2. Makemytrip Tripmoney Global Cash Card
  3. IndusInd Bank Multi Currency Forex Card
  4. BookMyForex Forex Card
  5. HDFC Multicurrency Forex Card
  6. Axis Bank Multicurrency Forex Card
  7. ICICI Bank Student Forex Card

Best Forex Cards in India 2023

#1. Niyo Global Forex Card – Forex Card With Zero Markup

Niyo Global Forex Card

Niyo has partnered with DCB bank to provide a forex card with zero markup fees. You can get this card if Niyo is present in your city.

Niyo is best forex card for Indian students because of zero forex loading charges.

Fees and Charges

  • Card issuance fee – NIL 
  • Reload fee – Nil
  • Currency conversion charges – Nil 
  • International ATM* (Cash Withdrawal and Balance Enquiry) – 100 + GST

Benefits of Niyo Global Forex Card

  • 5% interest on this saving amount 
  • 5% TCS is charged if total shopping transactions exceeding ₹7 lakhs in a given financial year – 5% tax on per transaction

#2. Makemytrip Tripmoney Global Cash Card – Forex Card

Makemytrip Tripmoney Global Forex card

TripMoney has partnered with SBM Bank India to launch a Global forex card, powered by Visa. You can load money in INR and spend globally in 150+ countries. 

Makemytrip Tripmoney Global Forex card is best suited for Indian travelers with zero forex markup fee, lifetime free validity, and 100% digital in-app card management.  

Fees and Charges

  • Card issuance fee – Nil 
  • Annual fee – Nil
  • Reload fee – Nil
  • Currency conversion charges – Nil 
  • Balance enquiry fee – Nil (in app)
  • Domestic ATM balance enquiry- Rs. 10
  • International ATM balance enquiry- Rs. 255
  • Domestic ATM cash withdrawal– Not allowed
  • International ATM cash withdrawal – Rs. 450 

Benefits of Makemytrip Tripmoney Global Forex card

  • No currency conversion charges
  • Load in INR & spend Globally in 150+ countries
  • Complimentary membership of MMT (MakeMyTrip) BLACK and GoTribe 
  • Discounts upto Rs. 70,000/- on MakeMyTrip and Goibibo
  • Fully digital card application & management

#3. IndusInd Bank Multi Currency Forex card

IndusInd Bank Multi Currency Forex card

IndusInd Bank Multi Currency Forex card has an entrenched chip that makes your transactions secure and easy. This card also offers currency withdrawals from all VISA ATMs, protection against currency fluctuations, and easy online banking.

IndusInd Bank Multi Currency Forex card is specially designed for the frequent international travellers who travel across different countries. You can load 14 currencies to your card to spend in different countries.

Fee & Charges

  • Issuance fee – Rs 300
  • Re-issuance of Card fee – Rs.100
  • Reload Fee – Rs 100
  • Cross Currency Fee – 3.5% mark up 
  • Inactivity fee – USD 3.00 per quarter after 18 months of inactivity

Benefits of Indus Multi Currency Forex Card

  • You can use this coupon code “AIRPORTC” for waive off card issuance fee.
  • Recieve an Uber voucher worth 500 or 1000 when you load funds below 1 lakh or above 1 lakh respectively.
  • Hassle free refund process.
  • Get instant alerts for all the transaction made through your Forex card to avoid fraud.

#4. BookMyForex Forex Card

BookMyForex Multi Currency Prepaid Forex Card

BookMyForex Multi Currency Prepaid forex card is powered by Visa forex card in partnership with YesBank. You can load/reload your forex card with 14 currencies at zero margin rates. You will also enjoy free insurance coverage upto Rs. 1,50,000 against lost card liability, counterfeit, and skimming.

BookMyForex forex card is the best option for both students and tourists because of zero margin loading rates and don’t want to spend money on card issuance fees.

Fee & Charges

  • Issuance Fee – Nil
  • Reload Fee – Nil
  • Refund Fee – Nil
  • Cross Currency Fee – 3.5% of transaction value
  • Inactivity Fee – USD 5 (Inactive period 12 months)

Benefits of Yes Multi-Currency Forex Card  

  • Contactless payments
  • Zero loading/ unloading charges
  • Fastest transfers – funds received abroad in 12-48 hours
  • Get card lost insurance coverage free upto 1.5 lakh.

#5. HDFC Multi Currency Platinum Forex Card

HDFC Multi Currency Platinum Forex Card

If you’re planning a trip that involves multiple countries, consider the HDFC Multicurrency Forex Card. With this card, you can load up to 22 currencies at a currency fee of 2%, which is the least possible fee and travel globally without any hassle.

You get the free insurance cover worth Rs.5 lakh that protects your forex card against any misuse due to counterfeiting or skimming.

Fee & Charges

  • Issuance Fee – Rs 500 (waived off when you load $1,000)
  • Reload Fee – Rs 75
  • Re-issuance Fee – Rs 100
  • Cross Currency Fee – 2% mark up

Benefits of HDFC Multi-Currency Forex Card

  • Issuance fee will be waived off if you load minimum USD1000 (or equivalent currency).
  • Get Amazon Voucher worth Rs. 1000 if you load/reload your HDFC Bank Forex Card through HDFC Bank Debit card with Rs. 1 lakh.
  • Least cross currency fee.
  • You can add money to your forex card easily through net banking.

#6. Axis Bank Multi Currency Forex Card

Axis bank multi currency forex card

Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card allows you to lock in exchange rates before you travel. This means you won’t have to pay any cross-currency charges and make your payments in other countries at the same rate you had loaded/reloaded your forex card.

You can use this prepaid foreign currency card in 16 countries.

Fee & Charges

  • Issuance Fee – Rs 300
  • Reload Fee – Rs 100
  • Add-on Card Fee – Rs 100
  • Cross Currency Fee – 3.5%

Benefits of Axis Multi-Currency Forex Card  

  • Get 3 lakh insurance coverage on the lost/stolen and counterfeit cards.
  • Get up to Rs.1,000 off on your Vodafone international roaming pack when you load/reload the Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card.
  • You can swipe your forex card at over 80 million merchant outlets and 1000 e-commerce websites.
  • Withdraw cash at any VISA/Mastercard ATMs across the world.

You may like to read about best forex brokers in India

#7. ICICI Bank Student Forex Card

ICICI Bank Student Forex Card

ICICI Bank Student Forex Prepaid Card is specifically designed for students who are planning to study abroad. The best thing about this card is that you can reload it at any of the ICICI Forex branches, their online platform-Forex@Click, or through their iMobile app.

Fee & Charges

  • Joining fee – Rs.499
  • Annual fee – Rs.199 (from the second year onwards) 
  • Reissue card – Free for 1st time
  • Reload fee – Rs. 100
  • Cross currency charges – 3.5% 

Benefits of ICICI Student Forex Card

  • You receive an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) membership of Rs.590.
  • Get a card protection plus insurance worth Rs.1,600.
  • Enjoy a 40% discount on your excess baggage.
  • Get 20% discount on courier service by DHL.
  • Get a lost card/counterfeit card liability coverage of up to Rs.5 lakh.

Understand the different types of charges on forex conversion.

  1. Forex Rate. Check the latest foreign conversion rate on xe.com. Banks charge you a higher rate for selling you foreign currency. If USD to INR rate is showing Rs. 80 then expect the bank to charge you Rs. 82 or 83.
  2. Forex Conversion Charges. Most credit cards and debit cards charge 3.5% of the transaction amount. Some premium credit cards like HDFC Infinia, Standard Chartered Ultimate and Axis Magnus charge 2% forex markup.
  3. ATM Withdrawal Charges. Don’t use credit cards to withdraw cash from ATMs to avoid high interest and charges. Use a debit card or forex card to withdraw cash from a foreign ATM. Expect flat fees per ATM transaction in the range of Rs. 400 to 1000.

Here are some interesting points related to Forex Travel Cards

  • Banks issue forex travel cards at very low cost (Rs 150- 500).
  • The card will be loaded with foreign currency at today’s exchange rate. So you don’t have to worry about fluctuating currency rates.
  • Currency conversion fees is included in the price. HDFC bank charges least fee @ 2%.
  • You will not be charged any additional fees for purchases in shops and stores.
  • You can withdraw money from any ATM across the globe but will have to pay charges for cash withdrawal from an international ATM.
  • You cannot top-up the forex card abroad even if your bank has a branch there. You will have to contact the centre that has issued the card. A few banks provide option to reload your wallet through net banking.
  • As per RBI regulation, you cannot keep more than $10000 USD or equivalent currency in your forex card.

Forex card vs International Debit/Credit card

If you compare forex card with an international debit or credit card, forex card is much better option than the other two for the following reasons

  • It is easy to apply and get as compared to the credit cards.
  • You can load multiple foreign currencies in one card for use abroad which is not possible with debit/credit card.
  • No currency conversion charges for shopping abroad by swiping forex cards.
  • Lower issuance fee.
  • Can get a replacement card without affecting your funds in case of loss or theft.
  • Lesser currency conversion fee charged.
  • Fixed exchange rate even in case of currency fluctuations in the forex market.

Conclusion (Which Forex Card is best for you)

You might have made your decision of which forex card is best for you depending upon your requirements. Incase, you are still confused after reading all the information, you can go through my below recommendations and chose what is right for you.

If you are looking for maximum currency wallets, lowest cross- currency charges, and a relatively lower loading charges then go for HDFC Bank Multi Currency Forex Plus Chip.

About Pardeep Goyal

I talk about saving & investing money. You would love my articles related to Credit Cards, Travel, Shopping, Tax Saving. I share transparently how I am making passive income from multiple sources online.

373 thoughts on “7 Best Forex Cards in India for Students and Tourists in 2023”

  1. Hi, i am a student and got accepted in an Australian university to do my masters which is for 2 years. I have an account in south indian bank which offers thomas cook forex cards, also a canara bank international debit card option and also a hdfc card. Im confused to choose which one is right for my use as an student.

  2. I’m traveling to Spain to attend a wedding and the duration of the trip is just about 7 days so which card would u recommend?

  3. Traveling to the US for a holiday, need a card I can use for renting cars, booking internal flights etc which card would you recommend?

  4. Hi, I am travelling to Germany on a tourist schengen VISA for 3 months.
    I will be staying in Germany primarily but will be making few trips across europe. Which forex card is best suitable for me?

  5. Hi. Traveling to Austria france and Switzerland on a 15 day trip in oct 19. Please suggest best out of Icici, niyo or hdfc foreX cards. Or any other option

  6. Hi, i am travelling to Thailand in December. I see HDFC card is best for me, but what i am confused and curious to know about is carrying cash (and getting it exchanged from INR to Bhatt is better or Forex Card).

    Which is more better option?

  7. I am going on a vacation to Vietnam and have plans for out of india every 1 or 2 years. Which forex card should i be going for.

  8. Hi
    I see no forex card loads Israeli currency. So, should I load with US dollar ?
    In that case, should I first convert Indian rupee to dollar ?
    What is the best option ?

  9. My son has gone for job in oman. He will need funds for survival as salary will come after 2 months. Which forex card is best for him .what will be its validity and can I get it prepared here in india and despatch it to him in muscat

  10. I guess I have made my choice! Thank you for laying down the features and charges of the various cards. I was going towards SBI earlier, but now I think I would bring with me the HDFC Multicurrency with USD and SGD (because I have a layover in SINgapore) for using in Jakarta.

    Thank you once again 🙂

  11. I’m going to Bali for one week and will also need some Singapore dollars to spend at the airport. Do you recommend Hdfc card? I have an account with Hdfc bank

  12. HI Pradeep, At the outset, thanks for the extremely informative and useful blog.
    Kindly advise on the following:
    1. I will be travelling to Vietnam for one month.
    2. My wife is travelling to Japan for 15 days.
    We both hold HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Cards.
    Which Forex Cards should we take for our respective travels?
    Regards and thanks
    Col Narinder Singh

  13. I’m planning to travel to Brazil for 6months and, I might need to withdraw cash from ATM more often than POS purchases. In this case which card do you suggest me?

  14. I am going to join job in singapore, so will only require money from my side until my bank account is created (which will took few weeks), than i will transfer money from my Indian bank to singapore bank . So what would you suggest for me to carry cash/debit card/forex card ?

  15. I am going for vacation to Mauritius in December. U have mentioned that Thomas Cook’s single currency card is not having any currency conversion charges then how HDFC is better when it charges 2%. Also which card should I prefer.

  16. Hello sir,
    Iam goin to australia for masters so please suggest me which forex card is good in australia with less charges as well for withdraw

  17. i am going to Bali this year. which card will suit me the best?and is it possible to load money in U.S Dollars and use it in Indonesia?

  18. Hi.. I am going to Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore in October and November this year.. I am a student… Which forex card will be best suitable for me?

  19. Hi.. I am going to Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore in October and November this year.. I am a student… Which forex card will be best suitable for me?

  20. Hi,

    I am not a frequent international traveler….let’s say once a year. And i am traveling to Russia this month. What card would you recommend for me?

      • Hi,
        I am going to Canada permanently next month. I need to carry a forex card with me. So I can use it in beginning for the time being I don’t get a active Canadian bank account. In which I can transfer my funds from Indian bank afterwords. And my transit stay will be in Europe and may I will be spending some there also. So should I carry multi currency card or single one. With some cash Euro’s??

    • Thomas Cook one currency card (it has zero currency conversion charges) and you have to load in USD and when you require to convert your USD to pay in the local currency at the destination, there’s no conversion fee.

      otherwise, Go for Hdfc multi-currency card.

  21. I am travelling to Thailand for work for a year .
    so I just need some INR to be exchanged to Thai BAHT and USD.
    What do you suggest ?

  22. I’m going to UK for a year of study. I intend on carrying maximum amount through Forex card and minimum cash withdrawal charges. Which card would you suggest?

  23. I am going to Portugal for 3 months for business trip. I’ll also be exploring other countries in Europe. Please suggest which card will be suitable?

  24. PS
    I forgot to add, I am already holding HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card.
    Will Forex Card add significant benefit, or should I use my above Credit Card?
    Regards / NS

  25. Hi Pradeep,
    My compliments to you on your extremely informative Website and Online advise.
    I will be going to Vietnam for a month plus in October.
    I expect my total approx. spend to be Rs 1 Lakh, of which I propose:
    1. Taking Rs 45K in USD
    2. Balance in Forex Card.
    Which the best suited Forex Card for me?
    Regards and thanks for your assistance.
    Narinder Singh

  26. Hi Pradeep,
    My compliments to you on your extremely informative Website and Online advise.
    I will be going to Vietnam for a month plus in October.
    I expect my total approx. spend to be Rs 1 Lakh, of which I propose:
    1. Taking Rs 45K in USD
    2. Balance in Forex Card.
    Which the best suited Forex Card for me?
    Regards and thanks for your assistance.
    Lt Col Narinder Singh

    • Use Thomas cook to load USD and use them to convert into local currency without any conversion fee.. Rest you can use your Regalia credit card because it also has low foreign conversion fee of 2%.


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