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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

#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.

#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.

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

  1. I am travelling to UK for 8 days. I prefer to carry as little cash as possible. I already have an HDFC account and its Debit & Credit card (Business Regalia). I will be making quite a few transactions in reataurents and hotels/airbnbs. What will you recommend?

    Reply
    • Ashish.. You can use your HDFC Regalia credit card in your tour. You will have to pay only 1.75% foreign conversion charges using Regalia credit card.

      Still if you want a forex then I would suggest you to go for HDFC Regalia forex card.

      Reply
  2. Hi Pradeep,

    I am traveling to New Zealand and I came across one website buyforex.com
    They offered me lesser conversion rate compare to others. Is it good to buy from them? Are they genuine?

    Thanks,
    Parag

    Reply
  3. Hi Pardeep,

    I’m traveling to Sweden for 2 months, will stay in Sweden only and won’t withdraw cash much. At all places will swap card.
    Please suggest which card will helpful

    Reply
  4. Hi Pardeep,

    I am going to Switzerland for a 14 day trip with my wife. I will be visiting only Switzerland and no other countries. Can you please recommend a forex card for me?

    Reply
  5. I’m going to US for a month vacation. I have HDFC regalia and hdfc diners card. I want to know which forex card should I carry. I have sufficient cash USD to cover my expenses.

    Reply
  6. Sir, i am student who will start masters program in USA and have not plans to move anywhere else.I am confused that which card will be useful for me because my spending will be on dining,some shopping(only limited for necessities),exam fees,tuition fees etc…. in short complete student card kind of stuff. I am a complete saving guy. I want to opt a card where i can get excellent benefits and discounts or any free transactions fees.

    Reply
  7. hi Pardeep ,

    I am travelling to Hongkong,South Korea and Japan . Which Forex card should i use if i have to make transactions in local currencies in each of these countries and use the forex card for cash withdrawal from local ATM with no or a very minimum fees .

    Thanks

    Reply
  8. I am traveling to Malaysia on Work Permit.
    Initially my employer will be providing me a forex card.
    but which Card I should use personally for a month or two in case of emergency if I need more cash.

    Reply
  9. I am a frequent flier and fly around the globe. I take somewhere around 4 to 6 trips every month. Any recommendation for me?? I would really appreciate your help.

    Reply
  10. Hi Pradeep,
    Me along with my family are going for a week long vacation in Dubai. Our itinerary along with transfers and various entry tickets has already been paid for. I am looking for forex card for shopping and dinning which would you suggest. Also once the trip is over I will be withdrawing the amount.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  11. Hi Pardeep,

    I am going for an Europe tour comprising, UK, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. Which is the best forex card, which has zero or less transaction charges for purchases in these countries..

    Thanks in Advance..

    Reply
  12. Hi Pradeep,

    We are 4 family members going on Europe travel trip through Kesari (first time out of india)

    Please suggest forex card. we are thinking to get at least 2 cards or 4 cards for each. Looking for least charges for widrawal & card use. Exactly which currencies we will need for below itenary??

    Our itenary:
    England: London 2N, France: Paris 2N, Belgium: Brussels, Netherlands (Holland): Amsterdam/Rotterdam 1N, Germany: Cologne/ Manheim 1N, Titisee, Switzerland: Schaffhausen, Zurich, Lucerne 3N, Engelberg, Lauterbrunnen, Jungfraujoch, Interlaken, Liechtenstein: Vaduz, Austria: Wattens, Innsbruck 1N, Italy: Venice, Padova 1N, Pisa, Florence, Arezzo 1N, Rome 1N, Vatican: Vatican City

    Response will be appreciated.

    Reply
  13. Hi,

    I am travelling to Maldives for 4 days. I have already pre-booked the trip via MMT. But I need to pay for to&fro transfers from Airport to resort and vice-versa. The total payable amount comes close 1500USD + if I use any other services.

    Please suggest whether forex card will be helpful rather than paying via credit catd (I am owning HDFC Regalia & Citi Corporate credit card)?

    Reply
  14. Hi Sir,

    I have taken NIYO GLOBAL CARD on recommendation of my friend who has taken it last year and is using it regularly at USA for his expenses.

    My questions:
    -Should I take any other card as back up or is Niyo Global card good enough.
    – They claim to give all transactions at visa exchange rate without any markup..is that true.

    Please help me urgently

    Reply
    • Salil… Niyo global is not forex card, its a prepaid travel card. You get currency exchange at the time of the transaction, not like a forex card in which currency conversion is fixed at that time of card loading and remains the same irrespective of fluctuations.

      You can use Thomas cook single currency card as a backup if you have to use in USA only.

      Reply
    • Ruby you have to visit your US Bank and ask them to transfer money from your forex card to the bank account. They will charge a nominal transfer fee. Or you can withdraw money from ATM and deposit in the bank.

      Reply
    • Cards have very less acceptability in Bali. You can use only in big malls. Cash is main mode of transactions.

      Better to keep USD along with you and convert into local currency after reaching Bali. A lot of shops near all beaches and markets.

      Reply
  15. Hi Pradeep I am going to new zealand for a vacation. Which travel forex card would be best for me in all aspects.
    Thank You

    Reply
  16. Dear Pardeep,

    I see that you are recommending different cards for students. My daughter is going to UK for 6 months for a Semester abroad. She will be needing a card for cash withdrawal and POS payments. I want a card which does not have any cash withdrawal fees or POS fees. Which card is better?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  17. Hi I have HDFC Infinia credit card which has 2% foreign txn fee and good rewards program. I plan to travel to New Zealand next month. Do you think I should get a forex card, or will the Infinia credit card be good enough? I am looking for suggestion regarding what will be more cost effective.

    Reply
  18. Hi Pradeep,

    Great is your expertise. I would like to have some advice.

    I am moving to Austria for Job.
    I would like to have minimum/no transaction charge while using the card in POS, online or ATM withdrawal. Which one is best in Austria also from aftersales service point of view?

    Regards
    Sankar

    Reply
  19. Hi Pradeep,

    Have you heard about Niyo Global Card. Lot of my friends seems to have taken it overseas and gave rave reviews about it. Want to hear your views.

    Reply
    • Thailand is mostly a cash country. You can use your credit card for swipe in the malls.. else I recommend you to carry cash. You can withdraw cash directily from your debit card by paying a nomimal fees of 200 baht per transaction (recommend you to make a transaction of 20,000 baht in a single go).

      If you still want to carry a forex card, then go for HDFC Regalia forex.

      Reply
  20. Hi Sir,

    I will be going to Prague for a month for work. Which card should I use as after a month I will have my account created in their bank.

    Reply
  21. Hi! Mr. Pradeep,

    I have planned to save money in euros as per my plans, for my further studies for france, which card should i go for or should i actually go for a forex card or something else.

    Awaiting for your reply
    Thnx

    Reply
  22. Hi, I am traveling to Singapore for 6 months internship as a student.
    Which will be the best card for me?
    I request you to let me know about this query.

    Reply
  23. i am going to poland for 5 months as student . which card should i issue? should i use forex card for payments or should i withdraw money and use it for goods exchange in poland? please reply fast.. it is urgent

    Reply
  24. will i be able to receive payments from clients in this forex card which one will be good… payments can be USD/ Euro /GBP / YEN etc

    Reply
  25. Hi Pradeep,

    I’m going to a Maldives for a work. will be there aroud 18 months. which Forex card u will suggest. consider the all over charges.

    Reply
  26. hi i am Rutvik i am traveling to Canada for studies which Forex card will be good and will give me the best conversion ratios for inr to cad .Do u know how much service charge is applied on forex cards

    Reply
  27. i’m a student going to australia for my masters and id like to the best option in forex cards for students other than the axis bank multi currency card

    Reply

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