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Which is the better option: a forex card or cash?

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With the lockdown becoming a thing of the past, international travel is back in the game. As a travel enthusiast, you must be craving for your next international trip and getting back on track with your fun & enjoyment. As an international traveller, one of the most important aspects is figuring out how you will handle making transactions in a foreign currency during your travels. Forex card or cash—which one is better? Let us find out!

Most travellers are confused about carrying cash abroad. And their worries are justified, considering the charges involved in foreign exchange fees and  the overall safety of cash in hand at all times. When it comes to deciding between cash or a forex card, the latter turns out to be the better option due to the wide range of benefits of a forex card -especially while travelling abroad.


Forex Card or Cash – Which is Better?

Forex stands for Foreign Exchange which means exchanging the currency of one country for another at prevailing exchange rates. For instance, if you are visiting Germany, you can purchase a forex card loaded with EUR 500. It turns out to be a safer option as it will be protected by a PIN. Therefore, even if your wallet gets lost abroad, your money will not be lost entirely.

A forex card can also be regarded as a travel card. It works just like a debit card, except it is preloaded with the currency of the nation you are visiting. To top it all, if you plan on visiting multiple countries, you can get yourself a multi-currency forex card loaded with currencies of all the countries you plan on visiting. 

Although a forex card is a better option compared to cash, there are various charges associated with a forex card that can affect your budget. Therefore, many international travellers prefer international debit cards with zero forex markup fee.  If you are in search of a reliable travel card, Niyo Global Card can be your ideal choice. As an international traveller, you have to bear multiple banking challenges -especially while making transactions abroad. Niyo Global card aims at addressing these issues through its INR-based interest-earning savings account that comes with an international debit card with zero forex markup fee. This no forex markup debit card is integrated with a high-end smart app that has features like real-time in-app Currency Converter, in-app nearby ATM locator, tracks transactions in real-time, provides complimentary airport lounge access across India, and so much more to enrich your foreign trip. Apart from that, unlike a forex card, you also earn up to 6.5% interest p.a. on your savings balance with monthly payouts. 


Which is a More Convenient Option for Travelling Abroad -Cash or International Cards?

If you wish to buy foreign currency, you have to incur cash exchange charges and additional costs. With a forex card or an international debit card with zero forex markup, like Niyo Global Card, you can avail a wide range of services to simplify your foreign tours. While there is nothing wrong with the use of cash, it can be risky and exhausting to handle during your foreign travel. Here are some uses and benefits of forex card:

Protection Against Dynamic Foreign Exchange Rates: 

The cost of different currencies will not be the same as today. If you end up running out of cash on your foreign trip and wish to have more cash to continue your trip, you might have to trade the Indian currency at the ongoing exchange rate at the time. 

On the other hand, a forex card will help in locking the conversion rate when the money is loaded in it and so you can ensure cost-effective and hassle-free forex cash exchange. For instance, you can load the Niyo Global card in INR (Indian Rupees) and  withdraw money in the currency of the nation you are travelling to without any forex markup fee. Niyo Global card comes with the benefit of zero forex markup that helps in saving 3-5 percent on all forex  transactions. In a forex card, the entire amount is converted in one shot and it protects you from the dynamic foreign exchange rates that could make your trip expensive. The advantage of a Niyo Global card is that only your transaction amount gets converted to the local currency and the remaining amount continues to earn interest. 

Highly Protected and Secure

Travelling with huge bundles of cash in an unknown nation tends to be highly risky. For instance, those who are travelling to nations like Italy are always warned about pickpocketing. Beacuse prevention is always better than a cure, carrying a forex card for all your transactions abroad is highly secure. 

A forex card is highly secure and PIN-protected. In case of theft or loss, no one will be able to use the card. At the same time, leading card companies and banks offer extra cards along with the original card to safeguard you in such situations. The Niyo Global card comes with in-app card controls to keep your account and card safe and secure at all times. In case your card is lost or stolen, you can block the card right within the app without having to call the bank.

Minimal Fees and Charges

When you exchange Indian currency for a foreign currency to load on a forex card, you have to pay  fees. On the other hand, there are no extra charges for the convenience of  using a reliable travel card like Niyo Global card to make payments in foreign currencies. 


Why Use Niyo Global Card for Travelling Abroad?

Irrespective of your destination -whether you are travelling to one country or more, the Niyo Global card can be your best choice. It is an Indian-Rupee-based international debit card that automatically converts Indian currency to any currency while transacting. It is accepted in more than 150 countries, so you don’t have to worry about making international payments on foreign land. You also earn up to 6.5% interest p.a. on your balance with monthly interest payouts. Along with that, you get complimentary airport lounge access at  airports across India. Some of the most compelling features include:

  • No account opening fees
  • No loading and unloading charges 
  • Zero forex markup card
  • In-app ATM locator
  • Integrated Niyo global app
  • Concierge services (powered by VISA)
  • In-app live Customer Service is available 24X7
  • Tap and Pay transactions
  • In-app Currency Converter
  • Easy to lock/unlock payment channels and block the card
  • Manage payment limits across multiple payment channels
  • Easily add money in INR using UPI/NEFT/IMPS/RTGS without any charges
  • Complimentary lounge access across airports in India


While travelling abroad, you have to deal with multiple  challenges, such as making international payments without any fees. Using cash for your purchases on foreign trips may not be a wise choice. Plus, a forex card can incur additional charges that can significantly affect your budget. After assessing all the pros and cons, it would be safe to say that a zero forex markup travel card like Niyo Global is the best choice for making international payments while travelling abroad. 



  1. How long can I use a forex card?

    In some cases, the forex card has a validity of around 5 years. But it can change according to the issuing bank.

  2. Does a forex card have extra charges?

    In most cases, forex cards from different institutions and providers charge a forex markup fee. However, when you leverage a global card like Niyo Global card, you get the benefit of zero forex markup. Therefore, you are not charged anything extra on your foreign transactions.

  3. Is a forex card cheaper than a debit card?

    With a zero forex markup international debit card,  you will  pay lesser charges as compared toa forex card. There are also some charges associated with the use of forex cards-loading fee, unloading fee, forex markup, limited validity, a limited number of currencies that can be loaded on them, etc. 


Currently, we provide services in over 14,000+ PIN codes across India. You can enter your PIN code while onboarding to check if your current location falls under our serviceable regions.

Yes, it can be used to withdraw money from ATMs, although the ATM service might charge you a small fee.

You can lock your card temporarily or block it permanently from the app. Blocking the card is a permanent change, which means you cannot use it again and will have to order a new card for a fee.

The Niyo Global card is the best forex card you can choose since it charges zero forex markup and ensures that you never have to limit yourself in indulging your wanderlust.

  • Since it is accepted by merchants in over 150 countries, you can use it to buy things wherever you are
  • You can load the card from anywhere, anytime in INR via NEFT, IMPS, and UPI from any of your bank accounts. When using the card you will pay in the local currency of where you are at, which means you don’t have to worry about your expenses at all on your travels
  • You are in complete control of how the card can be used as you can set locks and limits on specific payment channels from within the Niyo Global app
  • Whether it is a card swipe, ATM, contactless or online transaction, you can get it all done with the Niyo Global card
  • Your transactions are always listed in the local currency, which makes it easier to keep track of your expenses
  • Should you need assistance, you can use the in-app chat support 24X7. You never have to worry about finances

Yes, because international debit cards will charge you a fee with each transaction, while forex cards don’t because with forex cards you make the payment in the local currency.

  • You just need your PAN, Aadhaar number and Passport for this instant forex card application.