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15 reasons why Niyo Global is the best card for Indian students studying abroad

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Studying abroad is an exciting milestone everyone looks forward to. Once you’ve done the groundwork and gotten accepted to join a university abroad, there are a few things to consider: handling international currencies, how not to fall prey to the ever-fluctuating conversion charges and the bunch of fees associated with international transactions, and so on.

Niyo, in partnership with State Bank of Mauritius (India) Limited and VISA, brings you the Niyo Global card, a ZERO forex markup VISA Signature debit card that’s better than the best forex card in India. It is the perfect bundle for Indian students travelling abroad to study. Since Niyo Global is on the VISA network, it works anywhere a VISA debit/credit card is accepted.

While discussing the problem statement, Niyo is trying to address with this latest Niyo Global offering, Sai Sankar, Business Head – Global at Niyo shares: 

“A student travelling abroad for higher education incurs a lot of expenses like university fees, accommodation payments, living expenses, etc. With Niyo Global by SBM, we are looking at providing a single platform that would take care of all these requirements. Moreover, whenever money is transferred through traditional channels from back home in India, students usually have to wait for 3-4 days before they receive it. With our Niyo Global card, it’s an instantaneous transfer! This is extremely helpful, especially when there is an immediate requirement. Moreover, with the app, it is easy to track all the expenses in one place. With advanced card controls, students need not worry about any misuse of the card.”


Which debit card is best for international transactions?

When it comes to choosing the best International debit card for transactions, Niyo Global aims to make your banking needs for travel, study, and beyond a smooth and hassle-free experience. With this interest-earning savings bank account, you can load your account in INR (Indian Rupees) and spend in the local currencies of over 150 countries. This means you don’t have to worry about carrying wads of cash while travelling or rushing to the bank to get a traveller’s cheque or anything of the kind.

A few of the most compelling features of Niyo Global include:

  • Zero Forex Markup* saves 3-5% on all forex transactions  
  • Complimentary airport lounge access across India
  • Concierge services (Powered by VISA Signature)
  • 6.5% Interest P.A.* on savings with monthly interest payouts
  • Add money in INR and spend anywhere
  • Works at VISA-accepting merchants in 150+ countries
  • Integrated Niyo Global app
  • Real-time in-app currency converter
  • In-app ATM locator
  • Zero commission on direct mutual fund investments
  • Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) starting at just ₹100 
  • Track Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) balance in-app
  • 24×7 in-app live chat support to connect with us no matter where you are in the world


If you are an Indian student planning to study abroad, this global card with VISA is your best companion. All you have to do is download the Niyo Global App and you can onboard yourself right away.

Why is Niyo Global the best forex card for Indian students?

Niyo Global is a full-fledged savings bank account, supported by a light and fast mobile app with cool features such as:

  1. Zero forex markup: 

    To make payments in a foreign currency, a forex markup fee is usually charged by a bank on top of the transaction amount. This VISA Signature Global Card, however, comes with zero forex markup. That’s right, Niyo Global does not charge you anything for this convenience, and only VISA exchange rates apply. This is extremely cost-efficient, especially while managing big-ticket transactions like flight bookings, paying tuition fees, etc.

  2. Accepted by merchants in 150+ countries: 

    You can load your Niyo Global card in INR before you travel, or even while you are in a foreign land. It auto-converts the INR amount of your transaction to the local currency of the country you are in. It can be used to pay at VISA-accepting merchants in 150+ countries and even to make international purchases right from India. What’s more? It’s a digital account with a unique account number and IFSC code and there are no charges to load your account at any time via UPI/NEFT/IMPS/RTGS.

  3. Complimentary airport lounge access: 

    Having an international VISA Signature card means you travel in luxury with the comforts of the airport lounge access both in domestic and international terminals across India. Check out more details about the VISA Airport Lounge Access Program

  4. 100% digital onboarding and KYC: 

    The Niyo Global App ensures seamless account opening without having to rush to the bank to fill up confusing paperwork. You can avail of this international travel card cum student card from the comfort of wherever you are. You just need to download the Niyo Global App and follow the simple guided steps to get your hands on a card that is better than the forex card in India.

  5. Instant account opening: 

    The light and fast Niyo Global App ensures quick account opening so you can dedicate more time to plan other aspects of your travel and study. It is like a student card that gives you the freedom to use your account immediately for all online transactions on Indian and international websites while you wait for your physical card to arrive. Please note, depending on the city you live in, the physical card gets delivered within 15 days of placing an order.

  6. Zero balance savings account: 

    It’s not mandatory to maintain a specified monthly balance at any time and we promise not to charge you for that. This is one of the most important factors  that make it better than the best forex card for students. However, it’s a good practice to maintain at least an ₹10K balance so that you can use your card at any time.

  7. Up to 6.5% interest P.A.* on account balances: 

    Another feature that makes this a better card than the best forex card for Indian students is that this global card is linked to your digital savings account which earns interest and continues to grow while you travel. That’s not all, you also get monthly interest payouts, which means extra cash in hand each month!

  8. In-app Currency Converter: 

    The app shows you a real-time currency rate so there are no surprises later. This feature comes in handy whenever you are trying to figure out what your purchase will cost you in any currency.

    Note: VISA Exchange Rates apply to all foreign transactions.

  9. In-app ATM locator: 

    In case you need cash in the desired local currency during travel, this handy tool can help you find the nearest ATM wherever you might be in the world.

  10. Real-time tracking: 

    To help you keep track of your funds, all your transactions are instantly updated in the app each time you spend somewhere. You also have the option to pin your account balance in the local currency of the country you are in. This feature helps to better plan your finances ahead of time.

  11. Enhanced security: 

    The Niyo Global app brings you enhanced security through the Lock/Unlock/Block Card features. To add to the safety and security of your card, the app lets you temporarily lock your entire card or just some channel/s to control your transactions. You can even block your card permanently in case it gets stolen or you accidentally lose it.

  12. Zero fund transfer fees:

    Your fund transfers via UPI/NEFT/RTGS/IMPS do not attract an additional fee. You can make these transactions at any time from anywhere.

  13. International VISA Signature Debit Card: 

    This Tap and Pay card facilitates contactless payments with zero forex markup and comes with complimentary Airport Lounge Access across India and Concierge Service (Powered by VISA Signature). 

  14. Zero commission mutual fund investments: 

    During the Niyo Global onboarding, you can also open a wealth account at no additional effort and start investing in direct mutual funds without paying any commission. 

  15. 24×7 in-app live chat support:

    You never have to worry about your account. Should you need assistance, you can use the in-app live chat support 24×7 irrespective of time zone you are in. 

Exclusive offers

The international VISA Signature debit card brings unique offers and discounts for your car rentals, flight bookings, hotel bookings, etc. at zero forex markup! Apart from the complimentary airport lounge access across India, this global card comes with exclusive discounts and offers for all your lifestyle, health, and F&B needs.

Load in INR and use ANYWHERE in the world

This is by far one of the best and the most unique features of the Niyo Global card, making it better than the best forex card in India. Students are always on the go. So whether you are in class, out grocery shopping, hiking, biking, running, or travelling, the app lets you load your account in INR from anywhere at any time via UPI/NEFT/RTGS/IMPS from any other Indian bank account.

If you’d like to, you can of course, load your account with cash while you are in India, by visiting any of the SBM Bank branches in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, and Ahmedabad.

Once loaded, you can use your account to make transactions at POS, online, fund transfers, etc. in local currencies of over 150 countries, including India. 

Niyo Global Pro Tips  

  1. Dynamic currency conversion

    Dynamic Currency Conversion is a fee charged by merchants who offer customers an option to pay in their home currencies (in your case, INR). This is, at times, higher than 7% of your total transaction amount. We would always recommend you to spend in the local currency of the country you are visiting (and not in INR). This will help to minimize the charges on your transactions.

  2. ATM/POS terminal

    Your Niyo Global card works everywhere VISA goes and that applies to withdrawing cash at all ATMs in the VISA network. The nifty ATM locator in your Niyo Global App will help you locate one near you. While making digital transactions is the best way to get the most out of your account, oftentimes it is necessary to have cash in local currency on hand. It is important to note that cash withdrawals and balance enquiries at ATMs attract a small fee (Check details below). 

  3. Limits on transactions

    The Niyo Global card can be used for domestic and international contactless payments at POS, cash withdrawals or balance enquiries at ATMs, and for online transactions. Your international VISA Signature Debit Card comes with certain limits on daily transactions, such as:


Daily Limits

ATM cash withdrawal


POS Transaction

Contactless payments



Online Transactions


Fund Transfers


Within cooling period (30 minutes)


Fund transfer (per beneficiary)


Customers speak

  • “Niyo Global card has been very convenient for my sister who studies abroad & she highly recommends I get one for me too. The best part about this card is that my parents can transfer money at any point in time, most importantly without any markup. So, you end up saving on the university fees as well. With the 24X7 in-app support, you know that help is always a simple message away. In simple words, this is the best card an Indian student can have while travelling abroad to study.” – Varanya

  • “I’m currently pursuing a Masters in Management from SKEMA Business School, Paris. Getting a Niyo Global card was hassle-free. While I was in India, I used it to pay the fee for the GMAT Online Exam and the advance for my accommodation in Paris. Travelling in France is expensive. Renewing my monthly transport pass via Niyo Global Card is as convenient and easy as can be. Groceries and daily needs are unavoidable expenses and would have burned a hole in my pocket without this card. My journey here would have been much more expensive if I had not opted for the Niyo Global Card.” – Akash

Niyo Global card can be yours today

Are you 18+ years old? Do you plan on travelling abroad to study? Do you have a PAN, Aadhaar, and Indian Passport? If you answered YES to all of these questions, Niyo Global—the best international travel card over any other student forex card—is the perfect match for you!

Download Niyo Global App now and onboard right away. It’s all you need to take care of spending in foreign currency at the best possible rates** while studying abroad.

Terms and Conditions

*For savings account balances up to ₹2 lakhs, an interest rate of 3.5% per annum shall apply. For incremental balances above ₹2 lakhs up to ₹5 lakhs, an interest rate of up to 4% per annum,  an incremental balance above ₹5 lakhs up to ₹10 lakhs earns an interest rate of  5% per annum, an incremental balance above ₹10 lakhs up to ₹50 lakhs earns an interest rate of 6% per annum, an incremental balance above ₹50 lakhs up to ₹20 crores earns an interest rate of 6.5% per annum, and an incremental balance above ₹20 crores earns an interest rate of 5% per annum would be applicable for the number of days the incremental balance is maintained. Interest is calculated on the daily end-of-the-day balance, and applicable interest as per slab is applied.

Niyo Global Interest Rates (slab wise)

2 lakhs

3.5% pa

>2 lakhs – 5 lakhs

4% pa

>5 lakhs – 10 lakhs

5% pa

>10 lakhs – 50 lakhs

6% pa

>50 lakhs – 20 crores

6.5% pa

>20 crores

5% pa

**VISA exchange rates apply on all transactions