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Use of Forex Cards: A Complete Roadmap for Indian Travellers

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Forex cards are widely accepted globally, ensuring seamless international payments. They offer security features like chip and PIN technology, protecting funds in case of loss or theft. These cards also safeguard against exchange rate fluctuations and provide online account management for easy tracking and reloading of fund

Have you ever wondered how easy life would be if you didn’t struggle to convert your currency every time you travel abroad from India? 

Payments, transactions and currency conversions are among the most significant concerns when you move abroad from India. A Forex card is a prepaid card that lets you convert your home country’s currency into any currency worldwide, and its usage is very similar to that of a credit or debit card. The charges for foreign currency are either nonexistent or minimal when utilising a Forex card. 

Whether for grocery shopping or dining at a restaurant, using Forex cards makes your international trip a breeze with straightforward and efficient transactions. They are time and energy savers since you only need to tap or swipe the card to pay. Using travel cards like Niyo Global Card is effortless as it lets you load up to 130+ currencies.    

Learn more through our comprehensive guide on Forex cards

Load up to 130+ currencies on your travel card with Niyo Global

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Uses of a Forex Card

A Forex card is a versatile tool if you are travelling abroad from India, offering various uses such as:

  • Currency Conversion: Enables seamless conversion and use of multiple local currencies during travel.
  • Secure Transactions: Enhanced security features reduce theft and fraud risks compared to cash.
  • Fixed Exchange Rates: You can lock in rates, shielding yourself from currency fluctuations.
  • Online Transactions: Convenient for booking accommodations, flights, and services online.
  • ATM Withdrawals: Allows global ATM withdrawals in local currencies, avoiding high fees.
  • Budget Management: Helps you adhere to budgets by preloading a specific amount.
  • Emergency Fund: Acts as a backup fund in emergencies, ensuring access to funds.
  • Reloadable: Some cards allow remote reloading, adding funds while travelling.

How to Use a Forex Card

Using a Forex card is straightforward and convenient for international travellers. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a forex card:

1. Purchase or Obtain a Forex Card:

  • You can obtain a forex card from banks, financial institutions, or authorised forex dealers.
  • Choose the currency you want to load onto the card, usually in major international currencies like USD, EUR, GBP, etc.

2. Activate Your Card: 

  • Typically, the card provider will activate the card and provide you with a PIN and other necessary details.
  • Ensure the card is activated before you travel.

3. Load Money Onto the Card: 

  • Transfer the desired amount in your home currency to the forex card. This can usually be done online or at a bank branch.
  • You can load multiple currencies onto the same card if you are travelling to different countries.

4. Understand Your PIN and Security Features:

  • Memorise your card’s PIN and keep it confidential. 
  • Familiarise yourself with the security features, such as OTPs (One-Time Passwords) for online transactions.

5. Using the Card for Transactions:

  • Point of Sale (POS) Transactions: Use the Forex card to make payments at shops, restaurants, and other merchants accepting card payments. Select the credit card option and enter your PIN.
  • Online Transactions: Enter your card details as you would with any other credit/debit card. Some websites may ask for an additional OTP sent to your registered mobile number for verification.
  • ATM Withdrawals: Insert your card into any compatible ATM worldwide. Choose the credit card option, enter your PIN, and withdraw the desired amount in the local currency. Be mindful of any fees associated with ATM withdrawals.

6. Monitor Your Balance:

  • Keep track of your card balance, especially if you’ve loaded multiple currencies. You can usually check your balance online or by contacting the card provider’s customer service.

7. Monitor Your Balance:

  • Note down the customer service number provided by the card issuer. In case of loss, theft, or any issues, contact them immediately to block the card and request assistance.

In a Nutshell

  • Obtain a Forex card from a bank of your choice and choose if you want a single or multiple-currency card.
  • After you receive your card, activate it using the details like PIN.
  • You can load your card in multiple currencies if you purchased a multiple-currency card.
  • Memorise your PIN and understand all the security features your card offers. 
  • You can use your Forex card for international transactions like point of sale (POS) and online and ATM withdrawals. 
  • You can also keep track of the balance on your card online or by contacting your card provider’s customer service.
  • You can get your card blocked through emergency support online in case of theft, loss, or any other issues.


Types of Forex cards

Single-currency Forex Cards:

As the name suggests, the single-currency Forex card is a travel card holding only one currency. The use of a Forex card will incur Forex markup, meaning you can only use it in the currency that you have loaded it in. It is essential to understand the meaning of Forex markup, as it refers to the additional charges applied by the card issuer for currency conversion, which can significantly impact the overall cost of transactions.

Multi-currency Forex Cards: 

This versatile card accompanies you on your journeys to any destination globally. Irrespective of the country you visit, you can conveniently load and utilise multiple currencies based on the specific type of Forex card you have selected. Some cards even allow you to use it to transfer funds between two currencies. This will be useful if you travel between two countries during a single trip.     

Benefits of Niyo Global Card

Niyo Global card is a travel card that serves as an ideal travel companion, offering numerous advantages when you are travelling abroad. Just like a typical Forex card, Niyo Global card benefits are numerous. Let’s explore some of these advantages below:

  1. Zero Forex Markup: Enjoy fee-free international transactions, saving on extra charges.
  2. Free Lounge Access: Access airport lounges at select international terminals in India at no additional cost.
  3. Currency Flexibility: Load in INR and use it in 150+ countries and 130+ currencies for your convenience.
  4. 1% Cashback: Earn 1% cashback as global coins on your transactions, adding value to your spending.
  5. Quick Delivery: Get the card delivered within 2-3 days, ensuring swift access for your travels.
  6. 24×7 In-App Chat Support: Get instant assistance with 24×7 in-app chat support, addressing your queries and concerns promptly.

Experience seamless international transactions with Niyo Global Card!

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Understanding Fees and Charges of Niyo Global Card and Other Forex Cards

Applicable FeesNiyo Global CardHDFC Multicurrency Platinum ForexplusState Bank Multi-currency Foreign Travel Card
Issuance FeeFree₹500 + GST₹100
Conversion feesZero Forex Markup2%3%
Loading feeFree₹500 + Taxes₹100
ATM Withdrawal FeeUniform across all applicable countries.
Niyo Credit Card with SBM Bank – ₹300 + GST Niyo Debit Card with Equitas Bank – ₹110+18%
Niyo Debit Card with DCB Bank –₹300 + GST
Varies depending on the country you visit Take a look at the
list of countries here

Varies depending on the country you visit
Reloading FeeFree₹75 + Taxes₹50
Reissuance fee (Lost, Stolen or Damaged Card)

Niyo Credit Card with SBM Bank – ₹249 + GST Niyo Debit Card

with Equitas Bank – ₹199+GST Niyo Debit Card

with DCB Bank – ₹249 + GST

₹100 + TaxesFree

Key Takeaways

  • A Forex card is a prepaid card that makes all your transactions smoother and faster when you are travelling abroad. 
  • There are several uses of a Forex card, including currency conversion, secure transactions, fixed exchange rates, online transactions, ATM withdrawals, budget management, emergency funds, and it’s also reloadable.
  • You can use a Forex Card by obtaining, activating, and loading it with multiple currencies; use it for international transactions and monitor balance online, with emergency support for blocking in case of issues.
  • There are two types of Forex cards: Single-currency and multiple-currency Forex cards.
  • Niyo Global Card helps make your transactions with zero forex markup charge. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you receive your Forex card, log into the bank’s portal and enable all the services that you want to conduct with the Forex cards, including transaction limit, POS and online transactions. You can use the Forex card to either tap or swipe and pay at any POS shop or dine.

Yes, your Forex card has charges for foreign exchange when you want to withdraw cash from an ATM. On top of this, there are a few atm withdrawal charges applicable in any ATM vestibule worldwide. Besides this, there is an issuance fee to be paid to the issuer when applying for a Forex card. 

If your Forex card is stolen, the first thing you need to do is call customer support. Ask them to block the card, or you can manually block it through the banking application. This way, nobody can misuse your card. Once you have secured your card, log in to your application and check for the balance. Opt for emergency cash assistance if it is available with your provider. 

Yes, you can use a Forex card for online transactions from India. Forex cards can be used for online shopping on various websites outside India. 

Universities generally prefer their amount to be wire-transferred to their bank accounts. But if your university allows and accepts card payments, you can use your Forex card to pay your fees. 

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