High fees connected with unfavourable currency conversion rates or the necessity to carry several payment cards denominated in different currencies constitute problems and difficulties which until recently people travelling and paying abroad faced. Today, they can use convenient multi-currency cards.
What is a multi-currency card?
A multi-currency card is a convenient solution that enables you to pay all over the world in different currencies, avoiding unfavourable fees connected with commissions and currency conversion. The system supporting the card automatically recognises the currency of the transaction and collects funds from the appropriate payment account in a particular currency.
A multi-currency card may have up to a dozen or so accounts in different currencies assigned to it. Thanks to this, the customer may store funds in dollars, euros, zlotys and pounds, using only one card. It is a convenient solution that eliminates the need to have separate payment cards for each currency.
Multi-currency card - convenience during travel
For obvious reasons, a multi-currency card is the best choice when travelling abroad. In the past, if you were going on a trip to several countries, you had to be prepared for the fact that it was difficult to pay in different currencies. It was connected with the necessity of making a few currency cards - for instance, one for payments in euro and another for transactions in British pounds.
It was not a problem when our destinations were only the European Union countries where we use the euro. However, the trip to the United Kingdom made it necessary to make another card to pay in pounds. Cash is always the alternative, but exchanging money at currency exchange office, especially in popular tourist destinations, is not necessarily the most economical option. Currency exchange rates there are usually not very favourable. In such cases, a multi-currency card can be useful.
A low-cost solution
No need to make and carry a few currency cards is an indisputable, but not the only advantage of multi-currency cards. Savings are definitely more important.
To understand what the phenomenon of this solution is, it is worth explaining what happens when you pay abroad with a regular debit card with an account in Polish zlotys. When executing a transaction in a foreign currency, e.g. euro, the bank converts the amount of the transaction into Polish zlotys. Unfortunately, the exchange rate used very often is unfavourable, which makes the whole transaction less profitable.
It would be completely different if we used the euro currency card for payments. In such a case, the amount would be charged in euro without unfavourable currency conversion.
A multi-currency card goes a step further, as it enables transactions without currency conversion and hidden fees even in a dozen or more currencies. During the payment, the system automatically recognises the currency in which we want to pay and collects funds for the transaction from this account.
What happens if we do not have the appropriate currency on one of the subaccounts? It will be automatically converted at an attractive exchange rate, much more favourable than in the case of a bank.
Likewise, you can pay in most currencies available in the world. As a result, we can even make transactions in exotic currencies such as Thai bahts and Brazilian reals, knowing that the proposed exchange rate will probably be more beneficial than the bank conversion rate.
How much can you really save?
An example can illustrate possible savings of using a multi-currency card. Two adults are going on a two-week holiday. The first week they want to spend in sunny Tuscany and the second one in London and its vicinity.
The couple assumed that in Italy they would not spend more than 500 euros. They planned to spent 500 GBP in London - visits to museums and other tourist attractions, as well as food and drink. Everything will be paid for using card.
If they decided to use a usual PLN card, the bank would handle the currency conversion during each transaction. According to the exchange rate of one of the most popular banks in Poland in Italy, they would spend 2259.3 PLN (exchange rate of 3 September 2019 at 9:00 a.m.), and the travels in Great Britain would cost 2477.05 PLN.
Now let's see how much they would spend on their pleasures, using a multi-currency card, which Conotoxia will soon introduce to its offer. According to the exchange rate of the portal of 3.09.2019, the expenses in Italy would be 2189.60 PLN, while in Great Britain 2406.15 PLN.
Savings from the use of a multi-currency card itself would exceed 140 PLN. For this sum, you can buy a ticket for an adult to the London Eye, where you can admire the beautiful views of the capital of Great Britain.
Withdraw money from ATMs, but watch out for DCC
Multi-currency cards can also be used where card payments are not accepted and cash is required. All due to the ATMs all over the world and convenient withdrawal of money.
When you use this method, however, you should pay attention to what is displayed on the screen. ATMs recognise the currency to which the card is assigned by default and offer to perform operations in this currency. The problem, though, is the rate set in advance, which usually has nothing to do with the attractive one.
Such a procedure is called DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion). In most cases, you can resign from it - just read the information displayed on the screen carefully. As a result, for example, if you withdraw 100 EUR from a multi-currency card, the ATM charges 100 EUR to your account and the card provider handles the currency conversion.
If we had agreed to the DCC option and conducted the transaction in PLN instead of 100 EUR, our account would have been charged in PLN converted at, in most of the cases, the unprofitable exchange rate.
Therefore, it is not advisable for multi-currency cardholders to use DCC as their cards automatically convert each transaction at a more competitive rate.
Multi-currency card useful not only for travelling
The obvious reason for using a multi-currency card is, of course, to pay abroad. However, this is not the only case where such a solution is useful and saves some money. It will also work well for online shopping.
Nowadays, internet users do not limit themselves to ordering goods from shops located in their country. The global network has been widely available and consumers look for opportunities abroad. Nothing stands in the way of buying a guitar of your dreams from a French shop, which has just started a promotion on a model you are interested in. What is more, books to learn a foreign language can be found on British auction sites.
Only the method of payment can be a problem. By paying for goods and shipping with a traditional debit card, we risk, as in the case of travelling, an unfavourable currency conversion of the bank. However, for purchases we can use a multi-currency card, thanks to which we will save on the exchange rate.
A multi-currency card will soon be available on Conotoxia
Users of Conotoxia.com will soon have a chance to use a real multi-currency card, enabling convenient payments all over the world in many currencies at attractive rates.
The portal will offer two versions of cards - a traditional physical one, which can be kept in a wallet, and a virtual one, supported from the level of a dedicated app. Additionally, there are no fees for maintaining foreign currency accounts, which eliminates the need to open multiple foreign currency accounts in banks. The Conotoxia multi-currency card will enable you to use as many as 19 accounts in different currencies.
Payments can be made in any currency. The funds on the card will be automatically converted. Thanks to favourable exchange rates, users will be able to gain additional savings.
The portal will also not require minimum payments to the account. You will be able to use the card every day or just a few times a year when a foreign trip happens.
More information about Conotoxia multi-currency cards can be found at https://conotoxia.com/multi-currency-cards.