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Mastercard Releases Multi-Currency Prepaid Card

multi-currency-cash-passportStraddling the categories of “would I actually use this” and “this is really cool,” a new prepaid debit card has the ability to hold five different currencies on it at once.

The Multi-Currency Cash Passport is aimed at Frequent Travelers who prefer a debit card, but not the risk of losing a card tied to their bank account, and offers the ability to hold:

  • British Pounds (GBP)
  • Euros (EUR)
  • Canadian Dollars (CAD)
  • Australian Dollars (AUD)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)

The card also comes with stripe AND chip technology, which is great for automated machines in other countries, and works at an ATM.  You can also transfer money back and forth between currencies.

I personally prefer not to use debit cards at all, and rely heavily on my Chase Hyatt Chip-Based card for international travel, but I see this card as very useful for travelers like my mom, who prefer to use cash.  This makes using a debit card less risky, and since you can “trade” the money back in for US dollars electronically, it removes the step of having to go to the bank to exchange money.

What do you think about this new card? Would you use it?

 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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3 comments

  1. Remains to be seen if the card comes with Travelex level fees and exchange rates….

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I looked into them and they are hefty, though–still might not be as hefty as exchanging directly with Travelex:

      MasterCard® rate plus 5.95%. The MasterCard rate is the exchange rate determined by MasterCard to be their wholesale rate or the government mandated rate in effect in the day the transaction is processed by MasterCard.

      1% loading fee, 2% ATM fee

      • The UK version of this card has lower fees as it doesn’t cost anything to load. Cash withdrawals at foreign currency ATMs are at a flat fee of €2.00.

        “MasterCard® rate plus 5.95%” this is charged when you use the card where the transaction takes place in a foreign currency that isn’t active on the card. An example of this would be using the card in Sweden, where the currency is krona, but funds are taken from your euro balance.

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