When preparing for a trip, meticulous planning is essential to ensure a smooth journey. One common concern among travelers is choosing the right cashless payment cards for the destination.
A Facebook user named @Muaz Aziz recently shared his experiences using several debit and credit cards during his travels across Southeast Asia and Europe. He also mentioned feeling more comfortable with cashless payments when traveling in Europe. Here are four cashless payment cards he tried during his journeys, including credit cards, BigPay, MAE, and Wise.
Credit Card: This is a must-have for travelers, especially those who plan to rent cars. Nearly all car rental companies require a credit card for security deposits.
BigPay: BigPay used to be his preferred card for daily use, but he mentioned that this changed due to fee adjustments and unfavourable currency exchange rates.
MAE: Despite its appealing design, this card has been declined by overseas vendors, possibly due to recent issues with Maybank. Additionally, the currency exchange rates are not consistently favourable.
Wise: So far, Wise has proven to be versatile and secure for making payments abroad. This card also offers user-friendly features. He further elaborated on the advantages of using Wise for international travel and recommended it to the public.
Key Points about Wise:
1. Wise functions like a debit card, allowing you to spend only when you have a balance in your account.
2. You can lock in currency exchange rates when they are favourable. Even if you travel two months later, you will still receive the same favourable exchange rate.
3. Since Wise is not a credit card, it can help you control your spending and avoid overspending or late payment fees.
4. There are no annual fees; it's completely free.
5. Enhanced security features make Wise one of the safest options. You can freeze or unfreeze your account at any time through the app. Additionally, it provides three virtual cards for temporary use in visited countries, which can be deleted upon returning home.
6. Lastly, you can withdraw money from ATMs twice for free each month, and any additional withdrawals or amounts exceeding RM1,000 are subject to lower fees compared to other banks.
However, Wise has some limitations:
1. You can only top up your account online through the Wise app and cannot use a credit card.
2. There is no credit facility, and you can only spend according to your balance.
The user also advised applying for Wise at least two weeks before traveling to a particular country and ensuring a minimum balance of RM101 in the Wise account. Physical card delivery takes at least two weeks, but deposited funds can be used afterwards.
He hopes that this shared information can assist travellers in selecting the most suitable payment card for their transactions in the visited country. Such card options are more convenient and secure as they eliminate the need to carry large amounts of cash at all times."