Here Are the Four Best Travel Money Cards in 2023

Jarrod Suda


Jul 7, 2023
Affiliate disclosure

From the multitude of bank fees and ATM charges to hidden currency conversion fees, there's no question that spending your money abroad while travelling can be costly — and that's saying nothing about the cost of the holiday itself!

As you prepare for your trip abroad, the golden rule is that you'll save the most money by using the local currency of your destination. This means withdrawing local cash at foreign ATMs and using a debit card to pay directly in the local currency. For example, if you're from the UK, using your bank's debit card that accesses your British pounds will likely lose you money to hidden fees at ATMs abroad and at local merchants.

recommendation icon

In general, we rate Revolut as the best travel card all around. Its versatile account and card can be used to spend like a local pretty much anywhere in the world. ✨ Get 3 months of free Revolut Premium as a Monito reader with our exclusive link.

If you're from the EU, UK, or US, here are a few more specific recommendations to explore:

  • Best for travelling from the UK: Starling Bank
  • Best for travelling from the US: Chime®
  • Best for travelling from the Eurozone: N26

If it's not possible for you to spend in the local currency when travelling abroad, then spending in your home currency while using a card that doesn't charge any hidden exchange rate markups from your bank (e.g. only the VISA or Mastercard exchange rates to convert currency) is still a good bet for most people.

In this guide, we explore cards that waive or lower ATM fees and that hold multiple currencies. Spend on your holiday like a local and enjoy peace of mind after each tap and swipe!

Best Travel Cards (and More!) at a Glance

💷 Best UK Travel Card
💵 Best US Travel Card
💶 Best EU Travel Card
💴 Best Australian Travel Card
💵 Best Canadian Travel Card
⚕️ Best Travel Insurer
🛂 Best Visa Application Service
✈ Best Flight Aggregator
💬 Best Language Learning App
💻 Best VPN for Travel

Don’t Let Banks, Bureaux de Change, and ATMs Eat Your Lunch 🍕!

Are you withdrawing cash at an ATM in the streets of Paris? Exchanging currencies at Gatwick airport? Paying for a pizza with your card during a holiday in Milano? Every time you exchange currencies, you could lose between 2% to 20% of your money in hidden fees. Keep reading below to make sure you recognize and avoid them.

Currency Exchange Fees Eating My Lunch? What’s That?

You’re often charged a hidden fee in the form of an alarming exchange rate.

At any given time, there is a so-called “mid-market exchange rate” — this is the real exchange rate you can see on Google. However, the money transfer provider or bank you use to exchange currencies rarely offers this exchange rate. Instead, you will get a much worse exchange rate. They pocket this margin between the actual rate and the poor exchange rate they apply, allowing the bank or money transfer provider to profit from the currency exchange. 

Bureaux de change airport kiosk

In other words, you or your recipient will receive less foreign currency for each unit of currency you exchange. All the while, the provider will claim that they charge zero commission or zero fees.

So the question now is… how can you avoid them? Thankfully, the best travel money cards will allow you to hold the local currency, which you can access instantly with a tap or swipe. Carrying the local currency avoids exchange rate margins on every purchase.

info icon

Top Travel Money Tips

  1. Avoid bureaux de change. They charge between 2.15% and 16.6% of the money exchanged.
  2. Always pay in the local currency and never accept the dynamic currency conversion.
  3. Don't use your ordinary debit or credit card unless it's specifically geared toward international use. Doing this will typically cost you between 1.75% and 4.25% per transaction. Instead, use one of the innovative travel money cards below.

By opting for a travel card without FX fees, you can freely swipe your card abroad without worrying about additional charges. However, saving money doesn't stop there. To make the most out of your travel budget, consider using Skyscanner, one of the most powerful flight search engines available that allows you to compare prices from various airlines and find the best deals.

With Skyscanner's user-friendly interface and comprehensive search options, you can discover cheap flights and enjoy your holidays with peace of mind and more money in your pocket.

The Best Travel Money Cards in 2023

After researching and reviewing the top travel cards offered by some of the most well-known neobanks, Monito has found multi-currency cards by Wise, Revolut, N26, and Monese to be among the industry's best. Here, we walk through their products and services and compare them to other options like the Travelex Money Card.

Revolut: Best All-Rounder

Revolut is one of the most well-known fintechs in the world because it offers services across Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania.

Monthly Fee (Standard Plan)

£0.00 (or $0.00, €0.00, etc.)

Multi-Currency Balances

Yes (available in 35 currencies)

FX Fee


ATM Withdrawal Fee


Revolut is available in many countries. You can double-check if it's available in yours below:


Here's an overview of Revolut's plans:

Account Name

Fee /Month

Revolut Standard


Revolut Plus


Revolut Premium


Revolut Metal


Revolut Ultra


Revolut Ultra is currently only available in the UK and EU.

Like Wise, Revolut converts your currency to the local currency of your travel destination at the mid-market rate, making it a good way to buy foreign currency before travelling abroad. As always though, bear in mind that Revolut's exchange rates might be subject to change.

Revolut's Standard Plan only allows currency exchange at the base mid-market exchange rate for transfers worth £1,000 per month. ATM withdrawals are also free for the first €200 (though third-party providers may charge a withdrawal fee and weekend fees may also apply). These allowances can be waived by upgrading memberships.

N26: Best for European Travellers

One of the most well-known neobanks in Europe, N26 and its debit card operate in euros only. However, N26 is a partner with Wise and has fully integrated Wise's technology so that you never have to pay foreign transaction fees on your purchases outside of the eurozone. While N26 does not have multi-currency functionality, N26 will apply the real exchange rate on all your foreign purchases and will never charge a commission fee — making N26's card a powerful card for EU/EEA residents who travel across the globe.

Monthly Fee ('Standard' Plan)


Multi-Currency Balances

No, euro balance only

FX Fee


ATM Withdrawal Fee


These are the countries in which you can register for an N26 account:


And here is an overview of the various plans and account:

Account Name

Fee /Month

N26 Standard


N26 Smart


N26 You


N26 Metal


This low-fee option for banking is also ideal for travellers who do not belong to a European bank but frequent the Eurozone. For example, N26 is available for residents and citizens of Switzerland, Norway, and other European Economic Area countries that do not run on the Euro.

These citizens, who are in close proximity to the Eurozone, will save each time they spend with an N26 card while in Europe. N26 provides three free ATM withdrawals per month in euros but does charge a 1.7% fee per ATM withdrawal outside of Europe.

Wise Account: Best for Multi-Currency Balances

Load up to 54 currencies onto this card at the real exchange rate, giving you access to truly global travel.

Monthly Fee

£0 (or $0, €0, etc.)

Multi-Currency Balances

Yes (50+ currencies)

FX Fee

0.35% - 2.85%

ATM Withdrawal Fee


These are the countries in which you can order a Wise debit card:

Wise Multi-Currency Account

Unlike banks, credit unions, airport kiosks, and foreign ATMs, Wise is transparent about never charging a hidden exchange rate margin when you convert your home currency into up to 54 currencies. The live rate you see on Google or is the one you get with Wise.

An industry-low commission fee per transaction will range from 0.35% to 2.85%, depending on the currency.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank is one of the best neobanks in the United Kingdom. We highly recommend it for UK residents who frequently spend in British pounds and euros because of its multi-currency capabilities.

Monthly Fee


Multi-Currency Balances

No, but a separate euro account is available

FX Fee


ATM Withdrawal Fee


Here are the different account that Starling Bank offers:

Account Name

Fee /Month

Personal Account


Join Account


Euro Account


Kite Account

£2.00 /Child

Teen Account


'Kite' is a children's debit card, and 'Teen' is for teenagers

Starling Bank accounts are free for UK citizens and residents to open. You can spend abroad with the Starling Bank card with zero card transaction fees. This feature alone makes it a cost-effective and convenient option for frequent travellers. It even waives all ATM fees for ATMs in the UK and abroad.

Your other option is to convert your sterling into euros. By opening a euro account with Starling, you can hold, send and receive euros for free. When you spend in the Eurozone with your Starling Bank card, your euro balances (instead of your sterling balance) will then be used

Best Travel Money Cards in 2023 Compared by Country

In the table below, see our comparison summary of the four best travel cards for 2023 by country:





Multi-Currency Balances

No (GBP only)



No (GBP only)

FX Fee



0.35% - 2.85%







Card Delivery Fee





Visit siteVisit siteVisit siteVisit site

Last updated: 06/19/2023

Which Countries, Languages and Platforms Are Supported?

Here, you'll find information about where each card is available, as well as which language and operating system each supports:

Available in 🌎

European Economic Area (EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) except Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania & Romania.

Available in the European Economic Area (EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), UK

Available in the European Economic Area (EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), Switzerland, Australia, US, UK, Japan

Almost everywhere

Languages supported 🙊





Available platform 📱

Web and Mobile App

Mobile app only

Mobile app only

Web and Mobile App

Go to N26Go to MoneseGo to RevolutGo to Wise

Last updated: 16/07/2021

Which Travel Money Card Provider Is the Most Trustworthy?

Find out more about how the travel cards compare with respect to users and trustworthiness:

Number of customers

3.5 million

1 million

3.9 million

4 million

Trustpilot Score

7.7 / 10

(5,300 reviews)

8.9 / 10

(11,500 reviews)

8.9 / 10

(20,000 reviews)

9.2 / 10

(67,000 reviews)

Go to N26Go to MoneseGo to RevolutGo to Wise

What Happens If I Have a Problem With My Travel Card?

Below, you can find a summary of the steps to follow in the event that you run into a problems with each of the cards:

What happens if the company go bust?

N26 is holding a banking license regulated by the German Financial Regulatory Authority and a member of the German deposit protection scheme, which insures all deposits up to €100.000 held in the member states of the European Union. Customers with an account in the UK are protected up to the equivalent amount in GBP.

Monese current accounts are not protected by the FSCS protection (which guarantees deposits up to £85,000). But Monese is an agent of PrePay technologies Limited licensed as an Electronic Money Institution (Number 900010). Customer accounts are kept segregated from Monese's own accounts and their customer would receive 100% of their balance back if Monese go bust.

Revolut's customer funds are not guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK. However, as an authorized Electronic Money Institution by the FCA in the UK, Revolut keeps its customers funds separated from its own and in case of insolvency, you would be able to claim a full refund. If Barclays/Lloyd's would become insolvent (where Revolut holds your funds), the money would not be guaranteed though.

Your balance on Wise's borderless account is not guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK. But as an Electronic Money Institution, Wise is required by law to keep your money safe and segregated from its own account. It means that if Wise go bust, your money will be unaffected and be refunded to you in full. However, if Barclays (where TransferWise stores its UK and European customers' funds) would go bust, the return of your money would not be guaranteed.

What happens if I lose my phone?

If you lose your Smartphone, you can keep managing your account with N26's web interface. You will first need to disconnect your old smartphone from your account by talking with the support, and then you'll be able to pair a new smartphone to your account.

You can only access your Monese account from one device at a time. In order to register a new smartphone to your account: Download the app on your new phone. Log In with your email adress. Confirm your new smartphone via the email you've just received.

If you lose your phone, your Revolut card will still work. However, you'll need to instal the app on a new smartphone, enter your phone numebr and select "I haven't received a code yet" to speak with a support agent (as you won't be able to receive the validation SMS). As Revolut customer accounts can't be managed on the web, it's the only way that you'll be able to manage your account if you loose your phone.

With Wise, you'll still be able to use your card and manage your account online. However, if you have an SMS validation activated to access your account, you'll need to call the support in order to change your phone number.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

You can block/unblock the card at anytime in the N26 mobile app. If you've definitely lost your card, you can reorder a new one in your N26 Account settings.

Immediately go in to the Monese app and report your card as Lost/Stolen. A new card will be sent to your address and the card will be blocked. If you don't have access to your mobile app neither, call Monese Support as soon as possible. If you're not sure where you card is, you can lock your card and unlock it later if you found it.

You can block your card from the app at any time and reorder a new card. If you're not sure where you card is, you can freeze your card and unlock it later if you found it.

You can freeze your card from the app at any time and order a replacement within the Wise mobile app or web interface.

Go to N26Go to MoneseGo to RevolutGo to Wise

Last updated: 16/07/2021

Which Multi-Currency Card is the Best?

Christine Roy, Unsplash

Travel cards come in many varieties, such as credit cards that charge no foreign transaction fees or cards that waive all foreign ATM withdrawal fees.

What is a Multi-Currency Card?

Multi-currency cards are a specific type of travel card that allows you to actually own all kinds of foreign currencies, which you can instantly access when you pay with your card abroad. By spending the local currency in the region of travel, you bypass poor foreign exchange rates. ATMs and cashless payment machines will treat your card like a local's card.

We have already mentioned a few multi-currency cards in this review, but we will also introduce Travelex. Travelex's Money Card also allows you to top up several foreign currencies — albeit at exchange rates slightly poorer than the real mid-market rate.

Wise Account

Wise has one of the best multi-currency cards available on the market.

Read our full review for more details.


Revolut is impressive for its vast options in currencies and its additional services.

Our in-depth review explores Revolut's services in detail.

Travelex Money Card

Travelex offers a prepaid travel money card that supports 10 currencies and waives all ATM withdrawal fees abroad.

Travelex charges fees, which fluctuate according to the exchange rates of the day, in order to convert your home currency into the currencies that it supports. But once the currency is on the card, you'll be able to spend like a local. Learn more with our full review.

Best Travel Money Card Tips

Jarrod Suda Eiffel Tower Paris France

When you convert your home currency into a foreign currency, foreign exchange service providers will charge you two kinds of fees:

  1. Exchange Rate Margin: Providers apply an exchange rate that is poorer than the true "mid-market" exchange rate. They keep the difference, called an exchange rate margin.
  2. Commission Fee: This fee is usually a percentage of the amount converted, which is charged for the service provided.

With these facts in mind, let's see what practices are useful to avoid ATM fees, foreign transaction fees, and other charges you may encounter while on your travels.

Tip 1: While Traveling, Avoid Bureaux de Change At All Costs

Have you ever wondered how bureaux de change and currency exchange desks are able to secure prime real estate in tourist locations like the Champs-Élysées in Paris or Covent Carden in London while claiming to take no commission? It’s easy: they make (plenty of) money through hidden fees on the exchange rates they give you. 

Moneycorp exchange rate at the Gatwick Airport

Our study shows that Bureaux de Change in Paris charges a margin ranging from 2.15% at CEN Change Dollar Boulevard de Strasbourg to 16.6% (!!) at Travelex Champs-Élysées when exchanging 500 US dollars into euros for example. 

If you really want cash and can’t wait to withdraw it with a card at an ATM at your destination, ordering currencies online before your trip is usually cheaper than exchanging currencies at a bureau de change, but it’s still a very expensive way to get foreign currency which we, therefore, would not recommend.

Tip 2: Always Choose To Pay In the Local Currency

Luca Bravo on Unsplash Times Square United States

Don’t fall for the dynamic currency conversion trap! When using your card abroad to pay at a terminal or withdraw cash at an ATM, you’ve probably been asked whether you’d prefer to pay in your home currency instead of the local currency of the foreign country. This little trick is called dynamic currency conversion, and the right answer to this sneaky question will help you save big on currency exchange fees.

As a general rule, you always want to pay in the local currency (euros in Europe, sterling in the UK, kroner in Denmark, bahts in Thailand, etc.) when using your card abroad, instead of accepting the currency exchange and paying in your home currency. 

This seems like a trick question - why not opt to pay in your home currency? On the plus side, you would know exactly what amount you would be paying in your home currency instead of accepting the unknown exchange rate determined by your card issuer a few days later.

What is a Dynamic Currency Conversion?

However, when choosing to pay in your home currency instead of the local one, you will carry out what’s called a “dynamic currency conversion”. This is just a complicated way of saying that you’re exchanging between the foreign currency and your home currency at the exact time you use your card to pay or withdraw cash in a foreign currency, and not a few days later. For this privilege, the local payment terminal or ATM will apply an exchange rate that is often significantly worse than even a traditional bank’s exchange rate (we’ve seen margins of up to 8%!), and of course, much worse than the exchange rate you would get by using an innovative multi-currency card (see tip #3). 

In the vast majority of times, knowing with complete certainty what amount you will pay in your home currency is not worth the additional steep cost of the dynamic currency conversion, hence why we recommend always choosing to pay in the local currency.

Tip 3: Don't Use a Traditional Card To Pay in Foreign Currency/Withdraw Cash Abroad

@ Can Pac Swire via Flickr

As mentioned before, providers make money on foreign currency conversions by charging poor exchange rates — and pocketing the difference between that and the true mid-market rate. They also make money by charging commission fees, which can either come as flat fees or as a percentage of the transaction.

Have a look at traditional bank cards compared to see how much you can be charged in fees for spending or withdrawing $500 while on your holiday.


FX Fee

Foreign ATM Fee

Cost /$500 Spent



  • 2.75%
  • £1.50

≈ $15.65



  • 2.75%
  • £1.75

≈ $15.95

La Banque Postale


  • 2.30%
  • €3.30

≈ $15.2

Deutsche Bank


  • 4.25%
  • €7.25

≈ $21.25


  • 2% fee
  • 1-2% margin


≈ $20

Last updated: 3/7/2023

These fees can very quickly add up. For example, take a couple and a child travelling to the US on a two-week mid-range holiday. According to this study, the total cost of their holiday would amount to around $4200. If you withdraw $200 in cash four times and spend the rest with your card, you would pay $123 in hidden currency exchange and ATM withdrawal fees with HSBC, or $110 with La Banque Postale. With this money, our travellers could pay for a nice dinner, the entrance fee to Yosemite Park, or many other priceless memories. 

Thankfully, new innovative multi-currency cards will help you save a lot of money while travelling. Opening an N26 Classic account and using the N26 card during the same US holidays would only cost $13.60.

Need Foreign Cash Anyway?

In many countries, carrying a wad of banknotes is not only useful but necessary to pay your way since not every shop, market stall, or street vendor will accept card payments. In these cases you'll have two options to exchange foreign currency cheaply:

1. Withraw at an ATM

As we've explored in great depth in this article, withdrawing money from a foreign ATM will almost always come with fees — at the very least from the ATM itself, and so it's therefore the best strategy to use a travel debit card that doesn't charge in specific ATM withdraw fees on its own to add insult to injury. That said, if you need cash, we recommend making one large withdrawal rather than multiple smaller ones. This way, you'll be able to dodge the fees being incurred multiple times.

2. Buy Banknotes (at a Reasonable Rate!)

As we've also seen, buying foreign currency at the airport, at foreign bank branches, or in bureaux de change in tourist hotspots can be surprisingly expensive. Still, not all exchange offices are equally pricey. If you're looking for a well-priced way to exchange your cash into foreign currency banknotes before you travel, Change Group will let you order foreign currency online and pick them up at the airport, train station, or a Change Group branch just before you leave for your holiday. A few pick-up locations in the UK include:

  • London centre (multiple locations),
  • Glasgow centre,
  • Oxford centre,
  • Luton Airport,
  • Gatwick Airport,
  • St. Pancras Station.

(Note that Change Group also has locations in the USA, Australia, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Austria, and Finland!)

Although its exchange rates aren't quite as good as using a low-fee debit card like Revolut, Change Group's exchange rates between popular currencies tend to be between 2% to 3%, which is still a lot better than you'll get at the bank or at a touristy bureau de change in the middle or Paris or Prague!

FAQ About the Best Travel Money Cards

Why You Can Trust Monito

Our recommendations are built on rock-solid experience.

  • We've reviewed 70+ digital finance apps and online banks
  • We've made 100's of card transactions
  • Our writers have been testing providers since 2013
Learn more about us

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

Global Impact Finance Ltd
Rue du Pont 22
1003 Lausanne

Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.