7 best UK-issued prepaid travel cards for the US

Gert Svaiko

Planning a trip to the States from the UK? Whether you’re jetting off to New York, the bright lights of Las Vegas or the beaches of Miami, you’ll need to find a cheap, convenient way to spend.

Spending in the US on your ordinary debit card could be expensive. So, you might want to consider a prepaid travel card instead.

In this guide, we’ll compare the best prepaid travel cards for the US that are available in the UK.

We’ll also show you an alternative, the Wise debit card. It’s designed for low-cost spending in the US (and elsewhere), automatically converting your pounds to the local currency at a fair mid-market exchange rate.

Learn more about the Wise debit card

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

What is a prepaid travel card?

Prepaid travel cards are just like ordinary debit cards, but with one key difference. Instead of drawing money from your bank account, you’ll need to load a prepaid card with your chosen currency before you travel.

So if you’re going to the US, you might choose to load $500 or $1000 US dollars onto the card to cover your holiday spending.

The key advantage of these cards is certainty on costs, and how much you spend. You’ll know the exact exchange rate and fee when you load the card, so you’re not held hostage by overseas currency exchange services or ATM operators.

What makes for a great prepaid travel card for the US?

Ready to compare prepaid travel cards? Before you do, here are the key features to look out for:

  • No or low fees - this includes initial costs, monthly fees, and top-up fees
  • No foreign ATM or spending fees
  • Generous maximum load amounts and daily ATM withdrawal limits
  • Good exchange rates, with low or no extra fees added on top
  • Support for multiple currencies - if you’ll be travelling to other countries (for example, Canada or Mexico) as part of your trip.

What are the disadvantages of prepaid travel cards?

Prepaid travel cards do have a few potential drawbacks too. For example:

  • Some prepaid cards come with lots of fees attached. This includes foreign ATM charges, fees for loading the card with currency, inactivity charges and more.
  • Prepaid cards are generally not accepted for some pre-authorised transactions. This includes hiring a car, paying at petrol stations or booking a hotel room.
  • They don’t offer Section 75 protection on purchases over £100 like credit cards do.¹⁴
📖 Read more: The best UK bank accounts for travelling and travel insurance

The 7 best prepaid travel cards for the US

So, which is the best prepaid travel card for America? To help you choose, we’ve put together a list of the best cards for stateside spending available here in the UK.

But don’t forget that there are alternatives out there too. Get a Wise debit card and you can spend and withdraw cash abroad, including in the US and Europe.

The Wise debit card also offers a world of travel-friendly features such as:

  • Have your GBP automatically converted to USD or other local currency at the mid-market exchange rate. There’s just a small fee to convert the currency
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Withdraw up to £200 from overseas ATMs for free (although ATM operators may charge their own fees)
  • Manage everything from the handy Wise app.

You can also use your Wise account to send money worldwide in just a few clicks. You’ll get the mid-market exchange rate and low fees, so your money will go much further.


Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

1: Post Office Travel Money Card - Best for multiple currencies¹

With the Post Office Travel Money Card, you can load up to 22 currencies using the same card. You just need to create a new virtual wallet for each one. This makes it ideal for multi-destination trips.


  • Holds up to 22 currencies
  • No charges for spending abroad (in a preloaded currency)
  • Use with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Hold up to £10,000 at once
  • Maximum top-up limit £5,000


  • ATM fees apply (varies by currency)
  • 1.5% commission charge for GBP top-ups
  • Low daily cash withdrawal limit of $500 (varies by currency)
  • Monthly £2 inactivity fee chargeable 12 months after card expires.

To convert currency when you top up the card, the Post Office Travel Money card uses First Rate exchange rates. These are competitive but are likely to include a margin on top of the mid-market rate. You can get an idea ofPost Office foreign currency rates here.

You can manage your card through the Post Office Travel mobile app, which also lets you freeze your card for security purposes.

2: EasyFX Currency Card - Best for cash withdrawals

The EasyFX Currency card charges absolutely no fees for ATM withdrawals overseas. This means you can withdraw cash whenever you need to, with a generous maximum limit of £1,000 a day.²

The only thing to watch out for is which ATM you use, as some operators can charge their own fees.

Pros: ²

  • No fees for spending overseas (in preloaded currencies)
  • No foreign ATM withdrawal fees
  • No load fees
  • Generous maximum ATM withdrawal of £1,000 a day (max. £500 per withdrawal)
  • In-app card security, including temporary card blocking.
  • Supports 14 currencies.³
  • Hold up to £15,000 at once.

Cons: ²

  • £2 monthly inactivity fee if not used for 12 months
  • £6 card replacement fee.

EasyFX offers competitive foreign exchange rates when you preload your card. These rates can beat some others on our list (depending on the transaction),⁴ but may still be a little short of mid-market exchange rates.

3: Caxton Currency Card - Best for travel perks

You’ll get lots of extra travel benefits with the Caxton Currency Card, alongside other features you’d expect from a prepaid travel card.

For example, you’ll get discounted Covid-19 tests, 25% off airport lounge access, 20% off airport parking and many others.⁵


  • No fees for overseas spending
  • No fees for foreign ATM withdrawals
  • UK-based customer support available 365 days a year
  • Load up to 15 currencies
  • Hold up to £12,000¹⁵
  • Travel perks including discounted airport lounge access and airport parking.


  • Low daily cash withdrawal limit of £300⁷
  • £2 monthly inactivity fee after 12 months of no use.⁶

Using the Caxton Currency Card app, you can manage your card on the move. This lets you top up while you’re away, as well as managing security features like freezing/unfreezing your card.

When you top up the card, your GBP will be converted using Caxton’s own exchange rate. This rate is made available on the Caxton website and in the app.

4: FairFX Currency Card - Best for longer trips

The FairFX Currency Card has the highest maximum load limit of all the prepaid travel cards on our list. You can hold a whopping £50,000 on the card at once.⁸

This makes it a good pick for those longer trips, where you don’t want the inconvenience of topping up or exchanging currency several times. So if you’re planning on hitting Route 66 for a month-long road trip, you can just preload and go.


  • Supports 15 currencies
  • Use in over 190 countries
  • 3.5% cashback when spending at selected retailers in the UK
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No load fees
  • Hold up to £50,000
  • Competitive exchange rates
  • High ATM withdrawal limit of £1,500 a day (£500 a time).⁸


  • £1 fee for ATM withdrawals overseas and in the UK
  • £2 monthly inactivity fee on expired cards with leftover balances.

You can manage your card through the FairFX app, which lets you review transactions and temporarily freeze your card if you lose it.

5: ASDA Travel Money Card - Best for occasional trips

The ASDA Travel Money Card charges no activity fee if you don’t have a balance on your card. This makes it a good option if you don’t travel that often.

As long as you spend or withdraw everything on it, you can simply pop it in a drawer between holidays. Just be aware that if there is a balance on the card, you’ll be charged a £2 monthly inactivity fee after 12 months.¹⁰

Pros: ¹¹

  • Load up to 15 currencies
  • No foreign ATM withdrawal fees - withdraw up to £500 a day¹⁰
  • No fees for spending overseas (in a preloaded currency)
  • No load fees for foreign currency
  • 24/7 global assistance
  • No credit check to apply
  • No inactivity fee if there’s no balance on the card.¹⁰

Cons: ¹⁰

  • 2% fee for loading GBP
  • Can only hold £5,000 at once.

ASDA Money will apply its own exchange rate when you load the card. You’ll be able to see this before you go ahead though.

6: Sainsburys Travel Card - Best for Nectar card holders¹²

Have a Nectar card account? You may be able to get better exchange rates when you use the Sainsburys Travel Card.

There are also promotional offers available, such as a bonus 500 points when you get the Sainsbury’s Travel Card and enter your Nectar account number (available at the time of writing).


  • Load up to 15 currencies
  • Manage your card using the Sainsbury’s Bank travel money card app
  • No foreign ATM withdrawal fees - withdraw up to £500 every 24 hours
  • No fees for spending abroad (in preloaded currencies)
  • No load fees for foreign currency


  • 2% load fee for GBP
  • £2 monthly fee after 18 months of inactivity
  • Hold a maximum of just £5,000 at once.

7: Travelex Travel Money Card - Best for regular top-ups¹³

With the Travelex Travel Money Card, there are no fees for loading your card with foreign currency. This means you don’t have to put all of your spending money on it in one go, just to avoid top-up fees. You can top up in USD as and when you need to.


  • Supports 15 currencies
  • No foreign ATM withdrawal fees - withdraw up to £500 a day
  • No fees for spending overseas (in preloaded currencies)
  • Extra travel benefits such as free Wi-Fi worldwide
  • Manage your card through the Travelex Money app
  • 24/7 assistance if your card is lost or stolen.


  • 2% fee for GBP loads
  • £2 monthly inactivity fee after 12 months
  • Only hold a maximum of £5,000 on the card at once.

When you load your card with currency, you’ll get Travelex exchange rates. These will be available in the Travelex Money app at the time of loading.

The best prepaid travel cards for the US comparison

Card nameHold amountATM feesCash withdrawal limitCurrencies
Post Office Travel Money CardUp to £10,000Yes - varies by currency£300 daily*22
EasyFX Currency CardUp to £15,000No£1,000 daily14
Caxton Currency CardUp to £12,000No£300 daily15
FairFX Currency CardUp to £50,000Yes - £1 per withdrawal£1,500 daily15
ASDA Travel Money CardUp to £5,000No£500 daily15
Sainsburys Travel CardUp to £5,000No£500 daily15
Travelex Travel Money CardUp to £5,000No£500 daily15

*varies by currency

📖 Read more: UK travel credit cards you can use abroad


What is the difference between a prepaid card and a travel card?

Prepaid cards require you to load the card up with your chosen currency in advance. For other travel cards, you can usually just spend, and the currency will be converted to the local currency.

Are prepaid US dollar travel cards worth it?

If you want to keep an eye on your spending, and avoid bank fees for overseas debit card use, a USD travel card could be a good option.

It also has security benefits. For example, it keeps your travel money separate from your bank account, and also eliminates the need to carry cash around.

Is it cheaper to use cash or card in the US?

It all depends on the exchange rates and fees for your chosen card, for things like spending on a card, withdrawing cash at an ATM or changing currency.

After reading this, you should be all set to choose the right US prepaid travel card for you. We’ve covered fees, features, limits and everything else you need to know.

Just remember that there are other options out there for your travel spending.

You can use a Wise debit card abroad, including in the US, for spending without needing to top up your card in the local currency (as long as you have funds available in your account).

Best of all, your money is automatically converted at the mid-market exchange rate, which can beat the rates offered by many of the cards on our list. There’s just a tiny conversion fee to pay, or no conversion fee at all if you already have the local currency in your Wise account.

Register with Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used:

  1. Post Office - Travel Money Card
  2. EasyFX - Card fees
  3. EasyFX - FAQs
  4. EasyFX - Rates
  5. Caxton - Travel Extras
  6. Caxton - Currency Card
  7. Caxton - Support - What are the maximum number of ATM withdrawals I can make on my Caxton Card?
  8. FairFX - Support - What are the balance and spending limits on the FairFX Card?
  9. FairFX - Currency Card
  10. ASDA Money - Travel Money Card fees and limits
  11. ASDA Money - Travel Money Card
  12. Sainsburys Bank - Prepaid Travel Money Card
  13. Travelex - Travel Money Card
  14. Financial Ombudsman - Section 75 and chargeback
  15. Caxton - Caxton Mastercard prepaid card terms and conditions

Sources last checked on date: 17-Jul-2023

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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