Axis bank offers a foreign exchange card that lets you hold and spend 16 different foreign currencies from a single account. And while it makes travel easier, the Axis Multi-Currency Forex Card comes attached with fees every time you reload or withdraw cash, and leaves out many other global currencies. Read on to learn more about how this forex card works and whether it's worth considering for your next trip abroad.
|But if you want a card that has access to over 45 currencies around the world, without sign up or reloading fees, take a look at Wise|
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The Axis Multi-Currency Forex Card is a single preloaded account that lets you hold 16 currencies at once. The account is held at Axis bank and you receive a Visa/Mastercard that is both chip and swipe enabled to use globally. Each currency is considered its own wallet which you can load and use.
Once you are signed up, you can just go online or log into the Axis bank app to load your wallet whenever you need. When you load your account, you will be shown the given currency’s exchange rate for Indian Rupees, and you can purchase the amount that you’d like. So even if you are in India and see exchange rates are favorable, you can purchase the currencies you may need for your next trip and then spend when you get there.
You can start the process online to apply for the Axis Multi-Currency Forex Card, and an Axis bank representative will give you a call. You will need to complete the application, provide a passport copy, and a PAN or Aadhaar as well as travel details for any upcoming trips. Even if you aren’t an existing Axis bank customer you can still apply for this card.¹
You can use the Axis Multi-Currency Forex Card for purchases and cash withdrawals while you are overseas in the qualifying countries where the available currencies are used. As long as your currency wallets are loaded, you can spend using your card and the respective local currency will be deducted. The 16 different currencies that can be loaded and spent are covered in the last section.
There are no limitations to what you can spend on with the card, as long as your purchase is at a shop, restaurant, or any merchant that accepts Visa or Mastercard. So whether it's travel for business, for fun or even for studying overseas, you can load the card from India and spend it abroad. Students or frequent business travellers will find a foreign exchange card like this helpful for ongoing purchases.
You can also use the card for purchases you make online at overseas shops. But there is a daily limit on how much you can spend per day, and that is $10,000 USD or it’s currency equivalent.²
There are fees associated with using the Axis Multi-Currency Forex Card- and most are upfront and are charged per use. Or for lack of usage in the case of the inactivity fee. But there is also a hidden fee you’ll find in the exchange rate to be aware of. Let’s get started.
First, here is a breakdown of some of the more prominent fees to expect³:
|To load/reload your card per transaction||₹100|
|Add on Card fee||₹100|
|Inactivity fee||$5 USD (currency equivalent)|
|Cross currency conversion fee||3.5%|
All the INR fees listed are exclusive of GST, which will be applied on top of each fee.
The other fee you might run across is the hidden fee in the exchange rate you get when you convert currencies from Indian Rupees. Axis & Visa/Mastercard set their own exchange rates, and so will be giving you an exchange rate that is weaker than the mid-market rate. The mid-market exchange rate is the real exchange rate that you see on Google or Reuters. It doesn’t have a markup and is used by the banks themselves. So when you get a rate weaker than the mid-market exchange rate from a card company, you are getting hit with a hidden fee in the difference. The difference may seem small but it can actually make a dent in your wallet when you convert currencies frequently.
Moving money globally does not have to be complicated, slow or filled with fees. Wise lets you transfer money to local bank accounts in over 65 different countries with one low upfront fee. And with Wise you will always get the real exchange rate that you see on Google. No mark-ups here. That's why over 7 million customers around the world choose Wise.
And the best part is that you don’t need to leave your house to sign up or to send money. You can open a free Wise account right from your living room, and start sending money with Wise’s award winning app.
And if you are in one of the qualifying countries, you can get the Wise Multi Currency Debit Mastercard. It is a multi-currency account that lets you hold more than 45 currencies and has the same low fee that you know from Wise. You will always get the real exchange rate but also free cash withdrawals up to $250 at ATMs globally every month. It is more of the world, in your pocket. If you are in India and want to be one of the first to get the Wise Multi-Currency card here, sign up for the wishlist now.
You can use the Axis Multi-Currency forex card to withdraw local currency from global ATMs that have the Visa/ Mastercard symbol. The amount that you withdraw in cash will be deducted from that currency’s wallet in your account. If you don’t have enough in that particular currency, the account will automatically withdraw from another currency in your account but will also charge you an additional 3.5% as a currency conversion fee.
There is an overseas ATM withdrawal fee every time you take out cash from an ATM. The fee varies per currency but on average you can expect it to be the currency equivalent of $2.25 USD per transaction.
When you do want to pull cash out at an ATM from your Axis Multi-Currency Forex Card, press the button to withdraw from “Checking”. If that is not available on screen, you can choose the “Credit” option.
There are also limits to how much you can withdraw per day from an ATM when you are abroad. For example, for the US the limit is $1,000 USD, while for Europe it is €800 and for Singapore it is S$ 1,300.
The amount you can withdraw and any additional ATM fees may vary depending on the type of ATM machine you use. Some ATMs will have limits to how much you can withdraw from it, or the local bank may charge additional fees. So keep that in mind, when you encounter any problems at the ATM.⁴
The Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card can be loaded with 16 different currencies. Each currency is considered within its own wallet, so you can hold one or have different amounts in the various currencies at once. The currencies you can hold in the account are⁵:
|US Dollar||Great British Pound||Australian Dollar||South African Rand|
|Swedish Krona||Swiss Franc||Japanese Yen||UAE Dirham|
|Thai Baht||Singapore Dollar||Euro||Danish Krone|
|Hong Kong Dollar||Canadian Dollar||Saudi Riyal||New Zealand Dollar|
What is absent from the list are countries in South America, Africa and additional Asian countries. If you are looking to send money or spend in a wider and more inclusive variety of countries, check out Wise.
Sources used for this article:
All sources checked as of 20 July, 2020
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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