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If you travel often for work, deciding to study abroad, or going on a big tour with your friends, it can be smart to open a multi-currency account here in India. A multi-currency account lets you hold multiple currencies in one single account like a wallet, and then spend by swiping or entering the card when you’re traveling.
And if you want a card that is really truly global with access to 40+ currencies and without issuing or reloading fees, check out Wise’s MultiCurrency debit card for qualifying countries.
|Table of contents
ICICI’s Multi-Currency Travel Card does exactly that so you can purchase and hold currencies from INR. And while it does provide flexibility while you travel, frequent global travellers may find the fees excessive and the variety of currencies limited. Read on to learn more about ICICI’s Multi-Currency Travel Card and if it is worth getting for your next international trip.
The ICICI Multi-Currency Travel Card is one of a handful of travel card options available at ICICI, but it offers the most flexibility as far as currencies. With 15 currencies available to hold in a single account, the card is useful for those that travel often to those respective countries.
How it works is that you open an account at ICICI and receive your card with it. If you already have an ICICI bank relationship you can open this account straight from ICICI’s Online banking. But if you are new to ICICI you will have to provide documents to a branch to get started. Once your account is open, you can then convert currencies and keep track of exchange rates online, through the iMobile app, online banking or by going to a branch. There is also a 24/7 Self-Care Portal if you have any questions or issues.
With this card you also get free travel insurance, emergency travel assistance and you can transfer currencies within your wallet with the iMobile app as you travel. The card is also secured with a CHIP and PIN, plus 3D Secure authentication for online payments.¹
The ICICI Multi-Currency Travel Card can be used anywhere that accepts Visa in the countries that use any one of the 15 base currencies available. Of course, this means that you must also have a sufficient amount of that specific currency in your account too. The card can also be used for local currency cash withdrawals at ATMs that accept Visa.
The card can be useful for business professionals who travel often for work, those who spend holidays abroad or even students who study overseas. Whether it is at a restaurant, a shop, for a hotel or car reservation, or books, there is no limit to the type of transaction you can do.
You can also use the card as a credit card on international websites for shopping or purchases made from merchants overseas. And similarly, the respective currency will be taken from the amount that you hold of that currency in your account.
In all cases, you will receive the exchange rate that prevails at that time that you purchase the currencies from INR. So you won’t have to worry about exchange rates when you swipe or use your card. The minimum amount to load or purchase currencies in is units of 200 of the currency.
You can keep track of all of your transactions online through the ICICI web banking and iMobile app. Just remember that you need to have less than $2,000 USD equivalent on the card when you return back to India to avoid breaking rules on holding foreign currency.²
There are two types of fees with the ICICI Multi-Currency Travel Card. The first are upfront charges with using the card, while the second is a hidden fee in the exchange rate.
First, there is an issuance fee of ₹150 for signing up for the card. Then there is also a fee of ₹100 for every time you load your card with a currency. Plus there are also ATM cash withdrawal fees for every time you use an ATM abroad, but more on that later. Then, if there is inactivity of the account for more than 180 days at a time, you will be charged a fee of 5.00 USD after every period.
On top of the upfront charges, the second type of fee that you will face is in the exchange rate. With this card, when you load up on any of the currencies, you get the exchange rates set by Visa and the bank. The exchange rate is weaker than the mid-market exchange rate, which is the exchange rate that the banks use internally themselves. The mid-market rate is the exchange rate you see on Google. So when the card’s exchange rates are weaker than the mid-market rate, the bank and Visa are able to take that small difference in profit. That small difference can quickly add up as you load up on currencies as you travel.³
Even when travelling abroad isn’t possible, you can still be there for friends, family and even colleagues with Wise. Wise lets you send money to local bank accounts in 60+ countries with just one low fee up front and always the real mid-market exchange rate on every transaction. It is why over 7 million customers around the world use Wise for their money transfers needs.
Whether you are sending money to India or from India, you can open a Wise account online for free today. So that birthday gifts, a wedding present, some extra spending money or even rent money can be sent right from your living room. Wise is cheap, easy and fast for global money transfers.
And in qualifying countries, Wise offers triple the number of countries as ICICI. With access to 45+ currencies and just one low fee for currency conversions, you can swipe and spend freely as you travel around the world. You will still get the real exchange rate on every conversion and be able to track your transactions with push notifications through Wise’s award-winning app.
Want to be one of the first in India to get a Wise Multi-Currency account? Sign up for our Multi-Currency Account wishlist today.
You can use your ICICI Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card at ATMs globally that have the Visa/ Visa Plus symbol. But keep in mind you are not able to use the card in India for anything beyond checking your card’s balance, and that too will only be shown in the equivalent Indian Rupees and not the currencies you hold.
If you are overseas, you can take cash out in the local currency if you hold the same currency in your account, or check your balance. But there are charges. As an example, you can expect to have a per ATM withdrawal fee of:
|Great British Pound
You can expect a similar fee for the currency equivalent in the other currencies available. There is also a smaller fee of around .50 USD, and similar in the currency equivalent, for balance inquiries at the ATM.
There are also limits to how much you can take out daily from the ATM, depending on the currency. For the same currencies as above, the daily ATM limit is:
|Daily ATM Limit
|Great British Pound
Check the ICICI Travel Card website for additional daily ATM withdrawal limits.⁴
With the ICICI Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card, you have access to 15 global currencies. In general, there is a leaning towards more Western currencies with this card than those around Asia, Africa, or South America, so keep that in mind if you decide to open an account. The currencies on offer in the ICICI Bank Multi-Currency Travel Card include:
|Arab Emirate Dirham
|Great British Pound
|South African Rand
These are the major base currencies you can load your account in. But the card will work with other local currencies that are not listed if you are traveling, but it will cost extra as a conversion charge and at the card’s prevailing exchange rate.⁵Sources used for this article:
- The ICICI Multi-Currency Forex Card
- Uses for the ICICI Multi-Currency Forex Card
- Charges & Fees
- ATM Withdrawals
All sources checked as of 17 July, 2020
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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