Overview of DBS India Remit service that provides remittances to India for DBS account holders in Singapore with a How-to Guide and expected costs.
The global bank Standard Chartered offers a Multi-Currency Forex card where you can hold up to 20 different currencies to use when you spend overseas. But you can only get the Forex card with Standard Chartered if you hold an existing savings account with the bank.
Read on to learn more about how this card works and if it is worth considering for your next trip overseas. And if you're looking for a smart, cheap way to transfer money abroad, try Wise
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The Multi-Currency Forex card from Standard Chartered is a single account with the bank that allows you to hold 20 different global currencies. Each currency works as a separate wallet and balance, so you can hold varying amounts of each at the same time.
This is essentially a prepaid card where you load balances on to the account. You purchase the currencies at the exchange rate that Standard Chartered offers for Indian rupees at the time. Then with each spend, the respective currency will be drawn down from its balance. If there isn’t enough of an amount in there, the money will be pulled from another balance at the current bank’s exchange rate. If that isn’t enough, the transaction will be declined.
To apply for the Forex card, first, you will need to open a savings account physically at a Standard Chartered branch. You can also start part of the process from the Standard Chartered website and a representative will give you a callback. Once you are issued an account the bank then makes it easy for you to reload the wallets online through the Standard Chartered online portal or by physically going to the branch.¹
Multi-currency accounts in general are useful as a replacement for dealing with different global currencies in cash and expensive international transaction fees of credit cards. The Standard Chartered Multi-Currency Forex card can be a good option for frequent travellers like those on business, students, or those with the travel bug, but as always keep an eye on the fees attached to this card. Jump to the charges and fees section to get an idea of what to expect.
The Multi-Currency Forex account comes with a card that you can swipe and use while you are overseas. So if you are eating dinner in Europe, shopping in the US, or vacationing in Thailand, you can use the single card to make purchases at each location. The card also has an option for contactless payments with the Visa payWave mark or Contactless logo when you go to pay. Plus, you can withdraw cash locally at ATMs that accept Visa. You can also reload your balances as you need while you are abroad through the online portal.
But keep in mind, the card is only for travellers, and so it can’t be used as a way to only hold multiple currencies. But it can be used for e-commerce purchases from foreign websites. Also, the Standard Chartered Multi-Currency Forex card especially should not be used for holding reservations such as for hotel deposits or car rentals.
When you do get back to India from your travels, just ensure that you are carrying less than $2,000 USD on your card to comply with FEMA rules.²
The Standard Chartered Multi-Currency Forex card comes attached with fees, but many of which you can get waived depending on an existing Standard Chartered relationship. For instance, Standard Chartered Private Banking and Personal Banking clients both get the online reload and inactivity fees waived. But Private Banking clients get additional fees waived too. So if you do have an existing preferred Standard Chartered account, see if any fees can be waived or reduced.
Let’s break down the normal fees you can expect if you are a cardholder with a Personal Banking relationship with Standard Chartered. The fees look like the following:³
|Issuance Fee||₹ 299|
|Brand Reloading||₹ 99|
|Cross Currency Markup||3.5%|
|Replacement card||₹ 99|
The one other fee to keep in mind is tucked away in the exchange rate. Standard Chartered sets the exchange rate to other currencies to be lower than the real exchange rate. The real exchange rate is the rate you see on Google and the one the banks use between themselves. By giving you a weaker exchange rate, they can make a hidden profit in the difference on every Rupee you convert. That means more money out of your wallet and into the bank’s pocket.
At times when it is not possible to travel, you can get your money where it needs to go with Wise. With global transfers that send money directly to local bank accounts in over 150 countries, you never have to worry about conversions, cash, or cheques. Wise’s free account lets you send money directly from your phone with just the real exchange rate and one low transfer fee.
Over 7 million people use Wise to send money globally the fast, cheap, and easy way.
And if you want a multi-currency account that doesn’t require an existing bank account, try Wise’s Multi-Currency Account. Only available in supported countries, this multi-currency account lets you hold double the amount of currencies than with the Standard Chartered Multi-Currency Forex card. With 45 different currencies and free cash withdrawals up to $250 USD per month, you will get access to more of the world and with fewer fees.
And as always you will get one low conversion fee and the real exchange rate any time you load your wallet. If you are in India and want to be one of the first to get their hands on the Wise Multi-Currency Account in India, sign up on our wishlist now.
You can use the Standard Chartered Multi-Currency Forex card at ATMs that have the Visa logo. If your wallet is loaded with the currency you want, you can go to a local Visa enabled ATM and withdraw cash in that local currency from your existing balance.
If you use the card for cash withdrawals at a Standard Chartered ATM you will be exempt from a fee. But otherwise, you will have to pay a cash withdrawal fee every time you are at an ATM abroad. The fee depends on the currency you are withdrawing but here is a quick look at what to expect on major currencies⁴:
|Currency||Cash Withdrawal Fee at ATMs|
|US Dollar||$ 2.00|
|Singapore Dollar||S$ 3.25|
|UAE Dirham||7.25 AED|
The max you can withdraw is $2000 USD or the relative currency equivalent for cash withdrawals from an ATM daily.
The Standard Chartered Multi-Currency Forex card gives you access to 20 different global currencies, which is more than most other Indian banks. With this single account, you can hold wallets of all the following currencies⁵:
|US Dollar||Euro||British Pound||UAE Dirhams|
|Australian Dollar||Bahraini Dinar||Canadian Dollar||Swiss Franc|
|Danish Krone||Hong Kong Dollar||Japanese Yen||Kuwaiti Dinar|
|Norwegian Krone||New Zealand Dollar||Omani Rial||Qatari Rial|
|Swedish Krona||Singapore Dollar||Thai Baht||South African Rand|
You can use the card in other currencies and countries not listed, but you will be charged the cross-currency markup fee listed back in the charges and fees section.Sources used for this article:
- The Standard Chartered Multi-Currency Forex card
- Using the Standard Chartered Multi-Currency Forex card
- Charges & Fees
- Overseas ATM Withdrawals
- Currencies Available
All sources checked as of 4 August, 2020
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