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Best travel cards offered by top South African banks

By Isabelle Coetzee

Planning a trip abroad involves a lot of administration. You need to consider travelling arrangements, reasonable accommodation, and a daily itinerary.

But have you considered how you’re going to pay your bills once you arrive? Besides considering bank costs, you also need to consider exchange rates.

We had a look at the options available at some of the top banks in South Africa.

Tip: Compare bank cards on our website by clicking here.

What are travel cards?

It can be dangerous to carry around large amounts of money overseas. Anything can happen – you could get mugged or you may even lose your wallet.

Travel cards offer an alternative to your general bank card, whilst still offering you the local currency at a reasonable cost.

According to Nedbank, these cards offer you the ability to buy currency at a locked-in currency. This way money will not be affected by fluctuations once you have bought the currency. 

“Clients are able to save in currency using the foreign currency account to later transfer into their travel cards ahead of their travel,” says Nedbank.

For example, you’re able to perform the following functions on the Nedbank Money App for the Nedbank Travel Card:  

  • Buy and sell currency
  • See balances and transaction listings
  • Freeze, unfreeze, and block cards

Have a look at the table below where the available travel cards from four of the top South African banks are compared:



Standard bank



Name of available travel card

Travel Card

Travel Wallet

Multi-Currency Cash Passport

Multi-Currency Cash Passport

Number of currencies that can be loaded





Initial Card Activation Fee



R75 – R220


Commission to loan or reload

2.15% (min R120)

2.1% (min R90)

1.85% (min R65 – R125)

2.12% (min R125)


READ MORE: Travel insurance through medical aid: Is it enough?

What to consider in a travel card

According to Nedbank, there are two important things to consider when selecting a travel card:

  1. Is the travel card digitally accessible anywhere for buying and selling currency, as well as for balance and transaction listings viewing?
  2. Make sure that costs associated with the card are transparent.

If you’re not satisfied with the travel card offered by your current bank, you always have the option of opening a new account with a different bank.

Nedbank points out that you should consider getting a travel card for your next holiday if:

  • you want to spend within your budget and always be in control of your money
  • you want to avoid currency fluctuations
  • you want to manage your travel budget digitally

Did you know that medical aid and hospital plans offer medical assistance abroad? Make sure you’re covered when you travel.

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