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What are the Best Options to Deal with Cash Limits on Overseas Shopping?

Checkout the Best Options to Deal with Cash Limits on Overseas Shopping which includes Forex Cards, International Credit and Debit Cards, and all you need to know!

by FighterMan Updated: 26 Apr, 2022, 09:31 IST
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Many of us shop overseas/abroad to save big on electronics, appliances, gadgets, and more. However, buyers often come in the trap of cash limits which disables them to fulfill their shopping lists. Also, they face issues related to handling heavy cash amounts throughout the trip. Therefore, we have got some of the Best Options to Deal with it.

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Cash Limits on Overseas Shopping and some Drawbacks

You can carry a maximum of $10,000 or around ₹7.66 lakhs only as foreign currency cash for overseas purchases or shopping. If you want to take more then the permission of the RBI is mandatory.

You can buy foreign currency cash from Forex companies or banks. You can also go for travel cheques, but these are outdated. If you go to banks, then you can buy Forex 60 days prior to your departure. However, if your trip gets delayed/cancelled then you need to return the Forex back.

Some of the drawbacks of carrying cash on foreign trips include the following. However, it is recommended to carry some cash which will be useful at non-cashless places like local cabs, food & beverage vending machines, etc.

  • Theft. Minimal chances of recovery.

  • Misplacement

  • Hard to manage

  • Hard to track

Yes, you can withdraw cash from the ATM, but the Forex rates are on the higher side which might baffle your budget. After your trip is over, you can keep upto $2000 or around ₹1.53 lakhs of Forex with you for future trips, and the rest needs to be returned to bank within 90 days.

Therefore, it is recommended to go for the following options. Also, these are the most popular ones among Indians travelling abroad.

Best Cash Alternative Options for Abroad Expenses
  • International credit cards

  • Digital wallets

  • Prepaid coffee cards

  • Gym Cards

  • Frequent Buyer Punch cards

  • Forex cards

  • International debit cards

Forex Cards

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Forex Cards (also known as Travel Cards) are nothing but prepaid cards having the local currency amount in it. Therefore, there are no hassles of converting currency for every transaction. There are 2 types of Forex cards in single currency and multi-currency. If your trip involves travelling to different countries then going for the multi-currency option is better. These cards are valid for around 5 years so you can use it for multiple trips abroad.

Some of the highlights of these cards in terms of Forex savings include:

  • Cross currency transaction charges

  • Currency fluctuations

  • Minimum transaction charges at ATMs for cash withdrawals

  • Lock-in the exchange rate before travel

  • Complimentary travel insurance

You can use Forex cards the same way you use credit and debit cards in India. Checkout the Best Forex Prepaid Cards in India.

International Debit Cards

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Using your domestic debit card abroad can lead to heavy transaction charges and ATM cash withdrawal charges. Thus, go for an International Debit Card. It will have your money in INR, but at the time of transaction will get converted into local currency and debited. The conversion rate of that day will be applicable. Thus, go for the one which offers the lowest exchange rate.

International Debit Cards come with a joining fee and annual fee so compare prices and benefits well. Many banks offer them for free to select customers so do check this out as well. Also, some provide free travel insurance and spend offers. Here are the Best International Debit Cards in India to lookout for.

International Credit Cards

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Your credit card can work as an International Credit Card, but with some transaction fees applied. These fees are for the conversion of currency from INR to local currency. It ranges from 1.5%-3.5% of your transaction amount. Find below some of the recommended cards with low fees.

International Credit Cards

Transaction Fees

HDFC Regalia Credit Card

2%

SBI Card Elite

1.99%

There are also cash withdrawal fees at ATMs which range from 2.5%-3.5% for many banks including SBI, PNB, CitiBank, and HDFC.

There are also some benefits which these cards offer such as:

  • Concierge services

  • Bundled Insurance

  • Deals & Coupons/Vouchers

One best example here is of the HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card. It offers the following benefits:

  • 5 reward points for every ₹150 spent.

  • 2X reward points on weekend dining.

  • 1 yr membership/subscription to Club Marriott, Forbes, Amazon Prime, Zomato Pro, Times Prime, and more.

  • 2% transaction fee.

  • Unlimited airport lounge access in India and abroad.

Therefore, it is recommended to have some cash, a forex card, and an International credit card for overseas shopping/expenses. Having these 3 options together will help you ease your transaction hassles and also save on conversion fees. You can also check the

How to Use your Cards Abroad?
  • Firstly, allow ‘International Usage’ on your credit or debit card via internet banking. You can also set a spending limit after which you won’t be allowed to transact.

  • Now, at POS of any business owner or restaurant or cashier abroad, use local currency instead of INR.

  • If you use INR then you will know the exact amount you spent in INR without the hassles of conversion, but will lead to a higher exchange rate and you also need to pay currency exchange fee.

  • Thus, paying directly in local currency is preferred as it saves around 12%-15% in exchange rate, currency exchange fees, and transaction fees.

  • This is because the fees of your card provider is less compared to that of the abroad merchant. Thus, they will always insist on paying via INR, but it is better to avoid as you now know why!

This was all about the Best Options to deal with Cash Limits on Overseas Shopping. Please do share your views below. Also, you can share your experiences of foreign trips and travel cards.

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