The Gap Year Prepaid Card
|What Prepaid? SummaryDate Reviewed: June 2007
What’s Good ?
Gap Year were recently named Best Website 2007 at the Britain Youth Travel awards. They also achieved a top travel website award from THE TIMES, for their quality of information, ease of use and value for money.
So, the new Gap Year cashplus card is their latest offering, intended to provide travellers and backpackers with a secure, convenient and cost-effective solution to their money needs, whilst on holiday.
Well, for starters, the Gap Year card is MasterCard branded and not Maestro. So, when you are stranded in the deepest depths of the rainforest and stumble across a local corner shop, there is a much better chance that your card will be accepted, unlike some other Maestro branded ‘so called’ travel cards, where you would more than likely go hungry!
The card is free to top up – which you can do either with cash or a debit card at Post Office branches around the UK. Given that the card is operated by cashplus, you also have access to their retail network, further increasing the number of convenient top-up locations. You can even have your UK wages paid directly into your Gap Year cashplus account, or better still, have someone at home pay money into your account whilst you are away.
The convenience of a prepaid card means that there is no need to carry cash or travellers cheques on your holiday. As your card is not linked to a bank account, your money at home is kept safe. On top of all this, with a Gap Year cashplus prepaid card, you also have access to the Gap Year exclusive discount network. This exclusive travel tool could save you hundreds of pounds on travel experiences around the world, when you book using your Gap Year cashplus card.
The Gap Year card is also the only travel card on the market to offer purchase protection, normally only extended to credit card holders, under section 75 of the credit consumer act (CCA). Click here for more details.
What’s not so good ?
The Gap Year cashplus card has a comparatively high card issue fee of £19.95, plus a monthly subscription fee of £4.95 Also, whilst there are no UK purchase transaction fees, there is a 2.75% exchange rate fee on all foreign transactions. Withdrawing cash at an ATM will cost you £1.50 wherever you are in the world.
The application process is quick and easy. You can apply at www.gapyearcard.com and can get your card in no time. Unlike most other travel cards where you need a debit or credit to complete your purchase, you can pay at the Post Office if this is more continent.
Only one card design is available, and it’s nothing fancy. But, it’s probably not important, as it will still get you better discounts that even the finest shiny looking credit cards.
Are there cheaper prepaid cards on the market? Yes, absolutely! If you are looking for a general purpose prepaid card, for UK use, or money transfer, you can get a much better deal looking elsewhere.However, we are not reviewing the Gap Year card generally. We are looking at the card from a travel, holiday and backpackers perspective.The £19.95 card issue fee is, in our opinion, a little high, and you are also charged a monthly fee of £4.95 plus a 2.75% fee on all non UK transactions.But, for this you get a powerful, fully branded, secure MasterCard chip card, and not a Maestro card that may not be accepted as well outside of the UK. It’s all very well getting a cheaper, more cost effective card, but its not much good if you can’t use it when you need it most!
The Gap Year global discount network is endless, and whilst we are no experts on travel discounts, there are 1000’s of global offers that are only available to Gap Year cardholders. So, it is likely that travellers would save much more using the card, justifying the card issue and monthly fees.
The card also has a £1.50 international ATM fee, which is cheaper than most other fully branded MasterCard cards.
You can update your personal details, check your balance, review your recent transactions and add new cardholders.
Broadcastle Bank Ltd is the issuing bank authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Your card will be serviced by Advanced Payment Solutions Ltd (APS) which is a registered agent of Broadcastle Bank Ltd for this purpose.