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Frequent Asked Prepaid Travel Card Questions

Published on 17 March 2016 in Multi - Question and Answers by Raffick Marday

Are there any usage restrictions on a prepaid travel card? For example, can I use the card to hire a car?

Some travel cards do have usage restrictions, and these are not easily visible on the card issuers website! Often you need to trawl through the small print. However, as a general rule, your card will be accepted at exactly the same locations as a credit or debit card. The exception to this is generally car hire, where restrictions are often enforced.

Should I get a Maestro, electron, MasterCard or Visa travel card?

There are big differences is card acceptance across the globe, so you need to take great care and ensure the card is right for your needs before making a final selection. Fully branded Visa or MasterCard travel cards are accepted at millions more merchants around the world. Whilst Maestro and Electron acceptance rates are increasing, there are still many destinations where you would experience difficulties using the card to purchase goods.

If I purchase a product on my travel card, and it breaks when I am back in the UK, am I protected?

As a general rule you are not protected. Unlike a credit card, you do not receive the same level of protection mandated under the Credit Consumer Act. So, if you purchase a watch that goes wrong, your prepaid travel card issuer would not provide you with any assistance. However, some prepaid MasterCard travel cards do provide you with protection.

What happens if I lose my card?

This depends on the card issuer. Many bankcard issuers do offer emergency card replacement facilities, or will provide you with access to cash if your card should get lost or stolen. Our travel card comparison tool provides you with information on card issuers providing this cover.

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