Best Prepaid Travel Cards in Singapore - 2023
This is the most comprehensive comparison of the prepaid travel cards available to Singapore travellers. We’ve picked the best all-round prepaid travel card, Wise, plus three other highly recommended cards to look at in detail.
Wise - our pick for prepaid card in Singapore
Hold and exchange 50+ currencies with the mid-market exchange rate and no hidden fees
Autoconvert feature means you’ll always get the cheapest available currency exchange when you spend with the Wise card
Send payments to 70+ countries and get paid fee free from 30+ countries with a Wise account
Get a Wise card
Open a Wise account online or in the Wise app and order a Wise card for spending and withdrawals in 170+ countries around the world. You’ll be able to hold and exchange over 50 currencies in the Wise app, with no fee to spend any currency you hold - and all currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup and no hidden fees.
There’s a one time fee of 9 SGD to get your Wise card, with no ongoing charge after that. Some transaction charges apply, depending on the services you use.
Revolut - mid-market exchange rate
Hold 30+ currencies, and exchange with the mid-market rate up to your plan limits
Fee free ATM withdrawals which vary based on the plan you pick
Earn cashback on spending across currencies with higher tier accounts
Revolut offers prepaid travel cards and multi-currency accounts you can manage in-app, with a free standard plan and 2 higher tier plans which offer more features and fee free transactions. Use your Revolut account to hold 30+ currencies, exchange between them fee free up to plan limits, and spend on your linked prepaid card around the world.
Some out of hours and fair usage fees may apply to your account - and you’ll need to pay a monthly fee to unlock the full range of account features and benefits.
YouTrip - no fee payments in 150+ currencies
Free to order a card, with no annual fee to pay
Supports 10 currencies for holding and exchange
Intuitive app to manage your money on the move
YouTrip is a familiar name with cards available in Singapore and in a few other countries in the region. You can order a YouTrip card by downloading the YouTrip app and registering an account, with no annual fee and no maintenance costs. Fees apply to top up with a Visa credit card, but there are fee free top up options available. There’s a 5 SGD (or currency equivalent) ATM withdrawal fee if you need cash.
BigPay - budgeting tools available
No foreign transaction fee (holding in SGD only)
Budgeting tools available
No fee to get a card, subject to minimum initial top up
BigPay cards are available for free, with an opening top up of 20 SGD which you can then spend as you wish. There’s no foreign transaction fee to pay, so even though you can only hold SGD in your account, spending overseas comes with relatively low overall costs. You can make one overseas ATM withdrawal a month for free, with a 2% fee after that.
Is it worth getting a prepaid travel card?
Yes, getting a prepaid card is usually easy, and can be free. A travel card helps you budget as you’ll only be able to spend the balance you load on the card - and could save you money on currency exchange too.
Are prepaid travel cards safe?
Prepaid travel cards are usually considered safe to use as long as you take normal security precautions like keeping your account details and card PIN secret.
If your prepaid travel card is stolen you’ll usually be able to freeze or cancel it in an app - and it’s not linked to your main bank account, which can also offer peace of mind.
Is my money protected?
Most prepaid travel money cards are issued by financial technology companies. These services aren’t banks - but they are usually regulated in a very similar way to banks for the services they offer.
While different card providers may have slightly different regulatory requirements, you’ll usually find your money is protected through safeguarding. This means the card issuer must hold customer funds separate to their own operating capital, so it can always be easily accessed and won’t be mixed with the funds needed to run the business.
If you’re looking for a travel card with a provider which has a large user base, and a global presence, check out Wise or Revolut. Both companies are used by over 15 million customers already, and as global businesses they are overseen by several regulatory bodies - so your money is protected no matter what currency you hold.
What are the advantages of prepaid travel cards?
Prepaid cards are safer and more convenient than carrying cash - with the added benefit that they’re not connected to your main bank account. This can make it easier to budget as you’ll only ever be able to spend the funds you’ve loaded to your card - and also means that even if your card was stolen, the thieves can’t access funds in your primary bank account.
Because prepaid travel cards have been built specifically for travel, you may also find you can save money and get access to a flexible range of international and multi-currency services.
Open a Wise account, for example, to spend with your linked card, and access currency exchange which has no markup added, low cost international transfers, and easy ways to get paid for free in a selection of currencies.
What are the disadvantages?
The most common disadvantage of prepaid cards is the fees.
The fees of travel cards can vary greatly - which means you’ll need to compare a few to make sure you get one that suits you.
Some cards have monthly fees. To access full features from Revolut, for example, you’ll need to pay a monthly charge of up to 19.99 SGD/month.
Other cards charge a top up fee which can vary based on how you want to pay, and the currency you’re adding to your account.
Finally, if you’re interested in a secured credit card as an alternative to a prepaid travel card, you’ll need to watch out for interest charges and late payment fees, which can push up your costs significantly.
How to get a prepaid card
The process to sign up for a prepaid travel card varies by provider. In most cases you’ll have to sign up with SingPass - or manually by showing or uploading proof of your identity - and then load an initial amount onto the card. You’ll then be given your card if you’re applying in person, or sent it in the post if you’re applying online.
It’s also helpful to know that it’s usually more straightforward to sign up for a prepaid card than a credit card as there are no credit checks to complete.
Loading money on to the card
You can usually load money onto your travel card online, using a bank card or bank transfer. Some cards also offer the option to top up in cash - but there are usually higher fees for this service.
What are the fees?
The fees you’ll pay with a prepaid travel card can vary pretty widely. Read through the terms and conditions of any card you’re interested in before you sign up - and look out for charges like:
Monthly maintenance fees
Top up fees
Cross currency / money exchange fees
ATM withdrawal fees
Replacement card fees
Cash out or account close fees
There’s probably not a single best card when it comes to fees. The right one for you will depend on how you expect to spend, the features that really matter to you, and the currencies you’ll want to hold or access.
Check out the Wise card, or a standard Revolut account and card if you’re interested in card options with no ongoing fees and options for multi-currency holding and currency exchange with no foreign transaction fee.
Can I use a prepaid travel card to withdraw cash?
You can usually use your prepaid travel card to withdraw cash at an ATM, although some cards won’t let you make withdrawals in Singapore as they’re optimised for international use. The fees you pay - and the withdrawal limits which apply can vary by card.
Some cards - like the Wise card or a standard Revolut card - offer some fee free withdrawals every month, but then apply fees once this amount is exceeded. Other cards don’t have their own ATM withdrawal fees - but the operators of specific ATMs may still add their own fees to your withdrawal.
Frequently Asked Questions
There’s no single best prepaid travel card. It’ll depend on the currencies you need to use, and the types of transactions you want to make.
For example, if you’re looking for a card with the Google exchange rate with no markup you might want to take a look at Wise. If getting a card in your hands instantly is important to you, you may prefer to pick an option from a Singapore bank like DBS or HSBC.
Prepaid travel cards are more secure and convenient than carrying lots of foreign currency cash. And if you pick the right provider for your needs you could also find you get a better exchange rate and lower overall costs for your international spending.
There are pros and cons of each - so it really depends on what transactions you need. Often a prepaid card is perfect as a balance of convenience and cost. But travel focused credit cards may come with handy rewards schemes for spending overseas, while debit cards are also good all round options if you plan to use the card at home.
Some - but not all - travel cards can be used with mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay for easy spending on the move. Compare a few to find one which is best for you.
Most travel cards offer contactless functionality. Double check the one you pick has this facility before you sign up.