Axis Bank and the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) have jointly launched a co-branded travel-currency card for students. The ‘Axis Bank- ISIC Forex Card’, would be the first photo travel currency card available in US dollar euro and pound. It can be used across 34 million merchant locations and at over two million MasterCard ATMs globally. The pound, Euro, GBP and AUD currencies and can be used across 34 million merchant locations and at over 2 million MasterCard ATMs globally. The validity of this card is for two years.
The ISIC is an internationally recognised identity card which gives allows students to get discounts for traveling, at hotels and restaurants, museums, tourist attractions and so on. It is very useful for students who are living overseas on a budget and have to manage their expenses.
This is the first time that ISIC has tied up with an Indian bank to offer the ISIC card, said Sidharth Rath, President Treasury, Business Banking& Capital Markets, Axis Bank.
Travel currency cards are a good option to lock in foreign currency at a fixed rate while traveling overseas. This ensures that even if there is a change in the currency valuation during the course of your travel, you will not be impacted by it. As against this if you carry currency or use a debit or credit card the exchange rate will vary as per the fluctuation in currency values, said Rath.
“Every time you use your credit or debit card, the exchange is of that particular day. So, even if the margins are fixed you will have to shell out more money if the rupee falls,’’ he explained.
Most banks today offer travel currency cards. While most offer them in single currency, some offer in multiple currencies. If it is a card in multiple currencies and you want to load more than one currency, there will be sub-limits for the amount for each currency within the overall limit. They are safe and convenient way to carry foreign exchange while travelling overseas.
"Axis Bank is focusing on students for its travel currency cards given that the in the last five to 10 years the number of outbound students from India has increased substantially. Currently, students account for 10% of the volumes of the bank's travel currency cards and this will increase going ahead," Rath added,
The card can be loaded with a maximum of $100,000 per year, because as per FEMA guidelines, students travelling overseas can carry up to $100,000 per year.
About the impact of the sharp fall in the rupee, Rath said that there could be some impact on leisure related outbound travel. But those travelling overseas on business or students travelling for higher students are unlikely to put their travel plans on hold.