With rising economic prosperity and aspirations of a young India, more and more people are flocking international destinations—both for business and for pleasure. According to the latest available data from the Tourism Ministry, the number of Indians travelling outside India more than doubled within a decade to almost 24 million in 2017. Given that the country’s middle-class as well as the entrepreneur class is expanding at a rapid pace, the number of Indian globe-trotters is only expected to rise further.

Apart from the usual formalities associated with foreign travel, such as visa or travel permit, one of the first things travellers need to take care of is the availability of foreign currency. While you can always convert Indian rupees to the required currency at the bank, it is always recommended to carry a credit/debit card when going abroad. This is because cards enable you to travel without having to worry about managing or losing cash, and come to your aid if you fall short on currency during the course of your trip.

Now, most banks allow you to use your card for overseas transactions, but the facility comes with an added cost. Unlike domestic transactions, which are free of charge, for cross-border card transactions you need to pay a currency conversion charge called “markup” fees. It is the transaction fees which credit/debit card companies charge their customers whenever they swipe their rupee-denominated card at a foreign point-of-sale (PoS) terminal or an ATM, and it is generally more than 3.5% of the transaction value. Even if you get a forex card, which is essentially a prepaid travel card that you can load with foreign currency of your choice, you will have to pay the markup charge at the time of loading and unloading the card. Although this may not seem very significant, when added to all your spending it can weigh heavily on your travel budget.

At RBL Bank, we think carrying your card should be as good as having cash in your pocket, whether you are in India or abroad. We want to ensure that Indians should not have to pay more than they need to. Therefore, we are offering a 0% markup on all our debit cards to enable you to spend freely and make the most of your time and money when travelling. Moreover, with RBL Bank international debit cards, there is no limit on how much you can spend without having to pay for the cross-currency conversion charges – which means the more you spend overseas, the more you save when compared to other debit cards.

In addition to the cost savings, our cards also bring a host of other conveniences over acquiring forex cards or foreign currency. First of all, you do not need to visit a bank branch with additional documentation, such as visa and KYC documents, which are compulsorily required to get a forex travel card or foreign currency. In fact, if you need to refill your forex card, in case of a shortfall, or claim a refund, you need to provide repeat documentation, and only your account can be used to fund the reloading – which can be extremely cumbersome and stressful when you are in a foreign country. Besides, with forex cards you lose out on the interest earnings you would have gained if your money was simply lying in your savings account. By simply carrying our debit cards, you can free your mind from the hassle of managing an additional card or a significant amount of cash. You also do not have to to bother about remembering an extra PIN or downloading another mobile application for forex card. And above all, there are no additional charges, like for example the annual fees on forex cards, or the need to load unload and seek refund with RBL Bank international debit cards. 

Some credit/debit card companies claim that they can offer you “savings” on their travel cards in the form of cashbacks. However, most of these offers provide 1-2% of the transaction value as cashback, while charging you anywhere between 3-5% markup charges. So, for every 100 rupees spent, you still end up losing 2-3 rupees. With RBL Bank’s zero markup fee offer, the savings are real and upfront – where you do not have to wait months before the cashback amount is credited to your account. Even if you are not travelling abroad, you can take advantage of zero markup savings on forex transactions when shopping at leading international e-commerce websites like Amazon and AliExpress.

Planning a trip abroad is already a time-consuming and complicated task. So, why waste time and energy standing in bank queues only to get an expensive travel card or risk-prone cash, when you can simply use your existing debit card to save money and explore without any worries?