Difference Between a Visa Gift Card & Visa Travel Money
Most travelers have a lot to be concerned about when planning a big trip, from booking flights to finding the right accommodations to even trying to pick up a few words of a new language. One thing all travelers think about prior to traveling is money. Between exchanging currency, wondering how much to bring and trying to keep money secure, there are a few solutions that make the issue of money less of a concern. Visa is there to help.
What's a Visa?
Most adults who handle money know the difference between a Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express card. Many people have at least one of these cards in their wallet, if not all four.
While each type of card has its benefits, some are more widely accepted than others. And in the case of a Visa card, travelers will be happy to know that it's one of the most accepted cards at institutions around the world. A Visa debit or credit card can be obtained at many banks, including Chase and Bank of America. In addition to debit and credit cards, Visa also offers gift cards and travel cards, which can be useful when traveling.
Why Have a Visa While Card Traveling?
A Visa, or any card for that matter, is important to have while traveling because it's one way to keep your money secure. Traveler's checks aren't often accepted anymore, and carrying a lot of cash can be risky. A Visa can keep your money safe in a secured and monitored account, and if any problems arise while traveling, a call to your bank will take care of the issue.
That being said, some Visas are more ideal for travel than others. Travelers should consider all the options before deciding which card is right for them.
Visa Gift Card
A Visa gift card is a Visa card preloaded with a cash balance. It's typically given as a gift. A Visa gift card works like a debit or credit card, in the sense that it's accepted at most places that take Visa. And there is protection if the card is lost or stolen. These cards cannot be reloaded, but they are good for small amounts of money that you want to keep secure. There is a caveat, though. Most Visa gift cards are not accepted in foreign countries.
According to the USA Visa website, a Visa TravelMoney card acts like a regular Visa but offers users the "security of travelers checks with the convenience of a Visa card." Pick up these cards at participating AAA locations across the country. Visa TravelMoney is accepted worldwide and has all the benefits of a regular card with extra perks for travelers:
- The ability to get local currency from ATMs worldwide
- Many ways to easily reload the card, either in person, over the phone or online
- Emergency card and cash replacement if you lose your card
- 24-hour customer support
- Fraud protection
- Travel support such as translation assistance and emergency trip arrangements
Which Is Better?
Both Visa gift cards and Visa TravelMoney cards can be excellent choices for travelers. They are safer than traveling with cash. A Visa gift card might be a good choice for a short domestic trip, perhaps for a young traveler going somewhere for the first time or for a family that wants to stick to a very strict budget, since the card cannot be reloaded once it's filled. But for most other travel, the Visa TravelMoney card is a better choice. It is designed specifically for travel, is accepted abroad and offers additional travel-related benefits.