Subject: Re: Interesting Way to access cash
Hi Ziners,

Tammy wrote about a preloaded card with a visa symbol on it.

In Australia I also took such a card as a back up. It was offered through my credit union and was a Travelex product. I think Travelex is Thomas Cook renamed.

For $10 Aus we were offered two cards which worked the same account. We could preload with any amount we chose. Both cards drew on the same amount. The credit union could load additional money onto the card on request (by email or phone).

The cards required a pin, worked with any ATM, could work independantly - that is if one was stolen, the other could still work even though we had notified and cancelled the first. New cards could be issued.

It all worked well. I didn't need the backup in the end as access to my account through a visa debit card worked fine and that card was not lost or stolen either. (Have enough backups and nothing goes wrong?!) I did use the Travelex card to draw funds later in the trip as they were of course sitting there not earning interest.

The Travelex product certainly sounds cheaper than the Amex product with fewer catches. There may be limits as to how much money can be loaded - maximum amounts not minimum I suspect. These catches probably relate to Financial Transactions Legislation.

The card can probably be bought direct from Travelex. You would have difficulty then loading in additional funds other than by cash.

It is an alternative to travellers' cheques. It has a lot more flexibility as you can draw down in the local currency at any Visa ATM at favourable exchange rates and minimum arbitrage costs.

Regards, Anne Canberra, Australia