Post Office Travel Money Card: How It Works

travel money card

You’ve got your holiday wear, your sunscreen and you’ve triple-checked that your passport is in your bag (yep – still there). But, most importantly, have you nabbed yourself the ultimate travel buddy?

Cue drumroll 🥁… 

….your very own shiny travel money card. 

Let’s face it, dealing with wads of cash (although we’d be quite happy with wads) and worrying about keeping your money safe is no way to travel. Neither is constantly having to work out where to get the best exchange rates. 

Enter travel cards, the increasingly popular way to spend on your adventures abroad. 

Here’s the ‘why’: 

  • Travel money cards are a lot more secure than carrying around bundles of cash 
  • They make travelling easy and convenient – leaving you free to focus on your adventures
  • You’re guaranteed great exchange rates to make the most of your travel money

So far, so good. The question is, how do you get your hands on a travel card? And which one should you go for?

Below, we’ll take a closer look at the Post Office Travel Money Card, one of the most popular travel cards out there. Read on for the lowdown on how it works and why you should add it to your Curve account for a seamless travel spending experience: 

First things first, what is the Post Office Travel Money Card? 

The Post Office Travel Money Card is a prepaid card on which you can load up to 23 currencies. 

Where can I use the Post Office Travel Money Card? 

Use it anywhere MasterCard is accepted. 

What do I get with the Post Office Travel Money Card? 

Good question. Expect the following: 

It’s free to order but you will be charged some fees 

Who doesn’t love a good freebie? The Post Office travel card costs nothing to order. You also won’t get charged for using it for payments. You’ll only be charged when you take cash out from international ATMs. The exact fees will vary depending on the currency.    

A couple of other potential charges to be aware of: 

  • If you try to use your Post Office card in a country where they don’t offer currency, you’ll be charged a 3% cross border fee. 
  • You’ll also be charged an inactivity fee (£2 per month) if you don’t use your Post Office travel card for more than a year. 

Top tip: withdraw all the cash you need in one go to save money and look out for ATMs that are free to use to avoid any extra charges. Oh, and always get your payments and withdrawals processed in the local currency to get the best value for money. 

It supports 23 different currencies

Load your Post Office travel card with money in any of the following currencies: 

Euro (EUR), US Dollar (USD), Australian Dollar (AUD), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Croatian Kuna (HRK), New Zealand Dollar (NZD), Polish Zloty (PLN), Pound Sterling (GBP), South African Rand (ZAR), Swiss Franc (CHF), Thai Baht (THB), Turkish Lira (TRY), UAE Dirham (AED), Czech Koruna (CZK), Japanese Yen (JPY), Hungarian Forint (HUF), Norwegian Krone (NOK), Danish Kroner (DKK), Swedish Kronor (SEK), Chinese Yuan (CNY), Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), Saudi Riyal (SAR), Singapore Dollar (SGD).

Phew.

Expect great exchange rates

Obvious statement alert: exchange rates fluctuate. The good news? The Post Office offers excellent exchange rates. Keep an eye on the official Post Office rates on their site or use their travel money card app to monitor it.  

Look out for any extra markups so you don’t get charged without your knowledge. 

Top your card up with up to £5,000 at a time

Choose your currency and you can top up your card with between £50 and £5,000 in any of the 23 currencies listed above. You can have up to £10,000 in your Post Office travel card at a time, with a maximum expenditure of £30,000 a year. 

Cash withdrawal limits can vary depending on the currency and you can take out cash up to 3 times a day. 

The Post Office travel app keeps you informed

Download the free Post Office Travel app to keep an eye on your spending, top up your balance and monitor exchange rates. You can also get the Post Office travel insurance policy using the app.

How do I get a Post Office travel card?  

  • Order your Post Office travel card from any Post Office branch
  • You’ll need to be over 18 and a UK resident to get one
  • You can also apply for the card online and expect it in about four to six days
  • Once your card arrives, activate it, receive a PIN and access code… and you’re good to go

How to use a Post Office travel card 

Here’s the ‘how’:

  • Use your Post Office card anywhere they accept MasterCard, including online payments and ATMs. 
  • You can easily top up your Post Office travel card online or using the app. You can also top it up at a Post Office branch, although your money won’t be available until the next morning if you do this. 
  • Finally, get unused funds back from your Post Office Travel Money Card by getting in touch with their contact centre or heading to your closest Post Office branch. You’ll need to pay a £5 fee for this. 

Is the Post Office travel card worth getting? 

Our verdict? The Post Office travel card is certainly handy for when you’re jetting about and want a secure option for payments in different currencies. And the fact that it’s a prepaid card helps with budgeting and keeping your spending in check. 

But what if you wanted to access all of your cards while travelling? 

Add your Post Office Travel Money Card to Curve and you can do just that and more: 

  • Don’t let a bulky wallet cramp your holiday style – Curve allows you to spend from any of your accounts using just one Curve Mastercard®.
  • Make contactless payments from any of your cards (including your Post Office Travel Money Card) using your favourite digital wallet – Apple Pay.
  • Spend up a storm like a local. With Curve, you’ll get access to the real foreign exchange rates, regardless of which card you’re spending on. 
  • There are no fees for foreign ATM withdrawals of certain amounts. Withdraw £200/month free with Curve Blue, £400/month free with Curve Black and £600/month free with Curve metal (weekend fees apply).
  • We currently support 26 currencies.
  • Use the Curve card anywhere that accepts Visa and MasterCard (which is pretty much everywhere).
  • Curve is secure. We encrypt your payment info so your real card numbers won’t be shared with retailers. 

Want a card that makes holiday spending super simple and ridiculously convenient? Find out more about Curve cards and discover the best plan for you.