EZ-Link and Mastercard are eliminating overseas transaction fees with the YouTrip card
What’s the age-old rule for overseas spending with your credit card? Always pay in the local currency.
But even then, you will be hit by foreign currency transaction fees along the lines of 2% to 3% for your overseas spend.
What’s the smart thing to do? Go to a money changer, exchange your Singapore dollars to the destination currency and pay with cash during the holiday.
Or, you could do the smarter thing and pay with the YouTrip card.
Changing the currency game with YouTrip
The YouTrip card is one half of a collaboration by You Technologies, EZ-Link and Mastercard. On the basic level, it’s a Mastercard prepaid card issued by EZ-Link. The other half is the YouTrip app that lets you top up a stored value to the card.
Put both halves together and you’ll realise why they create a unique and innovative solution for travelers.
Accepted all over the world.
It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the United States of America or any European countries.
We’re not even sure if anyone will ever travel to more than 150 different countries. But we think everyone will say yes to a card that has the capability to pay in more than 150 currencies.
Plus, as a Mastercard prepaid card, you can rest easy knowing that you can pay at more than 30 million Mastercard merchants worldwide.
No hidden transaction fees. Ever.
Remember, this is a Mastercard prepaid card, so it essentially acts like a credit or debit card - you just swipe or tap to pay. The difference is, you’re paying with 0% transaction fees.
That means you can swipe and pay, knowing full well that no bank is going to charge you an extra percentage of the purchase on your next bill.
The only thing you’ll have to be mindful of is the currency conversion at the moment you use it. The good news? YouTrip has competitive rates pegged to popular money changers in Singapore. So it’s highly likely that whatever you’ve topped up and exchanged via the app is what you’ll get from a money changer.
But more importantly, you can actually monitor currency exchange rates with the app. Imagine if you see favourable rates for your US trip three months down the road. Instead of letting the chance slip by to exchange more US dollars, you can exchange right now and store the US dollars within the app.
The only downside? Currently, the app only lets you store 10 currencies, namely SGD, HKD, JPY, AUD, NZD, EUR, GBP, CHF, USD and SEK.
Mind you, that’s only for storing. You are still able to access more than 150 currencies upon payment.
Safer than carrying a wad of cash
Think about it, would you rather take out a thick pile of cash and stick out like a sore thumb when you pay for your purchase?
Paying with a card is inconspicuous and attracts way less attention. Also, the YouTrip card is closely tied to the app. You will be notified of any transactions, which also means you know if someone has been using it on the sly.
If you lost your card or someone has gained access to it, simply lock the card via the app and you’re safe. Also, the card can only hold up to $3,000 in Singapore dollars, so your losses are mitigated.
So, what’s the catch?
It’s not so much as a catch as it is a choice. Some people use their credit card while overseas to rack up bonus points or air miles. After all, that’s why we have a comprehensive comparison for credit cards, to help you figure out which card can maximise your overseas mileage.
With the YouTrip card, you won’t get any points, regardless if you use it locally or overseas. But, according to EZ-Link, any top-ups done with a credit or debit card to the YouTrip card via the YouTrip app is considered a local spend.
Theoretically, if your card’s issuing bank recognises the top-up as a local spend under its reward program, you will get the points. But that’s a really big if, one that you’ll need to check with your bank to confirm if you’re still getting the points.
If the top-up does qualify for reward points or air miles, you are effectively getting more out of it than exchanging for cold, hard cash via a money changer.
Getting a YouTrip card is easy
Well, relatively easy for the first part. You can download the app either from the App Store or Google Play. Create a new account with your mobile number and request for a card.
Once that’s done, it takes up to a week for the card to be sent to you. Activate it via the app You’ll need to submit your details, including a photo of your NRIC, to verify the card.
Once that's done, it'll take up to one working day for the card to be active and you’re good to go.
By the way, there’s a $20 welcome offer for the first 1,000 sign-ups with a successful top-up. So that’s one more reason to get the YouTrip card.