In the latest edition of Money Doctor 2016 there are four Tips for the Top – innovative, competitive or leading edge products or services that deserve special mention and have my endorsement as something that will sit well in your armoury to better manage your money. Over four weeks, I will highlight one each week. For this fourth week and in no particular order is POSTFX ( prepaid currency cards ) from An Post
The PostFX™ pre-paid currency card is the most recent FX (Foreign Exchange) product offering from An Post. Available in Sterling, US, Canadian and Australian Dollars, cash savvy travellers are flocking to the 600 + post offices to get their hands on the card to help manage their holiday spending money.
One of the main features of the card is that it is COMMISSION FREE. This means that you’ll avoid the commission charges usually associated with foreign exchange leaving you with more spending money. Sounds good? There are also a few other things I like about this card:
- Load what you like – Aside from the minimum top-ups of £85, US$130, CA$170 or AU$170 you can choose how much money you want to put on your card up to a maximum of £5,000, US$9,000, CA$10,000 or AU$10,000. You can add all of your spending money or just some emergency cash. This helps you manage your holiday budget and avoid overspending.
- Save up your holiday spending money – Top up your card as often as you like so you can add your spending money onto the card weekly/monthly etc. as a way of saving up for your holiday. You can also use the card for more than one trip, so if you know you’ll be making a few trips abroad it is perfect!
- Simple and easy top-up options – Top-up is available at participating Post Offices and online. The online service is easy to use, simply log on to www.postfx.ie enter your card details, verify you are the card owner and top up using a debit card, it’s that simple. If you wish to top-up in a Post Office just call into a participating Post Office with your card and photo ID, and they’ll look after the rest.
- Cash out option – if you come back from the UK, USA, Canada or Australia with money still on your card, An Post provide a cashing out service where you can get any remaining money on your card back into your hands in Euro.
- Safer than carrying cash – working with MasterCard, An Post has made these cards chip and pin enabled so they’re more secure than carrying cash around with you. And if your card is lost or stolen the card will be replaced for you or they’ll organise to get emergency cash to you.
- Availability – The PostFX™ prepaid currency card is available in over 600 Post Offices throughout Ireland.
- Fee Structure – For me, the best thing about these cards is the straightforward fee structure. It’s quite a bit cheaper than using a credit/debit card. If you want to use this card in shops, restaurants, or any retail outlet in either the UK, USA, Canada or Australia there’s no fee on the transaction or exchange rates so there’s no surprises when you get your next statement. If you want to withdraw cash from an ATM you’ll only be charged £1.50, US$2.50, CA$3.25 or AU$3.50 depending on what currency you’re using – a lower charge than credit or debit card.
- Check your balance abroad – You can check your balance while you are abroad by registering on MasterCard’s cash passport system at www.anpost.ie/postfx . Remember when registering you will be asked for the ID you used from when you purchased your card ie passport or EU driving licence.
So, how do you get these cards? An Post have a list of the participating Post Offices at www.anpost.ie/postfx so you can check where your nearest office is. When you’re going to sign up for your card you’ll need to bring photo ID (passport or EU driving licence) and proof of address (a utility bill) to the Post Office with you. Simply complete an application form, load up your card and you’re ready to go.
Then, when you want to top-up your card you can top up in a Post Office or through the new online top-up service. If you’ve any questions about the An Post prepaid currency card you can check out www.anpost.ie/postfx or visit a participating Post Office.