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This is one tricky question!

  • Cash is the safest because no electronic frauds can be committed but then you have the added tension of someone stealing your hard cash.

  • Forex Card is also the safest because it will have only the amount that was topped up by you.

  • Credit Card is also safe but you may be subjected to frauds here as well.

  • Debit Card is the most unsafe because you may lose all your money in an instant if any fraudster skims your card details.




Now, coming to the monetary point of view:

  • Converting Cash will invite you a total of about 4-5 % charges. So , for 1 lakh rupees, you will pay Rs 4000-Rs 5000 as conversion charges.

  • Forex Cards normally charges about 2.5-3.5% cross currency charges and Rs 75-125 per top up plus Rs 500-Rs 1000 card issuance fee. So if you top up Rs 1 lakh at one instance, then expect to pay Rs 3000-Rs 4000 charges.

  • Credit Card Forex conversion rate ranges from 2% to 4%. Expect to pay around Rs 2000- Rs 4000 for Rs 1 lakh transaction.

  • Debit Cards when swiped charges 3.5%-4% conversion fee. If money is withdrawn from ATM, then expect to pay another Rs 125-Rs 175 per transaction along with the 3.5-4% charges.Hence, for Rs 1 lakh transaction, expect to pay arpund Rs 3500-Rs 5000.

Hence, it is seen that there is not much difference between using cash/credit/debit/forex cards. The maximum you will pay is about Rs 2000-Rs 4000 extra per lakh (for the costliest option). Thus, if you are going to an Asian country, then it won't make much of a difference but if you are going to Europe or the United States, then try to juggle between all options because you will be able to save Rs 20000 + on forex charges (considering an Europe tour costs Rs 5 lakh)

From my personal point of view, i would suggest you to use the HDFC Regalia Credit Card. I have used it extensively and it charges me only 2% plus GST which i believe is one of the lowest charges.

That said, you must always keep cash with you at all times till leaving the airport for emergency purposes.

Which mode do you prefer? Do provide your valuable insights by leaving a comment below.

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