NiYO Global: Best forex card currently in India

Staying with my recent Singapore visit, another way I saved money was on my forex card. While searching for forex cards I came across this unique offering from NiYO Global.

NiYO promises forex conversion at Visa rates without any mark-up, currency conversion charges or taxes etc. I used NiYO Global card extensively in Singapore and being a Visa card it was accept everywhere without any issues.

NiYO Global Card

Does NiYO Global really charges Visa rates?

Yes. NiYO Global does not add any markup on rates provided by VISA. To be sure, I swiped my Amex credit card (will review it soon) and NiYO Global card on the same day in Singapore. While Amex charged me INR 53.21/ SGD, NiYO charged me INR51.12/SGD. Approx. 4% lower. As tabulated below, Niyo didn’t charge me any currency conversion charges (typically 3.5%) and applicable GST (18% on currency conversion) thus saving ~4% on every transaction.

Forex calculations for NiYO Global

Just to be sure that there are no hidden charges, I checked the rates NiYO charged me with the Visa rates from here, and voila! The rates did match?. The card is currently offered absolutely free of cost with a validity of 5 years, thus no harm in taking one.

More about the card

Niyo offers the card as a prepaid debit card and opens a current account in your name with DCB Bank.  So basically its your account where you transfer the money in INRs and can swipe it anywhere in the world. So, let’s just say one happens to swipe the card in Singapore, you will be only charged SGD/INR. Later on, if one happens to swipe the card in Japan, you will be charged JPY/INR rate. There are no cross currency conversion charges too. One can use the card in India as a debit card too on any PoS machine. The same card can be used for online transactions too, this is really useful in scenarios where one needs to book in foreign currency ahead of the travel.

Pros:

  • Joining Fees: NIL. Currently is offered absolutely free of cost.
  • No charges on adding or withdrawing INR via NEFT.
  • No currency conversion charges, cross currency conversion or forex mark up charges
  • Worldwide acceptance
  • Uses Visa network, thus has worldwide acceptance, both online and offline
  • Doubles up as prepaid debit card while in India
  • One can transfer left over money back into any bank account in India (No charges again), can be even used to withdraw cash from nearest ATM.
  • Mobile app to manage card. One can track expenses, transfer money, block/unblock card easily using the app easily.

Cons:

  • While using for an online transaction in Singapore, I didn’t receive email OTP but only an OTP on SMS (Read here, on how to get free SMS on your India number while traveling).
  • Not possible to load money using credit card.

Apply for the card using my referral by clicking here and get INR100 as activation bonus. ?

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