Which Travel Card is Best for South Africa?

by Alice

Travelling to South Africa offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from its diverse landscapes to vibrant cities and cultural heritage. However, ensuring seamless financial transactions while exploring this beautiful country is crucial. One of the most convenient ways to manage expenses abroad is by using travel cards. With numerous options available, it’s essential to choose the one that best suits your needs. In this article, we’ll explore the top travel cards for South Africa, helping you make an informed decision for your next adventure.

Understanding Travel Cards

Before delving into specific options, let’s understand what travel cards are and why they’re advantageous for South Africa. Travel cards, also known as prepaid travel cards or forex cards, are specially designed for international travel. They function similarly to debit or credit cards but offer benefits such as competitive exchange rates, low or no foreign transaction fees, and enhanced security features. These cards are preloaded with foreign currency, allowing travelers to withdraw cash or make purchases abroad without incurring hefty fees.


Factors to Consider

When choosing a travel card for South Africa, several factors come into play:


Exchange Rates and Fees: Look for cards offering competitive exchange rates and minimal fees for currency conversion and ATM withdrawals.


Acceptance: Ensure the card is widely accepted across South Africa, including remote areas and smaller establishments.

Security Features: Opt for cards with robust security measures, such as EMV chip technology and PIN protection, to safeguard against fraud.

Additional Benefits: Some travel cards offer perks like travel insurance, emergency assistance, and rewards programs, enhancing your overall travel experience.

Top Travel Cards for South Africa

Now, let’s explore some of the best travel cards recommended for South Africa:


Revolut is a popular choice among travelers for its competitive exchange rates and user-friendly interface. With the ability to hold multiple currencies, including South African Rand (ZAR), users can conveniently switch between funds as needed. Revolut offers fee-free spending in over 150 currencies, making it ideal for international travel. Additionally, its mobile app provides real-time transaction alerts and budgeting tools, empowering users to manage their finances on the go.

TransferWise Borderless Card

TransferWise Borderless Card is another excellent option for South Africa-bound travelers. With transparent fees and the ability to hold multiple currencies, including ZAR, USD, EUR, and GBP, this card simplifies overseas spending. TransferWise utilizes the mid-market exchange rate, ensuring fair conversion rates with minimal markup. Moreover, users can enjoy fee-free ATM withdrawals up to a certain limit, making it a cost-effective choice for accessing cash in South Africa.


N26 is a leading digital bank renowned for its sleek design and innovative features. The N26 You and N26 Metal accounts offer excellent benefits for travelers, including fee-free foreign currency transactions and ATM withdrawals worldwide. Users can also benefit from travel insurance coverage and access to airport lounges with the N26 Metal account. With its intuitive mobile app and budgeting tools, N26 simplifies financial management during your South African adventure.

Wise (Formerly Known as TransferWise) Debit Card

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, offers a debit card linked to its multi-currency account, making it an attractive option for international travelers. With low conversion fees and the ability to hold and spend various currencies, including ZAR, GBP, USD, and EUR, Wise ensures cost-effective transactions abroad. Users can also benefit from real exchange rates and fee-free ATM withdrawals up to a certain limit, enhancing the overall travel experience in South Africa.

Travelex Money Card

The Travelex Money Card is a prepaid travel card that allows users to load up to 10 different currencies, including South African Rand. With competitive exchange rates and no foreign transaction fees, this card is an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers visiting South Africa. Additionally, Travelex offers 24/7 global assistance and the option to lock in exchange rates in advance, providing peace of mind during your travels.


Choosing the right travel card is essential for a seamless and hassle-free experience in South Africa. Whether you prioritize competitive exchange rates, low fees, or additional perks like travel insurance, there’s a travel card suited to your needs. By considering factors such as exchange rates, acceptance, security features, and benefits, you can select the perfect companion for your South African adventure. Whether you opt for Revolut, TransferWise Borderless Card, N26, Wise, or Travelex Money Card, rest assured that your finances are in good hands as you explore the wonders of South Africa.



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