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Know all about travel cards and their benefits
By now, they seem to have become fundamental, especially if you travel often and book stays and planes directly online. They are prepaid Travel cards, these spectacular account cards that combine the characteristics of a current account with traditional payment functions. Easy to obtain and very simple to use, they are also much more flexible than traditional credit cards and allow better management of expenses.
To answer all the characteristics of simplicity, intelligence, flexibility, and reliability, typical of prepaid cards, comes Travel cards, The simple way to Pay. What is a Travelcard? The travel card is a prepaid MasterCard, which helps us to control our expenses, allowing us to spend only the amount loaded into the card. The advantage of Travel cards is that they can be used all over the world, without commissions and currency exchange costs, nor additional costs if we buy online or in stores—the right solution for all travelers.
But let’s see together what are the advantages of the prepaid card:
The rechargeable cards can be purchased at a banking institution or authorized dealers or directly online. In essence, you enter some data, decide the amount to be loaded (the minimum is 10 euros), and within a few minutes, you proceed with the purchase. The cost of issuing the card is only € 4.95.
Once in your pocket, we can top up our card by cash, other cards, or wire transfer. The amounts arrive immediately and can be used immediately. If we are abroad and have problems to top up our card, we can ask for help from a relative at home, or proceed with a transfer of money from another card: the money will arrive in a few minutes.
We can get bills and payments credited to our prepaid card. So if we frequently travel for study or work, we can monitor our expenses and our payments directly from the PC or smartphone. Furthermore, we are not forced to carry too much cash when we are out: extra security
What are the operations that we can carry out with our prepaid card? First of all, we can have an internet banking service, which is free.
With this type of card, halfway between a rechargeable payment card and a real bank account, we can also make bank transfers and online expenses.
But above all, we can also use our card abroad. The advantage of Travel cards is that it can be used all over the world (obviously in all MasterCard enabled places) and has no commissions or currency exchange costs. We also have free services of all kinds, such as SMS alerts, email alerts, weekly notifications, and money transfers from card to card.
With our prepaid card, we can book hotels directly online. We can pay for our dinners during our stays and rent a car to move to the destination country.
Finally, in case of loss or theft, remember that prepaid cards can be blocked like a normal credit card. In the case of Travel cards, the card will be automatically blocked to protect the funds. Also, they boast an assistance service via email and Facebook, very useful, especially if we are traveling.
Why corporate cards?
The need for the simplicity of travelers and travel managers is based on the continuous leadership of corporate cards. For many travelers, the use of corporate cards avoids the need to prepay travel expenses and eliminates onerous reimbursement processes. For corporate travel managers, corporate cards allow better expense tracking and reconciliation, provide transparency about which their travelers use airlines and accommodations, and whether travel policies are followed and adhered to.
Personal cards are not suitable for business travel
A key challenge that organizations face is related to employees’ use of personal credit cards. Forty-eight percent of respondents say personal cards are used within their organizations, probably driven by two factors: first, the organization may not have a formal policy that prohibits them; secondly, travelers are motivated to obtain cash rewards, loyalty card points or other travel benefits such as access to the airport lounge.
The use of personal cards offers little or no transparency in spending, inhibits the ability of travel managers to fulfill their duty of care responsibilities, prevents organizations from imposing reasonable restrictions on the use of cards, and can make it extremely difficult to manage the reimbursement and reconciliation of expenses.
“When employees of organizations use corporate T&E cards, they can acquire enriched data to reconcile expenses, prevent abuse and overspending, and ultimately negotiate better rates with suppliers,” said Jeff Feuerstein, senior vice president, Global Commercial. Product Management at MasterCard. “The cost of employees who use their cards far outweighs the benefits, so having clear business card usage requirements and educating employees on why using business cards works both at the organization level and for them is essential to favor.”
Unmet needs for travelers
While there is a continued preference for corporate cards, the study has shown that there are unmet needs for some travelers and travel managers, particularly in areas of control or limitation of card use. The expense management of those who do not have cards issued by the company, such as consultants, candidates for interviews, or occasional travelers, has also risen to the top. Although not all companies feel that corporate cards are the answer, they still require an alternative solution to personal cards.
The solution may lie in virtual cards, which offer travelers a single or multipurpose account number for corporate travel purchases. These cards offer many of the benefits of corporate cards (for example, the ability to acquire expense data and avoid the use of personal cards) while solving other challenges.
For example, virtual cards allow travel managers to set spending limits that travelers can spend, to the categories in which they can spend, and also at a temporal level by specifying the period in which the funds can be spent on the business trip. Other key benefits of virtual payments include optimized data acquired for each transaction and the absence of physical cards, which reduces the administrative burden of managing credit limits and monitoring the continuous use of traditional cards.
“Virtual cards can be a great tool for organizations to add to their payment tool kit,” said Heather Miller, community manager for NAPCP. ”
Is the travel manager still doubtful?
There are clear advantages to using each of these company-issued card payment options. Still, travel managers also take into account other considerations such as the size of their organization, the centralized or decentralized nature of managing travel plans, the volume of employee travel, the budget limitations, how the organization uses the data and the tools available to them for the management and analysis of travel expenses strongly influence the choices.
However, there is no “right” way to do things in this sector other than to be agile and open to new options and technologies.
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