Cash Passport does incur ATM fees despite what Travelex say

Cash Passport - Foreign ATMs DO charge fees
Cash Passport - Foreign ATMs DO charge fees

On my way to the United States in the summer I stopped at Travelex to buy some dollars. I was offered a special pre paid card caled a Cash passport. I was told the rate was better than cash. The card has a Mastercard symbol and the idea is that you load it up with cash and then withdraw cash abroad from ATMs as you need it.

I asked if there were any charges and was told no I asked if I would incur any charges when I withdrew my money and was told no. I asked again, though Travelex and Mastercard may not charge me fees, will I be charged a fee by the bank that runs the ATM in the other country. I asked this very explicitly. I was told NO. So I signed up for one of these cards.

Of course once I got to America and withdrew cash I was charged a fee so Travelex had been TALKING BOLLOCKS. I had thought I destroyed the card but I just found it and rang the helpline. After the usual bollocks of trying to fob me off with recorded messages about pressing other buttons or going tot he web site I spoke to someone. You can guess what they said when I complained about the fees. They said that they do not charge fees but they, or their operatives, cannot answer for the banks who own the ATMs. I explained that this was the point. The sales person had answered for the ATM owner and had lied.

I canceled the card.

I am not even sure of the point of these cards. If I have money already in my bank then why transfer it to another company and use their card. Why not just use my bank card? Miss-selling I call it.



  1. I had a similar experience when I visted the USA (Hawaii, San Francisco and LA) in June 2012. I could not find a single ATM that did not charge a fee! You might expect it in shops that have ATMs like in the UK but not at a bank. Everytime I withdrew cash I paid £2.75 to $4 as a fee. The service was also very unreIiable with many machines refusing money. I will not use this service again and I will take travellers cheques.

  2. It is truly a pathetic card. Most banks offer these Cash Passports via Mastercard. Banks may offer different terms to be competitive, but I am willing to bet they are all lying. What annoys me the most is that they will charge you 1.1% when you first load money. If you wish to load anymore money, it is a 1% fee each time. And if you come home with money still on them, they will charge you a whopping fee to convert it back, plus another $10 service fee. I wondered too about using my own credit card, but the fees that my bank charges to withdraw from overseas ATMs is ridiculously highy. I don’t think there is a perfect card out there for travelling as they all have hidden things which catch people out.

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