Prepaid Euro Cards

Prepaid Euro Cards

Prepaid euro cards are a great option when travelling in Europe, allowing you to stick to a budget and avoid worrying about lost or stolen cash.

FairFX Multi-Currency Card
Setup fees Free
Overseas ATMs £1
Monthly fee Free
Foreign fees 0%
Get great rates abroad and up to 3.5% cashback at home at some of the UK’s top selected retailers. Spend and send money overseas for free in 20 major currencies. Sign up today with no monthly fees, cards can be used worldwide wherever Mastercard is accepted.
Free to use in 20 major currencies, otherwise 2.25%. Use in over 190 countries worldwide.
Post Office Travel Money Card
Setup fees Free
Overseas ATMs Varies
Monthly fee Free*
Foreign fees 0%
*A monthly maintenance fee of £2 will be deducted from your GBP balance 12 months after your card expires.
A cash withdrawal fee will be charged when withdrawing cash from a UK Post Office branch or from any ATM globally, this varies between currencies.
Setup fees £7
Overseas ATMs Free*
Monthly fee Free
Foreign fees From 0.35%
*Up to £200 per month then 1.75%. Avoid exchange rate markups. Your money will always be converted at the lowest possible fee. Holds over 50 currencies. Spend money abroad at the mid-market exchange rate.

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We're on a mission to improve the finances of the nation by helping you to spend wisely and save money

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Finding the best prepaid euro card for you

By Matt Fernell, Editor-in-Chief at

Matt Fernell

Prepaid euro cards can be a great way to spend when travelling to Europe. Here’s how they work and how to find the best option for you.

How to choose a prepaid euro travel card

When looking for a euro prepaid card that best suits your needs, you need to think about how you will use the card and the costs involved. 

Unlike using credit cards, prepaid euro cards can come with several fees you need to be aware of when working out which is right for you.

You can see the following fees that the cards we show charge, so you can compare and work out which will be cheapest:

  • Setup fees: This is also known as a card or application fee. It’s a one-off charge for taking out the card and can be between £1 and £15. You might be able to avoid this fee if you load a certain amount when you first get the card.

  • Overseas ATMs: Look out for this fee if you want to take cash out abroad. This is charged every time you use your prepaid card at an ATM and could be a percentage of the amount withdrawn, e.g. 1%, or a flat fee, e.g. £1 per withdrawal.

  • Monthly fee: Most cards don’t come with a monthly fee, but those that do usually have more benefits, like better exchange rates. Monthly fees can cost from £2.50 to £15 per month.

  • Foreign fees: This fee is charged every time you use the card abroad, even in Europe. Look for a card that doesn’t charge this fee, as it could make spending abroad expensive. 

Some cards also have an inactivity fee. This monthly charge usually kicks in if you haven’t used the card for more than 12 months. If you plan to stop using the card after your trip, cancel it or look for a card with no inactivity fees if you won’t use it regularly.

Another fee to look out for is card top-up charges. Some euro prepaid cards may charge a fee when you load funds onto the card; if this is the case, it’s a good idea to preload larger amounts of money less often if you can afford to.

Additionally, many providers will charge you a fee if you want to transfer money from the card back to your bank account, so only top up the card with as much as you need.

What are prepaid euro cards?

Prepaid euro cards are a type of prepaid travel card designed to be used when travelling to Europe.

Also known as preloaded euro cards, you’ll need to preload the card with money before using it. Once you've loaded cash onto your euro prepaid card, you can use it just like a debit or credit card to spend in shops and restaurants or to withdraw money from an ATM.

Prepaid euro cards can be an effective way to budget when travelling or on holiday because you can only spend what you load onto them, unlike credit or debit cards, where you risk spending more than you have.

How do prepaid euro cards work?

Once you have your card, you need to load money onto it to spend. This can be done online, by bank transfer or by paying in cash using a PayPoint service, though these options can vary depending on the card provider.

Because euro prepaid cards are single currency cards, most providers will automatically convert any money loaded into euros using their exchange rate at the time of the transfer. This means exchange rates wouldn’t impact your balance if they were to fluctuate.

Avoiding fluctuations in exchange rates can make it easier for you to budget, and you’ll benefit if the pound weakens, but you will also lose out if the pound strengthens against the Euro.

The exchange rate you receive can vary depending on providers, so it’s a good idea to shop around to find the best deal.

Where can I use a prepaid euro card?

Once you’ve loaded funds onto your prepaid euro card, you will be able to use it wherever you would use a debit or credit card, in shops, restaurants and at ATMs in any country where the euro is accepted as currency.

Countries that use the euro as their official currency are:

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Cyprus

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Malta

  • The Netherlands

  • Portugal

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

You should be able to use your prepaid euro card anywhere that accepts debit or credit cards; however, car hire companies and petrol stations will sometimes not accept prepaid cards, so it’s worth having a backup payment method with you just in case.

What are the pros and cons of prepaid euro cards?


  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash when travelling

  • Easily cancel or temporarily freeze the card if it’s lost or stolen

  • It helps you stick to a budget when travelling

  • Avoid excessive foreign transaction fees


  • Some prepaid euro cards come with lots of fees

  • Not accepted everywhere, e.g. car hire companies and petrol stations

  • Can have low cash withdrawal limits

  • Not protected by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme)

What are the alternatives to prepaid euro cards?

Prepaid euro cards can be a useful way to spend when travelling to Europe, but there are alternative ways to spend abroad that may be worth exploring.

Multi-currency prepaid travel cards

As well as single-currency prepaid cards like euro cards, you can get prepaid travel cards that can be used for multiple currencies. These can be a great option if you travel outside of Europe, country hop or take multiple trips abroad.

Just like with prepaid euro cards, funds need to be preloaded and, depending on the provider, can be stored in a single currency or pounds and exchanged each time you use the card.

Travel credit cards

Travel credit cards are designed to be used abroad and don’t charge the expensive foreign transaction fees that come with regular credit cards.

Travel credit cards can be a great option for spending abroad as long as you’re not tempted to spend more than you can afford. You’ll have to pay interest on any unpaid balance at the end of the month, which could cancel out any savings you make from not having to pay foreign transaction fees.

Digital banks

Unlike traditional banks, some digital bank accounts don’t charge their customers foreign transaction fees and can be a smart way to spend abroad.

Many of these accounts will offer fee-free spending abroad and fee-free overseas ATM withdrawals, though this will often be limited to a certain amount each month.

Not all digital bank accounts will be fee-free, so it’s a good idea to check with individual providers. Digital banks often offer some of the best exchange rates, making them an attractive option for spending abroad.

The information provided does not constitute financial advice, it’s always important to do your own research to ensure a financial product is right for your circumstances. If you’re unsure you should contact an independent financial advisor.

Frequently asked questions

Are prepaid euro cards worth it?

Prepaid euro cards can be an effective way to spend when travelling and come with various benefits, such as helping with budgeting and avoiding carrying large amounts of cash. 

But they won’t be suitable for everyone; if you’re looking for the best way to spend abroad, it’s a good idea to compare all your options using a comparison site like ours.

Can I use my prepaid euro card to withdraw cash from an ATM?

Yes, most prepaid euro cards allow you to withdraw cash from an ATM. However, depending on the provider, you may have to pay a fee for doing so, either as a percentage of the transaction or as a fixed fee.

A number of prepaid euro cards will also have a withdrawal limit, so it’s a good idea to compare providers if you think this will impact you.

Can I use my prepaid euro card in the UK?

You can use your card in the UK, but it’s not a good idea. Providers may charge a fee for using a euro card in the UK. Plus, if your card holds the money in euros, you’ll have to pay the exchange rate, which could cost you, especially if the pound has strengthened since you loaded the card with euros.

It’s better to transfer the money back into your bank account.