Recent data has shown that card payments have overtaken cash payments in the UK for the first time. However, this is not mirrored across the world and we see many different examples of monetary culture with countries that have been slow to embrace this new financial technology or conversely, become almost cashless societies. So which is best for you travel money cash or travel money card? We have put together a little guide to try to give you some insight.
Best Countries for Travel Money Cards
Sweden is reported to be the most card friendly country on the planet and if cash transactions in the UK are less than 50% there is still a long way to go to reach Swedens’ 20%. It is not uncommon to see “we don’t accept cash” signs on retail businesses in Stockholm. New technology is gearing up to accepting card payments including Europes first ever mobile credit card reader. Even the trend for buskers and mobile traders accepting card payments started in Sweden.
However, be wary in any country that you could end up paying more through bank and card charges if you don’t use cash. Do your research carefully and make sure your travel money card has no hidden charges.
It has been reported recently that Norway has become the the World’s first cashless society (sorry Sweden)!
It has been argued by Norway’s central bank that the levels of transactions in cash is now so low it can be considered cashless. Whether or not that can be seen as something that needs to be achieved is another debate but if you visit you may not need to take loads of Norwegian Krone.
Yes there’s a theme! Like it’s Scandinavian neighbours Finland is vying to become cashless and some reports say this could be by 2029. However, even though debit cards are the most popular form of payment, cash transactions make up around 30% of the total so if you take a travel money card or just rely on your debit card you may still need some euros.
America is of course, like all other developed nations moving more and more towards cashless transactions; although not quite as cashless as the scandinavians yet so again it may be wise to take some good old fashioned bucks with you if you travel there. The most fervent American supporters of crypto-currencies like bitcoin, are even predicting the day when all transcations are made using this method and all of us will have crypto-currency accounts – I don’t think so, but you never know!
Best Countries for Travel Money Cash
Cambodia has a strong cash economy and despite having its own currency, Cambodian Riel (KHR), you are more likely to use US dollars. A majority of Cambodians do not have a bank account so everyday transactions are carried out in cash. The Cambodian Government recognises that increasing the use of electronic payment methods will boost economic growth but there is still a long way to go and taking cash with you on your Cambodian travels remains the best option.
Similarly, Ecuador relies heavily on cash for everyday transactions although electronic payment methods are becoming more widespread and you may find high end hotels and restaurants that accept them but at a charge. Cash is still king here but you will need US dollars if you are travelling as that is the official currency.
The Puruvian economy has seen very turbulent times in recent history but the Country is seen by many as having one of the fastest growing world economies. ATM’s are widespread and card payments are possible in the tourist areas although you may have surcharges. Currency in Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sole and this may be a case where you might consider taking a mix of travel money cash and a currency card as backup when visiting.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in the larger towns and cities in Croatia and there are many ATM’s. In rural areas however, you may not be able to use them for accommodation or in retail businesses. A majority of transactions still take place with cash so it is wise to take some with you but again, this could be a case where you take a mixture of currency card and travel cash. There are advantages to taking a pre-paid currency card and the currency you will need is the Croatian Kuna.
Whatever your preferred travel money solution is, great value, no fee travel money cards can be found as well as the best deals on travel money cash. Hopefully the little mini-guide above will help you choose!