Travelling with your cards
1. Hotels, car hire, bicycle hire and deposits of all kinds
Don’t use your Ultratravel Currency Card for the security deposit when you check into a hotel or hire a car. Use any other card for this and only use your Ultratravel Currency Card to settle the bill. When a card is used for a deposit the relevant amount is then blocked on your card. Your Ultratravel Currency Card holds a prepaid balance and the block will prevent you from using the funds on your card until they are unblocked. It can take upto 30 days for the block to be removed. Use any other card for the security deposit and your Ultratravel card when the payment transaction is required.
2. DCC Dynamic Currency Conversion - Don't pay in Sterling!
Sometimes you will get the choice of paying in euros/dollars or in sterling – always choose the local currency. This is called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). Retailers and ATMs may give you the choice and you might think that paying in sterling saves you money. It doesn’t. If you pay in pounds the retailer converts your payment at their exchange rate and you lose out. Remember to check the screen before authorising transactions. If the value is shown in pounds – ask that it is changed!
This is where you can be caught out. If you were using the ATM in the picture the correct button to press would be "NO". However some ATMs will pose the question as a double negative: "Are you sure you would not like to pay in Pounds?" The answer to this is "YES"
3. Automated Petrol Stations
Automated petrol stations on the continent usually take a security deposit when you first swipe your card. No money actually leaves your account at this point, but your available balance is reduced. A couple of days later (it can be up to 15 days), they will process a settlement increase for €120 (for example) which will raise your available balance by €120. Simultaneously, they will process a settlement decrease where they will remove funds from your card to cover the actual amount of fuel dispensed for example €45. In the period between the Normal approval and the settlement decrease your account will appear to have been debited by €120, but it has not. Only when the Settlement decrease goes through has money actually left your account. This procedure is not unique to Ultratravel cards or indeed any prepaid card, all cards issued by any institution are treated in the same way whether they are debit, credit or prepaid cards.
4. Toll booth & toll bridges
Ultratravel Currency Cards require a merchant to seek authorisation before they provide the goods or services. The majority of European toll roads and bridges do not seek an authorisation, therefore you cannot use your Ultratravel Currency Card at most toll booths.
5. Checking the balance
You are unable to check your balance at an ATM.
Check online or by SMS (text) 24 hours a day. Download our SMS guide here.
You can also call 0845 2222 639 (within the UK), or +44 20 7201 0526
to find out your balance.
Lines are open Monday - Friday 08:00 - 18:00 UK time.
Saturday - Sunday 09:00 - 17:00 UK time.
7. Get the best exchange rate
Load your card when the rate is at its best – money loaded on the card is frozen at the rate of that day.
8. Changing your PIN
You can change your PIN at most UK cash machine. But don’t leave it until you are away – overseas cash machines won’t allow you to do this. Some UK ATMs may tell you that you will be charged for this service – you won’t be.
9. Better to be safe than sorry
It might be obvious, but look after your card – you might lose some or all of the funds on it if the card is lost. A good back up plan is to take a secondary card and leave it in the hotel safe. That way, if your card does get lost or stolen you can block it and use your back up.
FSCS statement: The Ultratravel prepaid currency card is an electronic money product and although it is a product regulated by the Financial Services Authority, it is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. No other compensation scheme exists to cover losses claimed in connection with the Prepaid Card. This means that in the unlikely event that R Raphaels & Sons plc becomes insolvent your funds may become valueless and unusable and as a result you may lose your money.