You may no longer need to worry about exchange rates while you’re on holiday. Or worse, get a rude shock when you receive your credit card bills and find out that you’d spent more than you realised on vacay, no thanks to marked up conversion rates by banks and a plethora of hidden charges for overseas spending.

Fintech company TransferWise has just launched its Platinum Debit Mastercard which could just help you save money on your next holiday in a few ways. It’s touted as the first travel debit card in Asia that uses real exchange rates, ie. what you find on Google, with no mark-ups. But that's not it. The fees it charges for cross-border transactions are also estimated to be six times cheaper — the market average is 4%, while TransferWise’s average is 0.67%  Plus, users can withdraw up to S$350 every 30 days at ATMs overseas with no card charges. While some credit cards issued by banks such as DBS allow for free overseas withdrawals, most still charge a service fee that ranges from $2 to $7. 

Sounds fab, but is it all it’s pimped out to be? I tried the card on a whirlwind one-day trip in the shopping mecca of Bangkok and this was what happened.

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