Reviews, Savings, Travel

Niyo Global Card : Review of Multi currency Forex Card

GoNiyo Card

Are you travelling abroad in near future? Do you transact in foreign currency often? Frequent buyer from international eCommerce website? So, go ahead.. This Review of Niyo Global card will help you save some money.

Niyo is a fin-tech company founded by Vinay Bagri & Virendra Bisht in 2015. Website suggests that they have multiple products like Tax Saver, Salary Account. This post is about their ‘Global’ card which is a Multi currency Forex card.

Let me walk you through some of the salient features of the card.

Co-Branded Card

They have partnered with DCB Bank to offer VISA card. DCB is a private sector commercial bank in India. I can see Yes Bank TnC on their website while writing this post but they have removed the mastercard variant in the recent past.

INR Denominated Card

Usually when you travel abroad, you opt for a forex card & then you load local currency in it. This card saves the hassle of loading money in different currencies. Just transfer Indian Rupee in the card & you can transact in around 160 currencies without converting it. This feature itself will save you from unnecessary hassle while travelling abroad.

No Fees

As of Jun 25, 2019 there is absolutely No joining fees, No annual fees, ‘No hidden costs‘. Website does not claim about any fees in near future. I will update the post once there is any change in the clause. This is indeed a very good feature for a card like this.

If you are surprised, read on..

Load via NEFT / IMPS

When you opt for the card, DCB Bank opens a bank account for you. This enables you to transfer money into your card via NEFT. Website does not claim IMPS but I have tried NEFT & IMPS both and it works flawlessly. Unlike other bank accounts, this will not earn any interest but this is not why you opted for this card. This is most useful when you are travelling abroad and need money instantly. You can even ask your friend or family member to transfer money into this account.

Low Exchange Rate

The exchange rate that you see on Google or XE is not the actual rate you will pay when you transact. Visa / Mastercard will levy a fee on top of it & card provider or bank will charge a fee over & above Visa / mastercard fees. This makes exchange rate higher than what you see on google.

Niyo Global card with Visa variant charges only Visa fees. It does not charge bank fees. You can find the daily currency conversion rate on GoNiyo app or Visa Currency Conversion Calculator.

No Mark Up Fees

Let us understand the term Mark Up fees. If you hold currency ‘X’ and you transact in currency ‘Y’ then bank usually charge a fees to convert the currency from X to Y. This is in addition to currency conversion rate that the bank charges.

Niyo Global Card allows you to transact in almost all the currencies in the world without foreign currency mark up fees. This is one of the many reasons of holding this card. Read More about various fees that can be levied on your forex transactions

Unlimited Reload & Unload

You loaded a card with 1000 USD for the first time and you need more for your trip, you will most likely pay a small fee known as ‘reload fee‘ for majority of the forex cards in India. Niyo Global Card being a bank account does not charge any reload or unload fees. So you can reload your card whenever you wish to & unload rest of your money. This is one of the coolest feature of this card giving you option to make most of your money.

Forex Card without Visa

If you are travelling abroad & when you opt for a forex card, almost all the forex card suppliers demand a valid visa for the destination country unless visa on arrival is applicable for the country. When you travel, you tend to transact for few bookings before you get your visa. Many of these transactions are in foreign currencies and if you do not have forex with you , you will need to transact with your debit or credit card which generally have bank fees + mark up fees etc.

You do not require any visa while opting for this card. This is an exceptional benefit of holding this card.

Decent App

Niyo Global Card has a decent app for the offering. One of the best feature of the app is you can block the card temporarily for Online or ATM or POS transactions or block the card for all three transactions together. This comes handy when you loose your card while travelling or wish to keep POS transactions active & disable online transactions to avoid fraud.

Undefined Settlement

As soon as you transact you can see the transaction, forex rate applied for your transaction on your app. At times, merchants are settled on T+1 or T+2 day. If there are any discrepancies on the rates when transactions are settled & when you transacted, GoNiyo deducts money from your account with comment as ‘FX ADJUSTMENT‘ aka foreign exchange adjustment.

Free ATM withdrawals

Yes, you heard it right. You can withdraw as much as you want from the ATM & Niyo will not charge you a penny extra. Being INR denominated card, few ATMs asks if you want the bank ATM to convert it. Say No & choose local currency (of that ATM) & let Niyo handle the conversions. Some ATMs charge fees over & above all but they will flash it before you hit final confirmation button.

Bottomline

After reading all above features, I am sure you ready to opt for the Niyo Global Card. It is undoubtedly a good card to have by your side for foreign transactions. One question that might have been unanswered by me till now is ‘How are they making money?‘. With so many good features, offering a card like this for free is really unusual. I did not get satisfying answer from the customer care but what they claimed is ‘They get a cut from merchant fees’. For now, I am unsure of such a business model with so low margin but you never know. Hopefully Mr Vinay Bagri will read this and give us some insight.

Here is a link to apply for the card. If you don’t get call from their Sales team soon, you can always use social tricks 🙂

Am I praising this card too much? By now, you might think that I am one of sales person, well I am NOT ! Card deserves it.

Have you used this card? Let me know your thoughts.

Tagged ,

About Pranav Date

Author is a credit card fan. Loves investing without any frills. Believes in every penny saved is penny earned.
View all posts by Pranav Date →

17 thoughts on “Niyo Global Card : Review of Multi currency Forex Card

  1. Hello Pranav,

    Thanks for this excellent review. All features covered very well.

    Regarding how they make money, just came across this statement from Mr Bagri:

    Bagri said that as of now there is no cost for a consumer to get the card. So how does the company make money? “How card issuers earn is through foreign exchange mark-up and merchant commission in the form of merchant discount rate (MDR) that the merchant pays for each transaction. So for us, MDR itself is good enough and that is how we make money. The MDR goes to the bank and we get a share out of it,” he said.

    Not sure, if you’ve come across it or no, but, it’s pretty much the same as you wrote.
    Reference: https://www.livemint.com/money/personal-finance/prepaid-travel-card-with-no-charges-vs-forex-card-1557761981185.html

    Thanks again!
    Regards,
    Suril

    1. Hi Suril,

      Thanks for the wishes.

      Yes, its the same as customer care answered to me. Lets hope it stays it that way. Cheers 🙂

  2. Hi Pranav,

    This review is really a detailed one & very well written.
    Yes this is a very good card for travel. I have used this in my last trip outside India & I must have saved at least 4-5% on my all transactions done via NIYO card as all transactions are done on the exact exchange rates at that time. (Fx adjustment is done afterwards as mentioned by you but it is very minimal, like 0.01% or 0.02% of the exchange rate)
    This card is very useful when you are making any hotel or travel bookings for the sake of visa process which you are going to cancel afterwards.
    Because you will not lose any money post cancellation as rate for buy & sell are exactly same.
    Hope there services stays like this.

    Cheers,
    Abhijit

      1. Ravi,

        Niyo doesn’t charge for ATM withdrawals. Unlimited withdrawals for free. Be careful, some ATM charges you extra for conversion but it will flash on the screen before you hit final confirm. Always choose foreign currency & never INR. Recently tested in some part of Europe.

        I will update the blog as well with this.

  3. I have learn a few excellent stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you set to create this sort of great informative website.

  4. hi, when this niyo person came to get me registered, he asked for my bank account number. is that needed? it made me feel paranoid though.

  5. Hi Pranav,

    This information is very helpful to me. Could you please tell me what the charges for swiping the card in the traveling country in NiYo?

  6. Leave about benefits and features and charges. Customer support is the worst. They never connect your calls, I tried many times by staying in hold for more than an hour. They never connect.

    Even this month I tried loading some amount through UPI and that amount got debited but not loaded here. I waited complete month but they didn’t refund back. I approached their DCB bank office and after 2 hours waiting, they told to check with customer care only. Their ticket system in app never go a step ahead.

    It’s better to take a card which has good customer care. If you stuck in some foreign country with no amount in your card, it is a pathetic situation and you end up using expensive credit card with higher charges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.