Last Updated – 4 years ago
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.