Remember when you’d queue up to exchange huge wads of cash at a money changer and then pray you wouldn’t get robbed on your way home? Those days are over thanks to a proliferation of multi-currency travel wallets and accounts in Singapore.
YouTrip is one of the many digital multi-currency travel wallets enabling you to exchange currencies on the go and spend overseas using a card. Cash is so 2000 and late.
What is YouTrip?
YouTrip is a multi-currency travel wallet created by EZ-Link (yes, you heard that right) in partnership with You Technologies Group Limited, a company based in Hong Kong and Singapore. YouTrip was launched in 2018.
View this post on Instagram
Designed for travellers based in Singapore, YouTrip enables you exchange currencies using their smartphone application. You can then spend or withdraw money overseas using your YouTrip card, which is linked with MasterCard.
Since October 2019, YouTrip has obtained an electronic money licence to become primary issuer and stored value facility holder. This means that balances will be now held under YouTrip rather than EZ-link. It has also since expanded to Thailand.
YouTrip’s main competitors are other multi-currency travel wallets like Revolut, Transferwise and RHB TravelFX, all of which provide almost the same service.
Are YouTrip exchange rates good?
YouTrip’s exchange rates are based on Mastercard’s wholesale rates and mid-market rates.
You can get a YouTrip card and convert currencies in-app using mid-market rates. For the 140+ currencies that are currently not available for exchange in-app, they will be converted using Mastercard’s wholesale rates.
When you compare it with its competitors like TransferWise and Revolut who use mid-market rates, YouTrip currency exchange rates may not necessarily be better, but there are instances where it could be.
For example, on weekends, Revolut charges a 1% markup fee, so on Saturdays and Sundays you may find that YouTrip provides better rates. Since TransferWise and Revolut are services that originated from the UK, they tend to provide competitive rates for GBP.
So, if you have no brand loyalty and just want the cheapest rates, you might want to have a few of these cards on hand so you can monitor and compare depending on which country and when you’re exchanging money.
Benefits of YouTrip
Let’s break down YouTrip’s benefits:
- Exchange 10 currencies (SGD, USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, HKD, AUD, NZD, CHF and SEK) 24/7 using their app. You can monitor the exchange rates in order to lock down the best rates.
- Pay using your linked MasterCard in 150+ currencies while getting charged charged 0% transaction fees on the wholesale exchange rate.
- Withdraw cash from overseas ATMs labelled MasterCard, Maestro or Cirrus, charged at 5 SGD per withdrawal, in any of the 10 currencies stored in your multi-currency wallet.
- No annual card fees, minimum income or account balance required.
How to sign up for the YouTrip card?
Simply download the YouTrip app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and fill in the sign-up form. You will be required to have your NRIC on hand.
Then, simply wait for your YouTrip MasterCard to arrive in the mail. It takes anywhere between 7 and 15 days for it to arrive. When it does, you need to enter the 10-digit number at the left bottom corner of your card to pair the card to your account.
View this post on Instagram
YouTrip charges 5 SGD each time you withdraw cash at an ATM machine using your card.
Other than that, the card is free for you to use without having to pay any transaction fees, annual card fees or account fall-below fees.
YouTrip promo codes & perks
If you haven’t signed up for YouTrip yet, online merchants sometimes offer a free cash deposit when you sign up for a YouTrip card using their promo codes, so keep your eyes open.
YouTrip users do enjoy some perks. There’s an entire roster of rewards users can claim upon entering their card’s Y-number. The rewards, however, are subjected to limited redemptions. Currently, the ongoing promo is a tie-up with Singapore Airlines. With travel picking up speed as VTLs open up around the world, this promotion will come just in handy if you’re booking your flight tickets!
Until 21 March 2022, every $500 spent on booking your Singapore Airlines round trip or return flight from Singapore to an eligible VTL destination earns you $20 cashback credited to your YouTrip wallet, and $30 Changi Gift Card that you can spend in stores. This means a $2,000 flight ticket gives you 4x the rewards in cashback and Changi Gift Card – a maximum of $200 in return!
Free cash for charging a purchase you were going to make either way? Why not!
How does YouTrip compare to similar cards?
YouTrip offers a very similar experience to similar multi-currency travel wallets like Revolut, Transferwise and RHB TravelFX.
However, YouTrip does have one big weakness, which is that they still charge ATM withdrawal fees, while the other three offer free withdrawals up to a certain amount or number of times per year. Revolut and Transferwise both offer up to $350 of free ATM withdrawals, while RHB TravelFX gives you 20 free ATM withdrawals per year.
YouTrip also does not offer some of the other perks that Revolut and Transferwise give you, such as enabling you to make international money transfers.
Besides that, however, they are quite competitive and transparent about not charging extra fees. By comparison, Revolut might charge mark-ups on weekends when you spend in certain currencies.
For us, the ATM withdrawal fees that YouTrip charges are a big weakness, as you do need to withdraw cash in many countries. 5 SGD per withdrawal is not a small amount and comparable to what regular banks will charge you when you use their ATM cards. Not having to make big cash withdrawals for the sake of saving on ATM fees is one huge perk of using digital travel wallets, and YouTrip sadly does not offer this benefit. For this reason alone, we’d probably be more inclined to sign up for one of YouTrip’s competitors instead.
Have you used YouTrip? Share your experiences in the comments!