3 Best Travel Cards for Maldives

Getting an international travel card before you travel to Maldives can make it cheaper and more convenient when you spend in Maldivian Rufiyaa. You'll be able to easily top up your card in MYR before you leave Malaysia, to convert seamlessly to MVR for secure and flexible spending and withdrawals.

Browse travel cards

This guide walks through our picks of 6 of the best travel cards available for anyone from Malaysia heading to Maldives, like Wise or BigPay. We'll walk through a head to head comparison, and a detailed look at their features, benefits and drawbacks.

Medley of travel cards available in Malaysia.

3 best travel money cards for Maldives:

Let's kick off our roundup of the best travel cards for Maldives with a head to head comparison on important features. Here's an overview of the providers we've picked to look at, for customers looking for ways to spend conveniently overseas when travelling from Malaysia:

CardCard schemeFees for spendingTrustpilot scoreGo to provider
WiseVisa / MastercardNo fees to spend currencies you hold4.2 / 5 (200,000+)Go to Wise
BigPayVisa / MastercardUp to 1% foreign transaction feeNot active on TrustpilotGo to BigPay
Touch ’n GoVisaAlipay conversion rates apply when spending abroad, which may include a feeNot active on TrustpilotGo to Touch ’n Go

Each of the international travel cards we’ve picked out have their own features and fees, which may mean they suit different customer needs. Keep reading to learn more about the features, advantages and disadvantages of each - plus a look at how to order the travel card of your choice before you head off to Maldives.

Wise travel card

Delivered in MalaysiaDelivered in MalaysiaVisa/Mastercard debit cardVisa/Mastercard debit cardVirtual card availableVirtual card availableMid-market exchange rateMid-market exchange rate

Open a Wise account online or in the Wise app, to order a Wise travel card you can use for convenient spending and withdrawals in Maldives. Wise accounts can hold 40+ currencies, so you can top up in MYR easily from your bank or using your card. Whenever you travel, to Maldives or beyond, you’ll have the option to convert to the currency you need in advance if it’s supported for holding a balance, or simply let the card do the conversion at the point of payment.

In either case you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees whenever you spend in MVR, plus some free ATM withdrawals every month - perfect if you’re looking for easy ways to arrange your travel cash.

Wise features

CardFees for spendingATM feesWithdraw limitAnnual feeApp availableTrustpilot score
Visa or Mastercard Debit CardNo fees to spend currencies you hold

Some fee free withdrawals monthly, with low fees after that

23,000 MYR a month

N/AiOS & Android4.2 / 5 (200,000+)

Wise travel card pros and cons

  • Hold and exchange 40+ currencies with the mid-market rate
  • Spend seamlessly in MVR when you travel
  • Some free ATM withdrawals every month, for those times only cash will do
  • Ways to receive payments to your Wise account conveniently
  • Manage your account and card from your phone
  • 13.7 MYR fee to order your physical card
  • ATM fees apply once you've exhausted your monthly free withdrawals
  • Physical cards may take 14 days to arrive (you can use your virtual card right away)

Here’s how to apply for a Wise account and order a Wise  travel card in Malaysia:

  1. Open the Wise app or desktop site

  2. Select Register and confirm you want to open a personal account

  3. Register with your email, Facebook, Apple or Google ID

  4. Upload your ID document to complete the verification step

  5. Tap the Cards tab to order your card, and pay the required fee

  6. Confirm your mailing address, and your card will be on the way, and should arrive in 14 days

BigPay travel card

Delivered in MalaysiaDelivered in MalaysiaVisa/Mastercard debit cardVisa/Mastercard debit cardVirtual card availableVirtual card available

BigPay is a super popular app and card in Malaysia, which you can use for spending in Maldives and globally.

You’ll be able to hold a balance in MYR and spend or make withdrawals in MVR, keeping track of everything in your app for convenience. There’s a low foreign transaction fee of 1% or less when you spend internationally, which can mean you save compared to using a bank card. Plus as your BigPay card isn’t connected to your bank account, it’s secure, no matter where in the world you are.

BigPay features

CardFees for spendingATM feesWithdraw limitAnnual feeApp availableTrustpilot score
Visa or Mastercard Debit CardUp to 1% foreign transaction fee

10 MYR international withdrawal fee

10,000 MYRN/AiOS & AndroidNot active on Trustpilot

BigPay travel card pros and cons

  • Very popular local app and card, with a large user base
  • Earn AirAsia points as you spend
  • Get extras like ways to pay bills and send money to others
  • Ways to budget and plan your money conveniently
  • Manage your account from the app wherever you are
  • No foreign currency balance option
  • 20 MYR card order fee
  • 10 MYR ATM fee
  • Up to 1% foreign transaction fee

How to apply for a BigPay card

Here’s how to apply for a BigPay account and order a travel card in Malaysia:

  1. Open the BigPay website or download the app

  2. Click Get BigPay

  3. Complete the account application steps and get verified

  4. Pay the card fee, and your card will be delivered by mail

Touch ’n Go travel card

Delivered in MalaysiaDelivered in MalaysiaVisa debit cardVisa debit card

If you have a Touch’n Go enhanced card you can use it for spending and withdrawals in Maldives. Your MYR balance will be converted to MVR using the Alipay exchange rate at the point that you pay, so there’s no need to set up your travel money in advance. There are international ATM fees of 10 MYR if you choose to make withdrawals, but the Alipay rate may be better than the rate you get from your bank so it’s still worth comparing your options.

Touch ’n Go features

CardFees for spendingATM feesWithdraw limitAnnual feeApp availableTrustpilot score
Visa Debit CardAlipay conversion rates apply when spending abroad, which may include a fee

10 MYR

5,000 MYR per dayN/AiOS & AndroidNot active on Trustpilot

Touch ’n Go travel card pros and cons

  • Popular option which can be easily used to pay road tolls, parking and more, as well as for spending
  • Manage your card in the app wherever you happen to be
  • Secure as not linked to your normal account
  • Lots of local spending is free
  • Exchange rates may include a fee
  • 10 MYR international ATM fee

How to apply for a Touch’n Go card

Here’s how to apply for a Touch’n Go account and order a travel card in Malaysia:

  1. Open the Touch’n Go website or download the app

  2. Click the option to order an enhanced card

  3. Complete the account application steps and get verified

  4. Pay any required fee, and your card will be delivered by mail

What is a travel money card?

A travel money card is a card you can use for secure and convenient payments and withdrawals overseas.

You can use a travel money card to tap and pay in stores and restaurants, with a wallet like Apple Pay, or to make ATM withdrawals so you'll always have a bit of cash in your pocket when you travel.

Although there are lots of different travel money cards on the market, all of which are unique, one similarity you'll spot is that the features and fees have always been optimised for international use. That might mean you get a better exchange rate compared to using your normal card overseas, or that you run into fewer fees for common international transactions like ATM withdrawals.

Travel money cards also offer distinct benefits when it comes to security. Your travel money card isn't linked to your Malaysian ringgit everyday account, so even if you were unlucky and had your card stolen, your primary bank account remains secure.

Travel money vs prepaid card vs travel credit card

It's helpful to know that you'll be able to pick from several different types of travel cards, depending on your priorities and preferences. Travel cards commonly include:

  • Travel debit cards
  • Travel prepaid cards
  • Travel credit cards

They all have distinct benefits when you head off to Maldives or elsewhere in the world, but they do work a bit differently.

Travel debit and prepaid cards are usually linked to an online account, and may come from specialist digital providers - like the Wise card. These cards are usually flexible and cheap to use. You'll be able to manage your account and card through an app, although you can also often add money via the web or, if the card has physical branches, in-branch.

Travel credit cards are different and may suit different customer needs. As with any other credit card, you may need to pay an annual fee or interest and penalties depending on how you manage your account - but you could also earn extra rewards when spending in a foreign currency, or travel benefits like free insurance for example. Generally using a travel credit card can be more expensive compared to a debit or prepaid card - but it does let you spread out the costs of your travel across several months if you'd like to and don't mind paying interest to do so.

What is a prepaid travel money card best for?

Let's take a look at the advantages of using a prepaid travel money card for travellers going to Maldives. While each travel card is a little different, you'll usually find some or all of the following benefits:

  • Hold and exchange foreign currencies - allowing you to lock in exchange rates and set a travel budget before you leave
  • Convenient for spending in person and through mobile wallets like Apple Pay, as well as for cash withdrawals
  • You may find you get a better exchange rate compared to your bank - and you'll usually be able to avoid any foreign transaction fee, too
  • Travel cards are secure as they're not linked to your everyday MYR account - and because you can make ATM withdrawals when you need to, you can also avoid carrying too much cash at once

Overall, travel cards offer flexible and low cost ways to avoid bank foreign transaction and international ATM fees, while accessing decent exchange rates.

How to choose the best travel card for Maldives

We've picked out 3 great travel cards available in Malaysia - but there are also more options available, which can make choosing a daunting task. Some things to consider when picking a travel card for Maldives include:

  • What exchange rates does the card use? Choosing one with the mid-market rate or as close as possible to it is usually a smart plan
  • What fees are unavoidable? For example, ATM charges or top up fees for your preferred top up methods
  • Does the card support a good range of currencies? Getting a card which allows you to hold and spend in MVR can give you the most flexibility, but it's also a good idea to pick a card with lots of currency options, so you can use it again in future, too
  • Are there any other charges? Check in particular for foreign transaction fees, local ATM withdrawal fees, inactivity fees and account close fees

Ultimately the right card for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

What makes a good travel card for Maldives

The best travel debit card for Maldives really depends on your personal preferences and how you like to manage your money.

Overall, it pays to look for a card which lets you minimise fees and access favourable exchange rates - ideally the mid-market rate. While currency exchange rates do change all the time, the mid-market rate is a good benchmark to use as it’s the one available to banks when trading on wholesale markets. Getting this rate, with transparent conversion fees, makes it easier to compare costs and see exactly what you’re paying when you spend in MVR.

Other features and benefits to look out for include low ATM withdrawal fees, complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access or emergency cash if your card is stolen. It’s also important to look into the security features of any travel card you might pick for Maldives. Look for a card which uses 2 factor authentication when accessing the account app, which allows you to set instant transaction notifications, and which has easy ways to freeze, unfreeze and cancel your card with your phone.

When you’re planning your trip to Maldives, bear in mind that cash is still a primary payment method, and many merchants and public service providers won’t accept a card. You’ll want a travel card which allows low cost cash withdrawals so you’ve always got some MVR in your pocket - and you can also keep hold of your card as a convenient back up in case of emergency too. Choose a card with no ongoing fees and no inactivity costs, so you can use it for your next trip abroad to get the most possible use out of it.

Ways to pay in Maldives

Cash and card payments - including contactless, mobile wallet, debit, credit and prepaid card payments - are the most popular ways to pay globally.

In Maldives cash is a very popular payment method. While you may find cards are accepted in major hotels and chain stores or very busy tourist areas, many merchants prefer cash. Make sure you’ve always got some MVR in cash in your wallet by making ATM withdrawals with your travel card whenever you need to.

Which countries use MVR?

You’ll find that MVR can only be used in Maldives. If you don’t travel to Maldives frequently it’s worth thinking carefully about how much to exchange so you’re not left with extra foreign currency after your trip. Or pick a travel card from a provider like Wise or BigPay which lets you leave your money in MYR and convert at the point of payment with no penalty.

Maldivian Rufiyaa
Currency nameMaldivian Rufiyaa
MVR denominationsރ1, ރ5, ރ10, ރ20, ރ50, ރ100, ރ500, ރ1,0
Best travel cards to take to MaldivesWise,BigPay,Touch ’n Go

What should you be aware of when travelling to Maldives

You’re sure to have a great time in Maldives - but whenever you’re travelling abroad it's worth putting in a little advance thought to make sure everything is organised and your trip goes smoothly. Here are a few things to think about:

1. Double check the latest entry requirements and visas - rules can change abruptly, so even if you’re been to Maldives before it’s worth looking up the most recent entry requirements so you don’t have any hassle on the border

2. Cash is a widespread payment method - so you’ll need some MVR in your pocket when you travel to Maldives. You can sort out your travel money by visiting an exchange office here in Malaysia, or you can wait until you arrive and make an ATM withdrawal in MVR at the airport when you land. Bear in mind that currency exchange at exchange offices at the airport, either in Malaysia or in Maldives can be expensive - so if you’re carrying MYR in cash and need to exchange it, head into a town centre to do so.

3. Get clued up on any health or safety concerns - get travel insurance before you leave Malaysia so you have peace of mind. It’s also worth reading up on any common scams or issues experienced by tourists. These tend to change over time, but may include things like rip off taxis or tour agents which don’t offer fair prices or adequate services.

Conclusion - Best travel cards for Maldives

Ultimately the best travel card for your trip to Maldives will depend on how you like to manage your money. Use this guide to get some insights into the most popular options out there, and to decide which may suit your specific needs.

How does a Maldivian Rufiyaa card work?

Getting a Maldivian Rufiyaa card can make managing your money easier when you travel to Maldives.

Your Maldivian Rufiyaa card will be linked to a digital account you can manage from your phone, so you'll always be able to see your balance, get transaction notifications and manage your card no matter where you are. Just add money to your account in pounds, and - depending on your preferences and the specific card you pick - you can either convert your balance to Maldivian Rufiyaa instantly, or just let the card do the conversion when you spend or make a withdrawal.

If your card gives you the option to hold a Maldivian Rufiyaa balance, there's not normally any extra fee to spend the Maldivian Rufiyaa you have in your account when you're in Maldives.

Can I withdraw Maldivian Rufiyaa currency with my card in Maldives?

With some cards, you'll be able to add money to your card in Malaysian ringgit, and then convert to Maldivian Rufiyaa instantly online or in your card's app.

Once you have a balance in Maldivian Rufiyaa you can spend with your card with no extra fees - just tap and pay as you would at home. You'll also be able to make cash withdrawals whenever you need to, with no extra conversion fee to pay. Your card - or the ATM operator - may charge a withdrawal fee, but this can still be a cheap, secure and convenient option for getting cash when you need it.

With other cards, you can't hold a balance in Maldivian Rufiyaa on your card - but you can leave your money in Malaysian ringgit and let the card convert your money for you when you spend and withdraw.

Some fees may apply here - including currency conversion or foreign transaction charges - so do compare a few different cards before you sign up, to make sure you're picking the one which best suits your specific spending needs.

Bear in mind though, that not all cards support all currencies - and the range of currencies available with any given card can change from time to time. If your card doesn't let you hold a balance in Maldivian Rufiyaa you might find that fees apply when you spend in Maldives, so it's well worth double checking your card's terms and conditions - and comparing the options available from other providers - before you travel, just in case.

Why should I get a Maldivian Rufiyaa card?

Getting a Maldivian Rufiyaa card means you can spend like a local when you're in Maldives. You'll be able to check your Maldivian Rufiyaa balance at a glance, add and convert money on the move, and use your card for secure spending and withdrawals whenever you need to. Best of all, Maldivian Rufiyaa cards from popular providers often offer good exchange rates and low, transparent fees, which can mean your money goes further when you're on a trip abroad.

FAQ - best travel cards for Maldives

What are ATM fees?

When you use a travel money card you may find there’s an ATM withdrawal fee from your card issuer, and there may also be a cost applied by the ATM operator. Some of our travel cards have some no fee ATM withdrawals every month, which can help keep down costs.

Travel money card vs prepaid travel card

Travel money cards may be debit, prepaid or credit cards. Which is best for you will depend on your personal preferences. Debit and prepaid cards are usually pretty cheap and secure to spend with, while credit cards may have higher fees but often come with extra perks like free travel insurance and extra reward points.

What's the best prepaid card to use internationally?

There’s no single best prepaid card for international use. Look out for one which supports a large range of currencies, with good exchange rates and low fees. This guide can help you compare some popular options, including Wise and BigPay.

Can I use my debit card from Malaysia in Maldives?

Yes, you can use your local debit card when you’re overseas. However, it’s common to find extra fees apply when spending in foreign currencies with a regular debit card. These can include foreign transaction fees and international ATM charges.

What is the best way to pay when travelling in Maldives?

Usually having a selection of ways to pay - including a travel card, your credit or debit card, and some cash - is the best bet. That means that no matter what happens, you have an alternative payment method you can use conveniently.

Can I take cash out from my travel debit card?

Yes. Most travel debit cards have options to make ATM withdrawals. Check the fees that apply as card charges do vary a lot. Some cards have local and international fees on all withdrawals, while others let you make some no fee withdrawals monthly before a fee kicks in.

Is Visa or Mastercard better for Maldives?

Both Visa and Mastercard are globally accepted. Look out for the logo on ATMs and payment terminals in Maldives.

Best travel cards: our methodology

The cards you see on this page are ordered as follows:

For card providers that publish their exchange rates on their website, we used their MYR / MVR rate to calculate how much Maldivian Rufiyaa you would receive when exchanging / spending RM20,000. The card provider offering the most MVR is displayed at the top, the next highest below that, and so on.

The rates were collected at 09:36:26 GMT on 25 May 2024.

Below this we display card providers for which we could not verify their exchange rates. These are displayed in alphabetical order.

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