Foreign Exchange – Currency notes and Forex cards

What are currency Notes ?
Currency notes are the physical notes. In India we typically use notes of Rs. 10,20,50,100,500 and 2000 denomination. Similarly, each currency has its own denomination set.

What is the maximum limit for carrying foreign currency and for foreign currency notes?
Maximum limit for foreign currency per traveller for a leisure trip is USD 10,000 in a year as per Indian regulations but only $3000 can be carried as currency notes as per Indian regulations and the balance has to be carried in the convenient form of Prepaid Forex cards or Foreign Currency Travellers Cheques.
For business trips abroad to countries, (other than to Nepal and Bhutan), you can avail of foreign exchange up to USD 25,000 per visit. Release of foreign exchange exceeding USD 25,000 for business travel abroad (other than to Nepal and Bhutan), irrespective of the period of stay, requires prior permission from the Reserve Bank.

What are the various documents that are needed to buy Foreign Currency Notes?
Valid passport, your confirmed tickets or Visa, Basic Travel Quota (BTQ) Form and Residence Permit in case of Foreign Nationals and a LERMS letter (For business travel)

What is a Forex Card?
It is a prepaid card which can be loaded with multiple currencies on a single card.
It acts as a replacement to single currency denominated Travel Currency Cards.

Which currencies can be loaded onto the Forex Card?
Currently the following currencies are available on Multi-Currency Forex Card:
USD, EUR, GBP, SGD, AUD, CAD, SEK, JPY, CHF, AED, SAR, THB, HKD, NZD and ZAR .

How much foreign currency can be loaded onto the Forex Card?
The usage of the Multi-Currency Forex Card should be in strict accordance with the regulations of the Reserve Bank of India and FEMA regulations. The amount loaded or reloaded on a card should be done as per the foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 and prevailing RBI regulations in force.
As of now, maximum limit for foreign currency per traveller for a leisure trip is USD 10,000 in a year.

Can the Forex Card be swiped directly at merchant establishments?
Yes, Multi-Currency Forex Card can be swiped directly for payments at merchant establishments.

Is there a transaction fee for using my Forex Card at merchant establishments?
No, there is no transaction fee incurred for swiping your card for payments at merchant establishments.

Is Cash withdrawal from ATMs using Forex Card possible?
Yes. However, a transaction fee might be charged for the same.

Is there a daily limit of purchase at a merchant establishment?
There is a daily limit of $10000 for purchases at a merchant establishment and a daily limit of $5000 or equivalent for cash withdrawal from ATM.

Can I reload the Forex Card?
In case you have exhausted the funds on the card, you can reload your card with additional funds. The easiest way to do this is to contact the Axis Bank Branch where you bought it from.

How can I get a refund of the unused balance?
You just need to give a written request for encashment of the unused balance with your bank account details. The refund would be processed in 5-7 working days.