What is an International Debit Card

International Debit Cards In India - Features, Benefits & Charges

Today, debit cards have become important as they enable you to make domestic payments at any time. But what if you have to travel abroad? Will your same debit card work? Well, not really. So, what is the solution?

The solution lies in the international debit cards that have emerged as a game changer in assisting you in global transactions. They are a practical example of how the banking sector is evolving to meet the demands of the changing world. These cards provide convenience at your fingertips.

But what are these cards? How do they help you when you are travelling? Read this article to know what an international debit card is.

What is an international debit card?

An international debit card, also known as the global debit card, enables you to pay for your expenses, such as food, shopping, hotel stays, etc. when you are travelling abroad. They also allow you to withdraw money from ATMs as well.

It is important to note that getting a separate international debit card is unnecessary. You can also activate international usage on your local debit card. This eliminates the need of getting a forex card or a separate debit card.

Must Read: How To Withdraw Money From An ATM Without A Card

What are the features of an international debit card?

There are various features that make international debit cards your indispensable companion. Some of them are:

1. Global access at your fingertips

Global Debit Card is accepted at several ATMs and merchants worldwide. This enables you to easily withdraw local currency abroad and make purchases without the need for physical currency exchange.

2. Seamless currency conversion

With the help of an international debit card, you can easily carry out transactions in foreign currency. These cards automatically convert the currency at a favourable exchange rate. This simplifies your purchases and assists in preventing additional charges.

For instance, the Kotak international debit card enables you to make payments abroad by paying a markup of a cross-currency markup of 3.5%, along with the exchange rate. You can make payments globally by paying a small conversion fee. 

3. Robust security measures

Many international debit cards have advanced security features like EMV chip technology and two-factor authentication that reduce the chances of financial scams.

What are the benefits of an international debit card?

International Debit Card has some standout benefits that make it an essential addition to your wallet. Some of them are:

1. Budget-friendly exchange rates

These cards offer favourable exchange rates that are lower than forex cards, enhancing the cost-effectiveness of your debit card international transactions.

2. Quick assistance services

In case of card loss, banks often provide swift card assistance services worldwide, ensuring uninterrupted access to funds. For instance, the Kotak international debit card comes with 24-hour VISA Global customer assistance that provides emergency card replacement, lost and stolen card services and other services. 

3. Multi-currency wallet

Certain cards allow you to hold multiple currencies within a single account, minimising conversion fees during frequent travels.

4. Record keeping made eEasy

You can receive detailed statements of your debit card international transactions using your application or net banking, simplifying your expense tracking and financial management.

5. Cashback and rewards

You get plenty of cashback, rewards, or loyalty points for international transactions, making your spending more rewarding.

Must Read: Features & Benefits Of Debit Card: You Must Know

How to get an international debit card?

Getting an International Debit Card is easier than you think. You must follow these simple steps to get an international debit card:

Step 1: Confirm eligibility

Ensure your bank offers International Debit Cards and check if you meet their criteria. 

Step 2: Contact your bank

Reach out to your bank's customer service through a call, email, or visiting a branch, and express your interest in obtaining an International Debit Card.

Step 3: Provide necessary documents

Prepare documents like your Aadhar card, PAN Card, proof of address, and other documents depending on your bank's requirements.

Step 4: Choose the card type

Some banks offer various types of international debit cards with different benefits. Moreover, certain banks such as Kotak811 also provide you with the option of a personalised debit card that allows you to design your debit card as per your preference. So, select the one that suits your needs.

Step 5: Fill out the application form

Next, you must fill out the application. Ensure you complete the application form to get the card as soon as possible. You must provide accurate and precise information to prevent any potential delays and rejection of the application. 

Step 6: Wait for approval

Following the submission of your application, await your bank's approval. This may take 7 to 10 days. 

Step 7: Collect your card

Upon receiving approval, your international debit card will be issued. Typically, you can retrieve it from your bank's branch or opt for delivery to your registered address.

What are the things to remember while using an international debit card?

An international debit card is incredibly convenient for overseas transactions, but you must handle it carefully. Some of the key factors to keep in mind while using this card are:

1. Review statements

Regularly check your bank statements to know about any unauthorised transactions or errors in the statement. Timely checks will enable you to resolve if there is any issue.

2. Check international usage fees

Conduct thorough research to grasp the fees for utilising your debit card abroad. These international debit card charges might encompass foreign transaction fees and ATM withdrawal costs. Opt for a card with reasonable fees to mitigate unnecessary expenditures.

3. Secure your card & information

Prioritise the protection of your card and sensitive information. Utilise secure ATMs, and refrain from sharing your PIN or card particulars with others. Additionally, consider leveraging card security features like transactional SMS alerts to stay informed about account activity.

4. Stay updated

Keep track of any changes to your international debit card charges, terms and conditions, penalties and other information related to international usage. Banks might update policies that could impact your travel plans.


An international debit card opens doors to financial convenience worldwide. With its plethora of benefits, it makes global transactions easy. At the same time, it is essential to note that these cards apply certain charges on transactions and have their limits. Thus, you must read about the terms and conditions of your card before using it. Moreover, if you are looking for a personalised debit card for international transactions, consider Kotak811. Our card offers exclusive discounts and offers at a minimum annual fee.