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What Is YouTrip And How Does It Work?

Si Jie Lim

Heard about YouTrip from your friends but not sure what it does? Well, here’s a simple five-minute guide that will tell you everything you need to know about YouTrip.


What Is YouTrip And How Does It Work?

YouTrip acts like a wallet/debit card that lets you manage multiple currencies in a single app. The currencies that are currently on the YouTrip app are:

How To Sign Up For YouTrip?

To sign up and set up your YouTrip account is very simple.

Step 1: Sign up online.

Step 2: Once you have signed up, a YouTrip card will be delivered to you.

Step 3: Upon receiving the YouTrip card, register and activate the card on the YouTrip app (downloadable from Google Play Store or Apple App Store).

Step 4: Once card is activated, link your bank account to your YouTrip account so you can start topping up your YouTrip account.

How To Change Money On YouTrip

First, top up your account with Singapore Dollar (SGD). Next, choose which currency you want to exchange your SGD for. For example, you can exchange SGD for EUR. YouTrip will then show you the exchange rate. If you agree with the exchange rate, all you need to do is to click “confirm” and you will get some EUR in your wallet.

Where Can You Use YouTrip?

The short answer is: Any merchant that accepts MasterCard.

That’s because YouTrip comes with a physical MasterCard for its user. (P.S. it’s delivered 1-2 weeks after you sign up for a YouTrip account). With the physical YouTrip MasterCard, you can use YouTrip anywhere that accepts MasterCard. Given the widespread acceptance of MasterCard around the world, that’s almost everywhere. You can choose to use it to pay for online as well as offline transactions.

YouTrip’s mobile app can exchange and store multiple foreign currencies. (Screengrab)

Pros and Cons of Using YouTrip

PROS

1. The merchant, not you, is charged by YouTrip 

To understand why you should use YouTrip, you first have to understand how YouTrip makes money, i.e. its business model. Unlike other credit card providers, YouTrip doesn’t charge any transaction fees or cross-border fees. Also, unlike money changers, YouTrip doesn’t charge a spread on your exchange rate. 

Well, the whole business model of YouTrip is VERY simple. Whenever you make a purchase at the point of sale, the merchant has to pay MasterCard a small fee. YouTrip has an existing agreement with MasterCard to get a small cut of that fee. So the more you spend, the more YouTrip earns.

In other words, YouTrip doesn’t make money off from you as a user. Instead, it makes money off the merchant. This is unlike money changers or multi-currency accounts where they make money off from you (e.g. transaction fees, spread on exchange rate).

2. Favourable exchange rates

Because YouTrip doesn’t make money from you as a user, it is able to offer very decent exchange rate. You will probably find the exchange rate beating your usual money changer near your place or even the famous “The Arcade”. A quick comparison on get4x.com shows that none of the 10 selected money changers at “The Arcade” managed to offer a better rate than YouTrip.

With YouTrip, all you need to do is change some money for loose cash before your overseas trip. Alternatively, you can also use YouTrip to withdraw from any overseas ATM that accepts MasterCard. The only drawback is that withdrawing from an overseas ATM will cost you S$5.

YOUTRIP V
MONEY CHANGER
SGD Needed For US$1,000 Better Exchange Rate Than YouTrip?
YouTrip 1,375 NA
Hassan & Sons Exchange 1,382.42 No
Mohamed Thahir Exchange 1,446.81 No
Money Matters Foreign Exchange 1,384.80 No
MHMS Money Changer 1,402.03 No
Robinson Exchange 1,386.37 No
M M Shariff Traders 1,385.79 No
Crown Exchange 1,380.86 No
Time Exchange 1,448.96 No
Sheen International Exchange 1,380.44 No
Money Matters Foreign Exchange 1,384.87 No

Source: www.get4x.com

3. Simple and convenient to use

The YouTrip app has a very user-friendly design. It is so intuitive and simple to use you don’t even need a manual to guide you. Trust me, it will probably take you five minutes to get a hang of things. If you already use e-wallet apps like GrabPay or PayLah in Singapore, you’ll like how YouTrip works.

Cons

While YouTrip is a pretty good app that is ahead of similar products from the banks (e.g. DBS’ Multi-Currency Account, credit cards), it is not without drawbacks.

1. Money can go in, but not out

Although YouTrip functions as a wallet, it doesn’t allow you to withdraw any money. This means once you have topped up money into YouTrip, the only way is for you to spend it. Even if you terminate your card, it still won’t allow you to withdraw any money from the wallet. So, make sure that you only put in what you need to spend. That also means you need to carefully budget how much money you exchange for your overseas trip: you don’t want to be stuck with hundreds of dollars worth of overseas currency in the app that you cannot withdraw and exchange back into SGD. A simple way to get around this problem is to only top up your YouTrip wallet whenever you need more money, and charge everything to the YouTrip MasterCard debit card. 

2. It’s a debit card, not a credit card

As a card, YouTrip functions like a debit card, not a credit card. That means you first need to top up money in your account before you can start using it: the storage limit is S$3,000 at any point in time. There is also a maximum daily spending limit of S$6,000 a day (assuming you top up $3,000 in the morning, and another $3,000 in the evening). For this reason, avoid using YouTrip for really large expenses like booking an expensive hotel suite, for example, or going on a high fashion spending spree of luxury bags or shoes.

3. You don’t earn miles or cashback 

If you’re a seasoned credit card user, you’ll know how to optimise earning miles and cashback from your overseas credit card spend. Given that YouTrip works like a debit card, it doesn’t offer any miles or cashback for you regardless of how much you spend. That’s an opportunity cost, given how certain air miles or cashback credit cards offer great value when spending overseas.

My personal experience with YouTrip: It worked wonders for me

I personally used YouTrip in the Bay Area in San Francisco as well as multiple online shopping websites (both local and overseas). I used YouTrip as my primary debit card in the US. To be honest, my experience has been pretty awesome so far. For my upcoming trip to Europe, I’m planning to use YouTrip as my primary debit card as well.

My personal review for YouTrip? In my humble opinion, the most value-for-money card for travel.

Read these next:

Best 6 Credit Cards For Overseas Spending
Should I Use my Credit Cards Overseas To Earn Miles?
Amex, Visa or MasterCard: Which Is Better for Travel?
Mobile Wallets in Singapore 2019: A Complete Guide

Author

By Si Jie Lim
Most people think personal finance is dry, boring and full of confusing jargon. But the fact is it can be simple
and interesting. That’s why Si Jie is passionate about turning personal finance into an easy and fun topic that everyone can relate to.

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