One thing to remember. Unlike a credit card - purchases made using this card will not have purchase protection. It can only be used where VISA ELECTRON is accepted. It appears you cannot check your balance or transactions at ATMs (only online or by phone to UK. no paper statements are issued.) It has another PIN to remember which cannot be changed at an ATM. Much is made of 'locking in the exchange rate for tighter budgeting'. Exchange rates vary daily and can GO UP as well as down. You would lose on these days. Then there are the fees - you are charged every time you use it at an ATM (min fee £1.50 + atm providers fee), every time you load/reload it is 2% or £3 minimum charge,finally you sign up for 3 years and if you dont use it they charge a "monthly inactivity fee" of £2 per month.
Those who dont like fees and charges, want chip and pin protection (not just signature and pin (TC cash passport)like in the olden days),open a Nationwide bank account(VERY easy on Internet), put money into it and hey presto you have a both a debit and credit card you can use for free with all the protection that a bank provides. To quote, with more accuracy, Cook, Farnborough, "its just like your normal credit debit card". The TC cash passport (provided by Travelex)certainly is NOT. In fact the Travelex cash passport is cheaper to use!! My thanks go to Martin Lewis who has a well known program on TV and a terrific web site for all the eye opening information. His site says best prepaid is 'FairFX', then 'CaxtonFX' then Travelex. Worst are Halifax,Lloyds, RBS, NatWest and IF.
The drawbacks of both Travellers Cheques & the Thomas Cook Card are the associated charges.
With Travellers Cheques you pay to buy them and also receive a lower rate than you would for cash to exchange them. I understand that the Passport Card charges a percentage (2 %?) to load cash into it, plus a fee for each withdrawal. Similar fees usually apply to other 'pre-paid' cards of this type