DUMB question

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from booklover. Show booklover's posts

    DUMB question

    I travel overseas at least once every two years. I don't take large amounts of cash with me, I usually just utilize the ATMs in whatever country I'm in. Not only for the security of not having to carry around lots of cash, but also because whatever the ATM fees are, it is usually not as high as the fees for exchanging currencies would be. I believe you can use U.S. dollars in Aruba (haven't been there in about 10 years so I don't remember) but I can't see the ATM fees being all that high, when you factor in the convenience and safety issues. Just a thought. If you don't want to carry cash and you don't want to pay ATM fees, there are always travelers' checks.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from LilSprout. Show LilSprout's posts

    DUMB question

    I would take a moderate chunk of cash out and then use your card for everything else possible... but let your credit card company know ahead of time in case they have some kind of fraud protection program...so they don't cut you off in the middle of your vacation! (BofA did that to my aunt recently...she traveled to Canada and couldn't use her card because she didn't tell them she was traveling.)
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    DUMB question

    Call your bank before you go. Let them know you’ll be using your card in Aruba, and ask about how to minimize fees. The fees tend to be lower at bricks & mortar banks v. stand-alone ATM’s.

    When we went to St Lucia, we traveled with a decent amount of cash (maybe a couple of hundred each?) and left the excess in the safe in our room when we were out and about. (I’m sure people have horror stories about this, but we didn’t have any problems) Used our credit or debit cards for dinners and major purchases, and cash for tips and other small stuff. We hit an ATM only once – on a day trip to one of the main towns; I don’t recall the fee being all that bad.

    Using your cards is your best bet, honestly – you’ll get the commercial rate for that day and probably no transaction fees.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    DUMB question

    For most overseas travel, I just used my credit card wherever possible and got travelers checks to exchange for instances where I needed cash. I also have a bank card that does not charge your for ATM usage, ever, worldwide. Look into one. However, I did not have that card at the time of my honeymoon. We just charged everything to the room and paid by credit card when we were leaving.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Moneypenny424. Show Moneypenny424's posts

    DUMB question

    I travel abroad all the time. I never take more than about $200 with me. I use the ATMs there. The exchange rates from the ATMs are the best exchange rates you'll find. ATMs are everywhere (though randomly hard to find in Japan), so you'll be fine! Yes, you'll pay ATM fees, but they aren't terrible (a few dollars). If not, just use your credit card. Like others have said, tell the bank beforehand.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    DUMB question

    Hi SJam,
    I've travelled a fair amount and am going to France soon, so I've been researching the same issue. I have always thought, and my travel agent confirmed, that you get the best exchange rates by going to ATM machines. I studied abroad in France and since my Citizens Bank Circle Checking Account doesn't charge for ATMs abroad, I never once paid a fee for an ATM. Apparently the ATMs over there didn't charge me their own fees. This was 7 years ago, so it could have changed, but I didn't get charged any fees in Mexico two years ago either.

    So yes, ATMs are the way to go unless your bank charges a huge fee. If it does charge a huge fee, you could plan to hit the ATM only 2-3 times throughout the trip.

    Also, contact your credit card company to make sure they don't add a fee on to your purchases abroad. There are cards that charge 3% on all transactions in foreign currencies, for example. That can add up!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    DUMB question

    just use your ATM and pay the fee (may $5 a pop). It's a lot cheaper than having a wad of cash stolen!
    Use you credit card. And it's a good idea to call. My card got blocked on Sunday at Wal-Mart trying to buy a TV! I guess electronics are a big red flag for credit card companies. But I've had it blocked while traveling and having to call them to re-instate it is annoying as heck.
    Happy Honeymoon!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from redflatshoe. Show redflatshoe's posts

    DUMB question

    I do a lot of international travel. I use BofA when I go to Europe or Asia because the transaction fees are far less than most ATMs in USA.

    Most recently, I have been using First Republic. They refund ATM fees even for overseas transactions. I hope this helps.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    DUMB question

    Also call to see if your ATM card has daily withdrawal/purchase limits. If you're with a credit union, you're probably OK, but a lot of banks won't let you take more than $300 from an ATM at a time.

    Overall, it's definitely cheaper to pay the ATM fees than to have all your cash stolen or to lose it.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Prill. Show Prill's posts

    DUMB question

    You can also look to see if your bank has any reciprocal arrangement with international banks - my bank has an agreement with a bank in Australia so we can use the ATMs there without any extra fees.
     
Sections
Shortcuts

Share