There are a LOT of places that only take cash. Don't know about UK Passport Cards, but we have been given AMEX cards as gifts and they could not be used here.
I know nothing about UK passport cards, never had one and see no reason why to get it.
Use your debit card for cash withdrawals, and your credit card for other purchases.
Whilst I've no experience with Passport Cards, for the last few years I've had 2 fairfx.com pre-paid debit cards - US$ & euros. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They offer a great exchange rate & I've never had a problem with using them anywhere that takes credit cards. Plus I can withdraw up to US$600 per day from any ATM for a $2 flat fee (which is the charge by the local bank in St Maarten). There are no hidden bank charges or foreign transactions fees of which UK Banks are so fond!
Thanks for your response, we are still not sure. We have used both Dollar & Euro cards in the states & Europe with little trouble.
Pre-loaded cash passport cards are Debit cards Usable in any outlet that recognises & displays the MasterCard Logo. We would like to know if they are acceptable in lots of outlets.
Mastercard is widely accepted. As sxmlover said, there are beach bars, smaller restaurants & shops that only accept cash but supermarkets & most restaurants will accept credit or debit cards. You may be asked to show photo ID &, at French side restaurants, if paying in US$, you will usually get a better $ to € rate if paying in cash. For these reasons I use cash more.
Thanks for your reply, it helped make our minds up to take them with us.
Responding to seasidetabby = family and I will be travelling from Salisbury, UK to Florida and then on to St.Maarten in August 2014 so I am interested to know what currency you would recommend as you are also from the UK. Would you suggest that we bring enough cash in US dollars or load some pre-paid cards? We are staying at the Westin apartments in Dawn Beach Club. We have never been to St. Maarten before and I am slightly concerned about the reports I am now reading about safety on the island. What do you think - is it safe enough if we are sensible? The only islands we have been to before are St. Thomas, Aruba and Curacao - all were very safe but we don't go out really late at night and will stay around the resort if we have to at night. but we do like to rent a car and drive around during the day .Edited: 12 April 2014, 23:49
Personally, for my tuppence worth, having been to SXM countless times over the years, US dollars are king, but as I mentioned in a previous post, we really do have to recommend the prepaid cards for peace of mind.
As for safety and crime on the island, in the 17+ years we've been going, we've never had a problem. Just, as you say, be careful and use your loaf.