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Can I use my Credit card

PDF
Manchester, United...
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Can I use my Credit card

We are visiting Guavaberry next month and although we are aware it's cash/cheque there.Can anyone advise how the rest of island operates, so we can work how how much cash to take, can use Credit cards at other place i.e Restaurants, food stores, boat trips etc?.

Many thanks

ACB
Rhode Island
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1. Re: Can I use my Credit card

Most restaurants are cc, as are most large operations - Dive bvi, Rosy's, Buck's, etc. We usually bring cash and cc. The cash is well protected in the house safes at Guavaberry. There are also ATMs on the island.

PDF
Manchester, United...
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2. Re: Can I use my Credit card

Many thanks ACB, have been reading your messages, sounds a great place, can't wait to see it with my own eyes!!

Boston
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3. Re: Can I use my Credit card

Just a heads up, you will be charged very high foreign currency exchange rates on your credit card when you use it for purchases in Virgin Gorda.

If you have a credit card through a credit union, call them to see if they charge this rate and if so what is the rate. I don't think my credit union visa card charges these rates, however; my American Express does. I learned that the hard way.

I got hit pretty hard last year when I used my AM EX. I would check on this before you go if you don't want any surprises when you get your statement.

Happy Travels!

Boston
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4. Re: Can I use my Credit card

Hi PDF,

I didn't realize you were from the UK. We get hit with these exchange fees in the US. I am not sure about the UK. I would see if it applies to you.

I agree with ACB about using the credit card. It is accepted in most places.

Roadtown
4 posts
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5. Re: Can I use my Credit card

Why would there be an exchange fee when the currency is the US dollar?

I have living here for over five years and have never been charged an exchange fee for my credit card usage. I think you were ripped off.

Boston
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6. Re: Can I use my Credit card

BVIJIM,

It isn't a foreign currency conversion fee, it is a fee for just using your card internationally. We have had a lot of reform in regards to credit cards and they are looking for other ways to make up the lost income. This is probably one of the ways. They are calling it foreign transacation fees, not currency conversion fees. Check this out:

Q: What is the foreign transaction fee on American Express cards? I will be traveling internationally more and would like to minimize or avoid this fee if at all possible.

A: If you travel internationally, you definitely have to keep an eye on those credit card foreign transaction fees. They can vary greatly depending upon who issues the card.

The standard American Express foreign transaction fee is 2.7% and here’s how it compares to other major issuers, arranged from most expensive to least expensive:

•Bank of America – 3% fee

•Barclaycard/Juniper – 3% fee

•Citi – 3% fee

•HSBC – 3% fee

•Wells Fargo – 3% fee

•Chase – 3% fee

•US Bank – 3% fee

•American Express – 2.7% fee (except for the Platinum Card which has no fee)

•Discover – 2% fee

•Capital One – no fee

As you can see, the American Express fee is slightly lower than average. If you only travel internationally once a year it’s probably not worth hassling with another credit card. However if travel abroad on a frequent basis, then chucking over those 2-3% fees will add up fast. Think about… spending $10,000 per year would mean $270 in currency fees.

The good news is there are several cards that charge no foreign transaction fees whatsoever. Go here to see the current list of cards with no currency fees.

ACB
Rhode Island
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for Virgin Gorda
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7. Re: Can I use my Credit card

Outstanding piece of info, Boston Tia! I use Capital One - thank you, Clark Howard!

Boston
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8. Re: Can I use my Credit card

Hi ACB and all the viewers of this post. I just have to say that you all are a bunch of friendly and classy people.

I lurk around the Mexico forums and the people are so rude. Everyone is mean and they tear each other apart. ACB, you are a breath of fresh air!!!

Boston
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9. Re: Can I use my Credit card

BVIJIM - you probably have a credit card that is not issued in the US, hence no foreign transaction fee.

This is not relevant to the BVI because there is no conversion, but although the fee from AMEX is lower, in my experience, the FX rate they give you is actually worse so you end up paying that way. I try to use cash taken from the ATM (with no fee) when I travel as that is normally the best rate.

ACB
Rhode Island
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for Virgin Gorda
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10. Re: Can I use my Credit card

Great advice on ATMs, Saffie.

Thanks Boston Tia. I can't speak on the Mexico forum. Last time I went to the Yucatan I used the forum on Loco Gringo, which was really good. However, I have had some issues on other forums. One is an island I use to visit frequently. I found folks very defensive on that forum, and they were more than willing to blast you for perceived negative comments. I finally said "Enough!" and don't post there anymore. I do check back from time to time to see if the bad children are still playing there and unfortunately they still are.

Look, no place is perfect. Best to be honest about it. No one has the same perspective and expectations. Whether you agree with someone or not, it is not unreasonable to respect their right to an opinion. I mean, that's what this site is suppose to be about, right - opinion?

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