We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Cash Vs Currency travel money cards

Carnarvon, Australia
Level Contributor
110 posts
29 reviews
Save Topic
Cash Vs Currency travel money cards

Not sure if Im in the right forum, but Im trying to work out where it is best to take cash, travellers cheques, or travel money cards away on a trip we will be away about nearly 2 months and doing a 7 day cruise, 5 day bus trip, then a couple of days in vancouver, then a 3 week cruise through the paciffic islands. Any thoughts on this would be appriecated

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6,858 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Cash Vs Currency travel money cards

My first instinct is to say "none of the above". The world has passed travellers cheques by, travel money cards typically have fees and restrictions buried in the fine print, and carrying a two months' supply of cash is impractical. But there are two other options that are particularly convenient.

Credit cards (especially Visa and Mastercard) are widely accepted in Canada, so you can use them for most purchases. Yes, you'll probably incur foreign transaction fees, but exchanging money is never free and even with these fees the exchange costs on credit cards are very reasonable. Let your credit card company know where you're going so they don't flag the foreign activity as suspicious.

And for other things, you'll want some Canadian cash that you can get simply by using your bank card in an ATM located at any branch of any major Canadian bank. If you're a Bank of America customer, Scotiabank ATMs are fee-free for you; otherwise, try to make a few larger withdrawals -- if you get $20 at a time, the per-transaction fees will really add up.

The cruises are a whole separate question. You might want to ask on cruisecritic.com to get a sense of how much cash you need for those, vs. the expenses that are handled through the cruise company.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
56,211 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Cash Vs Currency travel money cards

When I went to Aust, I took about $100 in the smallest denominations they would give me. This gave me pocket money on the way and upon arrival. Then I withdrew a calculated larger amount when necessary from an ATM to hold me for a while. I purchased goods and most services with a credit card. Worked a charm.

With the loose change at the end of the trip, you can spend it, or include it in your hotel housekeeping tip, or donate it to a tip jar at the last place you grab a coffee. Sometimes those coffee places have charity jars as well.

I have never paid attention to whether I was paying $1.03 or $1.08 for a Aussie dollar. Call me whatever you like, my focus was to enjoy the trip. And I found using the CC gave me a good exchange rate.

Do put a Travel Watch on your bank card and CC by telling your financial institution when you will be away and where you are going. You don't want your cards blocked for suspicious activity.

3. Re: Cash Vs Currency travel money cards

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 20 August 2013, 19:17