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Cash, travel money card, eftpos?

Melbourne, Australia
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62 posts
7 reviews
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Cash, travel money card, eftpos?

How do you make purchases in the usa? Do you convert your cash in your homeland and take cash? Do you use your own savings and credit card and cop the fees (my bank is 3% per transaction plus $5 for withdrawals plus any other fee the ATM charges). Do you get a cash passport or travel money card?

Do most transactions happen on cards in the usa like in australia or is their more cash payments made due to the tipping?

Thanks!

Dublin, California
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22,489 posts
47 reviews
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1. Re: Cash, travel money card, eftpos?

Mostly credit cards. I usually advise visitors to use their bank ATM cards to withdraw cash. Don't use your credit card for cash. Shop around for the best credit card rates.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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2. Re: Cash, travel money card, eftpos?

Tipping has nothing to do with whether we use credit cards or cash.

You can leave tips on your credit card or leave cash tips . It is up to you.

I use my credit card to pay almost everything and Mr. Riff likes cash.

When I travel to Europe I use credit cards to pay for large things like hotels and big restaurants and I use local cash for the rest. I withdraw money using my ATM/debit card and try to take out large amounts at one time to pay the ATM fee fewer times. I just figure my bank fees as part of the cost of the trip as percentage wise it comes out to a small amount. My credit card no longer charges any foreign conversion fees so I try to use it a lot.

Just to add, I find a lot of foreign visitors do not make distinctions between debit and credit cards. They call everything a credit card when there is a big difference!! Debit cards take money directly from your own bank account and credit cards leave your money alone until you pay. Credit cards here have much more protection than debit cards!

Edited: 23 August 2014, 02:13
Dublin, California
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22,489 posts
47 reviews
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3. Re: Cash, travel money card, eftpos?

credit cards leave your money alone until you pay.

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But they start charging you interest the very moment to take the cash. Thus there'll be a little surprise present when you open your statement after you return from your trip. In the past I have pre-pay a certain amount to my credit card so if I should use the card to withdraw cash, it's my own cash. Now I only use my ATM card for cash withdrawal, unless there is a huge emergency.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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4. Re: Cash, travel money card, eftpos?

If you have time, open a Citibank Plus bank account. This comes with a Visa debit card that has no fees for overseas ATM withdrawals. In the USA, the ATM will charge a fee unless you use an ATM associated with Citibank. There are plenty of these, and you can locate them online.

For credit card purchases, look at getting a 28 Degrees Mastercard, which has no fees for overseas purchases, in person or over the Internet.

Both these cards have no account fees and give an exchange rate that is within 1% of the official inter-bank exchange rate.

EFTPOS is an Australian product that does not exist in the USA.

Australia
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393 posts
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5. Re: Cash, travel money card, eftpos?

Sydneynick offers very good advice.

The fraud protection is handled by the users home bank. Australian banks offer the same level of protection for both debit and credit card. It may seem like we're confused but that's generally not the case. It may be because most of our debit cards are in fact visa debit card (or similar), where we use 'credit' for purchases and a pin giving an extra level of protection.

Sounds like OP needs to research new banks/cards, those fees are to high. As I said Sydneynick offers great suggestions.

6. Re: Cash, travel money card, eftpos?

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