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Best form of payment for a week.

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110 posts
21 reviews
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Best form of payment for a week.


Yes I've read the frequent asked questions but still unsure.

My daughter and her boyfriend are heading to Breakaz resort for a weeks holiday.

What is best form of spending money ......

28degree credit card - Citibank visa debit or just take AUD and exchange there?

Would have to apply for either card, plan to do some shopping and maybe a bit of duty free also.

Thank you for any advise.


Port Vila, Vanuatu
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1. Re: Best form of payment for a week.

Bring AUD and change it here. You get the best rates and it is easy to change money at Goodies in the main drag.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Best form of payment for a week.

Banks charge an extra 4% and more to use credit/debit cards in Vanuatu, plus their conversion rate isn't as good as it can be. In fact try to find the daily conversion rate for the Vatu to compare, on the Mastercard or Visa sites, or ask your bank, you'll draw a blank, or that was my experience. You're just committed to their rate, take it or leave it.

Albiville4 is quite right, take a few grand in Aussies and change at Goodies to pay for activities and the snacks and drinks they want to buy from ABM2 to take back to Breakas. Perhaps they can change $100 at the airport on arrival so they have Vatu in their pocket from the get go. Do NOT change money to Vatu in Australia particularly at the airports. They'll cry when they get to Port Vila if they do :-)

If they really want take a credit/debit card loaded with emergency funds for withdrawal at ATMs or to use there for purchases and activities it might be a good fall back.

Cheerz Wabster

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3. Re: Best form of payment for a week.

Thank you both for your help.

Cash sounds the go.

Canberra, Australia
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4. Re: Best form of payment for a week.

I'll put an opposing opinion in. Carrying a "few thousand" in cash is fine if you accept the risk of loss, theft or the inability to account for your expenditure along the way. You sometimes get the best exchange rates, but you also are locking yourself into having to exchange blocks of cash or accept the exchange rates offered by merchants (all of which were poorer than that of a dedicated currency exchange OR a credit card).

I used a Citibank Visa Debit - the fee free one and on back tracking the conversion rates against xe.com I came up with rates that were closer than 0.5% to the market at the time. I'm pretty happy with that, The ANZ ATMS charged 600vt for a cash advance which sucks, but you really can do those sparingly.

Our hotel charged a 5% surcharge, but we paid as we went with cash (and had prepaid the accommodation prior anyway). A lot of main-street shops don't surcharge, the Chemist etc didn't.

In short if you use a decent card, and check & plan things you're not going to bleed money on fees.

But I ask you, around your home town where you feel safe do you carry a few thousand $$$? So why do it elsewhere?

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5. Re: Best form of payment for a week.

Thanks Aaron

That all makes good sence.

Only two more sleeps and they are off, so much excitement here.

Happy travelling


Port Vila
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6. Re: Best form of payment for a week.

Vanuatu is going through a really rough patch with eftpos and atm Machines being down over whole weekends,

I have even seen tourist (in the last week) walking out of restaurants and shops because they have no other means of payment apart from card,

Cash would be a good option,

Destination Expert
for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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135 reviews
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7. Re: Best form of payment for a week.

I agree with HLVila...And cash to exchange into vatu at Goodies will always be better than using any type of card with AUD on it. Some merchants eg Anchor Inn have an AUD price they can put on your card (their own generic exchange rate eg something costing 1000vt will be $15 AUD) .

Most accommodation provides a safe for keeping cash etc.

The markets, roadside stalls, village shops and small retailers don't take cards.

If you withdraw vatu from your own debit card ...yes at ANZ it will cost you 600vt (then get hit with a conversion fee from your own bank too), but Westpac is 450vt per withdrawal (up to 45000vt) which makes it less painful if you feel insecure carrying cash or leaving it in your room safe.

I have found some of the chinese shops will also give a good exchange rate (same as Goodies) for AUD too.

Edited: 07 December 2013, 08:20
8. Re: Best form of payment for a week.

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