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 In Dollars

South London
Level Contributor
1,405 posts
136 reviews
Save Topic
Cash In Dollars

Hi, this is perhaps a little bit off-topic but you guys have been so helpful so far!

When I came to the U.S (Nyc) last year I was stopped and had my baggage searched, I had around $800 on me and they advised me that there is only a certain amount that I can bring into the country in cash. (I think he said either $1000 or $2000)

Can anybody confirm this ? As I'll be there again soon!

((I am aware travellers cheques are best, but I've not a clue where I can cash them in Nyc and I really do prefer to keep cash on my person ))

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
24,086 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Cash In Dollars

Traveller's Checks are actually the worst - I don't know anyplace that takes them any more. Some day, someone will have to explain to me why Brits are so determined to carry large quantities of cash instead of credit or debit cards. :)

new york city
Level Contributor
19,059 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Cash In Dollars

I agree that what you should be taking is a fully loaded ATM card that is part of a worldwide network. Shop around your local banks that one that offers the lowest withdrawal fees... I for instance went for 2 weeks to Italy with an ATM card from TD Bank--- I only carried with me 100 Euros--- the rest of the money needed was taken out of local ATM's throughout Italy and I paid no fees at all.

Credit cards would be next but most of them charge an international use fee.

Just do your own research based on your local banks and leave your cash at home. ATM's also give the best exchange rate available

New York City
Level Contributor
17,258 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Cash In Dollars

You seem to have heard the information incorrectly.

There is no limit to the amount of money you may bring in, although if you bring in more than $10,000 in cash or traveller's checks you must declare this to Customs (although there is no duty on it.)

https:/…

However, it is an entirely different question as to whether you must have a MINIMUM amount of money.

Here is the answer to the question "Does a foreign visitor have to carry a certain amount of money to enter the U.S.? " as posted on the US Customs website:

"Yes; travelers visiting the U.S. from a foreign country must be able to prove to a CBP Officer that they have sufficient funds (i.e. credit cards, cash, travelers checks, money orders etc.) to cover their travel, lodging, entertainment, meals, etc. in order to be admitted into the U.S.

CBP Officers are aware that there may be circumstances in which a traveler may have limited funds. In those cases they will determine the admissibility of the traveler based on the information provided to support the reason the traveler has insufficient funds.

If you have invited someone to visit you with the understanding that you will be hosting them at your house and providing meals, etc., it is advised that you confirm your invitation in writing so that they have something to show the CBP Officer. The letter should include your full name and address. This will not guarantee their admission into the U.S., but it will help the CBP Officer fully assess their situation.

Finally, please be aware that we regularly receive reports of fraud committed against American citizens by internet correspondents professing love and romantic interest. Typically, the correspondent asks the American citizen to send money or credit card information for travel or visa expenses, including saying they must have $2000 to show Customs and Border Protection when they come to this country. We do not recommend you send money to anyone you have not met face-to-face. All too often, once they get the money, they keep coming up with reasons to postpone their trip. For more information please see the Department of State's warning on this issue."

https:/…

South London
Level Contributor
1,405 posts
136 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Cash In Dollars

Thankyou all for your prompt replies. Regarding Brits and travellers cheques - they always try to force you in the Post Office to take the damn things!! Then insist upon them being the best way, I used them once and couldnt work out what the hell to do with them!

<ATM's also give the best exchange rate available>

Is this true? I thought I'd be better off changing it first? With regards to the charges, I'm aware there is charges to take money out, but how about using it to pay for stuff? Should I expect a fee to pay if I pay for say , a meal by card?

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
319 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Cash In Dollars

Check out caxton fx pre paid dollar master card. Pretty good exchange rate too all things considered

CT
Level Contributor
47 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Cash In Dollars

There shouldn't be charges for international transactions, but each financial institution is different, so you might call your bank to ask what their policy is... if they tell you there's no additional charge, yes, you can use your card to pay for meals, shopping, tickets, etc, with no additional fee.

Just make sure the card has a Visa/MasterCard logo.

UK
Level Contributor
176 posts
256 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Cash In Dollars

I too will be bringing dollars when I arrive in a few weeks. There is no mystery behind this. It enables you to exchange sterling when the rate is advantageous.

I do not think it is possible to use a UK Debit card in the US. If a credit card is used to take out cash from an ATM there is a fee for each transaction, the exchange rate is whatever it is at the time and interest is charged immediately.

There are cards you can preload, but these are relatively new in the UK and whether the exchange rate would be lower, I am not sure. Maybe something to check out for the future.

For me, and most people I know, the best route is to take cash, and a credit card as emergency back up.

Edited: 19 March 2010, 17:27
new york city
Level Contributor
19,059 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Cash In Dollars

There are two sets of numbers that you need be concerned with-- first the exchange rate, That is the value of the US dollar against what ever currency is the home currency of the visitor... There are numerous exchange booths around new york city and the exchange rates are well posted.... However it has been found that the lowest rates are usually at ATM's of major banks--- these rates change on a daily basis but usually the ones with the lowest rates on Monday are going to be the ones with the lowest rates on Tuesday.

The second set of numbers that you need be interested in are the withdrawal fees. These are set fees and they come from 2 sources the bank you have that issues the ATM card and the bank where you are getting the money from in the US. Again both of these vary wildly and all you need to do is some research before your trip. This has nothing to do with using your ATM/Debit card to make purchases which is another fee MAYBE again depending on the issuing bank... the final way is credit cards where you don't have to have the money in advance but rather a LINE OF CREDIT. The thing to be concerned about here is the Foreign Use fee which sometimes can be a lot. I would suggest that you ask all of these questions of your debit and credit card issuers whose numbers are on the back of your cards or if from a local bank go in and sit down with somebody before your trip.

South London
Level Contributor
1,405 posts
136 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Cash In Dollars

Thankyou for your informed responses. Shall mull it all over and give the bank a call !

new york city
Level Contributor
19,059 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Cash In Dollars

Chrissy--- it is absolutely possible to use a UK debit/ATM card in the us.. Most are part of worldwide networks one on which is CIRUS and another is PLUS.

Just look on the back of your cards and see if these symbols appear and then look for the same at Atms in the US. Bringing dollars is risky because if they are lost or stolen they are gone no matter how good a rate you got for them. The fee for each transaction at an ATM is usually 1-3 dollars. There is no interest charged on an ATM that would be on a credit card that is different.