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Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

Gold Coast
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193 posts
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Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

We are going to Honolulu in March and are just wondering if its easy to change Assie dollars to Us dollars and where can you do it. Do you need your passport when you are changing it?

Perth, Australia
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4,965 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

Take a couple of hundred US Dollars with you - and make sure you have a few $5 and $1 notes .. to use at tips when you first arrive. You'd not be a happy chappy if you only had $20 notes with you!

We got a debit card through ANZ Bank. We put a few thousand on it (for a 7 week US trip) ... and withdrew from anywhere there was a Visa sign. This is cheaper than using your own cards. You can pay for anything on it, ie restaurants, shops, tours etc.

But remember when you check into a hotel, to hand over your credit card as security when you check in ... and if you have to pay a hotel bill when you check out, then use the debit card to settle the accouont.

My friend handed over the debit card and was charged $500 straight away, as they treat it as cash..... and it took a while to get it back. There are hundreds of ATM's around Honolulu to withdraw cash any time you like.

Sydney, Australia
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399 posts
90 reviews
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2. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

Hi

Check out the Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard, we use it all the time overseas due and it gets great reviews on TA.

Also you can get cash from the post office without the nasty fees some of the banks want to charge.

Jodi

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
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23,690 posts
57 reviews
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3. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

Eagle has it right. Take a couple hundred with plenty of small bills. Then use ATMs and credit cards. This is what we do when we travel out of the country.

nwf
NSW Australia
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910 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

Hi there,

I never let my card out of my sight for any reason. A clothing wallet can

handle $1000 US in mixed currency..Have seen what a "LOST" card

can do to a Holiday and it's budget. You should be on top of your

expenses at all times and that is common sense,,All the best NWF.

perth
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381 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

hi just wondering if there is authorised money exchanges on the street to change Aus to Us $?

Would the exchange rate be any better on the street?

thanks

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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26,776 posts
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6. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

At DFS Galleria there is an authorized money exchange.

A friend of mine used it around 6pm on a Sunday.

I don't know what hours they are open, but it seems fairly liberal.

Corner of Kalakaua & Royal Hawaiian

toledo,OH
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150 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

I don't know how it works for Australian money and the exchange rate in the US, but when we go to Mexico, I just use the ATM there. I get a better exchange rate when I'm down there. I take some American dollars, but take out Pesos there. It ends up being less out of my bank account. I'm sure that sense our dollar is so crappy right now, you might be a millionare here! :D

Lake Macquarie...
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3,632 posts
20 reviews
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8. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

We found the exchange rate at the hotels was scary, The exchange rat at a bank in Waikiki a bit better. The exchange rate at the DFS Galleria arcade better again. The exchange rate at Comsec at home before we left, the best. They charge about 1% transaction fee, so we just watch the rates and buy some when the rates are good.

We've got a couple of US$ spirited away for our trip in April already. We were pretty happy with 91c after fees, considering it was 66c after fees in Waikiki last time we went (ouch) and it's about 87c at the moment. We usually take a couple of thou and split it into 4 so that any hiccup does't hurt too bad.

We use our cards for accommodation, vehicle hire & dept store purchase. We use cash for drinks, dining & small shops.

As said before, take a fistful of small notes for misc stuff & tipping. Don't forget a fistful of quarters for phones, buses & vending machines.

Some friends of ours use an American Express card in Hawaii & the US, because they said they waive the usual 2% international transaction fee that Visa & Mastercard stitch you for.

Edited: 19 February 2010, 12:44
Lake Macquarie...
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3,632 posts
20 reviews
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9. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

I did get US$60 for a AU$50 note one time at the Vegas Convention Centre. A lady on the cash register in the cafe' saw me accidentally take out some Aussie notes and took a liking to a $50 note in it's resplendent yellow colour. She offered me $60 for it and I was happy to oblige. She said that their currency was boring. I have to agree and it's also dangerous when you're not used to the markings. On more than one occasion I was about to accidentally give a $50 mixed with fives, when the wife gave me an elbow! Couldn't even blame my colourblindness.

I was a bit embarrassed another time in Lahaina, when I gave a waiter a fistful of money with (what was supposed to be) a big tip after a great meal for 5 of us. I'd got the fifties & fives mixed up and shortchanged him about $35! I was in a t-shirt shop down the road when he came in huffing & puffing later, after tearing up & down the street looking for us. I made it worth his while with a bigger tip and I thought he was going to hug me. Boy, was he stressing!

Sydney
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54 posts
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10. Re: Take Aussie $'s to change or use ATM?

Why not exchange money before you go? The exchange rate is favourable at the moment but it isn't stable.

There are also some places in the Ala Moana Center but I thought the exchange rate was better in Australia.