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What's the best way to organise dollars for a USA trip these days?

(12 Posts)
sassytheFIRST Sat 13-Jul-13 09:50:58

Last time I went to the states it was a case of some cash, some travellers cheques. Is this still the best way or is there a more efficient, exchanged rate friendly way of having c$1500 with us?


MarjorieAntrobus Sat 13-Jul-13 09:56:27

Some cash and a few debit/credit cards is how I have done it. Haven't used travellers cheques for years.

DubaiGuy Sat 13-Jul-13 13:18:22

Credit card and ATM transactions are very convenient, but when you examine your bank statements you'll find that cross-currency fees add pounds to each transaction.

So this is what I do...

I opened a US dollar current account with Citibank in the U.K (you can do it online) which is free if you keep £2000 equivalent across all your Citibank accounts, or is £10/month if you drop below that figure.

They will issue a Visa debit card which you can then use to make cash withdrawals across the USA at no additional charge. Because the withdrawals are charged to your US dollar account, you don't get hit with exchange rate movements on each transaction, only on the initial transfer of the £s into the $ account.

Hope that made sense - as I said this is what I do when I travel to the US and I find it's easily the cheapest option.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 13-Jul-13 18:02:49

Travellers cheques are old hat these days and are not widely used. I take some cash and debit/credit cards.

Do inform your credit card company before you travel that you will be in the US for the duration of your holiday because a "stop" marker may be placed on your card otherwise.

If you bank with Barclays for instance, their US partner is Bank of America. Using one of their cash machines means that you do not have to pay extra commission charges.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sat 13-Jul-13 18:05:52

We're going in two weeks we're taking cash and we've got a usd currency card from the post office - it's just a prepay MasterCard that's free to get and your money is safe like travellers cheques if you register on line.

StrawberryMojito Sat 13-Jul-13 18:08:08

We used a Thomas Cook cash card. Just load it with the amount you want to, then use it as a debit card whilst you are there. You can also use it at certain ATMs to withdraw cash. Your account can be viewed online to see how much you have left. Each transaction you make is free.

I was going to use my normal bank debit card until I contacted the bank and found out how much each transaction and withdrawal would cost me. It was eye watering.

StrawberryMojito Sat 13-Jul-13 18:09:15

Forgot to mention, I think you can also add more funds to your account online when you are there.

Isityouorme Sun 14-Jul-13 06:39:00

Caxton card is the easiest way .. Use it like debit card, easy to check balance and top up, mostly free cash withdrawals.

newfavouritething Sun 14-Jul-13 15:21:17

I use a Post Office credit card, seemed to be the best/cheapest to use, and then took a couple of hundred dollars cash (again from the post office) for tips etc. MSE will tell you the best card to get.

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Sun 14-Jul-13 15:25:29

Prepaid card. Traveled and Caxton something recommended in paper. Can be stopped if you lose them

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Sun 14-Jul-13 15:25:47


sassytheFIRST Sun 14-Jul-13 20:25:38

Thanks all. Think the preloaded card looks to be the way to go.

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