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Using debit or credit cards in Florida

(17 Posts)
stupidphone Mon 03-Jul-17 22:27:33

Haven't been abroad for a long while. How do you take your cash? I use HSBC or NatWest, do you get charged loads to use your card? Haven't a clue!

OP’s posts: |
Earlybird Mon 03-Jul-17 22:38:01

Not sure how much you'll be charged, but you'll perhaps be pleased to know that America has finally got 'chip and pin' which should help everyone use their cards securely wherever they are. Took them forever!

Be sure and inform your bank of the dates you'll be away so they don't freeze your cards due to 'suspicious activity'.

Depending on how long you'll be away, take at least £300 in cash which you can convert at the airport. You won't get the best exchange rate, but not so easy to find a place to convert money there.

Someone will hopefully be along shortly who can advise with more specific details.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 04-Jul-17 07:22:58

I take a mix of cash (enough to last the first couple of days) and credit cards. If you have a photocard driving licence then keep that with you in your purse (because some places also ask for picture ID when paying with a credit card).

There is usually a fee incurred for each transaction and withdrawal from an ATM. I would check with your bank to see if they have any US banks as partners because if so transaction fees can be very much reduced or even free if you withdraw money from one of their ATMs.

Never change money at the airport. Instead order it online and collect the currency at the airport.

Its not always necessary to actually inform the bank these days re travelling abroad but its worth contacting them to find out what their policy is.

kath6144 Tue 04-Jul-17 15:35:10

We are about to go to western USA and have both just got Halifax Clarity credit cards, which don't charge for foreign currency transactions. We thought it was worth it as we have some accommodation to pay for as well as general spending, meals etc. Cards came within 5 days of doing online applications.

We are also taking some dollars, we ordered ours from Asda online, got delivered registered post at no cost the next day.

stupidphone Tue 04-Jul-17 22:28:33

Thank you for replies - having a look into the credit card

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Thu 06-Jul-17 23:06:21

Do phone the number on the back of your bank card and tell them you will be in the USA.

Check money exchange rates here! Get the cash before you go and collecting from the bank or getting it sent to you is better then having to find the right exchange kiosk. Airport exchange rates are crap too.

Your bank cards will work but the credit card from Halifax is a good one.

Iamastonished Fri 07-Jul-17 22:27:13

"but you'll perhaps be pleased to know that America has finally got 'chip and pin' which should help everyone use their cards securely wherever they are. Took them forever!"

This must be very recent because they didn't have chip and pin in Orlando last summer. Debit cards incur charges. It is cheaper to use a credit card. We took cash and supplemented with a credit card where necessary.

ShotsFired Fri 07-Jul-17 22:44:18

If you get a Clarity card, don't arse round changing money here, just withdraw it from an ATM there. Better rates and no fees (they do charge a bit of interest though, so just do an online/app payment to the card as soon as you see it hit the statement)

nornironrock Sat 08-Jul-17 11:24:44

Doesn't matter which card you take, in my experience the vast majority of ATMs in the US will charge for withdrawals made by cards not issued form their bank.
We took one of those Sainsbury preloaded cards. Next time we will just take cash.

somewhereovertherain Sat 15-Jul-17 15:01:16

We took a creation MasterCard which has no charges and worked well everywhere.

somewhereovertherain Sat 15-Jul-17 15:01:40

Didn't get charged for taking cash out either.

Groovee Sat 15-Jul-17 15:04:50

We used a fairfx card. I loaded it with dollars and was able to use it like a debit card and withdraw cash.

Sweetnessishere Mon 17-Jul-17 23:27:33

The choices are

1. Take cash - get before hand, the Post Office usually has competitive rates. Never at the airport as the rates are a rip off. We usually have a float of about $100 for tips and other similar charges no more.
2. Get a pre-loaded cash card the recommended are Faifx or Caxtonfx, you can even start to preload these when you feel the rate is good. Then when you are over there you can either withdraw from an ATM generally free of charge or pay like a debit card. You can also transfer more money to the card from your bank account if required whilst away.
3. Get a zero oversea credit card such as Halifax Clarity, however my understanding is that there is still a fee for withdrawing cash, which I would never do on a credit card. I just use it to pay.
4. Apple Pay, either using your preloaded debit or Halifax Card.

If you are going to Disney, most places take Apple Pay or PayWave. For larger purchases it is chip and pin, plus photo ID. Although this is supposed to be illegal it is far easier to carry your driving licence than argue the point.

EnormousDormouse Mon 17-Jul-17 23:35:22

We use a Halifax Clarity credit card - there is no fee to withdraw cash (unless the bank machine you are withdrawing from adds one, and that's usually on!y a couple of dollars) so we use it to pay for goods and to get all our cash.
However, if you do take out cash Halifax start to charge interest on it from that day. - it's just the usual credit card rate, but you don't get the 30 days free you get for purchases. So as a previous poster suggested, transfer cash from another account the same day or preload your credit card account (so you have a positive cash balance) before you go.

EnormousDormouse Mon 17-Jul-17 23:37:08

Look at Moneysavingexpert for a good guide on this.

EnormousDormouse Mon 17-Jul-17 23:39:17

AndNowItIsSeven Mon 17-Jul-17 23:39:33

BARCLAYCARD have a travel credit card no interest on foreign cash withdrawals if you pay in full when you get your bill and no transaction fees. It's for 22 months.

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