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Most secure way of taking spending money

(18 Posts)
NotSoFlatStanley Mon 24-Feb-20 16:01:48


We’re going to Florida at Easter this year. It’s our first long haul trip and I’m not sure of the best way to take our spending money, in terms of efficient spending and security. We have a Halifax Clarity Card, that we will use for shopping/fuel. Is it better to get a preloaded card for day to day spending or is there another method people use. We’re used to taking cash to Europe and exchanging it as we go along.

Any advice gratefully received smile

OP’s posts: |
chipsandpeas Mon 24-Feb-20 21:20:23

im going to the US in the summer and taking a pre loaded debit card as well as about $200 cash

AlwaysCheddar Fri 28-Feb-20 06:42:01

Caxton fx card - used everywhere, easy to top up and check balance.

lovelyupnorth Fri 28-Feb-20 06:52:27

Get a starling bank account. Free to use, you get the MasterCard day rate, fantastic app. You see straight away what you’ve spent in GBP. It’s a current account so no need to pre-load. Money comes in instantly. For example bought a meal in a restaurant in San Francisco didn’t have enough in the account, moved money in, paid left.

As a back up I have a BO bank account. Again free to use and great app. Only difference is it’s a Visa Card

Just back from using both across west Africa. No issues.

hawaiianturtle Fri 28-Feb-20 06:53:47

Another vote for starling. It's my main bank account anyway but great in America. Used in Vegas and Florida x

TorkTorkBam Fri 28-Feb-20 06:59:26

I have used my Revolut card in the US as well as Europe. Works great. Rates excellent. The app is very handy for topping up and monitoring what's spent where. The security features stopped someone who was trying to misuse the card details (server in a restaurant we think).

elastamum Fri 28-Feb-20 07:18:45

We just use a post office credit card that doesn't charge exchange fees.

themental Fri 28-Feb-20 07:56:45

Revolut is fantastic.

I only took tip money in cash and the rest in Revolut.

Now I use my revolut over here for everyday spending and saving.

PhoneLock Fri 28-Feb-20 08:04:04

I have a Starling bank account too plus an Halifax Clarity credit card.

I never rely one just one card.

NoveltyFunsy Fri 28-Feb-20 08:05:34

I use revolut as well

Easy to add money and see what you have spent

B1rdinthebush Fri 28-Feb-20 08:08:02

You can take out cash without a transaction fee on the Clarity card so I'd just get it out as you need. Or else Monzo is meant to be great for travelling abroad (I use it as my day to day banking but haven't used it abroad yet).

thefemalelemur Fri 28-Feb-20 08:15:14

Open a starling account. It allows you to use your card abroad with no fees, you have a phone app so you can keep track of spending, and you can withdraw a set amount from cash machines with no charge (I can't remember how much offhand). My DH has one and it was brilliant to use abroad so I've now opened one too, I just transfer holiday spending money into it online.

AnotherEmma Fri 28-Feb-20 08:17:56

I've taken out cash with the Halifax clarity credit card when abroad.

I agree with PP about having 2 different cards/accounts you can use. I learned the hard way when I forgot to retrieve my Halifax card from the machine and couldn't get it back from the bank. Had my usual bank card but wasn't ideal to use it because of transaction fees, exchange rates etc.

PontiacBandit Fri 28-Feb-20 08:30:25

I went to Florida last month, spent almost everything, even tips on credit cards (we had 3 with no overseas charges). Took around $200 in cash as a backup. Didn't need that much in the end.

lovelyupnorth Fri 28-Feb-20 08:42:26


Only issue with Monzo is the cash limit is quiet low.

tanstaafl Fri 28-Feb-20 08:50:27

Stick with the Clarity card OP.

We’ve used one every time we’ve been to USA and we’re fortunate to have been several times.
Not sure if this happens over there but if you’re ever offered whether you want to pay in £ or $, ALWAYS chose dollars.

We also took $50 in cash for every day we were there. Not just for tipping (and that’s a whole other subject ) but for smaller items say a bottle of water.

You can use Debit card to get cash out if push comes to shove, there’ll be a couple of quid charge each time you do, so wiser to get $100 or $200 rather than $20 iyswim.

Not sure if you still have to do this but we used to have to tell our bank that we were in USA between certain dates - assumed that was to prevent the cards being automatically locked by their anti fraud systems. We could do that via online banking.

Have a great trip!

PhoneLock Fri 28-Feb-20 11:06:58

The advantage of the Starling debit card over the Clarity credit card is that it doesn't charge you interest on cash withdrawals. The Clarity does.

However, in my experience, most ATMs in the US will add a charge even if your card company doesn't.

I don't like pre-paid cards because you are effectively giving the card company an interest free loan until you use the money on the card. By using a debit or credit card, your money stays in your bank account earning you interest until you need it.

NotSoFlatStanley Sat 29-Feb-20 20:23:46

Fabulous - thanks for the tips. I’ve been reading up and starling and revolut are often mentioned, so I’ll look into both of those to use alongside our clarity card smile

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