how to carry money?
Replies: 86 - Last Post: Oct 26, 2012 3:08 AM Last Post By: BOOMER1
Oct 23, 2012 3:15 PM
75This topic has to be pretty country specific.
In Canada, traveller's cheques (American Express) are still widely promoted.
The pre-paid Visa/Mastercard type cards....in Canada these are meant for minors who are not allowed to have a credit card until they reach the age of majoritiy. Or, for adults who do not qualify for a credit card because they have declared bankruptcy in the past or have abysmal credit ratings.
The ones available in Canada have horrendous fees, no one in their right mind would use them unless there was absolutely no alternative. Plus, I read an account (unverified) of a traveller losing hundreds of dollars off of his card and American Express refused to refund the money, probably why they pulled them from the market here. Our federal government has prepared a nice report on them, with a big chart showing all the fees and service charges, it was a bit shocking to see the costs involved.
As this topic is discussing carrying funds in Central America, discussion of their usage in European countries isn't really relevant.
Oct 24, 2012 4:05 AM
76Remember that Amex will not refund lost or stolen TC's if it has reason to believe that you have not taken adequate care of them or may have been complicit. In principle they offer no better protection than with a card. and in both cases the companies already have your money.
I use my prepaid in Central America all the time so its very relevant to this discussion, but yes it was issued in the UK.
I am often surprised how behind North America is when it comes to consumer banking (as opposed to investment banking, less said the better!). The UK has proposals in the pipeline to render ALL cheques obsolete (yes thats your cheque book). When I mentioned this to my Merkin friends they looked at me like I was telling them that the Earth was being vaporized to make way for an intergalactic freeway....and some of them don't even have a bank account!
Never mind ladies, even Canada will catch up one day (well maybe not Canada, but the US). In the meantime you do get to meet interesting people in bank queues....
Oct 24, 2012 5:10 AM
77The good thing about prepaid is that it has no link to any of your accounts. Guatamala apperently has some ATMs that have been rigged, this accordnig to local venders. I used a prepaid on most of my trip, but had back up options.
Boomer: As isaid, my bank no longer sells TC's
Oct 24, 2012 8:29 PM
78Hee, hee Boomer, you are a funny guy!
Well, given that I have lived in the UK for two years, I have some idea of how their banks can work. As a matter of fact, having had a dormant account for 8 years, they finally sent me a letter just last week saying that they were going to close my account that has had 55 p in it, for all these years. They've been sending a statement and paying postage for all that time. In Canada accounts go dormant in about two years time.
You do know that the Canadian banking system is the envy of the world, do you not? I think you do, as you seem fairly well informed. Consumers are offered quite a bit of protection and the banks are well regulated, but still have the opportunity to make huge profits.
I know from experience that those in the UK were very sensitive to the suggestion that it is 20 years behind North America. They always joked about it when I lived there, very much the inferiority complex.
I just booked 4 more hotels today for my upcoming trip to Central America. One used a booking site and I was able to pre-pay on my credit card. The other three had to be booked directly with the hotel and all mention that they will take traveller's cheques as payment and two of these will not accept credit cards at all. No line ups necessary to use tc.
Oct 25, 2012 3:51 AM
80I have no doubt that Canada has a fine banking system. We still allow our Majesty to grace your bank notes and be your Queen and Head of State which we wouldn't do if we thought you were shifty (like the Merkins).
I still think its a pity however that from the consumer side your banks are not offering advancements in technology that would simplify processes and offer greater value to customers who travel a lot, but instead still seem trapped in some faded paper time warp. Is it because Canadian's don't travel much?
Oct 25, 2012 7:55 AM
Oct 25, 2012 8:03 AM
Oct 25, 2012 11:59 AM
Oct 25, 2012 3:26 PM
Oct 25, 2012 9:47 PM
85#87: OMG, that is VERY funny!!!! (except for the weirdo part)
When I moved to the UK, the banking system was very behind Canada. They were just coming out with debit cards, but didn't quite have the system down yet. Didn't use a pin with the cards!!!! Huh?? not very secure. At that time I had had a pin code in Canada for 17 years. Anyhow, they changed that while I was there. But any banking business was still really painful, long line ups at the branches, etc.
Due to the structure of the Canadian banking system, it is easy to introduce the newest technologies very rapidly, unlike the USA. Some I can do without, such as the pay-wave credit cards. These can have the information stolen from them way too easily for my liking. Canada has had ATM cards since the late 1970s and it seems that almost everyone pays for everything with debit transactions. I don't like to use debit, I use my credit card as I like the record of transactions and my 2 percent cash back.
Oct 26, 2012 3:08 AM
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