Best way to access cash whilst travelling RTW?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Mar 20, 2012 3:54 AM Last Post By: doonanah
Mar 19, 2012 10:05 AM
Best way to access cash whilst travelling RTW?Hi all,
I'm planning on travelling to central & South America (starting in Costa Rica...flying out of Chile) then to Australia & Fiji from September and ending next July. Can anyone help with advice on the best way to access my money? I have a Visa debit card but not a credit card. I feel that I'm going to need other forms to access cash safety and in the (god forbid) case that something should happen with my debit card. I was thinking of getting a credit card but not sure of best options for travelling through so many different countries... I'd really appreciate some good advice!
Mar 19, 2012 10:08 AM
Mar 19, 2012 1:38 PM
Mar 19, 2012 1:57 PM
Mar 19, 2012 1:57 PM
4I agree with #1 and #2. Use your debit cards in ATMs and take the maximum you can, which helps keep ATM fees down. But as you are ending your time in a particular country, try and estimate your cash needs, and take out only what you need before you leave a country. You don't want to have a big wad of cash to exchange when you're ready to go over the border to the next country. You lose money every time you exchange currency.
Also, keep a stash of cash (I'm American and carry U.S. dollars because they are easily exchangable). I usually have about $200 U.S., give or take. You want just enough to get you by in case something happens and you need the cash in an emergency.
In addition, I usually carried a credit card, issued by the same bank as the debit card. I made sure that I could use the credit card to withdraw cash if needed (but I only reserved that for emergencies because credit cards are often more expensive for withdrawing cash).
So that's my three-pronged cash strategy: debit card, backup credit card, backup emergency cash stash.
Mar 19, 2012 8:59 PM
5You're absolutely right to be worried about only having one card. It would be better if you had at least 2-3 cards from more than one bank. That's because even using any one legitimate debit card at an overseas ATM, there's a good chance you'll get some kind of "transaction unavailable" message from various ATM machines. I've run into that so many times, and often had to switch to different banks, and also trying different credit/debit cards before I could get cash.
At the very least, get 2 cards, keeping one in your luggage, and one on your person just in case you're robbed. If you're travelling with only one bank account and one debit card(s) then you're going to need to carry a lot more cash, in order to guard against the "transaction not available" problem.
Mar 20, 2012 3:54 AM
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