from oz to the us
Replies: 28 - Last Post: Nov 1, 2012 12:47 AM Last Post By: ianw6705
Oct 27, 2012 12:28 AM
Oct 27, 2012 2:21 AM
Oct 27, 2012 3:34 AM
Oct 27, 2012 5:50 AM
Oct 27, 2012 6:11 AM
4Use a Visa debit or credit card that is linked to worldwide banking systems so that you may use bank ATMs to withdraw small amounts of cash rather than carrying large amounts in case of thieves. American Express travelers checks or card cost extra money so not budget- oriented. Make sure that your ATM card does not have more money on it than you can afford to lose -- just enough for your vacation. Be sure to quickly report it stolen if that does happen.
Oct 27, 2012 6:15 AM
5I answered your question in #2.
Yes there are fees, but there are costs involved any way you do it. If you bring cash you pay fees to exchange, if you use your ATM you pay fees, if you use a credit card you pay fees. There is no free lunch.
The generally accepted "best" way for experienced travellers is to use their ATM card to access cash when needed and pay with a credit as much as possible. Credit cards generally offer the best exchange rates, are safe from loss or fraud (as long as you report the loss or fraud immediately) and reduce your need to carry around a lot of cash. They are also widely accepted within the US for almost all purchases. Just alert your bank that you'll be traveling to the US or they may decline the charges.
Oct 27, 2012 6:36 AM
6Plastic is prefered IMO. There is protection in case your card info is stolen, It happened to me. I paid
$2,486 for a pregnant woman in London to have a jolly good shopping spree. My bank covered the loss.
Oct 27, 2012 6:55 AM
7If you happen to bank with Westpac, you can use Bank of America ATMS and Westpac will waive the $5 foreign bank withdrawal fee.
See FAQ 168 Currency Conversion: ATMs Are Cheapest and Most Convenient. Although it's a bit old, the information is still valid. It's very long.
At many places, especially supermarkets, you can also get cash back if you buy something with your debit card.
Oct 27, 2012 5:25 PM
8whats the best way to access my own cash? travelex card ect? can anyone recomend? surely taking my oz bank card is going to involve alot of fees?
We use a Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card (you get two of them). You pre-load it with Australian dollars, and it fixes the rates in the currencies you nominate (USD, Euro, GBP ... perhaps others). Worked very well for us - operates as an ATM access card, a Debit Card, and a Credit Card (MasterCard based). Never had a problem at ATMs or for cash-out in stores, and fees were very moderate. Australia Post has a similar card that is VISA based.
Only had one merchant (a liquor store in Harlem) not accept it ... and the other benefit is that it is a no-name card - just an account number, so identity theft is not possible.
Oct 27, 2012 11:04 PM
Oct 28, 2012 2:11 AM
Oct 28, 2012 3:47 AM
11... as your bank hits you on fees and poor exchange rates
That is the point of a Travel Card ... rate is locked in back in Australia, and no further conversion gouging occurs on the trip.
Oct 28, 2012 4:29 AM
Oct 28, 2012 11:47 PM
Oct 29, 2012 3:37 PM
14Ian, problem with those cards locking in your rate is it can also go against you
True enough ... but the upside is certainty I guess.
And in reality, the AUD has been trading in a narrow range above parity (around $1.04) against the USD for several years now, so it's fairly predictable. A further consideration is that you shouldn't buy the card and load it up too far ahead. Might get a good rate, but the cards pay no interest, so that is an opportunity cost to factor in maybe. But if the AUD goes to $US1.08 or something, I'd lock in earlier.
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