Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

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Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by TheSweetestThing on Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:01 pm

I'm doing some travelling in the US in August and I'm trying to sort out the best way for me to access my money whilst there. Just wondering if anyone here had some tips on how to not get reamed with exchange rates + conversion fees. And which is the best way to handle money? Cash, Aus credit/debit card or travellex card, etc?

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by UncleCletusKasady on Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:25 pm

When me and DBF went i got $2000 in U.S dollars to take with me (got them from my local bank got a top rate and it only cost me $10 or so tho change over), i could not be arsed hunting for banks or cashing travellers checks, also i also used my visa card for anything biggish as there are no fee's for me.

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by mse6 on Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:32 pm

use your credit/debit card where possible, cash is good for little things...stay away from traveler's cheques and hotel exchange desks.

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by BoloMusashi on Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:09 pm

If you have to withdraw funds via a US ATM, try and grab as much as you can because you'll get slugged with conversion and overseas withdrawal fees for every transaction.

I've always carried a grand or two in cash for cabs, emergencies etc. and whacked other purchases on the credit card/debit card - I found that hardly anyone over there walks around with cash in their wallets.

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by Dabigfella on Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:03 pm

Same as them.....

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by Octane on Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:53 pm

The place has become a lot more Credit Card friendly in the last 3 odd years. (Well at least in this part of the US of A) Up til then most fast food chains did not have POS card machines, we are so backward here.

Check your card does not have any weird fees or restrictions on international use.

BoloMusashi is right if you do need cash withdraw out lots as you will be hit with a $5-$7 US fee to withdraw from Most ATMS.

Traveler's cheques are actually okay but a big pain to get cashed sometime and anything Western Union does stay away from as there Fees are stupidly high.

(If you are in the south I know somewhere you can crash for free, although it may cost Fizz Wizz or Bag of Snakes.)

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by BoloMusashi on Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:21 am

Octane wrote:
Check your card does not have any weird fees or restrictions on international use.

Also tell your bank that you'll be overseas so they don't freeze your card as soon as they start to see a bunch of overseas transactions.

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by TheSweetestThing on Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:06 am

Thanks heaps for all of that guys. I wasn't really happy with taking cash as I've heard all the stories about not taking too much with you on your person in case you get mugged and the same with not putting it in the hotel safe as they're not as secure as you'd like to think.

I don't have a credit card currently, just a visa debit card and it's about as friendly as you've mentioned with fees, but I'm more worried that it won't be accepted because its a foreign card (I'm with the Greater, its not even known around Australia let alone anywhere else).

Octane, thanks a lot for the offer - I'll be spending about 4 days in Dallas but we've already booked our accommodation and we're pretty much only there for Quake Con (gaming convention) so we want to be right on the doorstep for that. But I'll be happy to bring some wizz fizz and snakes and post them to you if you like Smile

Thanks again for all your help, it is much appreciated and I will definitely be considering the cash option now.
Cheers Smile

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by Hemish on Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:57 pm

Oh yeah , imagine the fuss when someone opens the wizzfizz and sees the white powder!!

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by UncleCletusKasady on Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:26 am

Hemish wrote:Oh yeah , imagine the fuss when someone opens the wizzfizz and sees the white powder!!

Laughing
You'll be in Guantanamo bay before you can say where is my phone call!
If you do end up in there make sure you don't get the special meat sandwhich.
Although you might not even make it out the country with it if my experience with Australian airport security is anything to go buy Rolling Eyes

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by The Dr Of Style on Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:41 am

Just pack it in a boogie board bag......and watlz straight through... my sister told me that it was the easiest way......

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by ragericho on Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:46 am

Your going to quakecon? who plays quake that you know?

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by spitcurlboy on Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:18 am

nothing much more to add to money advice.........so have fun with your trip and the yanks and don't forget to do the online visa weaver before u go

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by TheSweetestThing on Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:19 pm

Cheers guys.
Heh, showing my ignorance through innocence there with the Wizz Fizz. Yeah I think I'll give those a miss Razz

rage - nobody I know plays it often, and I've never played it, its more for the experience and the lanning & such. I hear its the biggest gaming convention around...

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by ragericho on Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:37 pm

Well you better start playing you cant go to quake con and never play quake, make sure to take lots of pics !

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by TheSweetestThing on Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:19 pm

Haha, don't think I'll actually be gaming mate, all I can take with me is my 3.5 year old laptop, which while it could work fine as a gaming machine (to an extent) is in desperate need of a RAM upgrade (1GB on vista... *shudders*) and a battery replacement.
Though I am registered for the BYOC so I'll see how I go.

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by BoloMusashi on Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:35 pm

ragericho wrote: make sure to take lots of pics !

especially the booth babes

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by ragericho on Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:49 am

BoloMusashi wrote:
ragericho wrote: make sure to take lots of pics !

especially the booth babes

Yea and being a girl you should be able to get better pics and get away with it Smile

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by TheSweetestThing on Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:52 pm

lol, they may get a little suspicious of my nature, seeing as the whole short hair and not so girly clothing thing is my style Razz

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

Post by Octane on Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:10 pm

Quake Con from what I heard is really neat and quite huge they are estimating a minimum of 7-8K attendance this year with about half bringing there own computer. They also give away huge amounts of $$$ for winning events.....

Unfortunitly For me it's always on the same period as our little local Anime Con which I am involved with (I usually don't turn down the chance to pimp plushies to 3.5K of people) and I am not that huge a PC gamer.

(Be heading to Screwattack Gaming Con in Dallas in 2 weeks which is a general probably smaller Video Game Con.)

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Re: Travelling in the US - possible to not get reamed with fees?

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