You guys are hilarious but seriously we tend to spend more in restaurants or malls if we have credit cards because we know even if we ordered moer than usual, we have our plastics to take care of it.
In malls, if you see a nice pair of bikinis or a good pair of board shorts then you buy it even though you got one too many already.
My attorney has advised me that it used to be that cash was King, but now CASH is everything! For the past three trips we have used cash only. You would be surprised by the amount you save when you are pulling the funds out of your wallet. The merchants often lowered their prices on jewelry too if you paid in cash. Just another helpful hint, hand your server a cash tip as you order, and you will be well taken care of!
Hope this helps,
Next Aruba trip in
is it better to bring cash or use plastic as much as possible?
I do a combination. Most places convert to USD before charging your credit card so there should be no currency conversion fees. It's a good idea to have some cash for small amounts, flea markets, etc.
I bring both.
However, I use cash most of the time as many restaurants, car rentals etc charge and extra discount when using a credit card. In addition, your credit card company will charge you an extra fee for using it abroad. And the is the safety issue, if someone will abuse your credit card info. I have my credit card with me just in case if I need some extra money.
I also only carry a smaller amount of cash on me. The rest stays in the safe at my apartment.
Hope that gives you some ideas.
I have to say that has not been my experience. Never have seen a charge from the credit card company or the restaurant (or other establishment) in 12 years. I guess we don't frequent the same spots or CC providers.
We use both. We also notify our CC companies and our bank (ATM) the dates we will be on the island. Its just a precaution. We'd only use the ATM in an emergency.
I'll give you some examples where there was an extra charge when using a credit card:
5% at the car rental place (Economic at the airport, Royal Car Rental). I made the reservation using my credit card and brought cash to pay the full amount when picking up my rental car. Very fair.
The same when I rent an apartment.
7.5% at the "Lagoon Casino". I loved to go there for brunch. They had a great buffet. When I wanted to pay with my credit card, he pointed out they would have to add this extra charge. So I paid cash.
Within the last year or so, most CC's are now charging the "transaction fee" whether the charges are billed in Dollars or Florins.
I had used one of my CC's (Citi Platinum) in Aruba for over 10 years and never had any fees (we only use the CC for hotel and car rental) until a couple of years ago when their policy changed. I switched to a different CC (Delta Amex Gold) that does not charge the fee now.
So it's all a matter of which card/provider you have and what their rules are.
As far as the original question, it's really a matter of personal preference and what fees (if any) you're willing to pay. We use a combo of cash and travelers checks and just use the CC for hotel and car rental (and any emergencies.)
"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts." - - Marcus Aurelius
33rd trip to Aruba - May 2016
San Fran/Napa Valley - Sept. 2016
Barcelona, Mallorca, and Andorra - Nov. 2016