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Thread: Safest and best way for spending money?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Safest and best way for spending money?

    I've done a bit of research on the topic but just wanted to make sure I am doing everything I can to avoid any fraudulent charges, etc.

    I've already notified my bank when I am going and planning on bringing enough cash for the first 2 days with me. I do have a debit card and have heard that is the worst thing you should be using while traveling internationally.

    Should I only use the card at bank ATMs and just get cash to pay for everything?

    Should I use cash to pay for tours and such as well so I can just avoid using my card at all unless I use a banks ATM.

    Thanks for the help

    2 more days!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    This is what we do, not sure. it is the best but it works for us:

    Absolutely only use your debit card at an atm, not as a credit option. This is true at home too.
    For casino money, we bring travelers checks. A lot of people will tell you these are outdated, but we started using them a couple trips ago, and now I love it. We just take whatever we want to gamble that day down to the casino cashier and cash it in. It also helps with self control We have to think twice before we just pop another $20 in a slot machine. I used to bring cash for this, but TC feel like a safer option to me. We have also used ATMs with no issue on the island. The fees were higher than we were used to, I think our credit union charged us $10, but that is a small price to pay for the sense of security of not carrying a lot of cash.

    For a week stay, I take $300 broken down into 10s, 5s, and 1s for smaller purchases, taxis, and tipping. My husband and I split that up between the two of us to carry our first day. As soon as we can check in the room, cash goes in the safe except what we plan to spend that day. We take additional cash sometimes, just depends on what are plans are for the trip.

    At restaurants and bars where we are going to be there long enough to run a tab, use a credit card that does not have an international transaction fee, and has a low limit, so if it ever was compromised, they wouldn't get much. We each have a credit card dedicated for this purpose. Andrea gives great advice, to not allow your card out of your sight, meaning not letting a server take it away from the table, but instead going with them to pay. We haven't done this, but I see the benefit.

    For tours and excursions, it depends on the vendor. Check with your tour operator to see what form of payment they accept. We have done a couple tours where they only take cash. For other excursions, I have booked and paid online from home. for our Jeep tour and atv rental, we used credit cards for both and they swipe the card right there at the counter and hand it back to you.

    The key to using credit at home and abroad is to be diligent in reviewing your statements. Most credit cards offer excellent fraud protection. Debit cards can be much more difficult to dispute.
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    We each have one credit card with us but tend to use it as backup, preferring to use cash for day to day stuff. When we get to the resort the cash goes in the safe and we just take what we need for the day. Relatively easy for us since we stay at an AI.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    We use a combination of cash & credit - never debit. Personally, I feel that the possibility of having a debit card compromised is much more severe since it's my CASH they are messing with. Even if it is proven fraud, there is still a time period it takes to prove/research and I don't want to deal with that. On a CC it's just a portion of my available credit, not cash.

    I use a CC that has no international fees and issues points that can be converted to travel credit so they will credit a portion of hotel stay or airfare depending on how many points I've accumulated

    I have never had an issue with a CC on Aruba...hope I didn't just jinx myself!
    Last edited by Jacki; 05-21-2015 at 03:28 PM. Reason: typo
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  5. #5
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Everyone seems to have it covered. I do add that there is a transaction fee $3-4 for a debit withdrawel from an ATM and I think it's a small price to pay for the security. My bank reimburses up to $10 per month for those transactions. I used travlers checks one year, but only once and casinos accept those readily.

    I do carry (coupla different pockets) my 'casino bankroll' for playing and always HOPE to enlarge that! DW brings a fair amount of smaller bills and etc for tips and smaller cash purchases.

    We charge everything at the resort to our room and settle up via credit card at checkout. If the casino has been kind.... I settle in cash.

  6. #6
    Senior Member brady bear's Avatar
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    All very good points and ideas.
    We take two credit cards (one for me and one for Lou). One being an American Express..
    Call the credit card company to let them know that where I will be going and how long.
    Make copies of the them as well as my passports and any other important documents (insurance and etc)
    Will charge everything to the hotel/resort as well. The same one that I booked it with ..
    Will take a certain amt. of cash everyday for meals, gifts and etc.

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for the tips and advice. Greatly appreciated.

    I'll prob just charge what I can to the room and use cash for everything else so I never have to use my card unless i'm at a BANK atm. Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Well at one time I would say," get that AmexGlobalTravel card"

    But that's not happening with all the bull**** they put me through.

  9. #9
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBeezy View Post
    Thanks all for the tips and advice. Greatly appreciated.

    I'll prob just charge what I can to the room and use cash for everything else so I never have to use my card unless i'm at a BANK atm. Thanks again!
    You will find bank ATMs in most hotel lobbies and definately in all casinos....... especially the casinos....!!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjones View Post
    You will find bank ATMs in most hotel lobbies and definately in all casinos....... especially the casinos....!!!
    Hahah, well we aren't the biggest gamblers but definitely good to know that it will be easy finding an ATM

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