Hi all, i'am off to the U.S.A for 2 months hopefully in June with a friend. I'am a UK resident and have been wondering about how best to organise money and spending over in the states.
Is my bank likely to charge evertime i use my Debir card over there?
Should i take travellers cheques?
Will my bank/card be accepted in the states?
Can people who have travelled to the states for a number of months tell me how they went about organizing their finances before they went and while they travelled?
Im yet to visit the states but im going to america for 9 weeks in september. I upgraded my account so that i wont get chargerd everytime i make a withdrawal. Im unsure whether my card will work at only ATMs or if ill also be able to use it itself...im with HSBC. Best thing you can do is speak to your bank. As for managing your money just be sensible. I plan on staying in hostels some of which include breakfast in the price, dont eat out all the time and travel around the cheapest way possible...amtrak and greyhound look good. Try to to worry just concentrate on having a good time
Generally, using your credit card is preferable to using a bank. You will get better rates and there is no additional fees charged for using the credit cards. Avoid the change places at the airports or at the hotels--they charge the worst rates.
I live here, but go to Europe all the time--and the rules are the same no matter which direction you go.
There are three other things--(1) keep your receipts, (2) give your credit card company a phone number to reach you at (a cell phone or blackberry phone is best if you have one) and let them know that you plan to travel overseas, and (3) take two credit cards. Do these things for a few reasons--(1) you may get "ripped off" by someone making unauthorized charges against your credit card--and this way you show it wasn't you--and you can find out from your credit card company if this is happening--and they'll put a hold against the card if needed. This is why you take two cards. Only use one card--but if you find out someone is charging extra charges against it, then have a "hold" put on that card and then and only then use the second card for future credit card purchases, and (2) you may need those receipts for customs to show the actual value of what you bought.
I've only had this problem with someone trying to rip me off once--but it was in Cancun, Mexico--and the guy was trying to purchase jewelry with my card. The funny thing is that he was trying to do it at the same mall where I was located when I got called. I found out the store name--and walked over there and they were already arresting him when I walked in (based upon the info I gave over the phone). Turns out it was the waiter from the place where we ate lunch earlier in the day.
In my view, he should have picked on someone who didn't carry around an international phone and didn't work (as I did at the time) in the computer forensics/fraud field.
Anyway--that's my suggestion. I hope it helps you out.
P.S. Some cell phones require that you pay an international "activation" fee before it will work overseas. Generally this runs about $4 extra a month--but you can have it turned on and then back off (to avoid extra charges) after your trip is over.