Never Travelled Overseas, Need An Insight About Money

Travel Forums General Talk Never Travelled Overseas, Need An Insight About Money

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1. Posted by kuromi (Budding Member 2 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Hi, I'm 20 years young and I wanted to ask for some clearance on something I've been researching that I am still confused about.

I'm from Australia and I want to travel the to US, I have a passport and I've been approved for travel under the Visa Waiver Program. Upon researching for travel advice, I find a statement that reads "Declare all amounts over USD $10,000 (or its foreign equivalent) on arrival and departure. This covers all forms of currency, not only US dollars and not only cash. Failing to do so is a serious violation and can result in the seizure and forfeiture of your money. Criminal penalties can also apply." and then upon researching further into that, I'm not sure whether it is requiring me to bring at least $10,000 USD ($15,300 AUD) as the minimum? or that I need to declare somewhere stating that I'm going to be bringing in that amount of cash to the US.

If I can receive any tips and information on this, I will be grateful. I'd also like to ask if bringing less than $10,000 USD is fine? and if it's less cash, I won't need to declare on such forms? I was originally saving up $20,000 AUD since I'll be staying there for 2 months at a friend's place, going to Disney Land (you know the expenses) and spending that cash on the flights as well.

Last question would be if I need to convert my currency, how would I do that? Can I use my Debit Mastercard with AUD in America? (I am aware that it will take what seems like "more" from my account because their currency is different)

[ Edit: Edited on 4 Feb 2024, 05:27 GMT by kuromi ]

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6216 posts) 11w 2 Star this if you like it!

>I'm not sure whether it is requiring me to bring at least $10,000 USD ($15,300 AUD) as the minimum?

It is not.

>I'd also like to ask if bringing less than $10,000 USD is fine?

It is absolutely fine.

>and if it's less cash, I won't need to declare on such forms?

No, you won't.

Many (most/all?)countries require visitors to declare large amounts of cash on entry, regardless of the currency and, of course, the vast, vast majority of visitors don't carry huge amounts of cash, for very obvious reasons. It's not exactly safe to do so!

>Last question would be if I need to convert my currency, how would I do that?

You will need to convert your currency. AUD is not, of course, accepted in the US.

It's best to convert a chunk of cash before your trip using your bank/ a bank or local exchange offices. You may be able to order foreign currency online from your bank then pick it up a few days later: check.

Don't use airport exchange offices: rates are almost always poorer than elsewhere (and charges are almost always higher).

In the US you can get USD by using your card in ATMs. Some will make a small charge. Check your bank's own charges for foreign currency transactions.

>Can I use my Debit Mastercard with AUD in America?

Yes, you can. Mastercard cards are widely accepted across the US but

a) make sure you know exactly what your bank will charge for each and every foreign currency transaction and ATM withdrawal

b) make sure you tell your bank in advance that you'll be using your card in the US and

c) make absolutely sure you've got your bank contact details in case your card is blocked (can happen automatically), lost or stolen.

It's really not a good idea to travel abroad with just one card and some cash. If the card gets blocked, lost, eaten by an ATM or stolen you could be in real difficulty. So try to get another card. You may not be able to get a credit card so research travel currency cards such as Caxton and Fairfx. Both are long-established, trustworthy & reliable (and backed by Mastercard). Their cards act like debit cards. You load them with AUD from your own account and it's converted to USD so you can use the card in the US with no charges for transactions or ATM use. At the end of your trip you can transfer any remaining balance back to your own bank in AUD.

[ Edit: Edited on 4 Feb 2024, 08:00 GMT by leics2 ]

3. Posted by kuromi (Budding Member 2 posts) 11w 1 Star this if you like it!

Thank you, this is incredibly helpful. :)

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