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Old 02-04-2010, 20:38   #16
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FSMike: Having never been to the Bahama's, what is the current cost of BaTelCo for internet?
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:49   #17
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Are people carrying heaps of cash around with them?


We have found a breed of thieving, money hungry folks worldwide called Locals, People, Humans etc

They have installed ATM's everywhere especially exactly where you, a foreigner, can find them so you can pay exorbitant fees to the money hungry locals.

No we do NOT take much cash.

The internet is now world wide via a USB modem,(you need an UN-locked one for moving countries) so transferring money is no problem.

Think of having 2 banks. Each bank with 2 accounts. One account with money in it, one almost empty. The EMPTY one is the one linked to a Visa Debit Card or Mastercard (etc).

Have a small amount of working money in the one associated with the card.

Transfer money from the big one into the small one via the internet as required.

this means if your Visa card or your Master Card is stolen(etc) they only get a small amount of money.

Debit cards are great as they just take the money from your account. When you run out, you run out! You don't go into debt.

All the best

Mark
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:25   #18
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You can set up any bills that recur on a regular basis to be paid by ACH transfer from your banking account, or by credit card. Set up your credit card(s) for auto-pay via ACH. You'll need a U.S. billing address for the credit cards, so if you're "homeless" (living on your boat), you'll need a mail forwarding service in the States. We have no U.S. address, so we use St. Brendan's Isle in Green Cove Springs, Florida. This also allowed us to establish legal "domicile" in the State of Florida for absentee voting and for a Florida residents' driver licenses.

As others have said, ATMs and Internet banking make managing your money a snap, and very safe, for the most part. All financial institutions use digital encryption techniques for Internet transactions, so the only thing you need to worry about is someone installing a keylogger on an Internet cafe computer to steal your account info and passwords. When using an ATM, inspect it for an add-on card reader that can steal your card account data, and a micro camera above the keypad that can record your PIN. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN to foil the camera. This doesn't happen often, but we had a rash of this sort of crime in the eastern Caribbean a couple of years ago.

Once you get it all set up and functioning, it's really quite easy and trouble-free.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:52   #19
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A little off thread... but I wonder how cruisers delt with money matters say... 50 to 100 years ago. They must have kept large safes full of gems and minerals to get resupplied. :-D

Centuries ago, before pants had pockets, or sailors had lockers in which to stow personal items, a gold earing in the left ear was said to cover funeral expenses, and "failure to complete the voyage contract"--or so the story goes.

I don't think this is too much of a stretch of the realities of the times.

On my fathers death, I inherited all of his Merchant Marine papers.
He went to sea at the age of 9 years, in 1910, as an orphaned/ cabin boy. His father, a schooner captain had been lost at sea off his own ship.
I have individual voyage certificate/ contracts showing rank and rates of pay, which varied apparently by size of vessel and captains personal assessment.
These are dated up to 1929, so I don't know if that is when Unions were established.
If one wishes an insight into how sailors were compensated for taking "prize ships" back in the 1790's, S. thomas Russel's "Under enemy colors"
contains some interesting information, although I can't account for the degree of accuracy.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:23   #20
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Mail Forwarding

For the last three years, I have been using a service Earth Class Mail for mail forwarding. Besides giving a US address and forwarding services, it also scans your mail so you can read it over the Internet. I have been very happy with the service.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:47   #21
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Silverbow, hello from one of the Texans that visit this forum! I'm not cruising, but do travel a fair amount to global destinations as well as domestic. I am 99.99 percent internet based. It would be a hundred, but there are a few things still done with paper, like the guys that do my yard work want me to leave a check once a month.

My main setup is bank accounts on-line with JP Morgan Chase. I find them the most accessible worldwide, and the service is fabulous. The on-line transfers and bill pay are free and secure. I do have a couple of have payees set up that only accept cash or check payments. I enter the payment, just the same as for any payees, and Chase actually sends them a check. It usually takes 5 days for that check to reach the payee.

I also keep an account at a credit union. That all works similar to Chase, but on different networks, so there is an alternate for ATM systems. I transfer money from Chase to the CU every once in a while.

My meager investments reside with Fidelity, and I handle it 100 percent online. Again, I can transfer money from them to either Chase or my credit union, and visa versa.

For years I have had a box at a UPS store near my house. It allows me to have a real street address that isn't my residence. I use it for most mail and all shipping and receiving and it's been perfect, so far.

I am a devoted fan of American Express. I know, I know - not everyone takes it especially outside the US, and there is a fee, which I am happy to pay. I have routine payments set up to charge to it, and there is never an issue with credit limits. And while they don't take it in a shop in Europe or Latin America, I can go to the internet and use it for airline tickets, and Amazon, and Paypal payments. And I have not yet found the hotel that refuses Amex. The Rewards points build up fast and transfer directly to an Airline account for easy use as "mileage".

Jim

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Old 03-04-2010, 10:41   #22
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Thanks again to everyone! For the excellent tips! We still have a lot of work to do... but we will be there soon! Our days of being a day sailors are coming to an end and our lifestyle as liveaboards is starting to blossum!

... on a positive note:

In less than 24 hours of becoming a member on this list, my Hunter, which has been for sale for months, has a solid offer!!!! WOOT! We danced around in our house for at least 20 minutes. That song by Olivia Newton John from the movie Xanadu is playing in my mind: "It must be magic!"
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:16   #23
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... on a positive note:

In less than 24 hours of becoming a member on this list, my Hunter, which has been for sale for months, has a solid offer!!!! WOOT! We danced around in our house for at least 20 minutes. That song by Olivia Newton John from the movie Xanadu is playing in my mind: "It must be magic!"
Comes with the price of admission. No extra charge!
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:34   #24
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I also go some great information on this thread. I had no idea that my bank (Navy Federal CU) could mail a check directly to whomever I ask (all on-line) until I read Jim's post. Navy Federal does not charge for this service and it could not have come at a better time since I desperately needed to send a check for insurance premiums back to the states and was having little luck finding someone flying back in less than a 3 week time frame.
Thanks!!
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Old 03-04-2010, 13:34   #25
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We use Bank of America for everything to pay bills online. The ATM card you can get 10,000 peso's a day. If you use a Santanter Bank (Big bank Spain based, all over Mexico) ATM there is no charge for anything as they are aligned with Bankof America. Before that we were hit with conversion charges and high ATM fee's.
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Old 03-04-2010, 17:05   #26
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If you have an AT&T cell phone, be sure to turn it off while in the bahamas. I forgot and was shock at the $ 175.00 plus charges for taking a couple calls from friends in the States. If you plan to stay a while get a BatelCo phone at the grocery, much cheaper.
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Old 03-04-2010, 18:03   #27
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Set up a brokerage account and a bank account with a company like Schwab that doesn't sting you with a bunch or bogus fees. Be sure they offer third party security tokens, then do your banking and bill paying on line. If you use a security token, you will need to have your user ID, your password, and the token generated access code every time you log in. Even if somebody steals your user ID and password, without the token codes, which change every thirty seconds, they can't get into your account. Then use your credit card for everything else. Hide some cash, and access additional cash through ATM cards. This system has worked pretty well for me the past couple of years.
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Old 04-04-2010, 19:21   #28
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Someone posted me a private email suggesting an 'authenticator' (connected via a USB port) when connecting to banking websites.

TEE - Is this the token codes you were talking about.

INK Well - Thanks for the tip on turning the phone off. My last trip to Iraq, I learned very quickly how fast your bill can skyrocket. I currently sport the T-Mobile Dash 3G. And T-Mobile has been great for giving my country specific discounts as long as I call them first.

HUD3 - Thanks for the BofA info. I have banked with them for my everyday stuff for a long time and I have mixed feelings about banking with them... I do it, for the same reasons you do... the vastness of their availability around the world.

I am drifting off the main topic here, but I am REALLY interesting in this USB internet networking and would be very grateful to being connected to a thread/link to where people are talking the best and worst of these devices.
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Old 04-04-2010, 20:03   #29
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Check with your bank on there security for internet, no usb will work if your bank does not use that system.

The best thing to do is ask, some banks have 2 sets of log in's one for the "normal" log in and one with higher security for people who wants it. So, don't just look but ask the bank.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:39   #30
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USAA tops...

...the list in our book.

1 - You can do all your bill paying on line (ACH transfers mentioned by HUD)
2 - They are used to dealing with the military all over the world. Yesterday was the first time in our 3.5 yrs cruising that I had ANY problem using my USAA card. It was resolved in about 30 minutes.
3 - All the same great bennies apply - like 4 'free' ATM transactions/month (you get a rebate on the fees every month)
4 - Excellent on line security
5 - Access to TurboTax (at a discount) to file fed and state taxes

If you have questions give them a call. They have bent over backwards to make sure WE can manage OUR money.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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