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Old 20-05-2009, 09:51   #16
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hmmm... but is it as costly as Car insurance, sewer, electricity, water, garbage, toll booths, Real Estate taxes, e mail link, telephone line, lawn mower repairs, gas, car repairs, ho9me painting, gutter cleaning.... you get the picture!
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Old 20-05-2009, 09:59   #17
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Only if this is "in addition to all that!" - but it is so worth it. Just need to be prepared for it. There were many, many, many days when we spent nothing. Just enjoyed all that the Bahamas has to offer!
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Old 20-05-2009, 10:02   #18
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We found ATM and Cash to be by far the most convenient cost effective method for transactions in the Bahamas. We don't like to carry a lot of cash so when we ran out, we just went to an ATM. No problems! No Worries! You can use credit cards, and we did when there was no additional fee. But about half the time there were additions if you used credit.
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Old 20-05-2009, 10:35   #19
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ATMs are a great convenience, but just be careful when you use them.

There have been scams here in the eastern Caribbean on and off over the last year or so. Crooks insert a "skimmer" device in the debit card slot that reads the card information as it slides through. They position a tiny camera above the ATM to read your PIN number as you punch it in. A friend of my noticed a $1,500 withdrawal from his account after using an ATM in Antigua last year. The charge originated in Russia. There was a similar case here on Nevis a couple of months ago.

To be safe, carefully inspect the card slot for a skimmer, and cover the keypad when you enter your PIN.
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Old 20-05-2009, 17:22   #20
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We're finishing up two months in the Bahamas - cruised through the Exumas, Eleuthera and now in GTC Abacos waiting for the weather to break before heading home to CF. We've used credit more than cash, usually for "big" stuff like marinas, sitting on a mooring in Waderick waiting out weather, fuel and ... a mascerator in Nassau! However every time we use credit we are being charged a few % by our credit card company and, in some cases, a few % in the Bahamas for using it (GT Club fuel dock). ATMs aren't everywhere but where they are they can be used and I was charged a 3% fee by Wachovia called "international fee". Seems like either way you pay a fee.

We loved cruising the Bahamas (great advice from AEGEA in Bimini - thanks for all your help) and will be back....but it definitely is costly.

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Hi, Spindrift

Glad to hear you had a good cruise. We didn't do nearly as well. Got stuck in Jupiter with a stripped connection between engine and transmission and, after crossing Lake Okeechobee, lost our prop. We're stored for now but plan to come back again in the fall. Maybe we can hook up then.

Best regards,

Dick and Pat
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Old 20-05-2009, 20:28   #21
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Stealing the scanners REALLY annoyes the thieves. If you're observant, you can see them.
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Old 21-05-2009, 06:15   #22
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ATMs are a great convenience, but just be careful when you use them.

There have been scams here in the eastern Caribbean on and off over the last year or so. Crooks insert a "skimmer" device in the debit card slot that reads the card information as it slides through. They position a tiny camera above the ATM to read your PIN number as you punch it in...
... To be safe, carefully inspect the card slot for a skimmer, and cover the keypad when you enter your PIN.
How to spot ATM Skimmers:


Skimmers: Here's What A Card Skimmer Looks Like On An ATM
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Old 31-05-2009, 11:03   #23
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The banks and ATM manufacturers could end this really easily. I picture of what the ATM face should look like posted on the ATM it's self would stop all of this.
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Old 18-06-2009, 05:04   #24
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We got back from a 4 month cruise to the Bahamas and back in late Feb '09. We used one visa card and cash we brought with us. We used about $400.00 cash in 10 weeks in the islands. The visa was accepted every where (mostly we used it at marinas and the grocery stores, hardware and marine stores) except 2 small grocery stores on MOW, Milo's vegetables and handmade gifts stall on GGC, George's conch salad stand in MH (he makes the best!) and for the cruising permit when clearing in.

Bahama dollar pegged to USD no exchange rate. I didn't see any extra fees charged by my visa bank. Do alert your bank to the fact you will be traveling and where. Make sure the mag strip on the card is in good condition, get a replacement before you go. Take more than one card. Enjoy!
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Old 18-06-2009, 07:27   #25
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Cash is the best thing to use in the Bahamas. If you're cruising there's lots of places on a boat to make sure that the cash is secure. ATMs are few and far between and sometimes dispense only Bahamian currency which can be very annoying when you're at the end of the cruising season.

If you're only doing the Abacos you might rely on credit cards and ATM's but if you intend to do the Exumas and maybe get to Rum or some of the other islands you'll have a hard time finding ATMs. AFAIK the only ATM's available in the Exumas are in Georgetown. Even relatively large communities such as Staniel and Black Point don't have them. Going down the Exumas chain you can spend money in half a dozen of the cays but ATMs are only available in one island at GT.

For those that think branch banking is available forget it. If you are a non resident and have an account with say First Caribbean (formerly Barclays), the account will be with the main bank in downtown Nassau on Bay Street, you cannot access this account from a branch of First Caribbean two miles away at the plaza on East bay Street!!

So go with cash. Just last year we met a cruiser who's credit card account had tons of charges from Italy on it. This is while he's in the Bahamas. The only place he used the card was at a big marina in the Bahamas. Fraud is everywhere and it's difficult for cruisers to readily see and complain about it as many of us rely on others to do our bills while we're away.
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Old 18-06-2009, 09:00   #26
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Cash is the best thing to use in the Bahamas...
Preferably in smaller bills.
Even $50 often gets refused due to counterfeiting.
Gas dock attendants will often claim to have no change, so lots of $1s allow you to proffer nearly exact change, avoiding extorted "tipping".
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Old 18-06-2009, 09:19   #27
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Bahama banking...
I'm happy to report that the bankers at Green Turtle Cay are working twice as hard!...
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