Originally Posted by Mike43
. . . What would interest me is how do you handle your funds to make sure you
get to spend it. I have plenty of experience on the beach from getting receipts from local banks to make sure you can change your local currency back into "hard" currency when you exit. Some countries used to have a black market rate. to hiding cash in my sock.
What I'm getting at is identity theft etc. Is the norm to rely on ATM/CC, Travelers checks, cash. Which are the more convenient currencies. $US can be a handicap in Cuba
I believe. IMO GBP and Euros wouldn't go astray as well as Au$ in South Pacific
. Besides a few different currencies can be a hedge against currency swings.
I read a horror story about a lady who had 3 ATM cards which became compromised using Island ATMs. The villains depleted all 3 a/cs, and she did her homework.
Sorry to be boring but you folks have more imagination than Walt Disney, and I'm smart enough to know there's a lot I don't know.
There is a good thread with most of the answers to what your are asking here on CF at: Banking Outside the US in Western Hemisphere
- - But quickly, in the Caribbean
and I suspect elsewhere you get local currency from ATM machines which have outdone T-shirt shops in their abundance. US Dollars are not really used much although some places will take them but normally at a not-so-good exchange rate. Same with travelers checks. In order to exchange USD to local or back you need to be in a Bank that will do it for a "non-customer" and you need to have your documents with you. Normally cruisers with "left-over local currency will sell it to a newly arriving cruiser as opposed to going through the bank hassles. So getting local money
is easy, getting rid of excess is a bit more challenging.
- - You should set up your home banking to be accessible via the internet
so that you can watch any activity on your accounts and transfer money
as needed from one account to the other. I normally keep a very small amount in my checking account which is accessible by my ATM card. That limits what can be stolen if the card "disappears" or is cloned.
- - Identify Theft is not a problem, what is a problem is ATM card theft. You can Google
ATM Scams, ATM card theft, and other variations and get the latest ways crooks are obtaining the two necessary items in order to get access to your ATM accounts. First they need the ATM card number and then they need your PIN. You can protect these by never using your ATM card to open the door to the ATM booth, use any other card with a magnetic stripe such as a drivers license
. I don't know anybody would have more than one ATM card account. I have a duplicate card only in case I personally do something to the card so it will not work.
- - Also these days the ATM's talk via data link to your home bank before they issue you any money. So if the phone
lines are down ATM machines will not function or they may refuse your card because the machine could not establish contact with your bank. Just try again later.
- - Also examine all ATM machines for alterations - these are well described in the UTube links from a Google
search. Then cover your hands when you put in your PIN so that hidden cameras cannot copy your PIN. There are more safeguards which you can deduce from watching the UTube videos.
- - You should have more than one credit card (Visa, Mastercard) account but only take one with you when you leave the boat to go ashore. If a credit card is compromised the bank will normally shut it down before you even know about it. And you can use your internet
access to your bank to detect any unauthorized charges or debits. But banks can only terminate the account these days, so you will need the "other" credit card to use until you can get a replacement sent to you which can take a month or more.