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Old 13-12-2011, 11:56   #16
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Re: Cruising with money...

Had a safe on our last two cruising boats, well hidden and impossible to take out without an acetelene cutting torch. Kept a variety of local currencies in there. Carried credit/debit cards with us and put them in the ditch bag while cruising off shore. Met a guy in Costa Rica who had gold wafer bars spray painted in black paint. He said he would take one ashore, clean off the paint and cash it in at either a bank or jeweller. Don't know what his plan was if he sank somewhere but he was a Canadian, so go figure... Capt Phil
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Old 13-12-2011, 16:35   #17
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Re: Cruising with money...

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
..... Remember these countries have banks too.......Dave
Sorry but speaking from experience here, local banks are next to useless. An example that happened to me, I needed 3500 euros in cash to pay for some boat repairs and items I had bought. Went to local bank and was told point blank, there was NO WAY they could arrange to have the money paid to me as I held a UK account, not a Spanish one. 'Fine', I thought, 'no bother, Gibraltar is 20 mins down the road by car and it's a UK territory that even has several branches of the EXACT SAME UK bank that I hold an account with'.

Walked into the branch and was told that the only way to get the money i required in cash was to A, Telephone my actual BRANCH and speak to the manager PERSONALY (ever tried doing that in these days of centralised callcenters? Not easy to say the least!), then B, Ask him to write out a manual letter authorising the withdrawal and the ask him to FAX it to the branch in Gib'!

Was this in the 1980's? No, last year, 2010! So, I did get the cash but it took an entire day and that was with the same flipping bank that I use in the UK!

So, my original point still stands (and dont forget this is in the EU where we are "all one happy family" not some random 3rd world country), if youre doing any extended cruising, a cash reserve is a very good idea. Doesn't matter if it's not the local currency as you can always get it changed.

Another point to make about cards is banks have a habit of stopping you using them if they see unusual activity, like suddenly making a large payment in a foreign country. Again, this happened to me last year and I only found out when my card was declined when I went to pay a months mooring fees. I was glad I had a cash reserve to pay it as, even after contacting the bank and assuring them my card had not been stolen and answering the relavent security questions, it took 24 hours to unblock it!
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Old 13-12-2011, 16:45   #18
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Re: Cruising with money...

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Each nation wanted to use its own currency
Hardly surprising
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Old 13-12-2011, 16:47   #19
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Re: Cruising with money...

It's best to have some cash. Cards get compromised. Paid my marina bill with a card in Nassau. No good, compromised. Luckily I had cash. Visa said they'd get me a new card in five days or so. Two months later I got the card. No UPS in family islands, UPS agent discontinued. etc., etc. Call Visa, try and get through to a real person, $1 a minute. Your call is important to us, do not hang up, you will lose your spot in the queue. Nobody I've met has refused cash. Lots of spots in a boat to hide cash. When at sea put it in the ditch bag.
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Old 13-12-2011, 17:47   #20
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Re: Cruising with money...

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Originally Posted by dana-tenacity View Post
Hardly surprising
That's not a universal truth. In parts of Mexico and plenty of Central American countries you'll go farther with US Dollars than the local currency.
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Old 13-12-2011, 18:07   #21
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Re: Cruising with money...

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That's not a universal truth. In parts of Mexico and plenty of Central American countries you'll go farther with US Dollars than the local currency.
Not just there. On my first trip to Jamaica I foolishly took Canadian money. Ha, I nearly starved. They all wanted greenbacks.
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Old 13-12-2011, 18:33   #22
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Re: Cruising with money...

My suggestion is to make friends with a bank.

It's best for all of us if cruisers don't keep large wads of cash aboard. The moment the word gets out that sailboats are easy-to-rob cash repositories, we all became a little less safe.
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Old 13-12-2011, 18:34   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalescape
Ex-Calif has it right ...I had 9999.00 in travlers checks stolen from me within 1 hour of arriving in Bali..went to the American Express office where I met a young girl that I had met earlier on a plane and she too had been robbed at the airport of travlers checks...within 24 hrs. we were both reimbursed at no charge ..its the only way to go IMO.cash one or two at a time and have fun.....DVC
OK here is a financial "cocktail" that has worked for me for a long time.

Credit cards - two different cards and two different banks - one visa one mc. I periodically get one card stopped for security. The other is then used. I also call the number on the card and tell them where I am going before I go. They can make notes on your card file. I have used cards in pretty interesting places but have had my card stopped at a Phoenix Walmart - admittedly a $600 charge. The agent said, "your file says you are in Asia. No problem we'll turn it back on. If your card is really compromised it will take 6 weeks to get a new one if you are in the boonies. It is wise to get a cash advance pin although I have never had to use it.

Debit card / ATM - I have two bank accounts. The ATM limits are $1500 every 3 days. One is in USD and one is in SGD. I have had the USD be incompatible with an ATM but not the SGD one.

Cash - I have left home with $20 in my pocket. 20 years ago that would never have happened. If cruising I would keep a month reserve on the boat somewhere probaly in travellers checks.

American Express - Used to be you could write a personal check at an Amex office for up to $2000 if you had an Amex card. I used to live on my Amex card and checking account in the Philippines before ATM cards. One of my credit cards is amex for this purpose. I do have a 3rd credit card, Amex, but it
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Old 13-12-2011, 18:36   #24
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Re: Cruising with money...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Each nation wanted to use its own currency and the dollar was only valuable through Mexico.
There are notable exceptions. For example, in El Salvador the national currency is the US dollar.
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Old 13-12-2011, 21:19   #25
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Re: Cruising with money...

You guys with traveler's checks:

How are you redeeming those in various countries? Do you take it to a local bank in exchange for currency? If you're taking them direct to vendors, what's your success rate for having them accept them? I'm just thinking about the little hole-in-the-wall establishments I've seen in foreign lands and I think they'd look at traveler's checks like I was handing them monopoly money.
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Old 13-12-2011, 22:42   #26
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Re: Cruising with money...

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
It's best to have some cash. Cards get compromised. Paid my marina bill with a card in Nassau. No good, compromised. Luckily I had cash. Visa said they'd get me a new card in five days or so. Two months later I got the card. No UPS in family islands, UPS agent discontinued. etc., etc. Call Visa, try and get through to a real person, $1 a minute. Your call is important to us, do not hang up, you will lose your spot in the queue. Nobody I've met has refused cash. Lots of spots in a boat to hide cash. When at sea put it in the ditch bag.

Thanks for the useful input. I've found cash is pretty nonhassle if you aren't afraid of some risk. I refuse to rely on a cc to get me home if i were so unfortunate to lose all my cash. I like to think i'm capable of coming up with a more intelligent way around "paper," as some things are worth much more than money.
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Old 13-12-2011, 23:56   #27
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Re: Cruising with money...

I may be an odd traveler? but in my trips iv always took some gold rings but mostly silver rings and bracelets...youd be surprised how well Iv done with these...very rarely have I neede to enter a bank and most of my cash exchanges have been roadside vendors...silver is often worth more abroad then home...in anycase its always silver!!!

once in Kenya iv sold a cheep silver bracelet a fortune and paid all my trip expenses with this braclet alone.
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Old 14-12-2011, 01:06   #28
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Re: Cruising with money...

Great thread. I knew of one German guy who had his life savings in cash (Marks, no less!) rolled up and stuffed in a coffee can buried deep in the bilge. Yep, they got wet, rotted and he lost most of it. Lesson learned.
Obviously, a mix of cash, credit and ATM cards is the safest way to go. We have used ATM cards successfully everywhere. I find Visa is way more accepted than MC and a lot of places, especially in Asia where I live, won't touch Amex.
WHO uses travellers checks these days? Wow? I gave up on those 25 years ago and have never had a problem travelling to places as diverse as Tibet, Sudan, Sri Lanka, etc. If you like standing in long lines and getting bad exchange rates, this could be for you.
Another good thread would be where on the boat do you stash cash? I used to stuff mine inside my Dickinson diesel boat heater in the tropics. My reasoning was I was NEVER going to use the damn thing and theiving locals wouldn't know what it was and would probably leave it alone.

Cheers.
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Old 14-12-2011, 06:03   #29
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Re: Cruising with money...

I stopped using travellers checks twenty years ago. Went to a bank, signed two $100 travellers checks. Bank says our policy is to cash only $100 per customer. This was in Florida! The damn things were useless.
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Old 14-12-2011, 06:11   #30
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Quote:
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I stopped using travellers checks twenty years ago. Went to a bank, signed two $100 travellers checks. Bank says our policy is to cash only $100 per customer. This was in Florida! The damn things were useless.
Answer? They arent making any money on them if you just cash them. Try breaking a hundred dollar bill without buying something.

I would expect anyone with a debit card/credit card machine would accept a travelers check. I would not expect a guy in the grass shack to accept a $100 traveler check for a coke. I would expect every marina on the planet to take them for diesel, provisions and marina fees.

Remember they are denominated in a home currency. That pretty much means you need a bank / money changer. Same as cash.

BTW - US banks are the worst in the world. I tried to change Japanese yen. No can do. We dont have exchange desk!
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