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Old 12-12-2011, 22:50   #1
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Cruising with money...

was wondering what some suggestions people had about cruising with cash. what alternatives (other than a bank) would you suggest. How much do you usually carry (ie. 2 months operating costs). I don't have a bank account, and wouldn't want to pay all the different fees to access my money anyway.
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Old 12-12-2011, 23:10   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliebell
was wondering what some suggestions people had about cruising with cash. what alternatives (other than a bank) would you suggest. How much do you usually carry (ie. 2 months operating costs). I don't have a bank account, and wouldn't want to pay all the different fees to access my money anyway.
The only least risky readibly convertible solution to absolutely no bank at all is convert your life savings to travellers checks. But...

- your boat sinks
- many countries don't tolerate import and export of large sums of negotiable instruments

On the upside my life savings could be stored in the chart table in $50 denominations

Having lived in overrseas for a long time I have not figured out a better solution than banks, wire transfers and atm machines.
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Old 12-12-2011, 23:17   #3
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Re: Cruising with money...

Quote:
Originally Posted by elliebell View Post
was wondering what some suggestions people had about cruising with cash. what alternatives (other than a bank) would you suggest. How much do you usually carry (ie. 2 months operating costs). I don't have a bank account, and wouldn't want to pay all the different fees to access my money anyway.
Just had dinner with some friends who spent the last 14 months in the south pacific. Each nation wanted to use its own currency and the dollar was only valuable through Mexico. Local cash is handy; I hassle him now because he has this huge wad of all this crazy currency in his pocket.

He said 90% of everything (shy of smaller markets and local vendors) took credit cards (or debit cards with the visa/mastercard logo).
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Old 13-12-2011, 04:48   #4
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Re: Cruising with money...

Some companies are offering free debit cards nowdays. There is usually an upper limit and daily spending/deposit limit also. The upper limit is typically $2500. Daily deposit is $1k. Depending on spending habits could suffice with a couple ot these from different sources
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Old 13-12-2011, 04:51   #5
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Re: Cruising with money...

Bet fees are probably a lot less that having all your money stoken off the boat etc.

Hard to use a credit card if you don't have a bank account. How do you pay the bill, in person each time?
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Old 13-12-2011, 05:18   #6
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Re: Cruising with money...

I used to be a bit of a cash traveller (albeit sans boat).

The first thing is not to tell strangers what you are doing.

And if the sums involved are large (a few years living expenses etc), to not let Customs spot the cash - without a very good explanation. You might not lose the cash, just might not get it back the same year........

Pre-loaded (visa / mastercards) seems to be the modern replacement for paper T/c's......and ATM freindly (for local wonga) but I beleive there is an expiry date on them........
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Old 13-12-2011, 05:41   #7
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Re: Cruising with money...

I travel a lot in Europe/Australia/US etc and a card is not a problem in any of these areas - I would be more concerned with 3rd world, polynesia etc
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Old 13-12-2011, 05:55   #8
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Re: Cruising with money...

If I didn't need a bank to have check deposited into, I would not have one when travelling. Carry as much cash as you can, hide it well. If you think your boat might sink, stow the cash in the ditch kit. Better yet, if you think the boat might sink, stay in port until it's fixed. ATM cards fail, banks have hissy fits and shut down your card sometimes (I know this will start a huge long thing about how THIS bank or THAT never has, but believe me, it happens to people). The card can be convenient, but there is nothing better than a fistfull of currency.
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Old 13-12-2011, 06:13   #9
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Originally Posted by Benz
If I didn't need a bank to have check deposited into, I would not have one when travelling. Carry as much cash as you can, hide it well. If you think your boat might sink, stow the cash in the ditch kit. Better yet, if you think the boat might sink, stay in port until it's fixed. ATM cards fail, banks have hissy fits and shut down your card sometimes (I know this will start a huge long thing about how THIS bank or THAT never has, but believe me, it happens to people). The card can be convenient, but there is nothing better than a fistfull of currency.
No so try renting cars with cash or hotel rooms , people are suspicious of large amounts of cash. Just get a credit card like everyone else , pay it off monthly , don't run up credit. There simples

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Old 13-12-2011, 06:33   #10
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Re: Cruising with money...

We set up autopay for everything (we had/have a land yacht, too), but was sure to check the CC accounts online whenever we had a secure connection. That might be a problem for some who can't keep a couple months extra in their bank accounts. In 18 months we had to dispute just one charge, but boy was that a PITA. We also had a mail service that scans each envelope and you can see them online and have them open and scan the ones you need them to...great idea and worked well...until we needed them to forward some pieces to where we were – big screw-up then.
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Old 13-12-2011, 06:50   #11
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Re: Cruising with money...

Being in Europe, I only have to worry about one currency (well, until the Euro collapses......) and although my trusty debit card is used for day to day stuff, i'll always reccomend having a reasonable amount in cash as backup. This is for emergencies, you'll find that even in places like europe, cash is still king, it's unlikely that a local mechanic will be walking around with a card reader and if you only have a debit / cradit card, you'll only be able to pull out about 300 euros per day on average from an ATM. Not much use if you have an emergency repair that costs a 1000 for example. Also, in the marine environment, cards can easily be lost or damaged so if that did happen, you'd be pennyless for several days or maybe much longer while a replacement is sorted out.

What i'd reccomend is NEVER to keep it in one place, even an on board safe. You'll find the safe pretty useless if you're forced to open it under duress and if the boat is robbed while youre not there, spreading the cash around will make it much more unlikely the thief will find it all. Try putting some in a book, some in a plastic bag taped to the roof of a locker or even in the bilge, etc.
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Old 13-12-2011, 07:03   #12
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The folks (employees) I've known without bank acounts were avoiding something....

Garnishments.
Ex-wife.
Havn't filled tax returns.
Complete lack of money disipline.
Residency status.
Unresolved or pending lawsuits.
Felony warrents.

For these folks, the merits of debit cards vs. credit cards are not the issue. The issue is what needs address, whichever it is.

Cash is simple... except it's not.
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Old 13-12-2011, 07:05   #13
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Originally Posted by simonmd
Being in Europe, I only have to worry about one currency (well, until the Euro collapses......) and although my trusty debit card is used for day to day stuff, i'll always reccomend having a reasonable amount in cash as backup. This is for emergencies, you'll find that even in places like europe, cash is still king, it's unlikely that a local mechanic will be walking around with a card reader and if you only have a debit / cradit card, you'll only be able to pull out about 300 euros per day on average from an ATM. Not much use if you have an emergency repair that costs a 1000 for example. Also, in the marine environment, cards can easily be lost or damaged so if that did happen, you'd be pennyless for several days or maybe much longer while a replacement is sorted out.

What i'd reccomend is NEVER to keep it in one place, even an on board safe. You'll find the safe pretty useless if you're forced to open it under duress and if the boat is robbed while youre not there, spreading the cash around will make it much more unlikely the thief will find it all. Try putting some in a book, some in a plastic bag taped to the roof of a locker or even in the bilge, etc.
I cruised the western med and did so with about 50 euros at anytime on the boat. Yes perhaps in third world out of the way places you might need more. But people forget yes daily limits , then just go to a local bank. Remember these countries have banks too. I'm no fan of having any substantial amount of cash on board unless it's absolutely necessary.

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Old 13-12-2011, 11:43   #14
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Re: Cruising with money...

ATM's worked the best for me. In many places it was harder to find an open bank that would exchange dollars to the local currency than it was to find an ATM.

I also suggest getting a 'cash advance PIN' for your credit card, since sometimes the ATM won't be compatible with your debit card but will talk to your credit card.

Last time I did not carry any cash on board. We often left port flat broke (since we'd spend any last local currency on groceries or ice cream). That was a mistake a few times, and made our life way more complicated than it would have been. We almost got stuck in Indonesia: there were no compatible ATM's, and both banks within a long bus ride would not do a cash advance on a credit card (my usual last resort). We barely had enough for the bus ride back to the boat. I was lucky that we had a boat hitch hiker on board with travelers checks, and she gave us enough to pay the port fee and leave. In Galapagos we arrived just as their currency collapsed, so there were lines around the block to get into the bank, and people were withdrawing shopping bags full of ratty bills. I arrived with almost no money and could not get any money.
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Old 13-12-2011, 11:54   #15
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Re: Cruising with money...

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
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