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Old 05-10-2015, 03:37   #16
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Re: Carrying money.

Good advice from El Pequino.
The chances of being the victim of thievery is much higher for the cash you carry on your person rather the cash hidden on board. I had my pocket picked on one of the few times I carried a lot of cash and cards on my person. Pocket Picked in Lisboa

Also having a unlinked backup debit card could have saved me a lot of hassle when I was getting ready to depart Portugal for the states. Suddenly my debit card was rejected by all of the ATMs in the Algarve. I couldn't get anyone associated with the Multibanco system to explain why my card, which I had been using for nearly 2 years in Portugal and Spain, stopped working. My bank was not rejecting the transactions. Fortunately I had a friend on board for the trip back and his ATM card worked. I had my bank FEDEX a new card, but that did not work either. Finally when we stopped in Madeira my ATM card started working again in the same Multibanco machines.
If I had a separate ATM card, with a different number or for a separate checking account, I might have avoided this hassle.

John
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:45   #17
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Re: Carrying money.

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Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
Also having a unlinked backup debit card could have saved me a lot of hassle when I was getting ready to depart Portugal for the states. Suddenly my debit card was rejected by all of the ATMs in the Algarve. I couldn't get anyone associated with the Multibanco system to explain why my card, which I had been using for nearly 2 years in Portugal and Spain, stopped working. My bank was not rejecting the transactions. Fortunately I had a friend on board for the trip back and his ATM card worked. I had my bank FEDEX a new card, but that did not work either. Finally when we stopped in Madeira my ATM card started working again in the same Multibanco machines.
If I had a separate ATM card, with a different number or for a separate checking account, I might have avoided this hassle.

John
Also good advice. I have a Visa and a Mastercard debit card on accounts with two different banks. I've had to use the second card a few times in different countries when the first didn't work temporarily.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:58   #18
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Re: Carrying money.

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Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
...

If I had a separate ATM card, with a different number or for a separate checking account, I might have avoided this hassle.

John
Also, only keep small amounts of cash in the accounts with cards linked to them...this way the risk is less if the card gets scammed.

Check your accounts often, and certainly after doing a transaction in new or suspect places. Usually if you catch fraud early your bank/credit card will take care of it. Ive only been hit twice (ever), both events were obviously fraudulent, and both times my bank made it good right away because I contacted them within 24 hours.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:00   #19
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Re: Carrying money.

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Also good advice. I have a Visa and a Mastercard debit card on accounts with two different banks. I've had to use the second card a few times in different countries when the first didn't work temporarily.
Multiple cards are also handy when you need a lot of cash. You can hit the ATM to the daily for each card.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:28   #20
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Re: Carrying money.

A qualifier before my post, I haven't been to the South Pacific, I'm fairly new to cruising (5 or 6 years), so most of my international travel has focused on my first hobby- mountaineering, and as a result, has not taken place in the South Pacific, but naturally in the countries surrounding the Himalayas. (India, Nepal etc.) And around the Americas.

In the Himalaya region of central Asia, if you need cash go to a bank machine. I have seen bank machines in some pretty remote places. Its pretty easy really. I just used my regular Canadian debit card. I think travelers cheques are becoming obsolete. I wouldn't carry much cash in the highlands, too many bandits.



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Old 05-10-2015, 06:46   #21
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Re: Carrying money.

Our first year out we took almost $10k in cash, hidden in several spots on the boat. Later on we took lesser amounts of cash. Most of what we had was in US dollars but we also would get other currencies (Australian dollars, SA rand) as appropriate. In some countries they will only take the most recent series of US bills; in others only crisp, new ones. Also make sure you have smaller denominations since $100 bills can be useless in many places. In close to 40 customs entries we have only had one cursory inspection of the boat and that lasted about five minutes.

In later years we came to use ATMs and credit cards widely. As someone said, if there isn't an ATM there probably is not much to spend money on. We found one exception was Mangareva in French Polynesia. There was no ATM and no official place to make a currency change. It was hard to get even enough euros there to buy an ice cream cone and a stamp to send an entry document to Tahiti and no one would take US dollars. The only problems with ATMs are a) daily limits can be very low which makes it hard to get the money to pay for a major bill (even if it is only a few hundred dollars) and b) in a few places, South Africa being a prime example, using ATMs can be risky either from the perspective of robbery or fraud by the machine.

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Old 05-10-2015, 07:09   #22
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Re: Carrying money.

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Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
Good advice from El Pequino.
The chances of being the victim of thievery is much higher for the cash you carry on your person rather the cash hidden on board. I had my pocket picked on one of the few times I carried a lot of cash and cards on my person. Pocket Picked in Lisboa

Also having a unlinked backup debit card could have saved me a lot of hassle when I was getting ready to depart Portugal for the states. Suddenly my debit card was rejected by all of the ATMs in the Algarve. I couldn't get anyone associated with the Multibanco system to explain why my card, which I had been using for nearly 2 years in Portugal and Spain, stopped working. My bank was not rejecting the transactions. Fortunately I had a friend on board for the trip back and his ATM card worked. I had my bank FEDEX a new card, but that did not work either. Finally when we stopped in Madeira my ATM card started working again in the same Multibanco machines.
If I had a separate ATM card, with a different number or for a separate checking account, I might have avoided this hassle.

John
Was this only with atm or also using the system at payout in stores?

I live in the algarve and the only hassles I ever had with atms was when the sibs system (multibanco) couldn't reach the origin bank for clearance. That probably explains why you suddently stopped being able to use the card and then later it started to work again. Madeira is using the same sibs system as the algarve and Portugal as a whole.

Some Portuguese cards (caixa geral de depůsitos) struggle to work in Spain for more than one transaction per day. Heck, the students atm cards (also CGD) stop working at 1 am so you're stuck till the morning.

Another thing to keep in mind is that here, the system cross checks the authenticating method i.e. It let's you use the chip 10 times and on the eleventh transaction it asks to swipe the magnetic band. Then it's all ok for another 10 or so transactions via chips. That's why I asked about where you used the card. Some atm use chip, others use the magnetic card and others have both. Since the atm sucks the card in, you never know what it is reading.

With bad luck you go to three atms that use chip only and your card is waiting for a security magnetic band swipe.

It's really rare for this to happen but it's possible.

Anyway, glad you sorted it out somehow.

Next time call sibs directly and ask for a written answer. That usually breaks the ice and at least they will look into it. I had a bank refusing transactions and they wouldn't admit it until I got a email from sibs showing the "rejected by origin bank" statements. Suddently the bank started to apologize for "technical errors".




Regards
Tony

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Old 05-10-2015, 07:30   #23
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Re: Carrying money.

the only place here in west coastal mexico i could not get money from an atm was cedros island village, which is not a tourist spot. is a salt plant location with company store and atms. money here will need to be western unioned into the island then you try to find some foodstuffs not allotted to the company storre yada yada.... the village has limited items only. we stopped there only due to breakage--starter failed 5 mi north and we sailed and drifted until the town opened and we sailed into their wharf. is a cool lil town, but not able to provision there.
the rest of mexico has atms that are usable and easy. they even have atms in the major package stores, so lifeis actually easy.
there has been no theft outside of cities.. mazatlans old harbor and stone island are still notorious tor loss of dinghy in darkness, so double lock that.
i havent had a locking companionway since i left san diego, and have lost nothing from inside my boat ecept when some gringos stole my charts in mazatlans old harbor.. yes i saw them leave my boat with em.. i was walking home from centro when this occurred so i could see the activity. the folks who stole the charts left immediately after the event.
locals have accountability, cruisers from elsewhere seem to believe they can get away with bs and blame others, which is rather rude, considering there are always witnessses.
the worst thieving her ehas been the mechanics who speak english. overpriced and unscrupulous
here in a small tiny pueblo there is no thieving activity, so it has been a lovely 3 yrs of suffering thru repairs and family loss. i felt safe leaving my boat for a week with a stranger to watch my cat and boat while i went to visit my parents when my brother died.
the folks who leave their boats here for prolonged times are safe and happy when they return to their nice clean and safe well kept boats.
has been same with the other marinas i have visited in my misadventures and repairs under way....
for those needing mechanical repairs, there is an excellent non engliish speaking mechanic for diesels here in barra/manzanillo area, so one need not suffer at the hands of unscrupulous alleged mechanics who do anything to have your return business. they seem all to be english speaking folks. go native to actually find good repairs done cheaper and more reliably done.
when you make friends with the fishermen in a fishing village, you will find things much easier than whenyou do not mingle mix it up a tad.
i use a bankcard and a paypal credit/debit card for my transactions. my only problems have been when the bank cancelled the cards arbitrarily due to fraud ccurring inside usa specifically with kmart and home depot. the home depot fraud is still occurrring in mexico and other areas, so use cash.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:03   #24
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Re: Carrying money.

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Most countries ask, when entering or departing, if you have more than 10,000 USD or equivalent on board. It is ok to have it, but you should declare it. This obviously has some security drawbacks, so unless you are a super yacht with 10 paid crew on board who need cash salary packets each week, you should not carry more than that.

...
And therein lies the delima if you did indeed (unecessarily, IMHO) have larger quantities aboard. In Central America I would be very uncomfortable announcing to officials that I had over $10K aboard. In CA countries where the legal minimum wage is a few hundred dollars a month, and partially because of this, corruption is common, $10K+ would be a huge temptation.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:09   #25
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Re: Carrying money.

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While the systems have been moving towards chips, magnetic stripes are still working fine in every ATM we've tried.

Also, they didn't send out half a billion cards last Friday. This is a process that started a couple years ago and won't be finished for a year or two.

...
Most machines in Central America have a reader that will handle both.

The USA has been glacially slow in adopting chip technology. I first worked on projects using smart cards in the 1980's, but just this past year started receiving new USA cards with chips. About half of my USA cards have converted. My foreign account cards had chips much earlier.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:30   #26
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Re: Carrying money.

on the occasions when i have neeeded more than i could withraw in one day, the folks with whom i choose to do business have allowed me the time to make the withdrawals. there is actually no reason to carry enough money to call out for thieves.
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:44   #27
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Re: Carrying money.

Have not been on all summer - did that cruising thing in the Med - and this was a funny way to start this forum. This is very very funny. We have visited over 40 countries and never carry more than a couple of hundred USD equivalent with us. There are AMTs everywhere.
Only downside is a bank fee on transactions.

But then again Mexico is way way off the beaten path. So you never know.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:09   #28
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Re: Carrying money.

Lots of info about CCs and ATMs here, but not on how to carry money. I've used travelers checks, but they aren't accepted much anymore. I've also carried gold ounces, but lost more of those than I've ever been robbed.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:21   #29
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Re: Carrying money.

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Lots of info about CCs and ATMs here, but not on how to carry money. I've used travelers checks, but they aren't accepted much anymore. I've also carried gold ounces, but lost more of those than I've ever been robbed.
T'checks could be a real challenge these days. I just carry enough cash in my pocket for at least the day and then stash cash elsewhere (ideally not all in the same place). For stashing I have a multi-section wallet to keep diff currencies sorted out. Its solid black cloth so less visible deep in a dark cubby hole...in the hopes they might overlook it.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:32   #30
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Re: Carrying money.

Not super relevant currently but for the long term cruising kitty, a bitcoin isn't a bad idea. International digital cash will become a hit with cruisers down the road IMHO and they'll be much more expensive then than now.
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