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Old 15-08-2013, 22:48   #1
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Living Abroad, do you bring Cash or Credit Cards?

My wife and I was wondering, if we decided to live abroad on our boat, should we bring cash, if so how much? And how to avoid credit card fees? We went to Thailand a few years ago and used our credit cards only to find out later there are conversion fees and other hidden fees.

So what's the best way to use money oversea without paying fees?

Plus how much cash can we have aboard? $5000?
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Old 15-08-2013, 23:38   #2
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

Carry as much as you can afford to loose. I've had $10,000 in my pocket in a rough part of Los Angeles for a week.. Kept close to the crowds with my hand over my pocket.
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Old 15-08-2013, 23:43   #3
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

Always bring cash. Electronics don't always work you know....

Always bring credit cards - you can't predict all expenses all the time.

But why don't you mention debit cards? I always use debit cards to draw cash where and when I can (primary mode of getting cash), keep cash in reserve for unexpected expenses (such as a hospital or doctor visit), and keep the credit cards as a last resort.

To call conversion fees hidden fees is a bit silly. Exchanging money has cost money for the past several thousand years.... It is a true that drawing on your CC can be more expensive. However on my debit card, drawing directly from my current accounts (on accounts in 4 different countries with 4 different currencies) I have had no complaints for the past 15 years.


Onno
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Old 16-08-2013, 01:12   #4
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

Cash is the cheapest and best way to avoid outrageous bank charges. But, often there are limits as to the amount of undeclared cash you can carry into or out of a country. So check the regulations carefully. Sometimes there is no limit, but you have to declare the amount. Other times, especially in developing countries there is a strict limit to the amount.
As long as you are sensible and careful in your behaviour there should be no problems.
One "trick" I do use is to split the money up into two or three hiding places so that if something does go wrong hopefully I don't lose everything.
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Old 16-08-2013, 01:41   #5
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

Leaving the US, you can carry with you up to $10,000 USD; declare only $9,500 USD, if required. I use AMEX traveler's checks obtained from my bank or from some AAA motor club; no fees. You can convert up to $2,500 USD/month into AMEX. Once overseas, any bank will gladly cash them for you; many a times, with no fees. An added bonus to AMEX checks...if lost or stolen, you can get them replaced within 24-48 hours at no extra cost. Another bonus, is that they never expire. AMEX has prepaid cards to replace their traveler's checks, as they are being phased out in a few years. You may want to check into that. (Disclaimer: Not affiliated with AMEX in any capacity.)

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Old 16-08-2013, 02:06   #6
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

If your were going to Argentina I would say take as much US$ as you can as the 'blue' rate is about $9 while the official rate ( and what you will get with CC transactions ) is about $5.

That said there is still a 'fee' any where you go if you are changing US$ for local money..... check the 'buy' and 'sell' rates at any cambio.

Check with your bank... in my case I am with Westpac in Oz and if I draw cash at Scotia Bank in Chile I save on fees ( ie no Oz fees but still a small bank fee in Chile).... if I use my card in supermercados I don't pay fees but still get the crappo rate....

In the next life I am going to own a bank......
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Old 16-08-2013, 03:15   #7
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

Carry both. While coming into the US the limit is 10k then you have to tell them how much you have if you are holding more than 10k, some countries have a 5k limit when entering, you can bring more, you just have to tell them how much. They make an international debit card, I don't know if you can get one in the states, usually the debit card gives you the exact exchange rate on the day the purchase is made. Check around there are some institutions that will absorb the fees for you so that you don't have to pay extra.
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Old 16-08-2013, 03:21   #8
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I think its a very silly thing to carry 10k or anything like it , unless cruising some seriously remote areas. , I've cruise the us, med , Northern Europe , the carribean . Debit , ATM and credit cards are the safest , most convienebt way to do it. In general , after that I carry less then a grand in cash, often much less. ( in the med , I would have no more then about 100 pounds of local currency ). Cash is a recipe for crime.

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Old 16-08-2013, 03:31   #9
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

10K? were did you say your boat was exactly?
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Old 16-08-2013, 04:03   #10
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

IF I were carrying that kind of currency, you would never know it, nor would you find it if you did know. I keep it firmly lodged with my 200 lb. Rottweiler and he doesn't like anyone, not even me.
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Old 16-08-2013, 04:13   #11
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Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
IF I were carrying that kind of currency, you would never know it, nor would you find it if you did know. I keep it firmly lodged with my 200 lb. Rottweiler and he doesn't like anyone, not even me.
How do you dislodge it from your Rottweiler , I'd say it must be painful, is that why you have all those scars when youre shopping in the supermarkets.

Must e a bummer when you need cash and " dogs arnt allowed " signs are up in that shop.


Horrible to think what might happen if he f€&ks off chasing rabbits and you need to pay for that repair.



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Old 16-08-2013, 04:17   #12
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I think its a very silly thing to carry 10k or anything like it , unless cruising some seriously remote areas.

Dave
In seriously remote areas bog paper and other trade goods probably make more sense....
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Old 16-08-2013, 04:18   #13
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Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
IF I were carrying that kind of currency, you would never know it, nor would you find it if you did know. I keep it firmly lodged with my 200 lb. Rottweiler and he doesn't like anyone, not even me.
Joke

" hey mister , 10 quid and I,ll watch out for your car , see nothing gets stolen ,
Nope, that's what watches my car, sonny , indicating big Rottweiler in car".
Oh.., hey mister
What?

...
Does you dog put out fires..."

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Old 16-08-2013, 04:25   #14
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

Mine could the way he drools. In reality there is no need to carry 10 k or more. Do tell more about the exchange rate in Chile.
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Old 16-08-2013, 05:40   #15
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Re: Living abroad, do you bring cash or credit cards?

A float plane requires a lot of fuel; $$$$. Cash discount is king, in remote islands; $10K USD is not a biggy, for an aircraft that size.

Mauritz
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