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Old 30-07-2014, 14:55   #16
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

Don't forget, you can always rob a convenience store. The exchange rate is never a problem, and your PIN is always the right length.

Some of the online banks (Ally and BOFI last I checked) will reimburse your ATM fees if you are using a bank ATM. I'm not sure about the independent ones, since they just say "other bank" and indies often charge larger fees. Like everything else this changes from time to time.
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Old 30-07-2014, 15:01   #17
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Outside of major cities, places that accept CCs are rare in Central America. Cash is king almost everywhere.
Well that is an exception then. If no credit cards are accepted then cash (funny that places that have banks and ATMs are so backwards that they don't accept credit cards).

But for the rest of the world my post stands, get and use a good international travel credit card and pay it off each month!
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Old 30-07-2014, 15:10   #18
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Outside of major cities, places that accept CCs are rare in Central America. Cash is king almost everywhere.
the best exhchange rates here in mexico are via atms and banks. funny how the two are connected.. cashola is a ripoff, not assiciated with any bank per se, but supported by many. they have a track record here of being not the ones you want, if you wish not to be ripped off.
bankand otto teller are offfering err giving 12.5 and the money changer is only giving 11.2.
ok.
which would you go to.. lol
the published rate of exchange now is 12.9 pesos to one dollar. research before you jump top conclusions, as the conclusions may be in error due toi incomplete information..
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Old 30-07-2014, 15:11   #19
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

Ex-Calif has sound advice (again!)... have just returned from Russia and points east, Citi Bank is the best for exchange rate and service fees on foreign exchange transactions. Not certain about BofA but Visa cards hose you big time. I took Euro's and Ruples which were easily handled everywhere and avoided charging meals and hotel rooms wherever possible. Set up a Personal Banking Rep before you leave to sort out any hassles on the US end. Be careful using a major CC in the Med, particularly in restaurants... heard of several ripoffs, even in higher end places!
Cash is King in most places using their currency. Avoid changing US $ in currency shops, at hotels (very pricey), and at airports. I found that cabbies were either in the currency trade or could hook you up with some one but you paid a price after business hours. Take $100 US currency, no $20's or $50's... the new bills are beginning to be accepted everywhere and some banks will not change the older style US $100's.
Also, make a couple of copies of your US passport with copies of your in country visa page to carry with and lock up your actual passport someplace safe.
Cheers, Phil
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Old 30-07-2014, 15:49   #20
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

You can also get a passport card in addition to your book. You can keep it in your wallet. It's no good for customs other than Mexico and Canada but it satiafies the requirement to carry it on you and establishes your citizenship. It had all the information your book had minus pages for stamps and visas.


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Old 30-07-2014, 15:58   #21
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

no ATM machine in the whole of the nation of Tuvalu! take cash!
mind you the capitol funafuti atoll is only 5miles long and less than 300ft wide in places!
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Old 30-07-2014, 16:08   #22
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

You guys are cruising sailors, right ? What's this "lock it in the hotel safe" stuff

Hide your stash of $ aboard, with your passport, spare CC's etc etc. Have a "pirate" wallet - old CCs, a bit of cash that looks like a lot, pref in different currencies. Take with you the pirate wallet, the cash you want for the day, color passport copy, and a CC. Put the CC in a separate pocket/location. If you have to you can hand over the wallet....

This worked well for us. Some countries do want you to carry your real passport, but it was never an issue for us....
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Old 30-07-2014, 17:19   #23
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Well that is an exception then. If no credit cards are accepted then cash (funny that places that have banks and ATMs are so backwards that they don't accept credit cards).
...
Very common in Central America. For example, many mid sized towns are likely to have a bank and an ATM, but the small local tiendas are cash only.
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Old 30-07-2014, 17:28   #24
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

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Originally Posted by Scot McPherson View Post
You can also get a passport card in addition to your book. You can keep it in your wallet. It's no good for customs other than Mexico and Canada but it satiafies the requirement to carry it on you and establishes your citizenship. It had all the information your book had minus pages for stamps and visas.


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Wonder how that plays for visa stamp purposes. For example, if you are driving in most CA countries on a foreign liscence then it is typically only good for a limited time, like 30-90 days, depending on country. At check points they want to see liscence and passport to confirm your entry date.

Same even if you are not driving, they usually flip and look at the visa stamp to confirm you are in country legally, not just to confirm nationality.
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Old 30-07-2014, 17:54   #25
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
the best exhchange rates here in mexico are via atms and banks. funny how the two are connected.. cashola is a ripoff, not assiciated with any bank per se, but supported by many. they have a track record here of being not the ones you want, if you wish not to be ripped off.
bankand otto teller are offfering err giving 12.5 and the money changer is only giving 11.2.
ok.
which would you go to.. lol
the published rate of exchange now is 12.9 pesos to one dollar. research before you jump top conclusions, as the conclusions may be in error due toi incomplete information..
Think you misinterpreted my post. It had nothing to do with exchange rates. By "Cash is king...", I meant that in most businesses in Central America you will need cash to pay...whether that is local currency or US$. Not refering to how it is acquired. I live/travel/cruise full time throughout Central America so I'm not jumping to conclusions.

Bank rates are of course normally better than street rates, but I do know a couple of street changers who are only slightly less favorable than bank rates. Handy to have options when the banks are closed and/or ATMs are not working. Cleared in once when that was the case (no power in town), no exchange to be had thru any usual ways. A local street huslter I know took me up the hill to a local drug runner's place...he had loads of cash on hand (and automatic weapons etc...) and gladly gave me full official exchange rate. Just cost me a small tip to my hustler buddy. ;-)
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Old 30-07-2014, 18:09   #26
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

Got a passport card last time I renewed, figuring wtf, it is extra ID so I can have a spare one stashed away. Used it as ID at an international airport in the US, and AFTER the TSA checkpoint cleared me to enter, he asked me "By the way, what kind of card is this? I've never seen one."

Shiny picture, hologram, all you need to look official....If your state offers a "SecureID" level driver's license, you may be better off with that.
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Old 30-07-2014, 19:15   #27
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Re: Money changing & acquisition

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
While my travels to smaller countries is limited. On trips in the US and to Europe Charles Schwabb Bank/investments is great. No ATM fees and a decent exchange rate.


When traving I isolate the checking account from investing and manually transfer money. On one trip we had "too good" of a time and I did not trust the local internet. One call and some serious id checking and the checking account was funded.
this is great advice. i also use schwabb and their debit/visa card when abroad. i like the fact that it has to be personally IDed by telephone as someone cannot just drain your account with unauthorized ATM withdrawals. as i suplement my income with security trading{stocks etc/} this is a great partnership with visa. i also carry a "pirate wallet of useless cards and cash" when ashore and only a photocopy of my passport. have never been hassled by authorities so-far and have been robbed before so i know the hassle of getting new passport etc while abroad. fairwinds and godspeed.
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Old 30-07-2014, 19:25   #28
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Got a passport card last time I renewed, figuring wtf, it is extra ID so I can have a spare one stashed away. Used it as ID at an international airport in the US, and AFTER the TSA checkpoint cleared me to enter, he asked me "By the way, what kind of card is this? I've never seen one."

Shiny picture, hologram, all you need to look official....If your state offers a "SecureID" level driver's license, you may be better off with that.
sheckedf in with a swcureID some time ago in PR ,bvi and usvi but not since 9.11. domt think it works now but could be wrong. last time we cleared 6 passports and it took 40 minutes to interpol check 2 EU passports. reminded me of getting pulled over with a dutch national driving my rental car in orlando while visiting disneyworld in 1995. it took 45 minutes of time to check the driver while we all sat on the side of the freeway{beeline freeway}. so the interpol checks have been time consuming for some time allready. fairwinds and godspeed.
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Old 31-07-2014, 13:22   #29
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

Interpol?! You must have done something to make them upset. Or they were bored.

Florida claims that one in four drivers are unlicensed and uninsured in their state (compared to 1 in 10 in many other states) but that it is "technically impossible" to address that problem. Even though other states have been linked uninsured drivers to license plates and impounding their cars for decades now.

I'm hoping that Florida, like Puerto Rico, votes for independence soon.
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Old 07-08-2014, 16:08   #30
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Re: Money Changing & Acquisition

Never have any problem in Antigua.
Was on Saba for one week and both ATM machines were broken.


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