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Old 13-09-2014, 08:56   #16
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

I would just walk in and do it. Pick a national bank that allows free debit card use etc.
WARNING: I'm based in Washington state, when I was in Florida boating in 2010, Bank of America's computer network didn't recognize me as a customer! It was totally weird, my debit card would work at the machine, but if I walked into the bank they had no record of me as a customer. So I was limited to $300 at the machine. I had a big mechanic bill to pay and couldn't get the money. (although eventually I did).
I have heard they have a new nationwide computer system now, so that may be fixed. I close my BOA account about a year ago after 25 years... too bad customer service and small issues that just wasted my time.
Here's an example: I get an auto insurance rebate check about every 6 months. It's made out to my wife and me. We don't have a shared checking account. The check is usually something like a whopping $13. She would sign the back and I would go to the bank and try to deposit it in my account. NOPE! they wouldn't take it!
I argued with them telling them that if it bounced.. they were going to debit me anyway... so why not take it on deposit?
The moral of the story is my Wife's bank took it no questions asked! I moved (right across the street) to her bank and life has been much better.
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Old 13-09-2014, 09:08   #17
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Why does one even need a "local" bank? It isn't like most people ever even go to the physical bank now days.
A number of reasons. Foreign exchange rates and charges are one, establishing a local presence, using a credit card to buy gas (how often does the dispenser ask for your zip code), withdrawing cash (not all ATMs will accept all foreign cards), ease of obtaining cashiers checks for major purchases and a plethora of other reasons, one of them being establishing a US credit rating.

As a Canadian who spends half my time in Florida, yes, I need a US bank. It makes things so much easier.
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Old 13-09-2014, 10:56   #18
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

Hi, I'm an Australian live-aboard cruiser, been out of Oz 20yrs . I use my Australian bank account, via ATM and Netbank. I have used my Commonwealth bank card (debit) and Visa cards in almost every country in Pacific, Caribbean, several in Europe and in USA with no problems.
I dont see any reason to open a US account.
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Old 13-09-2014, 12:06   #19
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

For Canadian Cruisers and snowbirds the simplest solution is the Toronto Dominion Bank or TD Canada Trust. During the recent banking crisis in the US the TD bank bought up a number of small US banks and consolidated them all under the TD Bank logo.
My TD accounts and cards, both Canadian and US dollar, are seamless across Canada and at 1300 locations along the US east coast from New England to Florida.
Simple simple.
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Old 13-09-2014, 17:54   #20
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

There was a banking crisis in the US? How did I miss it?
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Old 13-09-2014, 18:05   #21
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

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Originally Posted by vaquerokeith View Post
I dont see any reason to open a US account.
As I will be spending a fair bit of time over the next few years in NZ I plan on opening an account there... top up funds using Ozforex ...get a local c/card and escape the dodgy exchange rates and foreign transaction fees ( 3%ish) I suffer using oz ( Westpac issued) credit cards there. Will still use direct forex transfers for major work.. expect to save $$$$ over the next two years. If on the move then yes... you just have to suck down the fees.
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Old 13-09-2014, 18:26   #22
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

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Originally Posted by vaquerokeith View Post
Hi, I'm an Australian live-aboard cruiser, been out of Oz 20yrs . I use my Australian bank account, via ATM and Netbank. I have used my Commonwealth bank card (debit) and Visa cards in almost every country in Pacific, Caribbean, several in Europe and in USA with no problems.
I dont see any reason to open a US account.
If you spend money in the US, opening an account there let's you transfer money through Ozforex at less than 1%
CBA exchanges lose 4%, and then also charge a transaction fee for overseas purchases.
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Old 14-09-2014, 20:48   #23
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

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Originally Posted by Tortz View Post
Also, has anyone set up a 'virtual' postal address in the USA for all personal Mail and Packages to be sent to?
If so, which company did you go with and why?

Thanks again!
You can set up an address at a local UPS store they can receive packages and your mail. Your address will be something like this
65 Pine Ave, suite 174, your city St. I've been using them for years
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Old 15-09-2014, 01:06   #24
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

Thank you all so much for sharing your advice and wisdom. It is much appreciated.
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Old 13-11-2014, 12:46   #25
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

Hi all!

I just wanted to thank you all for your advice and let you know what we ended up doing.
From all of your impute we opened up a 'Virtual' Postal Address here in the USA with the lovely people at St Brendan's Isle, in Florida.
They have come highly recommended from many of you and are simply delightful to deal with.
Once we had our address set up here in the States (which we did prior to arriving in America) we were then able to open a Bank Account with the Bank of America.
We had a meeting with a Bank Manager, filled out a few forms and were set up instantly with a Debit Card and an Account in which we could then transfer funds from NZ into our USA account.

The people at Bank of America are lovely and we have had no problems in our dealings thus far on our B1B2 Visa.

All the best everyone.

Sent from my LG-V500 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 13-11-2014, 14:10   #26
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

Well done, and in the event you find yourself on the west (gulf) coast of Florida near Tampa, drop me a note at pjn33@hotmail.com, I am the membership chair of the Tampa Sailing Squadron, ( www.sail-tss.com) and would be glad to show you around................

Fair Winds,

Patrick
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Old 13-11-2014, 14:27   #27
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tortz View Post
Hi all!

I just wanted to thank you all for your advice and let you know what we ended up doing.
From all of your impute we opened up a 'Virtual' Postal Address here in the USA with the lovely people at St Brendan's Isle, in Florida.
They have come highly recommended from many of you and are simply delightful to deal with.
Once we had our address set up here in the States (which we did prior to arriving in America) we were then able to open a Bank Account with the Bank of America.
We had a meeting with a Bank Manager, filled out a few forms and were set up instantly with a Debit Card and an Account in which we could then transfer funds from NZ into our USA account.

The people at Bank of America are lovely and we have had no problems in our dealings thus far on our B1B2 Visa.

All the best everyone.

Sent from my LG-V500 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
My experience with Bank of America was similar. Went into the branch, met with the manager, showed my passport for ID, opened the account, got the debit and credit card. Needed to put a deposit on the credit card as I had no US credit rating, however they refunded that after a year and tripled my limit. I had not been in that branch for 8 months, walked in, and the manager greeted me by my last name, which is not a very common one. Nothing but good to say about them.
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Old 22-11-2014, 06:05   #28
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

The other Gary: Just to say that after having a Toronto Dominion Bank or TD Canada Trust bank account for almost 40 years, we have run into bad service from them.

Once you leave the North American continent things aren't so easy. We've heard that banking services have changed throughout the US and Canada for people abroad and whether this is true or not, we've had very negative experience with TD Canada Trust. Wouldn't recommend them to anybody going cruising.
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Old 23-11-2014, 19:09   #29
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Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

Tortz, St Brendan's is the best service for you. They can tell you if you'll need to "register" your vessel in Florida as you stated you may be in Florid or a few months. With your new "US address " at Greencove Springs all will be easy. Not to mention our state is a "No State Income Tax " state if that helps..

I hope you enjoy your time here in Florida ...


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Old 29-09-2016, 17:13   #30
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Thumbs up Re: Money, money money.. and Banks

I can highly recommend World First for Transfering between currencies (I did 40k AUD to USD) and it was a breeze and they have a broker talk you through if you need a hand (my bank called one of the codes by a different name which they helped me decipher).

They are super transparent on the rate vs actual and have slim margins and also show the track on a minute by minute basis which is nice.

Check them out (and if you use my link we both get a bonus for referal).


My Referral Link
http://www.worldfir.st/uk/invited/?cguid=vcp2jyp


NZ Site Link
https://www.worldfirst.com/uk/transf...y/new-zealand/
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