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best form of finance

30 Oct 2007 Nath said

was just wondering what the best means of accessing my cash in the US are? do most ppl take travellers cheques? if so, how do they work? <BR><BR>or is a cashed up credit card the way to go, using ATMs and worry about paying it back later?<BR><BR>or just carry cash on me?<BR><BR>any help would be greatly appreciated, all new to this stuff! cheers n beers...<BR><BR>Nath
  • Read the responses 19 responses so far
  • 30 Oct 2007 brooke said


    Hi Nath

    Im going to do a contiki tour to america next june, ill be there for around a month so im going take probs cash, as well as travellers cheques and use my credit card as well, if u have a credit/debit card i dont think you will get charged as much when you sign for things opposed to withdrawing out of an atm which is about $5 per withdrawal, hope this helps

  • 30 Oct 2007 Nath said


    yeah thats very true, i think i might take a combination of each, just to be safe, dont wanna rely one one or the other.

    how the hell do travellers cheques work?! never understood them!

    cheers once again….


  • 30 Oct 2007 HD1712 said


    Hi Nath,

    I’m off to USA in March 08 and have been told by my travel agent and the bank the best way is to get a cash passport then you are not at the mercy of exchange rates it’s your money. Apparently they work just like a credit card or like the visa debit cards we hear of so might pay to look into that as well.

  • 30 Oct 2007 Nath said


    yeah definitely will, sounds like a good way of doing business hey?!

    cheers crowgirl

    PS adelaide crows = absolute champions! lol

  • 1 Nov 2007 Bec.83 said


    I used the Travelex Cash Passport ATM card, and it was very good… if you have left over money on it you can continue to use it any where in the world.

    I also used the Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard which has no foreign exchange fees.

    I would do the same thing next time I go.

  • 1 Nov 2007 PetalJess said


    As with Bec, when I went to Thailand a few years ago I used the Travelex card and found it very easy to use.

    Heading to America next year and will be using the same thing, also taking my credit card I think just as ‘back up’.

    Travelex Cash Passport info:

  • 2 Nov 2007 *Mellissa* said


    i used my credit card, atm card and travllers cheques. they treat the TC just like normal cash…
    with that cashpassport i dont know if they told you but you get charged a certain fee when u load it up. the fee depends on how much u put on it.WHne my atm card i took out $500 lots at a time so the charged werent hefty. credit card was also great for thos BIG PURCHASES and to pay for my optional extras on tour.

  • 3 Nov 2007 MJ said


    I’d just use cash and credit cards. Travelers checks are a hassle. I live here and I hardly ever have cash on me. My world revolves around my bank card. If your cash passport is like a prepaid credit card just check for the fees they charge for usage. It may be a good “idea” but you will get charged for it. Just see if your bank card from home works here. I know mine worked in Australia when I went.

  • 3 Nov 2007 Greg85 said


    Ill be applying fo the cash passport…. im looking online and i cant see how to do it…. perhaps you have to go into the actual store…

  • 4 Nov 2007 Hayley said


    Hey gang,

    I work in a travel agency that also sells a variety of travel money products. We always tell people to travel with a ‘mixed wallet’ to be prepared for any scenario.

    The prepaid cards are very handy, and our agency sells Visa prepaids (Travelex), so chances are a variety of merchants are going to accept it. Also, in the event of it being lost/stolen, the ‘theif’ would only have access to the amount of money on the card. But like Melanie said, be aware of the fees because they do have to make money off of you somehow!

    T-Chqs are handy to have as well, but we’ve noticed some smaller venues might not take them. We do recommend buying some and then changing some into local US currency when you arrive. When I travelled to Washington DC a few years back, I only traveled with US cash and I found I was fine.

    But usually it’s whatever you’re comfortable with, but I would def. recommend a mixed wallet. Hope this helps! Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 6 Nov 2007 PetalJess said


    Greg, you will need to go into a branch to apply for the cash passport as you need to provide proof of id etc.

    Yes there are fees involved, but I felt much safer knowing it wasn’t linked to my personal bank account…might just be my paranoia but hey it worked for me Razzer<!--graemlin::p-->

    All of the fees and charges are listed on their site.

  • 6 Nov 2007 Greg85 said


    Hey yeah i went into the place today up at castle hill towers in sydney and applied for it.. I actually dont mind it… I already have 200 on it… So thats two days of spending out of the way!!!! Yay!

    Good stuff!!!!

  • 8 Dec 2007 Princessvixen said


    My vote is go for a combination of a cash passport and credit card.No one wastes time with travellers cheques anymore and sometimes you can pay double commision on them.Plus if you loose them they are as good as cash.A cash passport has no personal details on the card and they give you a spare incase you loose one.I’ve used these in america and europe and wouldnt use any other form of finance.They can be used in any atm with a visa symbol which is 99.9% of atm’s!A credit card is a must overseas and helps as a back up.

    Hope this helps.If anyone else needs advice email me at


  • 8 Dec 2007 ave said


    Travellers chqs are a great form of finance as most places in america except them for cash and there is no commission on them unless you exchange them at an exchange place also if you loose them you can have them stopped and reissued so much better then cash, the cash passport have fees and can sometimes be more expensive then using your everyday keycard and credit card

  • 30 Dec 2007 *nikki_adelaide* said


    i use the travelex travel passport when i go to bali and also used it this year in europe.
    i put in $6000 and paid $60 to put the money in my account. there is a fee to take money out, so therefore you take enough out each time to last you a good few days, or as much as you are comfortable having on you. also you get 2 cards in case one is lost and they both have different pin numbers. i would never bother with travelers cheques, they are such a thing of the past and are a hassle…the people who had them on my europe tour wished they had done differently.
    i also took a credit card but rarely used it.
    will be doing the same when i go to the us in 08

  • 1 Jan 2008 David said


    when i done the wild western two years ago i took cash, t/cheques and credit card, i found out t/c are a waste of time, used credit card for big purchases and getting into theme parks and used cash for food etc. i had got about $1500 in cash in smaller denominations (as a lot of places would/could not cash big notes eg: $50 -$100, i also got about $80 in $1 dollar notes for tipping and you can also use your normal atm card in the atms .

  • 7 Mar 2008 jimmalenko said


    We used Travelex Cash Passorts in the US & Canada with Credit Cards as backup and didn’t have a problem. You just need to be smart about it and take out a couple of days’ spending money at a time as facilities at some places inland may not be sufficient/available.

  • 20 Jun 2008 Chocollo said


    Hey Nath,

    I’m doing the Grand Southern tour in 3 weeks and am taking an “ANZ Travellers Debit card” – it’s like a VISA debit card but you can use it all over the world, and it’s ur own cash. It only costs $11 to make and it automatically converts aussie dollars to the currency of where ever ur going…. hope this helps


  • 2 Jul 2008 Topas said



    i’m doing the wild western tour next week and wondering about the cash sum I should take with my when I start the trip.

    What dou you recommend? Is 500$ for the start enough? I plan to use the ATMs there and I feel safer if I do not take the whole cash amount I planned. Beside I’ll of course use my credit card. I’ll not use any Traveller C., in my opinion too complicated.

    THY, Topas

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