Post # 1
FI and I are traveling down to Riviera Maya in Mexico for our honeymoon. Although we’re staying at an all-inclusive, we would like to bring a decent amount of money with us for excursions, if we leave the resort for a day, etc.
What is the best way to do this? I’ve heard that some people have used ‘travel credit cards’ so there’s no chance for identity theft.
If we go into the city, should I exchange US dollars before leaving, or can I do it while there?
Post # 3
My rule for international travel is always visa + cash. Especially in a place like Mexico you’re going to want to have lots of singles for tips (even though it is an all inclusive, it is still nice to tip and they’ll remember you), and for buying stuff on the beach or on the street. A lot of places only take cash. For any bigger purchase I generally use visa because you get the best exchange rate that way, but for smaller stuff (say under $20) I just use cash, and they’ll take american dollars no prob. I think when I went to mexico for a week I took $50 in singles and then another $300 in 20s, and then a Visa.
Post # 4
When we were traveling last time, we just used our credit cards and an ATM card to get cash.
Post # 5
I’ve read a lot about exchanging money online before a few recent trips. In Mexico you can probably take dollars, but then you’re the the mercy of any particular person or store’s “exchange rate”. If your anticipating using a lot of money you could always get money exchanged in the US. However, the consensus online is that it’s usually best to take your ATM card and just withdraw money when you’re in the country you’re visitng. And for big purchases use your credit card, although you might want to check the fees for both of these and the type of atm card you have in advance.
Post # 6
I second the ATM idea, just look up what banks your bank works with abroad. For example, I use Bank of America and before I went to Europe I found a bank in London they work with, and then a different bank in Paris. So check those, and maybe google map how close those banks/atms are to your resort or the airport. You don’t want to be searching for atms high and low. Also – don’t exchange money at the airports – they rip you off!!!
Also call your banks and credit card companies to alert them you’re going abroad.
Post # 7
make sure you call your bank if you plan on using your credit or debit card! if you don’t, they will lock it down.
Post # 8
Yeah I always just bring a credit card with no fee and an ATM card. Call your bank ahead of time to tell them you’re traveling. ATMs are reasonably easy to find almost anywhere in the world these days (save for Africa) and the fees you pay to take out money are orders of magnitude less than what you would pay to “exchange money” in cash. Dont do that. Capital One is the only credit card I have that doesn’t have any international charge fees.