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View Full Version : ATM, Travellers Cheques, Credit, Cash - What do you use???


Eskie_Lover
01-16-2005, 08:32 AM
I'm trying to decide on the best way to pay for our purchases/meals while at WDW. I haven't been in 10 years, and the last time was with my parents - so they covered all the big things, and I just had to have my spending money... Obviously this time I'm footing the bill, so I'm trying to decide the best (and cheapest) way to cover my expenses (room and flights are already paid for).

Easiest would be to put everything on credit - but then you have the 2-3% increase on the rate of exchange which they add on, and you are getting it at that days rate of exchange, which could go either way.

I've never used my ATM card in the states. My friend said that it works different there, and there have been cases where the Canadian account gets frozen while they "verify" the account has the correct amount, which can take a week or more... I'm skeptical that this is true - but she assures me this happened to a friend.... Anyone have any problems using ATM's in the states? What kind of fees do you get charged?

I've also never used Travellers Cheques - my parents considered them too much hassel... I plan on charging almost everything back to the room, in which case the front desk should accept travellers cheques correct? What kind of fees are associated with Travellers Cheques? Do you get them at the actual rate of exchange, or do they also tack on a couple of percent for themselves?

The other alternative is cash - probably the easiest in terms of keeping on budget, and probably the cheapest since I can watch the rates and buy when the dollar is high, but carries the obvious risks...

So what do you do?

Scratch42
01-16-2005, 09:23 AM
Welcome!

I use a bit of cash on hand. Then the rest is in Traveller's Cheques! I also bring a credit card just in case I find something that I really, really "need"!LOL

I usually charge to the Room Key Card then go to Guest Services to pay off with the Traveller's Cheques. That way you can see how much you are spending.

For in the parks, always keep a small amount of cash for those incidentals like Mickey Bars, Dole Whips, etc.

Have A Magical Trip!

Regarding charges for yourTC, it depends on which bank you deal with, sometimes even which teller! Myself I have a US Bank Account so I get a better rate of exchange also.

Scratch

mbb
01-16-2005, 09:28 AM
We use cash and cc...

We put spending $$ onto our cc before we go. Then use room charge. Easy:)

:sunny:

surfer_ed
01-16-2005, 12:08 PM
Hi Eskie_Lover,

Here are a few things that we find helps that might minimize your fees/exch rate etc. I am a banker so I know a few things about fees ;)

I would suggest that if you are staying onsite that you use a combination of Travellers Cheques and Credit Card and a little cash.

What we do is charge most things to our room key and then go down the night before and settle up mostly with TC and charge some to our CC.

Disney is very good at exchanging TC. I usually take 50s, then when I change them I have pocket cash for counter service etc. If you are going to non-Disney places TC are not always as convenient, although most major hotel chains are pretty good as well.

I would avoid ATMs for a few reasons:
>Exchange rate is usually worse than cc
>Make sure your P.I.N is only 4 digits, some machines/networks only take a 4 digit PIN.
>The system charges can really add up. Typically there is a system charge, the owner of the machine might also add a surcharge and then there is the exchange. Sometimes the fess can be $5 or 6$ US per withdrawal. If you have to use an ATM, then get larger amounts and make fewer trips.
>It is convenient but when you get home you will see that you pay for that convenience.

The exchange rates on cc are not always that favourable but if you do one large transaction, it will average out. Unlike ATMs there should be not system charge to access the network. Plus if you get points, you can put them away for your next trip.

If you have a package service at your bank you probably do not have to pay for TC. I also think CAA offers them as well?? If you return with extras than they can be refunded.

Cheers and have a good time.

Mortlives
01-16-2005, 12:53 PM
We do a combination of cash and room charge on cc. I throw loonies and toonies into my desk drawer at home and change them into US when the rate is favourable, usually adding $20-40 in bills on top. Then when we get there, I've got my cash for incidentals and the road, and room charge goes back to the cc in a couple of large transactions. CC is paid in full when the bill comes in the next month. I usually pay the room off in advance, and buy the tickets in advance so the large bills are spread out over a few months. I don't worry about the exchange rate on my trip, because I know within a few percent what it's going to be and I don't watch it that close, and all the other exchange I've done I've tried to do when our dollar is high.

Kungaloosh!
Morticia.

cslittle999
01-16-2005, 02:12 PM
We mostly use cc's because we collect points. We carry around $300 cash for small stuff. While we're at WDW we charge everything we can back to the room. We have as much as we can paid off before we go down and then pay the cc off when we get the next bill (otherwise you don't get the points).

Mortlives
01-16-2005, 02:21 PM
We mostly use cc's because we collect points.

That's a good point. We get airmiles from our cc. I'm hoping to get next summer's Universal tickets from this trip.

Kungaloosh!
Morticia.

cslittle999
01-16-2005, 03:14 PM
We do Airmiles too. I'm hoping that between paying for our next trip and other stuff I will finally have enough points for an iPod.

Dolphin_Girl008
01-16-2005, 03:43 PM
We use credit card, cash and traveller's cheques (which are are like cash). :D

Eskie_Lover
01-16-2005, 03:46 PM
I was forgetting about getting points - my credit card doesn't have them, but hubbies does, so that will make up for the difference in exchange rates, and I will put money on his card in advance, so there isn't such a big bill when we get home.

Thanks! I think I have pretty much everything sorted out! Now I just have to wait for another 4 weeks and I will be there!!

Tabetha
01-16-2005, 04:51 PM
I've never used my ATM card in the states. My friend said that it works different there, and there have been cases where the Canadian account gets frozen while they "verify" the account has the correct amount, which can take a week or more... I'm skeptical that this is true - but she assures me this happened to a friend....




For the record, this happened to me once.

I'll be bringing some cash and using cc.

Yzma and Kronk
01-16-2005, 07:35 PM
I use my Canadian debit card (we have a Canadian account) at the ATM's all the time down here.
You shouldn't have any problem if you use the ATM at a bank. I have found that some of the smaller Banks are not be on the system, and therefore won't work. (I have only found one- BT&T, I believe)
If you are just making a withdrawl for cash you shouldn't have any problems.

The charges vary anywhere from free (I found one bank that doesn't charge) usually $1.50 - $3.00. However, if you use the independant machines that you see at Disney, gas stations, malls, etc. they sometimes charge more. They will always tell you what they are charging and you have the option of not completing the transaction.

Tabetha - were you trying to use your debit card to pay for something rather than just trying to withdrawl cash from a ATM? If so, I could see the possibility of freezing your account because they would consider it a "check" card, which down here is very much like writing a cheque, and they would wait for varification of funds.

Also keep in mind that they do not have "debit" cards here - they are "check" cards and they are and work slightly different. You will have trouble using a Canadian debit card here because most stores don't have a PIN pad, and if they do, they don't give you the option of chequing or savings, and therefore won't work. Plus, all the "check" cards have a Visa or MC logo on them, even though you cannot use them for credit (they are called fake visa's/MC's) and if you give them your Canadian card, you'll get the "what's that???"

Tabetha
01-16-2005, 07:43 PM
Nope, I was withdrawing funds from a major bank ATM. Was weird.

It hasn't happened since, and this was a few years ago, so perhaps they've tightened up their act!

iluvflorida
01-16-2005, 09:19 PM
Travellers Cheques and Cash. No problem cashing travelers cheques anywhere. Would suggest no larger than $50 as stores don't like given back alot of cash in change. However, if large purchase or settling room etc than no problem with $100. Carry credit card for emergency.

Travellers cheques can be replaced fast if lost or stolen. Cash cannot so only carry what you need for small stuff and cash traveller cheques when more needed.

Do not cash traveller cheques at bank. They charge. Simply make small purchase and pay with traveller cheques to get the change back.

Credit Cards that give bonus usually not worth it as bonus usually not as great as the extra surcharge they take.

Yzma and Kronk
01-16-2005, 11:52 PM
Nope, I was withdrawing funds from a major bank ATM. Was weird.

It hasn't happened since, and this was a few years ago, so perhaps they've tightened up their act!

WOW - I'll have to watch out for that - it would be a major problem for me if that happened.
The banks here are getting better. No where near the CAD banks - I still write cheques to pay some bills :scared1: but can pay some of my bills on the internet - WOW! :D

DisneySpence
01-17-2005, 02:57 PM
Our family uses TC's and cash for the most part. We have occasionally gone to the ATM and with TDCT we can now use debit in many places in the US.

SilverCrab
01-17-2005, 07:52 PM
I'm trying to decide on the best way to pay for our purchases/meals while at WDW. I haven't been in 10 years, and the last time was with my parents - so they covered all the big things, and I just had to have my spending money... Obviously this time I'm footing the bill, so I'm trying to decide the best (and cheapest) way to cover my expenses (room and flights are already paid for).

Easiest would be to put everything on credit - but then you have the 2-3% increase on the rate of exchange which they add on, and you are getting it at that days rate of exchange, which could go either way.

I've never used my ATM card in the states. My friend said that it works different there, and there have been cases where the Canadian account gets frozen while they "verify" the account has the correct amount, which can take a week or more... I'm skeptical that this is true - but she assures me this happened to a friend.... Anyone have any problems using ATM's in the states? What kind of fees do you get charged?

I've also never used Travellers Cheques - my parents considered them too much hassel... I plan on charging almost everything back to the room, in which case the front desk should accept travellers cheques correct? What kind of fees are associated with Travellers Cheques? Do you get them at the actual rate of exchange, or do they also tack on a couple of percent for themselves?

The other alternative is cash - probably the easiest in terms of keeping on budget, and probably the cheapest since I can watch the rates and buy when the dollar is high, but carries the obvious risks...

So what do you do?


I don't know if Canada has the use of AAA for travel or not. But if you do,they have now whati s called Visa Travel Money. This is a pre-loaded card that works like a DEBIT card. It has a two year life span that you can re-load 3 times without paying a fee. I used one this past December at Disney and it works fine. Very convenient . You could also set up your room key card for charge and use the AAA Travel Money Card for collateral. Just make sure you have enough in it to cover your Disney charges. LOL!

Ronnie From Va.

Pixie
03-12-2005, 12:00 PM
I was thinking about using my debit card but my bank has an international usage charge of $3.50 per use. So I gave up on that idea. I plan to use cash and credit card.