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Old 09-05-2012, 05:29 PM   #1
drujaz
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Money questions for Aulani trip.

I was wondering if anyone had experiences with travelers checks? We're getting ready to embark on our first trip to Hawaii and Aulani in two weeks time, staying for 6 days. I was planning on taking 500.00 as it looks like our bank has no ATMs or branches in Hawaii. I just didn't want take so much cash in pocket. Any ideas on ATM fees at Aulani, if not too steep, that would be ideal. TIA.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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I don't recall an ATM at Aulani, though I didn't look for one. We actually didn't use much cash while there, just tips for the bell people and housekeeping. Everything else went on our room card, which was tied to our credit card. Outside of the resort, basically used our credit card for everything.....
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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I don't recall an ATM at Aulani, though I didn't look for one.
According to chase.com, there is an ATM at 92-1185 Ali'inui Drive, Kapolei, HI. Which just happens to be the address of Aulani.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drujaz View Post
I was wondering if anyone had experiences with travelers checks? We're getting ready to embark on our first trip to Hawaii and Aulani in two weeks time, staying for 6 days. I was planning on taking 500.00 as it looks like our bank has no ATMs or branches in Hawaii. I just didn't want take so much cash in pocket. Any ideas on ATM fees at Aulani, if not too steep, that would be ideal. TIA.
Over the years I've been a big fan of travelers checks to avoid so much cash and for the protection they provide. However, it's gotten difficult to find them and everywhere I've looked, they now charge a fee to get them. Also, it's been increasingly more difficult to cash them or use them and often there's a fee there as well. About 3-4 years ago when I came the realization that they were no longer a feasible options, I went through a fairly involved process to look for feasible alternatives. Things like the AMEX travel cards and WalMart's cash cards along with various debit cards. They all had a fee often both up front and to reload. I ended up opening a separate checking account with my credit union and getting an ATM care there I would also use as a debit card. No fees to have it, no fees to use or reload it unless there were fees on the other end (ATM or foreign exchange fees). I just make sure there's what I want in the account for the trip and I can add to it if I need to and also deplete it near the end of the trip. The ONLY connection it has with my other accounts is the ability to move money in or out but there is NO overdraft protection that can draw from the other accounts.

There are ATM's all over the place so I'm sure you'll have access though there may be a fee. See what systems your bank or CU connects with, you may have a fee but there will be ATM's and I'd bet the fee will be less than you'd pay with travelers checks. Just do a google search for atm's in HI.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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Thanks very much for the insight on travelers checks. I'll do some more research on ATM fees in Hawaii.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:05 PM   #6
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There was an ATM in the lobby, across from the check in area. Not sure about fees, we did not use it.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:57 PM   #7
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Definately a Chase ATM in the lobby "alcove" across from the check in as others have said. We bank at Chase so there were no fees to withdrawl the money. I would guess it a $2-$3 fee per transaction plus whatever your bank may charge for not using one of their ATMs.

I too was a fan of traveler's checks for years! I just found them the perfect solution; it was just like cash but without the risk of it getting stolen or lost. All my spending money would be on hand when I left for the trip so I always knew exactly what we were spending without tracking receipts or cc/debit transactions. For me it was the easiest way. Even as the fees continued to rise I still thought the value was well worth the fees charged by my bank. I now have account where I can get them for free which was great when I was still using them, however I began to have issues with retailer's/resturants/servers/clerks understanding what they were. I was never turned down but it sometimes would lead to needing to get a manager or lots of questions. That is when it turned into be a problem for us. I wish they were still more widely known/used as I still prefer this method.

My son works in a bank and said someone came in the other day and asked for Travler's Checks it took his Manager and Assistant Manager quite a bit of time to figure out how to issue them properly since they rarely if ever get a request for them.

It probably is cheaper just to pay the ATM fees if you don't have the ability to get the traveler's check at no cost.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:02 AM   #8
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Another potential alternative depending on how much you'd be out is to go to WalGreens, Walmart or one of the grocery stores and buy somethigns and do cash back. I have done that sometimes in places.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:02 PM   #9
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Another potential alternative depending on how much you'd be out is to go to WalGreens, Walmart or one of the grocery stores and buy somethigns and do cash back. I have done that sometimes in places.
Resorts will normally cash personal checks as well if one is staying there. There is generally a limit though and I don't know if DVC does this, Marriott does or at least has in the past including out of the country. some banks and CC companies will rebate any fees charged by ATM's as well.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:33 PM   #10
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I find it much simpler to use my debit card for things like that instead of cash. In Europe you rarely use cash for anything (they don't have checks), and I'm sure that day is coming in this country too.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:43 AM   #11
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Thanks very much for the insight on travelers checks. I'll do some more research on ATM fees in Hawaii.
ATM fees in Hawaii are the same as they are on the mainland. I think Bank of Hawaii charges $2 (plus any fee your bank charges for using an ATM other than theirs).

DH and I spent two weeks on Maui last year and I think we had $400 in cash between us. We either used our debit or credit card for everything.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:47 PM   #12
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I find it much simpler to use my debit card for things like that instead of cash. In Europe you rarely use cash for anything (they don't have checks), and I'm sure that day is coming in this country too.

That's the way it is here in Canada, most people use debit for everything.

A while ago I was in NY and the woman in front of me wrote a personal check at the grocery store, I haven't seen that here in 15+ years.

To the OP we used very little cash at Aulani, tips for the bell hop and when we went touring places like the Shrimp Truck, Rainbow drive in etc.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:29 PM   #13
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After reviewing our plans and the advice from everyone here, it seems that we may only need cash when going to the aloha stadium swap meet for souvenirs. Also, for debit cards (banks) that are part of the co-op network, the ATM at Costco and 7-11s should be free of charge.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:23 PM   #14
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We ran into similar difficulties with traveler's checks and haven't used them for ~ 4 yrs. One 20-year-old clerk in a grocery store said she'd never seen or heard of a traveler's check. It was increasingly common that a manager had to be called to verify it wasn't stolen or a fake. We used them for years (free from AAA), but they stopped being convenient and were more problem than they were worth.
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