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Carrying Cash #30855
12/28/2014 08:59 AM
12/28/2014 08:59 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 334
ohio
M
markis Offline OP
Traveler
markis  Offline OP
Traveler
M
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 334
ohio
I have a question in regards to paying cash on the French side. It is my understanding that many restaurants will give a 1 to 1 exchange rate, dollars to Euros if we pay cash. That means bringing quite a lot of cash, and I am not excited about traveling with pocketsful of cash. However I am too cheap to pass up this savings.
Do most of you carry a lot of cash to the island, and then leave most of it in the hotel safe, use travelers checks (yuck), or ATMS? If you use an ATM can you get US dollars?
Thanks,

SXM Sponsors
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: markis] #30856
12/28/2014 09:06 AM
12/28/2014 09:06 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
mprevo Offline
Traveler
mprevo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 212
Michigan
I take quite a bit of cash but I keep it in a money belt. Great way to hide the cash that looks perfectly normal and still keep it on you.


***********************************************

Next vacation is scheduled for February 7th through February 19th in Grand Cayman.

A totally new Adventure is awaiting us!!
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: markis] #30857
12/28/2014 09:07 AM
12/28/2014 09:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,894
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
Traveler
boucharda  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,894
Massachusetts
You will get many opinions (many previous threads) on this so just do what you think is best for you.

We just get cash as we need it from an ATM, usually a couple of hundred at a time, so there is no issue with "carrying a lot of cash" around...simple...have done it in evry country we have visited with ZERO issues. We have NEVER used a CC or travelers checks for anything outside the USA

Edited to add: the "never use a CC is a lie <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Sick.gif" alt="" /> Sorry...if we check out of a hotel, pay TS tax and car rental we use a CC. All other transactions are in cash.

Last edited by boucharda; 12/28/2014 09:13 AM.
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: markis] #30858
12/28/2014 09:25 AM
12/28/2014 09:25 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,158
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
Traveler
GaKaye  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,158
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
We bring a fair amount of cash, and generally carry only a couple hundred on us at any one time. We find that most of the places we frequent don't offer 1:1 for cash, so we just use our Visa card for everything. The only reason we carry that much cash is in case the cc connection is down, which does happen, or in the case of a place that doesn't take cash. We prefer to use a credit card because there is absolutely no risk of loss if the card is compromised, while cash can be stolen or lost.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: GaKaye] #30859
12/28/2014 11:28 AM
12/28/2014 11:28 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 276
North of Boston
Ted_n_Jan Offline
Traveler
Ted_n_Jan  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 276
North of Boston
We do the same as GaKaye.

Every few days I check the Visa exchange rate. If a restaurant offers a better exchange rate for cash, then I use cash. Otherwise I use my Capital One card.

Most restaurants do offer a better rate, so this means that we primarily use cash.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: boucharda] #30860
12/28/2014 11:44 AM
12/28/2014 11:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 750
Western MA
S
SandS Offline
Traveler
SandS  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 750
Western MA
We have never used an atm machine. What are the fees. We always had traveller cheques as backup but that doesn't seem to be a good idea anymore.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: markis] #30861
12/28/2014 12:32 PM
12/28/2014 12:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,070
Clearwater, FL
Biturbo Offline
Traveler
Biturbo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,070
Clearwater, FL
Until 2 years ago, we used TC's, and that always worked well. However, because of difficulties in obtaining them and with establishments on the island that no longer accept them, we use mostly cash, keeping it in the room safe. Exceptions are car rental, hotel and jewelry purchases, for which we use CC's. We stay on the French side and have never used an ATM. Most ATM's on the French side only dispense Euros, but I've read that there is one in Hope Estate that also dispenses US dollars. I'm not sure what the fee is, if any.


I'm going where the weather suits my clothes.
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: SandS] #30862
12/28/2014 01:08 PM
12/28/2014 01:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,894
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
Traveler
boucharda  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,894
Massachusetts
Re: ATM fees.

We use our Schwab Bank card and it refunds any fees associated with a cash withdrawal anywhere

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: markis] #30863
12/28/2014 01:11 PM
12/28/2014 01:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 879
Great PacNW
ChunkyDunkin Offline
Traveler
ChunkyDunkin  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 879
Great PacNW
You don't say where (what side) you are staying. Dutch commercial side and I think most all resorts would have ATM's that will or should dispense dollars. Readily handy casinos certainly do, just take the money and RUN.
If near Oyster Pond Dutch/French, there is a handy ATM (ScotiaBank) in the Westin to the lift of the reception entance that dispenses dollars. I use a Bank of America debit card/account for travel money. They are affiliated with ScotiaBank so no ATM fee. Non-affiliated accounts may have a $3 to $5 fee per transaction.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: Biturbo] #30864
12/28/2014 01:57 PM
12/28/2014 01:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
We have no problem getting the AE TCs, still a perk with our bank, but because I had heard so much noise about them not being widely accepted any longer on the island, we chose to bring only cash and CCs for our April trip. Each time we dined out I asked IF the places still accepted TCs and for the most part, the response was that they did. Apparently, one of the island banks no longer accepts them but apparently the others still do.

In December we brought half our vacation funds in cash and the other half in TCs and we had no problem using them. Personally speaking, and knowing I can usually use CCs if I want to. I still prefer to carry the bulk of my money in TC form and as long as I can still easily obtain them here at home and easily use them on St. Maarten, I think I'll stick to the old habits which in my case, do truly seem hard to break. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: pat] #30865
12/28/2014 02:03 PM
12/28/2014 02:03 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 144
FlamingoPete Offline
Traveler
FlamingoPete  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 144
There is Scotia Bank ATM on Welfare Road at the foot of Billy Folly Road. If you have a Bank of America Debit Card you can get cash (U.S. Dollars) from your checking account without incurring any usage fees.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: markis] #30866
12/28/2014 04:34 PM
12/28/2014 04:34 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,143
JimCandD Offline
Traveler
JimCandD  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,143
I think it depends on how much you intend to spend while on the island. We take cash for everything but lodging and car rental and keep it in the room safe. When we go out we take what we intend to use on that outing. Any credit card without an international transaction fee would be good for the room and car (like our Capital One Venture card). I take photocopies of our passports with us with the originals in the room safe.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: pat] #30867
12/28/2014 05:04 PM
12/28/2014 05:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,059
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
Traveler
islandgem  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,059
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Pat, we do exactly the same and have had no problems using the travelers checks at all. Market Garden is the only place we encountered that does not accept them so we always use cash there. In Grand Case the restaurants that offer 1 to 1 accept travelers checks the same as cash. We never carry a lot of cash on us when we are out either travelling or at home. If we need cash, ATM machines are everywhere and our debit cards are used mainly for everything at home. In Canada, if your debit cards are compromised, the money is immediately reimbursed by your bank just like credit cards by your credit card company so they are very safe to use.




Re: Carrying Cash [Re: islandgem] #30868
12/28/2014 06:09 PM
12/28/2014 06:09 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,004
sebastian florida
silverfox82 Offline
Traveler
silverfox82  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,004
sebastian florida
Travelsmith has pretty nice money belts, holds plenty of $100's and look good. The hardware is plastic so it doesn't set the metal detector off, I'm now a "known traveler" so I don't remove the belt anyway so that's not an issue but back in the day I went thru with my shirt out and belt on with no issue. I took 2 belts, one in the carryon in a pair of shorts so the plastic zipper was not visible and was ready to go once on island and the other in the jeans I was wearing, 3K in cash, no problem.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: silverfox82] #30869
12/28/2014 07:11 PM
12/28/2014 07:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,181
Middle Tennessee
T
TravelHat Offline
Traveler
TravelHat  Offline
Traveler
T
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,181
Middle Tennessee
I prefer to carry fifties. Less ostentatious and no one is counting back a bunch of change to you you at a bar.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: markis] #30870
12/28/2014 07:30 PM
12/28/2014 07:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,093
Southport, North Carolina, US
candj Offline
Traveler
candj  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,093
Southport, North Carolina, US
We usually bring a good bit of cash but only carry about $300 on us at any one time. We keep the rest in the room safe. When possible, we put most of our purchases on our capital one card to avoid the foreign transaction fee.


Fair winds and following seas!
SSN691-May She Ever Prowl The Seas in Defense of Human Freedom!
SSN787-Preserving Peace, Prepared for War
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: markis] #30871
12/28/2014 09:34 PM
12/28/2014 09:34 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 141
Ontario
C
Canuck54 Offline
Traveler
Canuck54  Offline
Traveler
C
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 141
Ontario
Lots of great info, just a word of caution, posting personal tendencies regarding money on the Internet??? Just a bit too much information can be dangerous.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: islandgem] #30872
12/28/2014 09:41 PM
12/28/2014 09:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,250
sxmsandbum Offline
Traveler
sxmsandbum  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,250
Quote
islandgem said:
[quote]have had no problems using the travelers checks at all. Market Garden is the only place we encountered that does not accept them so we always use cash there.




We prefer T cheques as well but when we were there last spring about 1/2 the places we go to quit taking them while we were there. Good one week and not the next. I think you were just on island but if not if anyone has been there in last 30 days would be curious if travelers checks still usable. Thanks.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: pat] #30873
12/28/2014 09:59 PM
12/28/2014 09:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19
Ohio
Goody Offline
Traveler
Goody  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19
Ohio
Last year before we left for St. Maarten I called Casino Royale directly and asked if they took Travel's Checks in the casino. They told me "no". Then, while we were there last year we saw people cashing their Traveler's Checks in the casino. Go figure!!!!!

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: sxmsandbum] #30874
12/28/2014 10:03 PM
12/28/2014 10:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,059
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
Traveler
islandgem  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,059
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
We have only been home now for three weeks so yes, less than 30 days, and we had no problem using travelers checks at all. We cashed them at Casino Royale and several other casinos so I know for sure they were recently cashing them.




Re: Carrying Cash [Re: sxmsandbum] #30875
12/28/2014 10:24 PM
12/28/2014 10:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
We were in SXM 11/29 thru 12/13 and really only found two places that didn't accept them, and while one store in P'berg, The Polo store I believe, told us that no one would take them, our jewelry store, Caribbean Gems took them with no questions asked, as did several other shops on Front Street. We did ask at Antoine's Restaurant, another favorite place of ours but one that does NOT accept TCs, why some places won't take them and he indicated it was one of the island banks new policies.

We cashed them at The Dunes and Atlantis Casinos and also at LGM, all requiring photo ID, but there were no problems or hesitation at any of these places.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: pat] #30876
12/28/2014 11:19 PM
12/28/2014 11:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,766
Med/ Caribbean
sailbynight Offline
Traveler
sailbynight  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,766
Med/ Caribbean
The notion that travelers cheques are the same as cash, was invented by a marketing company. Cash is the same as cash. Anything else is not cash.

99% of the local people that live here use ATMs without any trouble. Same as the rest of the world.

(By the way, is an "ATM Machine" mean, "Automatic Teller Machine Machine"? Do you put in your personal identification Number Number?

Life and banking on St. Maarten are just fine.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: sailbynight] #30877
12/28/2014 11:29 PM
12/28/2014 11:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 5,955
NH
SandyandBill Offline
Traveler
SandyandBill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 5,955
NH
You're correct. Travelers cheques are not the same as cash. TCs are safer. If your wallet/purse are lost or stolen and all you have is cash...sayonara. TCs can be reimbursed for full value if you retained your receipt.

Regarding atms, there have been several skimming operations busted on the island that were widely publicized. That being said, I still use them in what I consider "safe" areas (attached to a bank, inside casinos, etc.).

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: SandyandBill] #30878
12/28/2014 11:32 PM
12/28/2014 11:32 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,373
SXMWendell Offline
Traveler
SXMWendell  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,373
Where do you go to get reimbursed?

SXM??? Wendell

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: SXMWendell] #30879
12/28/2014 11:37 PM
12/28/2014 11:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 5,955
NH
SandyandBill Offline
Traveler
SandyandBill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 5,955
NH
I've never been in a situation where I had to get them reimbursed on the island but I believe someone else did here on ttol and mentioned an amex office near Pburg. Whether it's still there; no clue. Worse case, I can reimburse them back home but I'm not out any money.

I would never use any single source whether it be cash, tcs, atms or credit cards as my sole access to funds.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: sailbynight] #30880
12/28/2014 11:41 PM
12/28/2014 11:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
Sbn,

You are certainly welcome to use whatever method of finance that works for you. Go for it.

And I doubt anyone here believes that anything less than true cash is actually cash. But TCs are easily replaced if a wallet is lost or stolen, therefore they're even better than cash in some situations.

Those here who have experienced credit card issues that have stemmed from the island (count me among those people...) or double dipping on their ATM transactions may feel differently, thus the numerous question and answers as offered. We're all entitled to our own opinions and all are welcome to express them here.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: SXMWendell] #30881
12/28/2014 11:47 PM
12/28/2014 11:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
Wendell,

If you're not able to access a local AE office, there's an international phone number that can be used and within 48 hours supposedly they will ship you replacements.

And I heartily agree with whomever said so, in that a smart traveler will probably use multiple forms of travel funds rather than relying on any one lone source of funds. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: SandyandBill] #30882
12/29/2014 12:30 AM
12/29/2014 12:30 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,373
SXMWendell Offline
Traveler
SXMWendell  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,373
I guess I should have ask, How long to get reimbursed?

SXM??? WEndell

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: SXMWendell] #30883
12/29/2014 12:44 AM
12/29/2014 12:44 AM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 5,955
NH
SandyandBill Offline
Traveler
SandyandBill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 5,955
NH
According to the Amex website, "never expire".

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/prepaid/travelers-cheques.html

Sorry, just read your post again and realized I misinterpreted your question. The only time I had to have them reimbursed was about 25 - 30 years ago after a trip to Paris. If I recollect, they were reimbursed immediately but I was dealing with my personal bank with whom I had several accounts including my mortgage and deposited to my checking account instead of cash at my request.

Last edited by SandyandBill; 12/29/2014 01:00 AM.
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: SandyandBill] #30884
12/29/2014 05:58 AM
12/29/2014 05:58 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 334
ohio
M
markis Offline OP
Traveler
markis  Offline OP
Traveler
M
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 334
ohio
Thank you all for these great ideas!
Cheers,

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: islandgem] #30885
12/29/2014 11:32 AM
12/29/2014 11:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,250
sxmsandbum Offline
Traveler
sxmsandbum  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,250
Thanks Islandgem and Pat...appreciate the update. Did you try at any of the restaurants?

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: JimCandD] #30886
12/29/2014 02:37 PM
12/29/2014 02:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 715
ME
singbeach Offline
Traveler
singbeach  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 715
ME
Why do you take photocopies of passports with you?

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: singbeach] #30887
12/29/2014 02:39 PM
12/29/2014 02:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,284
Brookfield, CT.
Jic the originals should be lost?


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: FlamingoPete] #30888
12/29/2014 02:39 PM
12/29/2014 02:39 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 715
ME
singbeach Offline
Traveler
singbeach  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 715
ME
and I assume your regular "pin" as used at home works? Never used ATM on SXM.but if no fees attached, sounds good to me! Thanks.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: pat] #30889
12/29/2014 02:40 PM
12/29/2014 02:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 715
ME
singbeach Offline
Traveler
singbeach  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 715
ME
hmmm, I never took a copy out with me, but do leave original in safe. I guess the safe could be compromised also! Never considered that.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: singbeach] #30890
12/29/2014 02:52 PM
12/29/2014 02:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 80,012
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 80,012
Central Florida!
We do take a photocopy with us. Some people upload a copy online somewhere that they can access from anywhere. We haven't done that, although it does seem like a good idea..


Carol Hill
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: Carol_Hill] #30891
12/29/2014 03:30 PM
12/29/2014 03:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 968
Jersey City, NJ, North of SXM
mscottc Offline
Traveler
mscottc  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 968
Jersey City, NJ, North of SXM
Every few months I pull every piece of plastic (credit cards, license/registration, medical IDs etc.) out of my wallet, drop them on the scanner face down, hit scan, then face up, and scan. I combine the two scans into one image and email it to my gmail account. It's always there waiting for me, along with jpgs of our passports.


[Linked Image]
Life is a series of real images My Galleries
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: singbeach] #30892
12/30/2014 11:08 PM
12/30/2014 11:08 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,143
JimCandD Offline
Traveler
JimCandD  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,143
I take the photocopies with me for identification. I believe the rule is that you have your passport with you, but am not sure. A photocopy seems like it would be good for ID and if they pushed it, you could always provide the one in your safe within a short period of time. To the OP, we don't take a lot of cash to the island since we spend most of the time on the beach where the resort provides chairs. We get groceries from Grande Marche to maximize beach time. We do eat out a few times in the evening, but usually spend time with friends doing what we do best - talking.

Re: Carrying Cash [Re: markis] #30893
12/31/2014 06:27 AM
12/31/2014 06:27 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,695
Westchester /NYC
Colour1 Offline
Traveler
Colour1  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,695
Westchester /NYC
We found that the best rate is at the airport!!!!We saved a lot of money on the rates. I'm not big on carrying a lot of cash on me. American express traveler checks are excepted most places and on the beaches, but check with the restaurants first if going to Grand Case!!!


Sand Gravity, got to love it!
Re: Carrying Cash [Re: mscottc] #30894
12/31/2014 08:18 AM
12/31/2014 08:18 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 102
S
Susieville Offline
Traveler
Susieville  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 102
great idea..I'm going to do that!

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