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Money Money Money #62057
07/16/2015 08:29 AM
07/16/2015 08:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 12
C
calidavidh Offline OP
Traveler
calidavidh  Offline OP
Traveler
C
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 12
Hi all,

Just want to check with all of you on this one. Pretty much set on bringing USD to the Island. How much do all of you normally bring initially? Secondly, I heard that ATM's are few and far between (how's that situation in Grand Case where we are staying? Lastly, credit cards I've also heard can be an issue. Whats your experiences trying to use them at restaurants etc???

Thanks!

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Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62058
07/16/2015 08:48 AM
07/16/2015 08:48 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 185
J
jamiegarrett761 Offline
Traveler
jamiegarrett761  Offline
Traveler
J
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 185
We try to bring whatever cash we think we are going to need and avoid the ATM issue. We haven't stayed in Grand Case since 2014 but I don't recall there being any ATMs in Grand Case. The one time we had to go to one, we had to go to Marigot.

Many businesses and restaurants take credit cards (Visa/Mastercard primarily) - just make sure that you contact the credit card company before you go so that they won't deny charges.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: jamiegarrett761] #62059
07/16/2015 08:54 AM
07/16/2015 08:54 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 837
Florida
W
wilsonck Offline
Traveler
wilsonck  Offline
Traveler
W
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 837
Florida
I usually bring $500 to start. I use the credit mutual ATM in Hope Estates (just down from where you will be) to get more money. The ATM there gives Euros or USD. If you take USD, there is no currency conversion. You take $500 and it takes $500 out of your account. If you take Euros, then you have the conversion to USD taken out.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: jamiegarrett761] #62060
07/16/2015 08:55 AM
07/16/2015 08:55 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 155
Central Connecticut
4
4Driver4 Offline
Traveler
4Driver4  Offline
Traveler
4
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 155
Central Connecticut
We usually bring $500 or so for a 10 day stay. $50 of that is in ones and fives for tips and small purchases. We usually run out of small bills but end up bringing a couple hundred back home. We make most of our purchases on credit cards, just like home.

Keep in mind that restaurant tips are cash; you can't charge those.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: 4Driver4] #62061
07/16/2015 09:02 AM
07/16/2015 09:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,709
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,709
Central Florida!
As far as tips in cash, it depends where you are. Many places on the Dutch side now have a 15% auto tip built into the bill, so the tips there would be included on the credit card slip. I would agree that on the French side you should definitely leave the tip in cash, although the amount would be a question.

As far as cash, we always take the amount of cash we think we will need, as I am somewhat leery of ATM machines away from home--and frankly, guess we don't use them at home either! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" /> Regarding credit cards, M/C and Visa are fine. AMEX is often not accepted, here at home. Discover, I'm not sure of, as we've never had one. Keep in mind that many credit card companies do charge a currency conversion if the charge is in Euros, so you need to check with your credit card company to see if they do. To me, it's not a huge deal, but a lot of people really object to that and only use cc's that don't charge that fee.


Carol Hill
Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62062
07/16/2015 09:05 AM
07/16/2015 09:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 395
Southern tier of New York
ironmanps Offline
Traveler
ironmanps  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 395
Southern tier of New York
We only use a credit card for the car rental (the CDW is covered that way), then it's all cash the rest of the way. Maybe not so big a deal this year, given the exchange rate of Dollar vs. Euro, but a lot of Grand Case restaurants do USD = to Euro when paying cash. As far as $, we do $500 per day if going to a casino after dinner, $300 if no casino. That said, we eat out ALL meals, with dinner being at higher-end restaurants ($100-200 per dinner for 2)and rent chairs and buy drinks at the beaches. You can spend a lot less per day or a lot more, depending on what floats your boat. Have a great time. Regards, Phil

Re: Money Money Money [Re: Carol_Hill] #62063
07/16/2015 09:07 AM
07/16/2015 09:07 AM

A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A


Also, be careful of "foreign transaction fees." We were surprised by these on our Bank of America Visa. Will use a different card next time.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: ] #62064
07/16/2015 09:42 AM
07/16/2015 09:42 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 12
C
calidavidh Offline OP
Traveler
calidavidh  Offline OP
Traveler
C
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 12
Thanks all,

Great advice. I have a capital one card with an ample limit for the credit card side of things and to avoid those nasty fees! Good to know about Hope Estates as well.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62065
07/16/2015 09:51 AM
07/16/2015 09:51 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,515
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
Traveler
boucharda  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,515
Massachusetts
Different strokes for different folks...

For our two weeks we take a few hundred in cash and get the rest (dollars) from an ATM...CC only for car rental and TS tax...

Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62066
07/16/2015 10:19 AM
07/16/2015 10:19 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 523
Central Coast, CA
C
cruzer Offline
Traveler
cruzer  Offline
Traveler
C
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 523
Central Coast, CA
We bring around $1000 cash/week. While I try to use the credit card as much as possible for those 2% rebates, many places have offered a slightly favorable exchange rate for cash, so I use cash there.

And, I always carry enough cash, even if I know I'll pay with a credit card, because you never know when their card processor is down (anecdotal evidence says it's due to rain storms).

Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62067
07/16/2015 11:11 AM
07/16/2015 11:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,152
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,152
Portland, OR
I also take $1,000/week and pay cash for just about everything except car rental. I also take about $200 in $2 bills to use for tips, which seem to be really appreciated by the islanders. Several have told me they keep the $2 bills rather than spending them.


[Linked Image]
Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62068
07/16/2015 01:48 PM
07/16/2015 01:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,880
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
Traveler
GaKaye  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,880
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
We use our Capital One credit card for everything, the only exception being the very few places that don't take a card. We bring $1,000 in cash for our three week stay, and always bring over half of it home.


[Linked Image]
Re: Money Money Money [Re: GaKaye] #62069
07/16/2015 03:02 PM
07/16/2015 03:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 352
Pittsburgh, PA
gotaluvit Offline
Traveler
gotaluvit  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 352
Pittsburgh, PA
I am always amazed at how much cash I go through even though I charge almost everything. The big wild card is 1:1 dollar for Euro which used to be hard to pass up but now the difference is reduced. In any event I manage to drop $1,000 in two weeks. I think it is mostly in tips and the odd drink after dinner. We are 100% Frence side.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: GaKaye] #62070
07/16/2015 03:05 PM
07/16/2015 03:05 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,783
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
Traveler
RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,783
Rhode Island
We plan $100 per day. Some meals over and some go under. For a particularly expensive place we use a credit card with no transaction fee no conversion fee, Capital One like GaKaye. And the card for any extra charges when we stay at Grand Case Beach Club because we charge meals & drinks to the room.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: gotaluvit] #62071
07/16/2015 03:06 PM
07/16/2015 03:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,947
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,947
Auburn, WA
We pay cash for most everything including diving except car rental. I take around 4-5 grand with me for four weeks and usually have plenty to bring home.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62072
07/16/2015 03:06 PM
07/16/2015 03:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 84
East Central Florida
M
Marcheall Offline
Traveler
Marcheall  Offline
Traveler
M
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 84
East Central Florida
We take cash for everything except the hotel and car. Calculate what we think we will need and then add about 20% to that. In 25 years we've never used an ATM on the island. It is nice knowing they are there though, in case of an emergency.


Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62073
07/16/2015 03:12 PM
07/16/2015 03:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,964
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline
Traveler
Biturbo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,964
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
We figure $200 per day for the two of us - we stay two weeks, and last year went home with $500. We charge lodging, car rental, and there's usually either a jewelry or handbag purchase for Mrs. B (I get a tee-shirt). Also, when we stay at Club Orient, we usually have several meals at Papagayo, which we charge to the room. I've never used an ATM on the island. We used to use TC's when they were easily available and universally accepted, but now they're neither, so we take cash and use the room safe.

Last edited by Biturbo; 07/16/2015 03:16 PM.

"In a yellow El Camino, listening to Howlin' Wolf" - Lucinda
Re: Money Money Money [Re: ] #62074
07/16/2015 05:37 PM
07/16/2015 05:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 236
Near Chattanooga, Tn.
M
MORWAVES Offline
Traveler
MORWAVES  Offline
Traveler
M
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 236
Near Chattanooga, Tn.
Bank of America offers a "traveler rewards" card with no foreign transaction fees. They will transfer some of your available balance also.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: SXMScubaman] #62075
07/16/2015 06:03 PM
07/16/2015 06:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
Traveler
sail2wind  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
Quote
SXMScubaman said:
We pay cash for most everything including diving except car rental. I take around 4-5 grand with me for four weeks and usually have plenty to bring home.



I can't understand how you pass up 8-10,000 miles, or $160-$200 in CC rebates or miles. It's like free money or a free flight somewhere.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: sail2wind] #62076
07/16/2015 06:17 PM
07/16/2015 06:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,947
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,947
Auburn, WA
Not a concern of mine. I get plenty of miles through my other cc transactions in the states. I don't want a bill after a vacation to remind me how much it costs. I get better deals paying cash too. Cash is king.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: SXMScubaman] #62077
07/16/2015 07:53 PM
07/16/2015 07:53 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 612
Albany, New York
W
WWII Offline
Traveler
WWII  Offline
Traveler
W
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 612
Albany, New York
We charge most everything and use our cash to pay the bill. We also bring about a 100 a day for gambling. Good years we bring back double, bad years we bring back half.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62078
07/16/2015 10:30 PM
07/16/2015 10:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline
Traveler
irish1223  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
We bring about $500 cash to start (some small bills for tips), then use our ATM card at Scotia Bank as we need more. We use our credit card for car rental only. We also figure about $200 per day.


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Money Money Money [Re: irish1223] #62079
07/19/2015 09:22 PM
07/19/2015 09:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 331
Detroit Area
Mantas Offline
Traveler
Mantas  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 331
Detroit Area
Might not be at all relevant but I thought I would repost my itemized trip report from last year where I tracked every penny(photos no longer work). We also stayed in Grand Case. We took 3,000 cash for our 10 day trip but ended up bringing back over 1k....we had plastic (ATM and Credit) for emergencies but never used it.

http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/s...rue#Post1588381

Last edited by Mantas; 07/19/2015 09:23 PM.
Re: Money Money Money [Re: Mantas] #62080
07/19/2015 11:07 PM
07/19/2015 11:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 169
A
Alaskan Offline
Traveler
Alaskan  Offline
Traveler
A
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 169
Quote
Mantas said:
Might not be at all relevant but I thought I would repost my itemized trip report from last year where I tracked every penny(photos no longer work). We also stayed in Grand Case. We took 3,000 cash for our 10 day trip but ended up bringing back over 1k....we had plastic (ATM and Credit) for emergencies but never used it.

http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/s...rue#Post1588381

That is consistent with our experience.

Re: Money Money Money [Re: calidavidh] #62081
07/20/2015 11:53 AM
07/20/2015 11:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 629
Bucks County PA
JohnB Offline
Traveler
JohnB  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 629
Bucks County PA
We budget about $100 a day and manage to hit that average for 7 to 14 days. We bring $1000 cash to start and get the rest from ATMs. I withdrawal both euro from French side and dollars from Dutch as we need.
There is a bank ATM in Grand Case on the main road that dispenses Euros.


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