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What payment method do you prefer?
Travel money card, credit card, cash?


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#1 Colleer

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:16 AM

Hi there,

Just sorting out the final bits and pieces for my Hong Kong trip in March  eexcite.gif

I am trying to figure out which is the best way to go money wise.

- get a certain amount of money in HK$ from the post office  before I go, and once that is used, rely on my credit card (AUS PO's seem to have a good exchange rate) but the minimum is $500 AU$ and I am not sure I want to carry that much around?  It wouldm't bother me really, I would split it up and carry it seperately.  I like the idea of having cash on me.

- get a travel money card and load any spending money on that

- use my ATM card over there but I don't want to have to track down an ATM all the time

- use the credit card solely?  I am thinking this would be a bit limiting as I am hoping to visit any markets that may not have eftpos?

What do you do when you travel?

Either way, I know I will need some HK $ on me for incidentals like a cup of coffee etc.  I will be picked up at the airport along with a group of people so I don't want to hold anybody up by having to source $$ when I get to HK.

What are your thoughts?

#2 PrincessPeach

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:25 AM

If you want to do any shopping at the markets you will need cash.

$500 HK is not an excessive amount of funds really.

DH & I used a combination of cash, debit cards & credit cards. Also depending where you eat, sometimes it's better to pay for meals with cash, as some places take your card out of view to swipe.

#3 Colleer

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:30 AM

Thanks princess peach,

I was looking at getting $500 AUD to carry on me, which is $3800 HK$, perhaps c/c the rest?

Or maybe travel money card the rest?

If I get a travel money card, and don't use all the money on there, can I get it changed back to AUD when I get back home?

#4 Apageintime

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

I dislike the travel money cards so much, the conversion rates are bad and the % loading fee is always crazy too.

I just use my 28 degrees mastercard whenever I travel and draw a couple of days money off that at a time. I just make sure I pay the balance off ASAP and never get charged an interest.

#5 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

We were advised not to use our normal accounts when travelling overseas but to set up an account that only has a minimal amount in it an transfer more over as needed.

Also to advise your bank you are going away as if they think its sus you start using your card in Australia one day and Africa the next they will shut the account down.

#6 Apageintime

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:41 AM

QUOTE (kriattica @ 22/02/2013, 10:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also to advise your bank you are going away as if they think its sus you start using your card in Australia one day and Africa the next they will shut the account down.


I've always heard this but it's never actually happened to me, and I go to some very odd places with work sometimes.

#7 Sui-yat

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:41 AM

Taxi drivers also only take cash so you will definitely need cash.

You usually get a better exchange rate if you withdraw cash from an ATM over there than if you exchange it before you go.

The only issue is ATMs are not as numerous in Hong Kong as they are here. They are definitely around but can sometimes be a little bit harder to find.

I would probably withdraw cash from the HSBC ATM at HK airport (it is quite centrally located and easy to find). You shouldn't hold up your friends at all but if you are worried maybe exchange some money before you go.

#8 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:44 AM

QUOTE (Apageintime @ 22/02/2013, 10:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've always heard this but it's never actually happened to me, and I go to some very odd places with work sometimes.


Happened to my Dad last month. He also goes to some very odd countries. It was a nightmare, he was stuck with no money. He lent some of a workmate and sorted it out when they got home. The bank wouldnt do anything until he was fac to face in the bank. They wouldnt even let my Mum sort it out and its a joint account, that they only use when Dad leaves Aus.

Edited by kriattica, 22 February 2013 - 09:45 AM.


#9 *LucyE*

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

I use a mixture of all of them.

I take some cash for small purchases and tips.

I use a travel card for general shopping because I can load multiple currencies (usually more Europe than short one destination holidays) and I can lock in exchange rates when it suits me.  Mine is linked to my bank so minimal fees and I can move money across as needed.  It gives me the advantages of a CC without the worry about currency conversion rates, international fees etc.

I use the CC for big purchases like accommodation etc.  I agree with not using the normal account that you use at home.  I find most hotels put a certain amount on 'hold' on the CC.  We've had some put the entire amount on 'hold' and it can take quite a while to remove even after check out so essentially double the amount of the accommodation costs has been taken up on the CC.

Most of the places we go are fairly urban so finding an ATM for cash has never been a problem.

#10 Sui-yat

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:49 AM

Another tip, make sure you get some smaller notes ($HK100 or less) and not just $HK500. Taxi drivers and many other smaller venders do not take kindly to being given $HK500 notes.

#11 FEdeRAL

Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:52 AM

We just used our eftpos cards to withdraw money at ATMs that carry the PLUS logo, and CC for bigger expense such as hotels and restaurants.

#12 Ice Queen

Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

I just go about it as I would at home.  Use my debit card  for cash (which has Mastercard on it) and use a credit card.

ATM's are not hard to track down in HK, trust me!  Every corner.

In fact we never even take local currency with us.  We just use the ATM at the airport when we arrive.  Never had a problem in my many many many years of travel! Well, ok, Syria was a bugger for ATM's but that is about it.

Edited by Ehill, 22 February 2013 - 10:14 AM.


#13 carls888

Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:16 AM

We normally take around $500AUD with us in whatever currency we need, it saves organising it when we arrive with the children. We used to convert it when we arrived pre-children though.

We also have a citibank debit card, it has no fees and no foreign transaction fees, so we can use it as an ATM card or as a visa. We aslo use our VISA when shopping at larger shops sometimes.

Have fun.

C

#14 Charlies Angel

Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:56 AM

QUOTE (Apageintime @ 22/02/2013, 10:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've always heard this but it's never actually happened to me, and I go to some very odd places with work sometimes.


Happened to me about a year ago on my first day in LA. Purchased something in a department store and then walked over to another counter less than 5 mins later and the card was already blocked!

The reason that I always travel with two cards as well as some back up cash. Thankfully CBA rang me on the mobile about what was happening and I was able to confirm I was in LA. I guess becuase it was a work trip there hadn't been any bookings go through to give them the heads up I was going away.

As to OP's question, I travel with cards which are linked to my savings account, and just draw out $$ from the ATM. I usually pick up around $200 of local currency at the airport on my way out just to get me started. I also keep the cards separate, so I have a backup if my bag is stolen whilst out and about.

Enjoy HK!

#15 ubermum

Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:13 AM

I was in Kuala Lumper and just pretended that I was at home. Went to the ATM with my NAB visa debit and withdrew the money I needed for the day. Same in Paris and London. I could check online with my internet banking to check my balance.

#16 ~Kee~In~Hawaii~

Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:00 PM

I have given up on the travel currency cards, they can be a rip off and are not always accepted everywhere (as I found in many, many places across the USA last year).

I tend to take about $3000 cash with me and carry it on me no worries. It's never bothered me to have that kind of cash on me. I don't have it all in my purse so that everyone can see it whenever I take my purse out to pay for something of course, it's in a hidden pouch in my bag and when I want to transfer more into my purse, I do so in the privacy of the ladies restrooms.

We used to use our credit cards topped up with extra money on them so when using them we were in reality using our own cash but we also just go ahead and use them in credit and then pay them off each evening via internet banking in the hotel.

Having been to the States repeatedly and knowing we're going back many more times, we've now opened a US bank account and use a currency exchange company to move amounts of $2000 or more into the account with a much better exchange rate and no fees than you would get at the post office or on the travel cards. Then we use the ATM card that comes with the account and don't pay any fees for using it because it's a US card in a US ATM.

You just really need to think about how much the place you are visiting requires cash. In the US, it's very cash oriented - what with tips and markets etc. That's why the US bank card is for large purchases and accommodation and I tend to use cash for everything else.



#17 blackcat20

Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

I like a combination of cash, a travel card, my normal debit card and a credit card. I just shuffle around depending on what I need. Have never had any issues with the travel card, though I know others have. However, I didnt try to use it in a hotel, only for shopping.

Just an FYI, Qantas is soon replacing all its frequent flyer cards with a new cash card. Will be interesting to see what the fees are.

#18 *LucyE*

Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

QUOTE
QUOTE
I've always heard this but it's never actually happened to me, and I go to some very odd places with work sometimes.

Happened to me about a year ago on my first day in LA. Purchased something in a department store and then walked over to another counter less than 5 mins later and the card was already blocked!

It happened to me just travelling interstate.  We arrived in Melbourne, I went to purchase something on our first afternoon and they had declined the transaction immediately.  Very embarrassing to be declined and needing to make a phone call to the bank.

QUOTE
I have given up on the travel currency cards, they can be a rip off and are not always accepted everywhere

The CBA one you can use wherever Mastercard is accepted.  I think you can load up to 6 currencies on it at once which is great when hopping around Europe.  I also like that the joint cards have different numbers so if one is lost, the other isn't automatically cancelled while you wait for new cards to be issued.

#19 ~Kee~In~Hawaii~

Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:28 PM

QUOTE (*LucyE* @ 22/02/2013, 02:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The CBA one you can use wherever Mastercard is accepted.  I think you can load up to 6 currencies on it at once which is great when hopping around Europe.  I also like that the joint cards have different numbers so if one is lost, the other isn't automatically cancelled while you wait for new cards to be issued.


I think if they are a card that is part of a bank and they have your name on them, they'd be a lot better accepted. We couldn't use them to pay accommodation balances which we understood (we simply took the money out at an ATM and paid cash) but we were also rejected while shopping in a major department store in the US because the cardholders name isn't on the card and same again when buying Chinese take away. It happened a few more times around Vegas and Hawaii and so we just withdrew all the money left on the card, cancelled the card and opened the bank account while we were there. I sent a huge email about it to Travelex who said it wasn't the first time they'd been told the cards were refused because of the lack of cardholder name and they were "looking into it". I had heard they would do all the cards with names printed on them but I don't think it's happened yet. The USA can be funny like that, one minute they don't even check your signature on your credit card for a $4500 purchase and the next they won't sell you $14 of take away food without your name on the card!

#20 *LucyE*

Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:34 PM

Yeah, I wouldn't bother with a Travelex money card.  Didn't use travellers cheques back in the day either.

#21 ainira

Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:50 PM

My husband and I took our debit cards and withdrew money from the HSBC ATM's. Once you're in HK, I highly recommend that you get the Octopus card on arrival at the airport. You load it up with some money (at any MTR station) and use it to pay for public transport (MTR, buses, ferries) and also at 7-11s and some food courts original.gif

Also depending on where you are staying, it might be easier to get the MTR back to the airport (lots of signage in English) than relying on taxis (generally can't speak English). If you take this option, you can check in your luggage at any of the three MTR stations that are on the airport line. When we were there, our flight was at about 6pm and we were able to check in our luggage in the morning and spend the rest of the day shopping and exploring HK.

#22 2bundles

Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:42 PM

ATMs are easy to find. For a short one off trip I don't see any value in a travel card. Just get some cash, use cc and find an ATM if you need more cash.

Oh, and I am another one who has had my cc stopped due to overseas transactions. Anz allow you to advise them online about travel plans. Not sure about other banks.




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