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Currency/Money confusion :\

Adelaide, Australia
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Currency/Money confusion :\

Hi all,

Probably been asked a million times before, but I have information overload and just can't work out the best way to take money to Sth America!

The majority of our time will be spent in Argentina (so I have posted this q in here), a short time in Chile, and a short time in Ecuador/Galapagos.

Being an Australian, I am concerned about our dollar dropping against the US$ and think it might be wise to lock in some money now (we travel in Nov), so I was thinking of getting a travel card loaded up with some US$ now. I'm assuming that is what is needed for our Ecuador part. As for Chile and Argentina, I can't work out which is best...either just keep using the travel card or get one of those 28 Degrees Mastercards (as recommended by lots on here). I think the plan with the Mastercard thing is to get a small limit (say $1000) and put a lot more than that on it, so it is in credit?? And use that credit amount for cash withdrawals? Is this the idea? And if necessary, I could use the $1,000 limit on it if my funds ran out (and hence pay the 20.99% interest if i exceed 55 days)?

On the 28 Degrees website, it says "We don't recommend placing the account into credit. The 28 Degrees MasterCard is a credit card and was not designed for this purpose. If your account is in credit, please contact customer solution on 1300 552 079 to organise a refund." So how do other travellers get around this?

So overall, would my plan to use a US$ loaded Travel Card for some of the trip and a 28 Degrees card be a good idea?

Or would it just be wise to use the one US$ Travel Card, even though I lose money straight away loading the card from AU to US.

Also, our first stop is 24 hours in Santiago, then on to Ecuador, so would it be wise to get some US$ in cash before we leave just so we have some on hand for the first few days?

Sorry for confusing questions, I hope someone will be kind enough to enlighten me a little :)

Thanks a million for any help

Cas

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Chile
Chile
South America
Ecuador
Ecuador
South America
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Santiago
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
midwest
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1. Re: Currency/Money confusion :\

US $ is official currency in Ecuador. Use an ATM card in other countries to get local currency.

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Ecuador
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Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Currency/Money confusion :\

Thanks for the reply, just trying to work out the best atm card to use i.e. debit or credit, and trying to avoid the radical fees that our banks charge for international use. Or carry cash (US $) and change there, just not real keen on carrying lots of cash.

Cheers

Busselton
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3. Re: Currency/Money confusion :\

We would like to know answers to the same questions too as we travel late this year. My greatest concern is that the travel cards now come with a smart chip that won't work in many places/ATMs. We know this as family travelled to argentina recently with one. They ended up having to carry lots of cash. Help ... Advice needed, especially for aussie's!

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: Currency/Money confusion :\

Hi happy, I've ended up with ANZ travel card loaded up with USD, a 28 Deg Mastercard with $1000 limit, which I will add cash to, and 1000USD cash in varying denominations. Surely I've covered all bases??!! Let us know what you decide!

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: Currency/Money confusion :\

And also Happy, if by "smart chip" you mean the paywave thing, the ANZ card doesn't have that.

Our dollar is a problem, I lost over $500 to get $3500 of US spending money :-( . If it continues to dive I'm happy, if it goes up again I don't want to know lol!

Good luck.

Stanley, Falkland...
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6. Re: Currency/Money confusion :\

But it's likely the Argentine, and possibly Chile, currencies will fall against the dollar. So what you have already bought will go further.....

But I don't really understand why you bought so many dollars if you are not going till November?

Anyway, keep reading the advice on here about the Argentine currency issues and "blue" exchange rates. Decide nearer November what you want to do.

Chile - just take some pesos out of an ATM when you arrive.

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Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: Currency/Money confusion :\

Thanks for the input peterscot. I bought my travel money now as rumour has it our dollar will continue to decrease in value...perhaps it won't, who knows. And I got so much because we are hoping to buy a last minute cruise in Galapagos. If I don't spend it all I can cash in my travel card when I get home.

8. Re: Currency/Money confusion :\

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