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Exchanging sterling in Florida?

Scotland
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Exchanging sterling in Florida?

In all our years of travelling we've always taken the currency of where we're going with us. Either that or used ATMs/travellers cheques/visa until recently. This year however we have taken some currency but been able to get a better exchange rate once there. This has been in Turkey (not EU) and Spain.

Are we likely to find this in Florida? Somehow I don't think so but then I didn't think we'd get a better deal anywhere else until recently either.

Florida
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21. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

Suewick is correct - you can go inside the gas station to use the pre-paid card and not use a ZIP code. But that leads back to the original problem of the hold, which can be up to $90 at some gas stations (!).

Also re: Starbucks - if your charge is under $25 or $30, some places no longer require a PIN or a signature. It's to make it easier for the customers and usually only at some food establishments like Starbucks or a 7-11. It's not a common practice IMO.

UK
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22. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

It is called PayPass and will be coming to the UK soon.

As for currnency cards, I don't use one as once you take into acct the fees for loading and using them, they are expensive.

It is always best to bring a UK CC with you for deposits at hotels, car rentals etc. Travelling internationally w/o a credit card is very unwise as it gives you a line of credit in an emergency. Those w/o them were the ones sleeping on airport floors and sharing one meal per family during the volcano ash crisis.

Lots say I don't like CCs or cant get one. If you dont' like them because you can get into debt- just pay your bill off in full each month. Lots have freebies attached for using them (and paying them off w/o interest) from cash back to free flights, to free Amazon vouchers/Clubard points etc. I have earned hundreds per year this way. And if your credit is so poor you can't get one, I have to ask if you can actually afford to go on an expensive foreign holiday w/o building up savings, paying off debt etc first.

Harleston, United...
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23. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

final word on currency cards. I got my last hotel deposit refunded to my card today.

just the 5 weeks after making the last hotel deposit !

UK
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24. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

If you had used a CC, no money would have been taken. Makes my point. And you didn't have that money to spend while you were there.

Edinburgh, United...
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25. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

Amanx has it spot on......take a CC with you - certain providers ( Halifax/ Nationwide/ Amex ) dont charge for currency conversion ( back to GBP's ) when the transaction is settled - so if, taking the Q.E. example in an earlier post, the dollar drops whilst you are out there , in the unlikely eventy that inflationary forces will impact as a counter-effect during your holiday stay......you'll be quids in !! Also the rate applied to CC transactions tends to be much more a Commercial Rate as opposed to a High Street Tourist rate - again, another plus point for CC transactions. I always buy my dollars , for convenience, at American Express - they have very competitive currency rates with no commission - and even if there was a cent or two difference from a Cash Convertors or an Online Provider.....its really at the margins unless you are exchanging a whole heap of cash....

Scotland
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26. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

YFM, I didn't realise Halifax didn't charge for currency conversion. I also thought Nationwide had started charging. Maybe I'm behind the times. Banks don't do anything for nothing though so there must be a charge somewhere ie poor conversion rate. I used to work for BoS/Halifax and wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them!

UK
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27. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

Even poor conversion rates tend to be better than their tourist rates.

but yes, if you have more than one card call them all and find out fees fr conversion, buying and atms. If your card/s are poor value, get a better one.

Edinburgh, United...
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28. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

Hi Jackie - me too - worked for over 28 years for B of S - it seems though that they ( well the Halifax to be precise ) are keen to market some no commission charge / credit card which can be used worldwide - come to think of it, the good old Post Office do a similar such card - just go in to the Post Office and dare mention foreign currency and I'll bet you some staff member will rugby tackle you such will be their haste to get you to apply for their card !!....... but I do have to say the rates I've seen on conversion on my own card ( Amex ) are far, far better than you will get on the High Street. Nationwide too have their Gold Visa - I still have one of those too which I arranged years ago specifically for heading Stateside and keep as a back-up - they seem to have threatened many times to do away with the no-loading on conversion but on the odd occasion I have used it whilst over there recently, I've never been charged..?

Edited: 8:29 am, October 18, 2012
Scotland
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29. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

Hi YFM, thanks for all the info. I'll enquire at the bank the next time I'm there.

Sorry I took so long to reply, we were on holiday.

30. Re: Exchanging sterling in Florida?

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