Money in America

Found 3rd Mar 2018
Hi everyone,

Me and the missus are off to Florida for 10 days in April. We have our spending money saved up (in sterling) but wondered how any of you would rate those pre-paid Mastercard/VISA cards as a way of paying whilst we are there?
We don't really want to be taking a lot of cash out and about with us, especially at the parks and taking a Credit Card isn't really an option unfortunately.
Any help would be much appreciated. Cheers!
Community Updates
We do use Halifax Clarity with Fairfx as a backup. Don't rely on one.
I use a fairfx card when in Europe. Never had any problems with it.
Never been to America, although people do say places which pre authorise have problems like petrol pumps.
Monzo or Revoult all the way!
Couple of years ago I went to Canada and used Revolut card.

We ordered our cards and when they arrived set them up and transferred our monies onto the card. It helped us pay for all our expenses and as you can download the app it helped us know the latest conversion rates and manage our expenses.

I personally rate it.

Hope you have a nice time in Florida.
A revolut card each and Halifax clarity if you have one
Consider getting this Barclaycard as you can withdraw from an ATM free of any cost.…586
Sign up for a Santander zero credit card. Then just pay it off once your back.
A quick word of warning most hire car company’s require a credit card for rentals.

I visit the USA every year and take a combination of cash and revolut card. The proble, I have found is a lot of the pre paid cards charge you to withdraw cash at an atm and the atm charges as well.
Revolut free cards this week too
I got back from the USA just yesterday and visit there two or three times each year. It's useful to carry cash but not vital in most cases - last May we spent 17 days in Texas and I spent just four dollars cash (2 for a toll bridge and 2 for a KFC tip).

Others are correct about the Halifax Clarity card which converts your USA spend to pounds at a rate close to be best possible so it's worth taking if you have / get one. Some things in America cost more if you use a credit card (petrol for example)

I have a Revolut account as well as Monzo and Starling.
Revolut and Monzo allow you to withdraw £200 worth of foreign currency per month without charge (2% thereafter, I believe). Starling don't limit you. However the US banks charge a fee for using their ATMs when withdrawing dollars from a sterling card. Bank of America wanted to charge $3.50 to withdraw $40 but the same to withdraw $250.
However, if you convert your pounds to dollars at the prevailing rate on the Revolut card the US banks don't charge a fee to dispense dollars.

To issue local currency converted from pounds will always cost some money somehow but I've found Revolut to be the best way to get up to £200 worth of foreign currency per month

My preference is my Starling account for my daily spend in the UK and it's the default card on Android Pay. Contactless Android Pay seemed to fail more often than not in Boston so I inserted my Monzo or Starling card each time without fail. Seeing the transaction cost in pounds on the app was useful.

Hope that helps
To all those recommending to get this or that CC... Not guaranteed he would get those specific ones anyway. It depends on what's on his credit file.
Revolut is the best card we've used without a doubt. Pre load the cash, then use as you would a debit card, always opt to pay in local currency. Within minutes you'll get a message on your mobile telling you how much you've spent in dollars (in your case) and also the sterling conversion and the exchange rate. The rate is always the best at that time.
The security side is really good too, and if you do have a problem you can usually get hold of someone online pretty quickly, obviously take the time difference into account.
Careful with Revolut and Monzo...a foreign ATM limit of £200 applies within a 30day period
Edited by: "davewave" 4th Mar 2018
I always use revolt in Florida with the app
davewave4 h, 28 m ago

Careful with Revolut and Monzo...a foreign ATM limit of £200 applies …Careful with Revolut and Monzo...a foreign ATM limit of £200 applies within a 30day period

Nothing to stop you withdrawing more than the free 200 limit per calendar month on Revolut, IF your happy with the 2% charge of course..
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