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  • FIRST POST
    • Richie D
    • By Richie D 2nd Oct 16, 4:26 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Richie D
    0 WOW
    Cash advice for 5 month USA Trip
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 16, 4:26 PM
    0 WOW
    Cash advice for 5 month USA Trip 2nd Oct 16 at 4:26 PM
    Next February my wife and I will begin a 5 month trip around the USA.

    We have a relatively large sum of cash saved up (circa £35,000) to pay for hotels, food etc.

    What do people think is the easiest and most savings efficient way to access our money?

    We will be taking some as dollars, but obviously it is too large an amount to take as all cash.

    I am aware there are cards which you can preload with money and I already have a Post Office credit card for when we have been on 2 week holiday's abroad.

    We will need to be able to withdraw cash at times, but for the most part I would rather use plastic.

    Any ideas and advice gratefully accepted!
Page 2
    • NiftyDigits
    • By NiftyDigits 5th Oct 16, 12:39 PM
    • 9,953 Posts
    • 4,185 Thanks
    NiftyDigits
    Yes, I know, I just wondered if previous poster was getting Flex Direct and Flex Plus muddled.

    (And I found the monthly cost of Flex Plus was easily offset by the included travel insurance and monthly interest payments )
    Originally posted by jackieblack
    I thought about that too, but the FlexPlus TI won't be applicable on a five month trip, so would be a waste of money.
    • tiger eyes
    • By tiger eyes 5th Oct 16, 1:32 PM
    • 922 Posts
    • 2,330 Thanks
    tiger eyes
    I just got back from a month's trip to the USA and the Halifax Clarity card did great.
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 5th Oct 16, 1:50 PM
    • 6,646 Posts
    • 8,265 Thanks
    jackieblack
    I thought about that too, but the FlexPlus TI won't be applicable on a five month trip, so would be a waste of money.
    Originally posted by NiftyDigits
    Yes, that's true
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    • Starbrite
    • By Starbrite 5th Oct 16, 4:06 PM
    • 599 Posts
    • 1,317 Thanks
    Starbrite
    I spent 3 weeks in USA back in May/June.

    I used a combination of:
    Cash took £300 in US dollar with me
    Clarity Credit card - used for big things like payment of Las Vagas Hotel, Train ticket etc
    and used my Barclay debit card to withdraw cash and to pay things with..

    Cash with drawel rates were $200 visa exchange rate 1.44, so £143.33 gave me $200
    Card payments were 1.41

    Hope this helps
    Saving 2,000 in 2013!
    • NiftyDigits
    • By NiftyDigits 5th Oct 16, 4:17 PM
    • 9,953 Posts
    • 4,185 Thanks
    NiftyDigits
    I spent 3 weeks in USA back in May/June.

    I used a combination of:
    Cash took £300 in US dollar with me
    Clarity Credit card - used for big things like payment of Las Vagas Hotel, Train ticket etc
    and used my Barclay debit card to withdraw cash and to pay things with..

    Cash with drawel rates were $200 visa exchange rate 1.44, so £143.33 gave me $200
    Card payments were 1.41

    Hope this helps
    Originally posted by Starbrite
    It doesn't.

    You've muddled your figures and your usage. I hope no one follows that advice.

    Mastercard rates on the 1st of June were 1.450299. That's what you would have received with the Clarity.
    You would have received considerably less using a Barclaycard Debit.
    • malky39
    • By malky39 5th Oct 16, 8:10 PM
    • 591 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    malky39
    I know that, but they didn't write FlexPlus(which costs £10 per month). They wrote FlexDirect and they didn't specify which credit card.
    Originally posted by NiftyDigits
    Apologies I did mean the flex plus account, sorry. We already paid for it so worked out for us regarding savings on travel insurance etc. So was a bonus that it was free to use abroad.
    To be honest we rarly had to take cash out. Everything just went on the credit card
    • Richie D
    • By Richie D 6th Oct 16, 8:15 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richie D
    thanks again for all the responses, you guys have been very helpful.

    Clarity is what I needed and it turns out that Clarity is what I need. It's almost like the Halifax thought about it before they named their creditcard!

    I will take some cash, I'm not sure how much yet and the rest I will do through the Clarity card. I will also take a backup card.
    • blindman
    • By blindman 7th Oct 16, 10:42 AM
    • 4,783 Posts
    • 3,885 Thanks
    blindman
    thanks again for all the responses, you guys have been very helpful.

    Clarity is what I needed and it turns out that Clarity is what I need. It's almost like the Halifax thought about it before they named their creditcard!

    I will take some cash, I'm not sure how much yet and the rest I will do through the Clarity card. I will also take a backup card.
    Originally posted by Richie D
    We always take the N&P debit card but mainly use the Travelex Supercard which is linked to one of my FF cards.

    I take the Santander Zero card (no longer available to new users) as a back up for when (not If) the Supercard fails...
    Only happened a couple of times this time.

    Can't see why you need £35K for 5 months!!! and TBHO you rarely need ca$h in the USA.

    Have fun.

    On our last USA holiday (three weeks) we completed the final few states of the 50.

    Been there, done that

    ETA
    Looks Like the N&P card is now a no go
    Last edited by blindman; 07-10-2016 at 11:31 AM.
    • Richie D
    • By Richie D 10th Oct 16, 5:36 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richie D
    We always take the N&P debit card but mainly use the Travelex Supercard which is linked to one of my FF cards.

    I take the Santander Zero card (no longer available to new users) as a back up for when (not If) the Supercard fails...
    Only happened a couple of times this time.

    Can't see why you need £35K for 5 months!!! and TBHO you rarely need ca$h in the USA.

    Have fun.

    On our last USA holiday (three weeks) we completed the final few states of the 50.

    Been there, done that

    ETA
    Looks Like the N&P card is now a no go
    Originally posted by blindman
    What is the difference between the Travelex Supercard and the Halifax Clarity card? You're the first person to suggest it?

    Also £35000 for 5 months is doing it on a budget (for most of the time). Car hire is circa £4500 for period of time, plus fuel. We do not have a planned route, only a loose one, because we want to be able to go where we feel like. So we can't book hotels in advance and it therefore harder to get deals. Eating is obviously going to be the next big expense, although we will not be dining out in high end restaurants much. It all adds up when you're there for 150+ days.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 10th Oct 16, 7:07 PM
    • 5,066 Posts
    • 6,090 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    What is the difference between the Travelex Supercard and the Halifax Clarity card? You're the first person to suggest it?
    Originally posted by Richie D
    You could link Supercard to a credit card that earns rewards.

    There's also a2.99% cash fee on Supercard, so only use it for purchases.

    Also £35000 for 5 months is doing it on a budget (for most of the time). Car hire is circa £4500 for period of time, plus fuel. We do not have a planned route, only a loose one, because we want to be able to go where we feel like. So we can't book hotels in advance and it therefore harder to get deals.
    Turn up and haggle. If they've got empty rooms they might as well let you have one cheap than not at all. If you have an AA membership card take that too. Many chains will knock 10% off.

    When booking in advance, Topcashback > hotels.com is often best value for cashback and free nights.
    • NiftyDigits
    • By NiftyDigits 10th Oct 16, 8:14 PM
    • 9,953 Posts
    • 4,185 Thanks
    NiftyDigits
    What is the difference between the Travelex Supercard and the Halifax Clarity card? You're the first person to suggest it?

    Also £35000 for 5 months is doing it on a budget (for most of the time). Car hire is circa £4500 for period of time, plus fuel. We do not have a planned route, only a loose one, because we want to be able to go where we feel like. So we can't book hotels in advance and it therefore harder to get deals. Eating is obviously going to be the next big expense, although we will not be dining out in high end restaurants much. It all adds up when you're there for 150+ days.
    Originally posted by Richie D
    Cheaper to chop your car rental up into smaller periods of say, two months at a time. That way, you will also get full insurance included in the quote.
    That will save perhaps £2000 or more on a full size car.
    • blindman
    • By blindman 11th Oct 16, 4:19 PM
    • 4,783 Posts
    • 3,885 Thanks
    blindman
    What is the difference between the Travelex Supercard and the Halifax Clarity card? You're the first person to suggest it?

    Also £35000 for 5 months is doing it on a budget (for most of the time). Car hire is circa £4500 for period of time, plus fuel. We do not have a planned route, only a loose one, because we want to be able to go where we feel like. So we can't book hotels in advance and it therefore harder to get deals. Eating is obviously going to be the next big expense, although we will not be dining out in high end restaurants much. It all adds up when you're there for 150+ days.
    Originally posted by Richie D
    Travelex Supercard is a way to spend on another Credit card that you leave at home that has awful fees but earns Air miles or hotel points.
    No good now for cash withdrawals due to the fee as mentioned.

    Not fallible so we always take a backup.

    Halifax Clarity would do for you TBHO unless you want to get Airmiles or hotel points.

    Car hire
    I would agree to split this up as you may avoid a one way fee and also some cities you do not need (or want) a car.

    You could see if Autodriveaway works for you at some stage.

    Look at MegaBus or GotoBus for cheap coach options if that suits

    Hotels
    There are coupon books around tourist areas that can give discounts and as has been said if you turn up lateish you can sometimes haggle for a room.

    Theres always Priceline and Hotwire for big city savings.

    I'd be real interested in your loose itinerary

    I assume as its Feb you are starting in the lower (warmer States?)

    Do you need an America the Beautiful Pass for the National parks

    PM me if you do
    Last edited by blindman; 11-10-2016 at 6:54 PM.
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