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  • FIRST POST
    • rachel324
    • By rachel324 7th Jan 18, 4:22 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    rachel324
    Temporarily living in the USA
    • #1
    • 7th Jan 18, 4:22 PM
    Temporarily living in the USA 7th Jan 18 at 4:22 PM
    Hi

    I'm moving to the USA for 6 months this year. I will continue to be paid in GBP into my UK bank account. Does anyone have any advice on the most efficient way to spend whilst there? I have a Halifax Clarity credit card which is one option but may not be the most efficient way to convert for an extended period.

    Many thanks
    Rachel
Page 1
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 7th Jan 18, 6:21 PM
    • 1,028 Posts
    • 707 Thanks
    dj1471
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:21 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:21 PM
    Use your Clarity card.

    You'll probably have to pay ATM fees so try to minimise cash withdrawals, not forgetting to pay them off straight away to minimise interest.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 7th Jan 18, 6:32 PM
    • 3,391 Posts
    • 4,630 Thanks
    Nick_C
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:32 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 18, 6:32 PM
    I would take the Halifax Clarity CC and only use it to withdraw cash. I would take a second credit card for purchases.

    My personal preference is the Lloyd's Avios Duo pack. You get an Amex and a MC. There is an annual fee of £24. Perfect exchange rate. No forex fee. Plus you earn 1.25 Avios per £1 spent on the Amex, and 1.25 Avios per £5 spent on the Amex. These rates are doubled in the first six months. This is the only CC I know of that gives you rewards on non sterling transactions on top of a perfect exchange rate. You can also quickly earn an upgrade voucher for a BA reward flight.

    You will need very little cash, and a second credit card is essential as a back up.
    • colsten
    • By colsten 7th Jan 18, 10:49 PM
    • 8,762 Posts
    • 7,593 Thanks
    colsten
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 18, 10:49 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 18, 10:49 PM
    Whatever you do, don't only take one card. Plus, make sure you notify your provider(s) that you will be using the card(s) in the US, and that you have their phone number(s) in case you have issues.
    • Sean473
    • By Sean473 7th Jan 18, 11:46 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    Sean473
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 11:46 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 11:46 PM
    I'd use a Revolut card and convert GBP to USD right now... The rate is quite high currently, good to stack up the $$ right now... Also no foreign exchange fees etc and you get the live market rate... Just don't convert money on a weekend as you pay a 0.5% fee to account for currency fluctuations... Otherwise on weekdays, you get the live market rate... Was in the US for 3 weeks and it was perfect... You can withdraw £200 of cash from ATMs for no Fees... Note the ATM's in the US have a £3 fee which you can't avoid but Revolut doesn't charge you any fees up till £200 amount...
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 8th Jan 18, 4:15 AM
    • 3,056 Posts
    • 1,396 Thanks
    eDicky
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 4:15 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 4:15 AM
    There's no reason not to use your Clarity card for an extended period.

    But don't rely on only one source of funds, additional fee-free solutions would be Starling Bank (mobile only) and Loot prepaid https://loot.io/

    Revolut is a useful suggestion, but when to buy dollars is not.
    • Sean473
    • By Sean473 8th Jan 18, 3:56 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    Sean473
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 3:56 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 3:56 PM
    There's no reason not to use your Clarity card for an extended period.

    But don't rely on only one source of funds, additional fee-free solutions would be Starling Bank (mobile only) and Loot prepaid https://loot.io/

    Revolut is a useful suggestion, but when to buy dollars is not.
    Originally posted by eDicky
    Well the rate has been at the highest for a while... I doubt it will go much higher for now... Ultimately, it's up to the OP to decide when he/she wants to exchange the currency...
    • SPalin
    • By SPalin 10th Jan 18, 6:05 AM
    • 160 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    SPalin
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 6:05 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 6:05 AM
    Well the rate has been at the highest for a while... I doubt it will go much higher for now... Ultimately, it's up to the OP to decide when he/she wants to exchange the currency...
    Originally posted by Sean473
    I would lock in as little as possible at $1.36 - I got $1.35 earlier in the year.

    Also, the ATM surcharge varies from machine to machine - some have zero and others have anything up to $5. There is no fixed £3 fee.
    • Sean473
    • By Sean473 10th Jan 18, 8:56 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    Sean473
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:56 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 8:56 PM
    I would lock in as little as possible at $1.36 - I got $1.35 earlier in the year.

    Also, the ATM surcharge varies from machine to machine - some have zero and others have anything up to $5. There is no fixed £3 fee.
    Originally posted by SPalin
    A small mistake on my part, the ATMs I used charged a $3 fee... But I guess it varies...
    • SPalin
    • By SPalin 11th Jan 18, 12:16 PM
    • 160 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    SPalin
    A small mistake on my part, the ATMs I used charged a $3 fee... But I guess it varies...
    Originally posted by Sean473
    McDonalds are normally good.

    In NY City, the surcharge was $1 (Actors Credit Union, I think) and if you download the McDonalds USA app, they have free stuff (I got a free iced latte on each visit) with their 3D / Aztec barcode.
    • COIAHLGW
    • By COIAHLGW 13th Jan 18, 3:34 AM
    • 51 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    COIAHLGW
    It all depends which area of the USA you will be. McDonald's does not have ATM's in every location countrywide, so it would be good to look at ATM locators for where you will be living. Credit union ATM's are more likely to have a cheaper withdrawal fee on average.
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 15th Jan 18, 12:35 AM
    • 15,067 Posts
    • 128,757 Thanks
    zagubov
    Santander (and their ATMs) seem to be everywhere in New York, which will be handy for some.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • Socajam
    • By Socajam 16th Jan 18, 3:05 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Socajam
    Regarding ATM, DO NOT use them unless they are attached to the bank and be very careful when using them.
    Sign up for online bank before leave, that way you can check your account regularly - make sure to use the same computer to log on at all times.
    Make sure that you know your PIN for credit cards for shopping - sometimes ID is required - UK driving license will be ok
    Set a monthly limit on your card and an alert so that you are aware of your spending and any fraudulent activity.
    If you are going out, only take one card and always have some cash with you.
    Keep away from ATMs late at nights.
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