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HELP - Money in USA

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Hello,

Few questions regarding travel to the USA & Europe in the second half of 2014 regarding money.

We will be backpacking around both countries for a year are are trying to figure out the best form of money to take for each country. We are trying to hedge against the AUD dropping anymore as have budgeted it being at parity +/- 5% and the Euro being around $0.74.

1. Pre-paid Travel Cards

Are these widely accepted in the USA and Europe when booking hotels,hostels,tickets etc?

We know the exchange rate is poor and there is a risk it could be stolen and used as your name isn't on the card? Are there any with names on the card?

Also the withdrawal fees from ATM's are high but we can accept this if we are able to withdraw amounts greater than $1000 at one time ATM's in the USA and Europe...is that possible? We have heard most ATM's in USA don't allow large amounts to be withdrawn, not sure about Europe...

2. Travellers Cheques

We know this are old fashioned but we like the fact they are insured if stolen and we can take large amounts $10 000+. We know the exchange rate is average again but we would like to know if it's possible to cash travellers cheques overseas at American Express Travel Outlets for free? Are these outlets freely available across the USA and in Europe at all? Otherwise what price would I be looking at to cash travellers cheques?

3. 28 Degrees

We know this would be our first option if we could guarantee that the exchange rate won't keep dropping because of the many fees that aren't included with this card. We used this card for Asia placing cash on it before/as we went and withdraw cash from overseas. Therefore no ATM fees!

The real reason is we have most of the budgeted amount +50 000 AUD currently and want to be able to confirm the exchange rate and get as much as possible for our Australian dollar!

If you have any input or answers it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks

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