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Major credit cards and traveler's checks are accepted at many establishments. Bring small-denomination bills to the less populated islands—but bring enough cash to hold you over; many of the smaller islands deal in cash only and have no ATMs. Some islands don't even have banks, so get some cash while on Provo if heading elsewhere.
ATMs and Banks
On Provo, there are ATMs at all bank branches (Scotiabank and First Caribbean), at the airport, Graceway IGA Supermarket, at Ports of Call shopping center, and at IGA Gourmet Supermarket. There are also Scotiabank and First Caribbean branches on Grand Turk.
It's a good idea to inform your credit-card company before you travel, especially if you're going abroad and don't travel internationally very often. Otherwise, the credit-card company might put a hold on your card owing to unusual activity—not a good thing halfway through your trip. Record all your credit-card numbers—as well as the phone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen—in a safe place, so you're prepared should something go wrong. All the major credit card companies have general numbers you can call (collect if you're abroad) if your card is lost, but you're better off calling the number of your issuing bank, because MasterCard and Visa usually just transfer you to your bank; your bank's number is usually printed on your card.
If you plan to use your credit card for cash advances, you'll need to apply for a PIN at least two weeks before your trip. Although it's usually cheaper (and safer) to use a credit card abroad for large purchases (so you can cancel payments or be reimbursed if there's a problem), note that some credit-card companies and the banks that issue them add substantial percentages to all foreign transactions, whether they're in a foreign currency or not. Check on these fees before leaving home, so there won't be any surprises when you get the bill.
Some shops require a $25 minimum to charge. A few shops may pass along their 3% to 5% surcharge if you pay by credit card; the clerk will tell you before you pay.
At this writing, American Express is currently not accepted for transactions except at the Graceway IGA on Providenciales.
Reporting Lost Cards
American Express (800/992–3404 in U.S.; 336/393–1111 collect from abroad. www.americanexpress.com.)
MasterCard (800/627–8372 in U.S.; 636/722–7111 collect from abroad. www.mastercard.com.)
Visa (800/847–2911 in U.S.; 410/581–9994 collect from abroad. www.visa.com.)
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