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Big Island Travel Guide

Money

Automatic teller machines for easy access to cash are everywhere on the Islands. ATMs can be found in shopping centers, small convenience and grocery stores, and hotels and resorts as well as outside most bank branches. For a directory of locations, call 800/424–7787 for the MasterCard/Cirrus/Maestro network or 800/843–7587 for the Visa/Plus network.

Credit Cards

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. Both MasterCard and Visa 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, since MasterCard and Visa usually just transfer you to your bank. Your bank's number is usually printed on your card.

Reporting Lost Cards

American Express (HI. 800/528–4800 in the U.S.; 336/393–1111 collect from abroad. www.americanexpress.com.)

Diners Club (HI. 800/234–6377 in the U.S.; 303/799–1504 collect from abroad. www.dinersclub.com.)

Discover (HI. 800/347–2683 in the U.S.; 801/902–3100 collect from abroad. www.discovercard.com.)

MasterCard (HI. 800/622–7747 in the U.S.; 636/722–7111 collect from abroad. www.mastercard.com.)

Visa (HI. 800/847–2911 in the U.S.; 410/581–9994 collect from abroad. www.visa.com.)

Traveler's Checks

Some consider this the currency of the caveman, and it's true that fewer establishments accept traveler's checks these days. Nevertheless, they're a cheap and secure way to carry extra money, particularly on trips to urban areas. Both Citibank (under the Visa brand) and American Express issue traveler's checks in the United States, but Amex is better known and more widely accepted; you can also avoid hefty surcharges by cashing Amex checks at Amex offices. Whatever you do, keep track of all the serial numbers in case the checks are lost or stolen.

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