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ateparker Sep 9th, 2003 08:22 AM

cash vs. credit cards?
Is it better to use cash vs. credit cards to avoid any conversion fees? Does anyone know if charges go through as US$ or CI$? I know in Mexico it was an additional 3% for the conversion if using a credit card. Does anyone know what the ATM fees are at any locations on Grand Cayman?

Statia Sep 9th, 2003 08:57 AM

You will have an international conversion fee on most major credit cards for any currency besides the US$. This fee can be anywhere from 1-3%. I do know, however, that MBNA does not charge a conversion fee.

Also, keep in mind that Visa will also charge an automatic 1% fee for using thier card overseas, regardless of the bank's charges for the international transaction.

Sorry I can't help you on ATM fees in G.C.

NorthSideSue Sep 9th, 2003 10:37 AM

In Cayman the charges go on your card in US dollars, at the exchange rate of $.80CI per $1.00US. So you are charged no conversion fees.
I use the ATMs on the island as you get a better rate $.82). I have never been charged a fee.

Carib_Ruby Sep 10th, 2003 02:45 AM


I am not sure about the conversion fee, but I would at least bring ONE... we were naive on our first caribbean trip (and first real vacation together)and thought that $2000 cash and travelers checques would be plenty for a week,

and it would have been however the rental car company needed a credit card on file before they would rent us a car....

I am sure since you and many others here are seasoned travelers but for those going for the first time... I wish I would have know this :),

it would have saved some post wedding, stress relieving tears, and a frantic new husband trying to figure out how to help his new bride... and she was giving him no clues on how to do so ;)


Trvlnfool Dec 12th, 2003 02:34 PM

Please please be careful with your credit cards. We have learned the hard way that it is so easy for thieves both at home and abroad to steal all the information from it. Watch very carefully to ensure they only run it once, and through one machine. I was in Curacao recently and a woman in a shop told me she had to run my card twice. Three weeks later I get a call from my credit card company saying there were more than $2k in charges made in the Caribbean in the prior few days. I happen to know it was this one shop b/c the very same thing happened to my friend, and we only used our cards at the same place once. It's happening everywhere, so keep your eye on what they do with your card.

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