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Old 07-10-2014, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,533,793 times
Reputation: 2674

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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
That assumes that your debit card isn't stolen as well. Were you outside the US when your bank got you the next day replacement? The point is that an AmEx card holder can walk into an AmEx office in almost any fairly major city and walk out with cash. That is NOT something MC/Visa offers. As another poster mentioned, Visa is the most widely accepted card in the world, and carrying that an an AmEx are probably the best hedge.
Yep, it assumed that, but if my MC and debit card were stolen at once would't it be likely that my amex would have been stolen then too? (in reality, none of my actual cards were stolen, just one of the numbers, so we shut it down)

I do carry an amex as a backup, but the question was "What's the best way to access cash…" not "What's the best backup for the best way…". And it also mentioned 'young adult studying abroad', most of which are not in the best position to be carrying several different credit cards. So if you have to carry just one, make it a Visa or MC and use your debit card as a backup. Avoid cash whenever possible.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
304 posts, read 856,545 times
Reputation: 245
I skimmed through most of the posts and while I second the AMEX/Visa combination, also note which types of these do not impose foreign transaction fees (usually 3%).

As an example, there is a United Visa card that gets you points for miles purchased/traveled and no foreign fees.

Keep in mind there is usually an annual fee but for frequent travelers it's usually still worth it.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:57 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by otterprods View Post
Yep, it assumed that, but if my MC and debit card were stolen at once would't it be likely that my amex would have been stolen then too? (in reality, none of my actual cards were stolen, just one of the numbers, so we shut it down)

I do carry an amex as a backup, but the question was "What's the best way to access cash…" not "What's the best backup for the best way…". And it also mentioned 'young adult studying abroad', most of which are not in the best position to be carrying several different credit cards. So if you have to carry just one, make it a Visa or MC and use your debit card as a backup. Avoid cash whenever possible.
You are missing the point. Even without the card in hand, you can get cash from the AmEx office. You will need to be able to answer various security questions.

A parent can get a card and add the student as an authorized user, and it's actually pretty easy for students to obtain credit. I had three credit cards when i was a Sophmore in college, including an AmEx--all on my own. I got a Visa when still in HS, I got a M/C my first year of college, and added the AmEx during my sophmore year.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,065 posts, read 18,990,908 times
Reputation: 24162
Quote:
Originally Posted by KM_W&M06 View Post
I skimmed through most of the posts and while I second the AMEX/Visa combination, also note which types of these do not impose foreign transaction fees (usually 3%).

As an example, there is a United Visa card that gets you points for miles purchased/traveled and no foreign fees.

Keep in mind there is usually an annual fee but for frequent travelers it's usually still worth it.
More beneficial is the Capital One card that has no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, and 1.5% cash back. They have another program that offers miles, but I'll take my cash and spend it on whatever I please, thank you.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:34 PM
 
1,804 posts, read 6,280,918 times
Reputation: 1185
Hey guys, thanks so much for the posts. He will likely have two debit visa cards - one of them being a "no cost" ATM fee card. At this point, I'm not encouraging credit card use at all. He will also bring cash with, and he will be instructed to use good common sense and increased safety precautions - with money in the belt as well as strageically placed about him.

In the beginning of the trip, he will be in the bush. The next leg of the trip involves a communal student house with access to a safe; further along in the trip, again into the bush, and back to the cities; approximately 4 months total.
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