Currency, Cash, Cards travel

CBH Australia

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just wanted to share what I found when go at a Travel credit card.
Being my first ever international trip I paid deposit as wire transfer or bank transfer. No problem I’ve paid 50%
I went to pay some more but limited to $1000 us per transaction and a fee of $15? Contacted outfitter sorted.

I got to thinking about saving on fees of exchange rates at point of sale. Eg $2 each time or whatever.
I have a credit card and know I can use it globally but didn’t know all the detail.

I applied for a Global Credit Card online(GCC) but the local bank branch closed so worried my card would not come I went to my credit union. Yes they do a Cash Passport . So I loaded it with US dollars the staff did not understand why I wanted US $ in Africa but cash passport do not offer Rand on their card currency. She advised if there is money left end of trip transfer it to my account do not withdraw at local ATM because of fees. Good advice.
We loaded US$ at the Credit Union to cover the fixed expenses I expected to cover. The catch. Loading as US currency straight off incurs a 1% fee, I didn’t know any better.

2 days later my GCC card arrives in the mail, I read a little on it and realised that if I put Aussie dollars in I can set up wallets within the card for US $ and for Rand for South Africa. That’s convenient as I can pay my US $ balance in Rand to the outfitter. I can make a small purchase in Rand in country and know there is no fee for using a foreign currency. Oh, and I can have a Hong Kong dollar wallet too as we have a short stopover there . I can buy drinks or food and only pay the price of purchase.

So with a balance on Cash passport that I can transfer back to my bank there is still a $10 fee and a 2 working day wait to receive funds. That’s not a problem if I spent the money as planned but although I loaded US dollars my guide will calculate as Rand if I use eftpos/cirrus or point of sale machine. The Card issuer will charge a fee for currency conversion at that point. I could have loaded Aussie dollars and paid the same, I could have loaded Aussie dollars and avoided the 1% fee non loading foreign currency, I could have loaded Aussie $ and transferred myself within their online portal to save the 1% exchange fee.

From what I can see the Global Credit Card is better for me, less fees and I can transfer Between wallets without incurring fees. I can make it Aussie dollars on return and spend From it to use the balance. I need fact there are no annual fees on the card but I guess that is because it is a pre paid debit card.

I hope I have explained this well. The Credit union staff were acting in good faith but perhaps did not realise the 1% charge could be avoided had I have loaded Aussie $.

I need short I have lost some money in fees that I was trying to avoid and I have learned from it. I’m hoping others may see this and be “Buyer beware” the small amount I have lost on fees has achieved nothing and may as well be regarded as wasted.
 

CoElkHunter

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just wanted to share what I found when go at a Travel credit card.
Being my first ever international trip I paid deposit as wire transfer or bank transfer. No problem I’ve paid 50%
I went to pay some more but limited to $1000 us per transaction and a fee of $15? Contacted outfitter sorted.

I got to thinking about saving on fees of exchange rates at point of sale. Eg $2 each time or whatever.
I have a credit card and know I can use it globally but didn’t know all the detail.

I applied for a Global Credit Card online(GCC) but the local bank branch closed so worried my card would not come I went to my credit union. Yes they do a Cash Passport . So I loaded it with US dollars the staff did not understand why I wanted US $ in Africa but cash passport do not offer Rand on their card currency. She advised if there is money left end of trip transfer it to my account do not withdraw at local ATM because of fees. Good advice.
We loaded US$ at the Credit Union to cover the fixed expenses I expected to cover. The catch. Loading as US currency straight off incurs a 1% fee, I didn’t know any better.

2 days later my GCC card arrives in the mail, I read a little on it and realised that if I put Aussie dollars in I can set up wallets within the card for US $ and for Rand for South Africa. That’s convenient as I can pay my US $ balance in Rand to the outfitter. I can make a small purchase in Rand in country and know there is no fee for using a foreign currency. Oh, and I can have a Hong Kong dollar wallet too as we have a short stopover there . I can buy drinks or food and only pay the price of purchase.

So with a balance on Cash passport that I can transfer back to my bank there is still a $10 fee and a 2 working day wait to receive funds. That’s not a problem if I spent the money as planned but although I loaded US dollars my guide will calculate as Rand if I use eftpos/cirrus or point of sale machine. The Card issuer will charge a fee for currency conversion at that point. I could have loaded Aussie dollars and paid the same, I could have loaded Aussie dollars and avoided the 1% fee non loading foreign currency, I could have loaded Aussie $ and transferred myself within their online portal to save the 1% exchange fee.

From what I can see the Global Credit Card is better for me, less fees and I can transfer Between wallets without incurring fees. I can make it Aussie dollars on return and spend From it to use the balance. I need fact there are no annual fees on the card but I guess that is because it is a pre paid debit card.

I hope I have explained this well. The Credit union staff were acting in good faith but perhaps did not realise the 1% charge could be avoided had I have loaded Aussie $.

I need short I have lost some money in fees that I was trying to avoid and I have learned from it. I’m hoping others may see this and be “Buyer beware” the small amount I have lost on fees has achieved nothing and may as well be regarded as wasted.
Thanks for ALL of this information! Wire transfers, credit cards with “wallets” for different foreign currencies, fees for this or that, etc., etc? You haven’t even left your house yet! After reading this and the airline circus and bringing one’s hunting rifle hassles, for someone who has never been there, Africa seems further and further away? I’m probably exaggerating, but it doesn’t feel like it?
 

CBH Australia

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CEH, don’t despair. It’s not rocket science and my budget is not great. I did not think I would ever do it until this mob said it’s not as dear as you think. That was just 9 months ago. I decided to make this priority and re-evaluated our whole household budget. We haven’t gone without we are just trying to work better with what we have.

Main point Global Credit Card seems to work for me with really no fees but it’s all prepaid credit.
If I have whatever dollars in the card they are yours , you use wallets to split the currency. So start in US dollars, your PH will quote in US so I’ve allocated the hunt balance to that wallet so I know I have it. I’ve allocated a $100 in Rand for incidentals in transit. I’ve done the same for Hong Kong dollars. I can log in easily and swap funds between currency easily. I can add funds easily.
When I swap currency I get the exchange rate in real time. I’m not counting the exchange rate fluctuation as I paid a deposit in US $ 8 months ago. I Willa take the rate on the day as I’m leaving in what, ahh 7 days.

What I have realised is that I have lost maybe $100 in avoidable fees, potentially a bit more to come and I could have spent 1% of my total on bank fees that I get no benefit from.

I’m hiring a rifle and I have a good rate. There are options. Many suggested that you pay Henry from Rifle Permits, his fee is probably no more than the fees that you might pay for an easy transfer. He’s about $100 and we just worked out how to save that. Hire could be between $25-$50 day you choose. I’ve spoken with an Aussie who took his own no problems. Most hire rifles are good quality with quality optics.

Outfitters are happy to advise , they work to get your business and most are good on communication.

Finding a package ex Johannesburg May save some domestic flights and frustration transporting firearms , Yep some South African domestic flights won’t carry firearms .

Another mistake I made is not enforcing with the travel agent I would rather drive to Adelaide and fly to Perth then Johannesburg but from where he sits he has me flying from home to Sydney and then Johannesburg via Hong Kong. Ahhh, then with an airline rescheduling my initial flight is withdraw no and I travel a day early and pay accom. It’s a pain but not a deal breaker.

It’s not that hard and it’s all new to me, I don’t like someone else at the wheel but it’s too late now..

My total may still come under 10,000US with my wife as an observer and some sightseeing.

I just want to share what I learned because there are many who cannot spare the waste in fees. I d rather see it go out in tips for service.
 

Dr Ray

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just wanted to share what I found when go at a Travel credit card.
Being my first ever international trip I paid deposit as wire transfer or bank transfer. No problem I’ve paid 50%
I went to pay some more but limited to $1000 us per transaction and a fee of $15? Contacted outfitter sorted.

I got to thinking about saving on fees of exchange rates at point of sale. Eg $2 each time or whatever.
I have a credit card and know I can use it globally but didn’t know all the detail.

I applied for a Global Credit Card online(GCC) but the local bank branch closed so worried my card would not come I went to my credit union. Yes they do a Cash Passport . So I loaded it with US dollars the staff did not understand why I wanted US $ in Africa but cash passport do not offer Rand on their card currency. She advised if there is money left end of trip transfer it to my account do not withdraw at local ATM because of fees. Good advice.
We loaded US$ at the Credit Union to cover the fixed expenses I expected to cover. The catch. Loading as US currency straight off incurs a 1% fee, I didn’t know any better.

2 days later my GCC card arrives in the mail, I read a little on it and realised that if I put Aussie dollars in I can set up wallets within the card for US $ and for Rand for South Africa. That’s convenient as I can pay my US $ balance in Rand to the outfitter. I can make a small purchase in Rand in country and know there is no fee for using a foreign currency. Oh, and I can have a Hong Kong dollar wallet too as we have a short stopover there . I can buy drinks or food and only pay the price of purchase.

So with a balance on Cash passport that I can transfer back to my bank there is still a $10 fee and a 2 working day wait to receive funds. That’s not a problem if I spent the money as planned but although I loaded US dollars my guide will calculate as Rand if I use eftpos/cirrus or point of sale machine. The Card issuer will charge a fee for currency conversion at that point. I could have loaded Aussie dollars and paid the same, I could have loaded Aussie dollars and avoided the 1% fee non loading foreign currency, I could have loaded Aussie $ and transferred myself within their online portal to save the 1% exchange fee.

From what I can see the Global Credit Card is better for me, less fees and I can transfer Between wallets without incurring fees. I can make it Aussie dollars on return and spend From it to use the balance. I need fact there are no annual fees on the card but I guess that is because it is a pre paid debit card.

I hope I have explained this well. The Credit union staff were acting in good faith but perhaps did not realise the 1% charge could be avoided had I have loaded Aussie $.

I need short I have lost some money in fees that I was trying to avoid and I have learned from it. I’m hoping others may see this and be “Buyer beware” the small amount I have lost on fees has achieved nothing and may as well be regarded as wasted.

Very tricky isn’t it??
 

CoElkHunter

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CEH, don’t despair. It’s not rocket science and my budget is not great. I did not think I would ever do it until this mob said it’s not as dear as you think. That was just 9 months ago. I decided to make this priority and re-evaluated our whole household budget. We haven’t gone without we are just trying to work better with what we have.

Main point Global Credit Card seems to work for me with really no fees but it’s all prepaid credit.
If I have whatever dollars in the card they are yours , you use wallets to split the currency. So start in US dollars, your PH will quote in US so I’ve allocated the hunt balance to that wallet so I know I have it. I’ve allocated a $100 in Rand for incidentals in transit. I’ve done the same for Hong Kong dollars. I can log in easily and swap funds between currency easily. I can add funds easily.
When I swap currency I get the exchange rate in real time. I’m not counting the exchange rate fluctuation as I paid a deposit in US $ 8 months ago. I Willa take the rate on the day as I’m leaving in what, ahh 7 days.

What I have realised is that I have lost maybe $100 in avoidable fees, potentially a bit more to come and I could have spent 1% of my total on bank fees that I get no benefit from.

I’m hiring a rifle and I have a good rate. There are options. Many suggested that you pay Henry from Rifle Permits, his fee is probably no more than the fees that you might pay for an easy transfer. He’s about $100 and we just worked out how to save that. Hire could be between $25-$50 day you choose. I’ve spoken with an Aussie who took his own no problems. Most hire rifles are good quality with quality optics.

Outfitters are happy to advise , they work to get your business and most are good on communication.

Finding a package ex Johannesburg May save some domestic flights and frustration transporting firearms , Yep some South African domestic flights won’t carry firearms .

Another mistake I made is not enforcing with the travel agent I would rather drive to Adelaide and fly to Perth then Johannesburg but from where he sits he has me flying from home to Sydney and then Johannesburg via Hong Kong. Ahhh, then with an airline rescheduling my initial flight is withdraw no and I travel a day early and pay accom. It’s a pain but not a deal breaker.

It’s not that hard and it’s all new to me, I don’t like someone else at the wheel but it’s too late now..

My total may still come under 10,000US with my wife as an observer and some sightseeing.

I just want to share what I learned because there are many who cannot spare the waste in fees. I d rather see it go out in tips for service.
CBH Australia,
Thanks for sharing this and clarifying a lot of things. I know I’m “overthinking” a lot of this, but for those of us who have never been to Africa whether hunting or not, it just seems very time consuming and complicated in the planning of it all? So many moving pieces and people involved with it and seems little control by one’s self? The information I have gleaned here on AH has been invaluable to me. I will keep reading and learning and planning. Thanks!
 

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CBH Australia,
Thanks for sharing this and clarifying a lot of things. I know I’m “overthinking” a lot of this, but for those of us who have never been to Africa whether hunting or not, it just seems very time consuming and complicated in the planning of it all? So many moving pieces and people involved with it and seems little control by one’s self? The information I have gleaned here on AH has been invaluable to me. I will keep reading and learning and planning. Thanks!

Just get with someone who's been there a few times. It's really not that confusing or difficult. Overthinking it will get you in to trouble.
 

Newboomer

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I've been there 3 times and always use my credit card. I get charged a small fee for each transaction but it's cheaper than the rate for currency exchange and I don't have to worry about having Rand left over to exchange back to US again--at a fee. I carry some US currency for incidentals and staff tips. That way they get the prevailing rate which may give them more than if I gave them Rand.
 

CBH Australia

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Newboomer that works for you being from the US but I’m in Australia.
I was quoted in US $ which seems to be how it’s done. I fgured I have to allow half that value on top for exchange rate so I worked on that.
For me I would not have US $ in cash notes without ordering them from a bank. Not sure if there is a fee.
If I have any balance on returnsn I exchange it online and use that card to make any purchase until the credit is used.
Exchange rate fluctuate and unless the US $ takes a dive I don’t think there is much in it in the next couple of weeks there is little in it to win or lose.
If our dollar evert gets up like it was 10 years ago I will exchange all the cash I can and keep US currency for the next Safari,
Hoping people learn from my post and others as paying even 1% of the total budget in wasted fees has no benefit. For every 10 grand 1% is $100 burned in fees and may be more if we are no time careful.
Wiring transactions via their US account costs me $15 per transfer limited too $1000 lots.
 

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