Back from nearly a month in the US and Canada and the card didn’t let me down once. So pleased I used it, saved me probably hundreds of pounds in transaction fees / exchange rate. I only used an ATM a handful of times, I found Credit Unions the best to withdraw cash as they didn’t have a fee. Chase and Wells had a $3 fee, I can’t remember the banks I used in Canada but had a similar experience Credit Unions didn’t charge.
Excellent experience. Couldn’t have asked for more. Transactions notifications were instant.
Don’t you just love that?
Will look into the credit union option I can see Metro Credit Union and City of Boston Credit Union in Ma and guess there’ll be others elsewhere in NYC and New England.
For anyone going to downtown Vegas, the El Cortez has a promotion where they will give you 5% of your ATM withdraw from one of their ATMs back as freeplay. If you withdraw enough money, you can cover their $3 fee.
I’ve always wanted to head to Vegas. Now I have a reason
Go for it, you’ll love it for a weekend. Try the SLS, it’s at the end of the strip but is 4star and about $80 per night. Also, try old Vegas too, just for the sheer novelty factor
It’s on the bucket list, but not anywhere near the top and I doubt it’ll be near the top soon. A 4 star hotel for $80 per night sounds a bit suspicious; why is it so reasonable?
Most things in the states are a lot more affordable than they are in the U.K. due to exchange rate and the fact that they don’t need to import as much as we do.
Maybe I’m just being my normal sceptic self then
Do it. You’ll eat like a king and drink like Oliver Reed but spend like Scrouge McDuck
Hotels in Vegas are usually cheap during the week anyway as it’s a mainly a leisure destination and they are happy to sell nights cheap as they hope you’ll spend money in the Casino.
I want to do the Trans-Siberian Railway firstly, then I’ll do Vegas
I’ll pay for the hotel then and then the community can start a GoFundMe to pay for the rest
Checking in from Denver, Colorado.
My card is working ok whenever it’s inserted into a payment terminal though I often have to sign. Contactless is a bit 50/50 but I put that down to the US banking industry being a bit archaic!
No McDonald’s restaurants with ATMs around here so couldn’t make use of the $1.19 withdrawal charge, however the BellCo Credit Union at 951 16th Street doesn’t charge for withdrawals.
One general tip for travel in the US: if you’re looking for a credit union for free cash withdrawals, check them out on Google Maps’ Street View first. Not all credit unions have ATMs and we wasted a bit of time tracking down one that did.
Not all credit unions offer free withdrawals, but you’ll always get the chance to stop the withdrawal before being charged, so it’s possible to shop around if you’re not desperate for cash.
Understanding your spending in sterling through the app notifications is brilliant!
My experience with contactless the in the states was odd. When it was available it worked, but really slowly, you had to hold the card on the terminal for a few seconds. Not where near as instantaneous as at home. Contactless support was the thing which really shocked me. Thought it would be everywhere like at home, but it really wasn’t.
Just back from a couple of weeks in NYC and LA. The Starling card worked pretty much everywhere I tried it. And where it didn’t (maybe twice) I just used my backup Barclaycard.
One question though:
In restaurants the waiter would take the card away and charge the quoted meal cost. This would appear in the app immediately. I’d then write the tip onto the credit card slip and sign.
I did this in about a dozen restaurants.
So far only one of them appears to have updated their transaction to take the tip (after about a week) - I got notifications of the amount being reversed and then the new amount being charged.
How long to restaurants have to process the tip and finalize the transaction?
I don’t want to find unexpected charges popping off my card in a couple of months time
I wonder who will get there first…
If the restaurant is using a chip reader and bypassing the PIN (not all that uncommon) as opposed to swiping it, they’re acquirer may not be able to adjust the tip later on and the business won’t get it (Don’t worry as far the POS system is concerned, it’ll still go into the waiters earnings, so it’ll be the business who loses out, not the waiter). Under MasterCard rules restaurants aren’t supposed to do tip adjust on any chipped MasterCard transaction (But it is technically possible on chip and signature cards).