Cash or Card? Countries where you still need cash.

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Recently spent close to a week in Chile (just Santiago and a few days in Valparaiso) - so not off the beaten track but cards accepted and used widely. Except the Funiculars in Valparaiso - cash only! Fortunately, we did bite the bullet and get some cash just in case. However, like a lot of South American countries, the ATM fees are hefty so not ideal for taking out small amounts.

Meanwhile in Uruguay, so far everyone is taking plastic and in fact, there’s a 17% rebate of sale tax if you use a foreign CC/DC. So we’re going to try and avoid another $10 ATM fee! I am carry some USD around just in case.

Has anyone had recent experience in Argentina? Hoping they’ve gone the same way. Last thing we want is pesos devaluing before our eyes! 😳
 
Going to Japan next month and I gather Japan is still cash only in lots of places. Anyone know which ATMs in Japan allow cash withdrawals without àn ATM fee? I have Ing Orange, Bankwest Transaction acct and NAB (ex Citibank) Debit cards to choose from as all these are close to the spot rate with no / little Fx fees.

Edit: from a quick Google search it appears that Mastercard at 7 11 ATMs don't attract àn ATM fee but Visa card does...so might have to use my BW Transction Debit (MC) @ 7 11 ATMs.

Still would like to hear from AFFers experience :)
 
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Going to Japan next month and I gather Japan is still cash only in lots of places. Anyone know which ATMs in Japan allow cash withdrawals without àn ATM fee? I have Ing Orange, Bankwest Transaction acct and NAB (ex Citibank) Debit cards to choose from as all these are close to the spot rate with no / little Fx fees.

Edit: from a quick Google search it appears that Mastercard at 7 11 ATMs don't attract àn ATM fee but Visa card does...so might have to use my BW Transction Debit (MC) @ 7 11 ATMs.

Still would like to hear from AFFers experience :)
It seems like MC at 7-11 inside usual business hours may still be free.
But at least it’s only 110 Y otherwise, and 220 Y after hours for some reason known only to the Japanese
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I say seems to because I did transactions on my BW, NAB, and Citi cards there last week and forget exactly which i used where.
 
Going to Japan next month and I gather Japan is still cash only in lots of places. Anyone know which ATMs in Japan allow cash withdrawals without àn ATM fee? I have Ing Orange, Bankwest Transaction acct and NAB (ex Citibank) Debit cards to choose from as all these are close to the spot rate with no / little Fx fees.

Edit: from a quick Google search it appears that Mastercard at 7 11 ATMs don't attract àn ATM fee but Visa card does...so might have to use my BW Transction Debit (MC) @ 7 11 ATMs.

Still would like to hear from AFFers experience :)
We used our Bankwest M/C debit card in Japan last April. We used it almost exclusively in 7/11 ATMs but sometimes Japanpost. There were no fees from Bankwest and I don’t recall fees from the 7/11 atm. If there were fees they must have been relatively low (similar to here), so they did not make an impression.

We found cash necessary in the majority of small venues eg vending machines in restaurants. For bigger purchases eg shopping in department stores or other retail shops card was fine.
 
Has anyone had recent experience in Argentina? Hoping they’ve gone the same way. Last thing we want is pesos devaluing before our eyes! 😳
Bumping this question? Cash or card in Argentina at the moment?
 
Meanwhile in Uruguay, so far everyone is taking plastic and in fact, there’s a 17% rebate of sale tax if you use a foreign CC/DC. So we’re going to try and avoid another $10 ATM fee! I am carry some USD around just in case.
Uruguay is definitely a card friendly place - well, at least in MVD, Colonia and Punta del Este. In fact, silly not to use a card with the VAT rebate on hotels, car rentals, food etc. We managed a bit over a week without any cash and no need to pay ATM fees.

HOWEVER, we found some ATMs that give the option to withdraw USD. That turned out perfect for the next stop being Buenos Aires. The ATM dispensed crisp, new $100 bills (with a US$5 fee) but perfect for changing to ARG* Pesos.
Bumping this question? Cash or card in Argentina at the moment?
All the current advice is “cash is king” in Argentina. But despite the recent massive devaluation, there are still those various and complicated exchange rates. Changing cash at the unofficial places is still the best. Paying with card comes close but changing cash at official money change places is not good value.

As an aside, prices generally aren’t too bad but still weird seeing something that used to be ARG$10 several years ago now ~ARG$2000 (but much the same in AUD).

*I think the correct abbrev is ARS. A real PITA carrying 100 x 1000 ARSs after cashing US$100….😂
 
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India surprised me a bit. I was expecting it to be a little more tech savvy, but plenty of establishments (including hotels) didn’t accept international credit cards. They’ve got a QR Code based “PayTM” which seems to be all the go for locals (scan QR code, add amount, show vendor) but you need a local bank account. Ended up using a lot of cash.
 
I'm off to Albania later this month and I understand that cash is king there. Will be taking plenty of Euros (will need to convert some to LEK).

Who says you can go anywhere and not use cash?
 
I'm off to Albania later this month and I understand that cash is king there. Will be taking plenty of Euros (will need to convert some to LEK).

Who says you can go anywhere and not use cash?
Definitely need cash in Albania, the last of the fee free ATMs is gone now, too.
 
Hi does anyone have experience with Mongolian cash (Tugrik) and what are the main currency’s used in Mongolia. I have made a few enquiries about buying Mongolian cash and have been told just take greenback. That exchange rate will just do my head in and although I have greenbacks in the current travel cash if I get change in Tugriks transferring back to AU or USD seems to be problematic. Is the Tugrik a traded currency?
 
Hi does anyone have experience with Mongolian cash (Tugrik) and what are the main currency’s used in Mongolia. I have made a few enquiries about buying Mongolian cash and have been told just take greenback. That exchange rate will just do my head in and although I have greenbacks in the current travel cash if I get change in Tugriks transferring back to AU or USD seems to be problematic. Is the Tugrik a traded currency?
if you don't get an answer let me know. I have a friend who does a lot of work in Mongolia and I can check with him and he works very remotely with the farmers
 
if you don't get an answer let me know. I have a friend who does a lot of work in Mongolia and I can check with him and he works very remotely with the farmers
It may well be like some of the countries I've been to lately, where they won't let you take it out of the country anyway. So I guess use it, lose it or exchange it!
 
It may well be like some of the countries I've been to lately, where they won't let you take it out of the country anyway. So I guess use it, lose it or exchange it!
But don’t hang onto it is probably good advice for anywhere other than the big currencies.

SYD+1 had ARS$325 (about A$20 at the time) left over from a previous trip to Argentina. It’s now worth about A$0.60! 😳

But we’ve managed to spend it anyway! 😂

RE Argentina - well, at least BA. You can probably get buy without cash - despite “cash is king”. The MEP rate (for credit / debit cards) is better than the official rate and seems to be converging with the Dollar Blue after the big devaluation - so maybe that’s working?

I personally would still plan to have access to cash on the ground. Crisp, large USD bills for changing into ARS. Worse case, the ATMs should still give the MEP rate but they have large fees* and low max withdrawals.

*I haven’t tried this time but they were big 5 years ago but ING rebated them back then…
 
At the other end of the spectrum “Countries where it is exceedingly difficult to use cash. The UK.

Have quite a few GBP that we’ve accumulated over the years and have had trouble using them. A pub, two restaurants and a hotel all cashless. Finally managed to use some of them with a lot of resistance at the Marriott, but they couldn’t provide change and thus refused to accept initially (but did accept after I said well let’s pay this and put the balance - 1GBP - on credit card).
 
At the other end of the spectrum “Countries where it is exceedingly difficult to use cash. The UK.

Have quite a few GBP that we’ve accumulated over the years and have had trouble using them. A pub, two restaurants and a hotel all cashless. Finally managed to use some of them with a lot of resistance at the Marriott, but they couldn’t provide change and thus refused to accept initially (but did accept after I said well let’s pay this and put the balance - 1GBP - on credit card).
Part the reason I kept my Oyster card - you can feed notes and coins into the top up machines at Tube stations! 😉
 
At the other end of the spectrum “Countries where it is exceedingly difficult to use cash. The UK.

Have quite a few GBP that we’ve accumulated over the years and have had trouble using them. A pub, two restaurants and a hotel all cashless. Finally managed to use some of them with a lot of resistance at the Marriott, but they couldn’t provide change and thus refused to accept initially (but did accept after I said well let’s pay this and put the balance - 1GBP - on credit card).
I can't say I've ever seen a place here not accept cash, and in fact a greasy spoon I went to on the weekend was cash-only.
 
I can't say I've ever seen a place here not accept cash, and in fact a greasy spoon I went to on the weekend was cash-only.
That must be rare now.

I did see several places over the last two years visiting various locations in the UK with “Cashless” signs up.
 
I can't say I've ever seen a place here not accept cash, and in fact a greasy spoon I went to on the weekend was cash-only.

I went into a local pub in London a few months ago and it was card only. I actually wanted to used up some cash that time!
 
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Last time we were in UK (six months ago) it did not seem to be so much of a problem (but then again we forget to bring our GBP, and we didn't touch London on that trip....
 
Interestingly had to not purchase something at a store at Jewel in Singapore because they had a $30 card minimum, and I'd just used my last 12 SGD on lunch. I was quite pleased with myself for having used it up but then very surprised and frustrated! Anyway, the store missed out on our business, I wasn't going to spend another $20 in order to get this $10 item.
 
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