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Cash, credit cards, or traveler's cheques?!

Seattle, Washington
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Cash, credit cards, or traveler's cheques?!

I have heard that most places in Amsterdam, unless they are a big chain store or restaurant, do not accept credit cards. Is this true? So this means we have to carry so much cash with us, to buy tickets, eat in restaurants, buy souvenirs, get a coffee? There are five in my family, so that's a lot of cash we'll need each day.

I am very nervous about getting pick-pocketed and losing a lot of money. We are planning on wearing money belts; it seems so paranoid but I'm not sure what else to do. On arrival at our rented flat we've got to pay the EUR1000 balance in cash, ugh! I guess I am not used to carrying that much money around.

What about traveler's cheques? I haven't been to Europe since 1996, and I don't even know if traveler's cheques are still as easy and as cheap to exchange as they used to be. I just went to an American Express office in every city I went to.

We will use ATM cards to get cash every few days. I'm sure we'll rack up some ugly ATM fees!

Any advice or info on this topic would be super helpful.

Thanks!

London, United...
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1. Re: Cash, credit cards, or traveler's cheques?!

> I have heard that most places in Amsterdam, unless they are a big chain store or restaurant, do not accept credit cards. Is this true? <

It's true. It's improving all the time but credit cards are not as popular as you might be used to. Many places are increasingly accepting 'Maestro' debit cards.

It's years since I saw a Traveller's Cheque. I'm sure banks still cash them.

Check with your bank. ATM cards are the way to go. Some banks have very low fees and you get the interbank exchange rate so ATM cards are generally the cheapest way to get cash. Check your card works in Europe and is compatible with one of the major systems (Cirrus, Plus, etc.).

Fort Worth, Texas
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for Amsterdam
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2. Re: Cash, credit cards, or traveler's cheques?!

i know that big souvenir store on dam square, next to the war monument, takes credit cards.

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: Cash, credit cards, or traveler's cheques?!

A big no to TC's. The AMEX office on Damrak closed a couple of years ago. Virtually no-one uses TC's in Europe anymore.

I there are a few banks which are affiliated with American ones so do not charge or charge only a couple of $$'s for withdrawals from ATM's. Seem to remember a couple of posts about that otherwise just check with your bank there or see what they charge.

Don't forget to tell thenm that you are coming here incase they block your account for misuse.

Who are you renting the aparment from? Seems a little suspect that you have to hand over 1000euros in cash.

Amsterdam, The...
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4. Re: Cash, credit cards, or traveler's cheques?!

Yes - Traveller's Cheques are so last century!! ;-)

Use your credit card or debit card to pull cash out of the ATMs (all over the city!); most restaurants and bars and shops - even relatively small ones - accept Credit cards now - remember you will need a PIN and you may be required to use the PIN at point of sale or provide photo ID.

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Cash, credit cards, or traveler's cheques?!

RonaldoC, we are renting the flat from way2stay.com. All the other apartment rental sites I looked at had the same payment policy: you pay your deposit online via credit card, and when you check into your flat, you pay the balance in cash. There were a few exceptions for paying the balance in credit card, mostly if the owner of the flat was willing to do so.

Okay, we won't even consider traveler's cheques! I'll call my bank as well as my credit card company and get the lowdown on fees, etc.

Thanks everybody!

6. Re: Cash, credit cards, or traveler's cheques?!

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