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The Cost of Using Your Own Money

You?ve been saving and planning for your honeymoon: searching for the best deals, honeymoon perks and special offers. You?ve even got money in the bank to pay for your extra activities, souvenirs, spa treatments and gifts. It?s your money so it?s ?free? to spend it right? Wrong! If you?re traveling internationally, it costs you money to use your money. (It may cost you domestically too, if you have to use an out of network ATM).

Since most people probably are not comfortable walking around with enough cash to pay for their whole trip, you will probably need to use your debit or credit card throughout the trip. Different credit cards and debit cards have different fees, but they all have charges. It pays to do your homework on your different options to find the least expensive way to spend your money. It is your money after all!

Before a recent trip to Mexico, we researched what our banks and credit cards charged us in order to determine what our least expensive option for spending our money was. The chart below assumes a total of $1000 spent in 5, $200 transactions. In the end, we determined it was to our advantage to use our visa credit card as much as possible since this particular visa card did not charge a transaction fee. Do call all your credit card companies however because different Visas or Master Cards charge different fees.

  transaction fee $$% surcharge or conversion feefee for 1, $200 transactiontotal fee assuming 5, $200 transactions(i.e. ?The Cost of Using Our Money? )
Debit Card from bank account ? withdraw from ATM$7.003.00%$13.00$65.00
Debit Card from bank account ? use as a ?credit card? for purchases$3.003.00%$9.00$45.00
AAA?s VISA Travel Money card ? ATM (prepaid card)$2.007.00%$16.00$80.00
AAA?s Visa Travel Money card ? debit (prepaid card)$0.007.00%$14.00$70.00
And the winner is?..One of our VISA credit cards$0.003.00%$6.00$30.00


We also checked on Traveler?s Cheques. Our bank charges a 2% purchase fee, so to buy $1000 would have been $20. However, you also need to factor in reduced rate of exchanges, availability of exchanging traveler?s checks (i.e. inconvenience) and the time spent standing in line to do so.

You?ve invested so much time in to planning your wedding and your honeymoon, it is definitely worth it to invest time and research your debit and credit cards to help stretch your honeymoon dollars. Sit back, relax and have that extra margarita rather than ?giving? those dollars to your bank.

ADVICE: Be sure to take more than one credit or debit card with you as emergency back up in case one is lost, demagnetized or stolen.

Copyrighted. All rights reserved.
This article was written Nancy Williams. Nancy is the founder and CEO of HoneyLuna, The Honeymoon Registry Service (www.honeyluna.com ).