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Travel Tips from Abroad TO here? Regarding Credit Card and Cellphone

Superslick100 4 10 March 20, 2016 at 03:02 PM in Tech & Electronics (5)
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Hi everyone,

my parents will come to the US for the first time in about three weeks. Their trip length will be around 3 weeks, with stops at the east coast.

We set them up for good hotels and have their schedules done, however two issues remain:

- They need some form of credit/debit card (they don't have this concept at home)
- They need some form of communication (in case they get lost etc)

I thought prepaid credit cards might be pretty fitting (I would gladly pay for those), did anyone experience problems with those? Or does anyone has some other suggestions? Are they secured in case they get robbed (they are in NYC after all Smilie ). Of course they would still carry some cash (50-100$) around.

Regarding the cell phones: Both my parents own an iPhone, with my mum having the latest Iphone 6S. I am therefore confident that both do have reception here. However, I am also not used to this system here myself and was wondering if there is some prepaid SIM card which I can buy (and register on my name, if necessary), that I can just give them. It would be best if they can do the occasional google maps and phonecall. After their trip I can either trash or send the SIM back. Does anyone has any experiences with that?

I would be very happy about any tips you might have!

Best!

5 Comments

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#2
1. Pre paid cards are like gift cards. They just carry cash value. if it's lost, it's gone. I would recommend to add them on your credit card, as an authorised user. they will get their own card, with their name etc., but you will be responsible to pay for it. This add on card will carry all of benefits, in the event of lost or theft etc.

2. Try Prepaid cards likeGo Mobile SIM cards from AT&T or Verizon.. They are use and throw.
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#3
Prepaid cards are a very bad option if the debit card does not have a specific person's name on it. If it's lost money gone. It is like carrying hundreds of dollars in your pocket, just like cash, so why not carry cash and lock some up in the hotel safe vs carrying a few hundred on a small card?

The only good debit cards have names, and you can call the company that manages the card to freeze it--these usually arent available for temp travelers.

Get a Credit card from your local country with no foreign exchange fees. many airline cards have this benefit. Some banks also let you withdraw from abroad with small fees. I have an "executive" level status because I have financial services with my bank, and can withdraw from any atm in the world for free.

All that said, not sure what the point of this thread is. Seems like pretty common sense questions that are easily answered with a google search.
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#4
I agree with the suggestion to get AU cards for them so call your CC company asap so the cards get to you when they arrive. Although you're the one responsible for all charges they put on the CC, just make arrangements with them to pay you in cash. If you have a rewards earning card (2%CB or 5% WF/OBC), you'll earn rewards on their purchases that you can easily pay off. Soon as they leave, you can contact the CC to cancel the AU cards. This is much better than prepaid debit cards and it has their name on the cards. You can also file dispute for unauthorized transactions and/or call CC if card is lost/stolen.

as to phone, there's plenty of prepaid phones you can buy at any of the drugstores, grocery stores or office supply stores. flip phones are cheap and the kits comes with certain number of minutes they may need while they're here. you can always buy extra minutes if needed.
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#5
Thanks for all the suggestions!

I think I have a good idea what options I have!

Thanks!
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#6
Quote from Superslick100 View Post :
Thanks for all the suggestions!

I think I have a good idea what options I have!

Thanks!
American Express gift cards, if bought in advance, are guaranteed and secured. they'll have the recipients name on it and is treated like a credit card.

also, try straight talk for prepaid...$50 for a month of use with data and they're very reliable. uses Verizon towers in some areas, which may benefit you on the east coast.
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Last edited by jarradyuhas March 29, 2016 at 09:15 PM
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