View Full Version : Money

03-16-2003, 17:23
I'm going to thru-hike in 2004 and I want to know what form of $ to carry is the best? plastic, travelers checks, cash. What works best? WrongBridge

03-16-2003, 17:53
It's best to carry all three. Many small places don't take credit cards, so you need cash.

Credit cards are handy for real motels, big purchases, like rafting at NOC, and replacing your boots when they blow out.

Travelers checks are for just in case. For example, I used travelers checks after a lightning storm knocked out all (both) ATM's in Rangely.

And, one other thing to carry is an ATM card. That's what I used to replenish my cash. It got more use than the credit cards.

03-16-2003, 20:35
I carry an ATM card which I use for most of my purchases, a credit card for big things or emergencies and cash. I always make sure I leave town with at least $30 - $40 dollars. Never know when you might hit that chance to grab some food!! The only place I really ran into any problems was Fontana Dam. No ATM and the P.O didn't have enough money to give me an advance. Luckily the resturant and the small store there both took ATM cards. IMHO traveler's checks aren't really needed.

03-16-2003, 20:43
I have been using a Visa ATM-check card for the last 5 years and have had no problems but there are some towns where it didn't work, Unionville NY. I went to the post office and the postmistress suggested that I buy a postal money order and she would cash it. She did it because it was a check card and not a credit card, you can't buy a money order with a credit card. If you do mail drops you can send postal money orders, the post office will cash them if they aren't too big. They are cheap too.

03-16-2003, 23:24
I plan to carry my Visa Check Card & ~$400 cash. I'm 6'1 230lbs, if someone thinks they can take it from me, they better stab or shoot me right the first time, or else they're my next meal :mad:!

03-17-2003, 14:20
Last year I budgeted 1/3 of my money as
cash, 1/3 in Traveler's Checks, and 1/3
on my credit card.

I was always short on CASH. If you have
an ATM card it might be worth it.

Some small town stores don't take credit
cards, because they don't have a swiper.

Traveler's Checks should be in $20 denominations.
Small town stores don't/
can't make change for $50, sometimes.
Also, ATM fees cost more than Traveler's
Checks fees, unless you get (ATM) at
least ~$250 each time.

My budget of $1/mile was about right
for me. But then I don't drink beer! ;)


03-17-2003, 17:10
We used an ATM check-card, always left town with $100 bucks cash to get to the next one, and carried a credit card for emergencies. Never needed travler's checks but I guess itcan't hurt to have them...

03-18-2003, 11:29
While on the subject I just thought I would mention that in the south ATMs are sometimes sparse as they assume that you will be using a debit card and get cash back at places such as grocery stores or post offices. Being from Minnesota we always call our ATM cards debit cards but I found the true meaning of debit card in the south and found that our cards were worthless to get cash back at post offices and grocery stores etc. My wife and I had cards from two different major banks in MN and neither would work for this situation. We called our banks and found that debit cards are not issued by most banks in MN - they are only ATM/check cards and do not function as debit cards. I suspect it is some weird bank thing in MN only. Has anyone else from the midwest, or anywhere, experienced similar problems?

In any case, we always eventually found an ATM and it wasn't much of an issue. We carried ATM check cards, a credit card and cash - that worked well.

03-18-2003, 12:44
I never had problems. Must be just those banks. I'm from MN also and mine were always called ATM cards.

Bandana Man
03-18-2003, 21:26
There are 2 kinds of debit cards -- offline/signature-based and online/PIN-based. If your debit card requires you to sign a receipt when you make a purchase, that is offline. The transaction is usually processed like a personal check and takes a few days to post to your account (just like a paper check). However, if your debit card requires you to enter a PIN on a terminal when you make a purchase, that is online. The transaction usually posts to your account immediately. If the merchant accepts any Visa, they must accept Visa debit cards under the "honor all cards" rule. BTW I carry credit cards and cash. If your credit card is lost or stolen, you are only responsible for the first $50 of fraudulent purchases and cash advances. If your debit card is lost or stolen, the thief can drain your account. There may be slightly different rules from different banks. This is just in general.

03-22-2003, 15:28
Hey everyone who helped me out thanks be to you all. WrongBridge

07-11-2003, 22:11
ATM card and Visa did fine for me for the 750 miles I did north from Springer this Spring.... only in Catawaba, VA did I find lacking an ATM and myself short of cash.... tried not to carry too much cash, you know how heavy cash can be!!!