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Money in Vegas

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by DCham, Jun 29, 2015.

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  1. DCham

    DCham Newbie

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    Hello,

    I am visiting Vegas in February 2016 and just wanted to know what do you guys think is the best way to handle spending money? I am going for 7nights and this will be my first time in Vegas so would like to get as much done as possible.

    Is it best to have dollars before I arrive?

    Is it best to just change the money when I need it?

    Is it best thing get a prepaid card?

    Is it best to just use a credit/debit card?

    Thanks for your time.

    Dan.
     
  2. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    where are you coming from?
     
  3. bribhoy

    bribhoy Low-Roller

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    Dan,

    Assuming you're coming from a non-US dollar location so you're talking about converting cash, here are my tips.

    First thing I'd say is, charge anything that you can to your hotel room. If you're staying in a Caesars property, you can charge back to your room from any other Caesars property. Similarly with MLife, if you're staying at one of their resorts then any expenditure at another property in the chain can be charged back. The reason for this is that any time you use your credit card, each individual charge attracts not only a little downside on the exchange rate, but also a transaction commission charge which further worsens the effective rate. If you consolidate all of your transactions into one big charge that you pay at the end of your holiday, then you only pay a single transaction commission.

    Bring enough cash to cover all of your gaming budget plus any expenditure that you will be doing at locations that won't let you charge back to your hotel, plus any tours and taxi costs. Convert all of that money in a single transaction. Take a look online to find the best rate for the amount you will be converting. If you do that conversion as a single transaction, you should get a better rate the more cash you convert.

    Also, when you're checking out of your hotel oin the last day, use any leftover cash (or winnings) against your hotel bill, saving enough for the cab to the airport, of course. I wouldn't bother with a prepaid card. Also, make sure to use a credit card for your hotel check in - not a debit card. You will have a hold put on your credit card at check in which constitutes a pre-authorisation for the amount you will be spending but if you use a debit card, the money will actually come out of your account and there may be a delay getting any excess re-credited at the end of your stay.

    You've got until February, so there's time for you to do some research into what will best suit your spending habits but you'll be on holiday. Work out what you think you'll spend, then add 50% to that number, just in case. As I say, you can always use any excess against the hotel bill at the end of the week.
     
    Bright light city's gonna set my soul...
  4. DCham

    DCham Newbie

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    Sorry coming from UK
     
  5. Rubos

    Rubos Low-Roller

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    Citibank offer a dollar bank account in the UK - you can then just use it as a debit card or at ATM's while in the U.S. Used it first time last year and worked a treat. No charge either if over $4k in the account - otherwise $5 a month fee I think
     
  6. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Call to see about opening a line of credit or sorts.
    The casinos deal with people from all around the world.
    We do this to avoid travel with too much cash.
    Granted it supposed to be used for gambling but if you take out $1000 a day and do some gambling there shouldn't be an issue.

    While on the strip, if you stick with MGM or CET properties you will have lots of options for food.
    As long as you eat at the property that is part of CET or MGM you can charge it to your room, but always ask first to be sure. This is another way to avoid having to carry extra cash. Its still wise to keep a few hundred or so cash in case you venture into other areas or meet a hooker. :wink2:
     
  7. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I think it all depends on you. If you don't mind carrying around a lot of cash then best to find a place before you leave the UK and convert all the money you think you will need. That way you can shop around for the best conversion rates. Not sure if converting money would be better in the US or UK.

    I usually would use a charge card or a prepaid charge/debit card to pay for my incidentals (room, meals, etc.). I'm a little wary using my own debit card as it allows access to my bank account. With a charge card a crook will be stealing the cc companies money, with a debit card the crook can clean out your bank account and while you can possibly recoup some of your account sometimes it isn't that easy to do, best to just use a charge card and not worry about it.

    if you don't like to carry around a lot of cash then you can look at applying for a line of credit at your home casino and taking out markers on it. That way you only need to take out what you need on your trip.

    charging all your expenses (meals, show, etc.) to your room is also a good way of avoiding cash, it is also good because it is possible that you may be able to deduct some of your charges depending on your level of gambling.

    I am not sure how it is in the UK but many casinos in vegas still accept travelers checks so you can use them for your big money. Just make sure that you have proper and valid ID's to cash them. I know they are archaic and not many people use them but they are still accepted at the casinos.

    you can also wire your money to the hotel you will be staying at (best to check on the hotel/casino policy first) so you don't have to carry a lot of money with you.


    As others have mentioned, take some cash with you just in case.
     
  8. MUFC

    MUFC Low-Roller

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    I have just received my pre paid mastercard from FairFX which I ordered about a week ago. I have loaded all my spends onto this card and plan to use it to pay for all my hotels (4 in total). Obviously you can use it anywhere that accepts MasterCard and you can load more funds on from your home bank account through the phone app, which also lets you keep track of your balance. I've not used a pre paid card before so I'm not recommending this as such, but its another option you may wish to consider.
     
  9. Guy

    Guy Low-Roller

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    I've got a Caxton pre-paid currency card (the dual Euro and USD one) and paying for hotels is meant to be the last thing to do with it as they will take the hold for extras out of your 'real' money on the card rather than just out of your credit limit on a normal card.

    It's always worth having a proper CC to hand as sometimes the pre-paid card doesn't work (all transactions need electronic approvals, so if the network is busy/down then the card will be declined).
     
  10. MUFC

    MUFC Low-Roller

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    Good shout GUY, I'll be using my normal credit card for the pre authorisation charges.
     
  11. FullBoat

    FullBoat VIP Whale

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    Don't know what kind of cash you're thinking of bringing over, but if it's over $10k, don't forget to declare it at customs. I don't think they'd take all of it since you can show them you're heading to Vegas, but they might fine you a chunk of it. They won't take any if you clam it, and tell them you're heading to Vegas.

    Rubos I think so far had the best idea from what I've seen. As long as that bank doesn't add on a per use charge. That would be pricy quick I would think. But, you have a bit to keep looking into it. Give them a ring, and see what they say.

    Edit:
    Also someone had said before that some of the larger casinos would exchange it for you at the cage, but the have a higher rate than a bank.
     
  12. cjohnson202

    cjohnson202 VIP Whale

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    Coming from Canada, I have a US bank account that I withdraw about 2/3 of my bankroll from before I leave. I usually use the ATM if I need the other 1/3. Costs me more than it should to do it this way, but I'm paranoid about somehow losing the cash I bring with me (like actually losing, not gambling away).

    For all food / items, I use credit cards. Cash is saved for gambling, unless it's my last day and I have some left over, then it's all cash
     
  13. zippy1973

    zippy1973 Tourist

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    I'd recommend applying for the Halifax Clarity credit card. No fees on foreign transactions and all transactions made are calculated at market rates that day so you are getting top rate on conversion. No fees for cash withdraw either I believe but I don't believe in using my CC for cash withdraw.

    Someone mentioned the Citibank UK based USD account. I used to have that and it was brilliant. Used to get market rate when paying in £ to convert into $ and Citibank machines are everywhere there and its free to withdraw BUT last summer, Citibank changed the way they converted £ to $ and the rates are now something like market rate less 4% and that worked out less than getting $ on the high street or even onto a prepay card. That together with the charge it you did not keep a certain amount in the account rendered the account useless for me so I closed it and ended up opening a US bank account as I visit 2/3 times a year.

    I just visited in May and I just took cash for gambling with extra on top (make use of the room safe rather than carrying all your cash with you) & the Halifax Clarity CC for food/excursion/ticket purchases etc. I would also recommend to take your Debit card or a 2nd credit card for emergency and just keep that in the room safe during your stay
     
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