Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hi Guys, I'm a UK student in the US working for the next 6 weeks and I need to get some money! I've tried to use my Visa Electron here in the US but it doesn't seem to be working, so I figure maybe getting some sort of prepaid currency card would be a good idea - just wondering what you guys think is the best, and most cost effective way of getting US dollars here whilst I am in the US, with Pounds?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    If you're working in the United States for six weeks and are getting paid in USD it's imperative that you open a bank account, really, unless you get paid in cash, and get some GBP wired over from your UK account. I recommend Chase purely from the fact that they don't have ATM charges (I haven't been in the US for more than two weeks at a time). It also depends how long you've been over there. If you're halfway through your placement there's no point getting an account at this stage.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Do you not have another bank account in the UK with a visa card attached to it which you could get sent out there? Or borrow one from your parents/sibling? This would be the most simple way of doing things as it could be there in a couple of days if it's sent straight away. Or you could use internet banking to transfer your money into a parents account, then get them to withdraw it and get it stuck on a dollars cash card then post it over to you.

    When I was working in the USA I didn't bother opening a bank account (I was there for 4 months) and simply got my pay as and when I wanted it, so didn't bother withdrawing any money from my UK account and just asked for more of it as and when I needed it. Although all employers are obviously not that understanding, so you may have to open an account. Several of the international staff I was working with did this, and it is fine as long as you've got an address to have the stuff posted to once its set up. Bare in mind this can take a couple of weeks to sort out though. You may also need a social security number but as you're working you should already have sorted this out. Another option is once you get paid you can have it all put on a pre pay advance cash card (Bank of America do this) and then just spend that like a normal cash card. I also had some in travellers cheques, but this was 2 years ago so they might not be so common now, I don't know.

    To be honest you really should have looked into this before you left. Visa Electron cards hardly work in the UK, let alone abroad. That's why they're generally given to children and people who want very limited access to their money.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks for your advice guys, I was on the Ready Steady Go scheme with Camp America, and essentially was only given 5 hours notice about my placement until I had to catch a coach to get to London Heathrow in time for my flight the next day. Therefore I didn't really have any time to sort out stuff like my finances, which I would have obviously done beforehand if I knew about my placement far enough in advance.

    I've managed to get my Visa Electron card to work at ATM's in Walmart, but I really don't want to get charged too much to use them, so might just withdraw a large amount of cash and place some in the Camp safe, and take out in my wallet whatever I need when necessary. Looking into prepaid exchange rate cards they don't really offer very good rates, so I might try and get one done in the UK, and have my parents send it over to me when they are done instead. Just depends how long international mail takes to arrive from the UK to near New York.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Surely though, just the knowledge that you might be going to America would have prompted most people to ensure that their bank account would actually work over there? It's not as if you need 100% confirmation that you're going to do that! Although that's in the past now All you can do is try and sort it out.

    The charges will depend which bank you're with - some charge a percentage of the amount you withdraw and others do a standard £2 charge or something like that... but yeah, if your camp are offering then it would make sense to have money kept in the safe for you to get when you want it.

    When I was at camp in MA the post took around 3 or 4 days or so to get to me, it was very fast.

    Hope your camp is going well, I had one of the best summers ever... it's amazing being a child again

    (Original post by michaelbenson)
    Thanks for your advice guys, I was on the Ready Steady Go scheme with Camp America, and essentially was only given 5 hours notice about my placement until I had to catch a coach to get to London Heathrow in time for my flight the next day. Therefore I didn't really have any time to sort out stuff like my finances, which I would have obviously done beforehand if I knew about my placement far enough in advance.

    I've managed to get my Visa Electron card to work at ATM's in Walmart, but I really don't want to get charged too much to use them, so might just withdraw a large amount of cash and place some in the Camp safe, and take out in my wallet whatever I need when necessary. Looking into prepaid exchange rate cards they don't really offer very good rates, so I might try and get one done in the UK, and have my parents send it over to me when they are done instead. Just depends how long international mail takes to arrive from the UK to near New York.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.