If you are currently planning your next trip to the USA, then you should also consider which means of payment you ideally take with you. Because too much cash is too uncertain. But the United States in particular is known for its high acceptance of credit cards.
The mechanics of credit card payments
In the USA, credit cards are the number one payment method, they are accepted from the smallest amounts, hardly anyone pays cash here. Another important point here is that you are not considered creditworthy if you do not have a credit card in the USA and can therefore also have problems on your trip.
For your stay in the United States, you need a credit card especially for the following businesses:
- You can only get a rental car on presentation of your credit card
- A card is also required when checking in at the hotel, which is used here as security for additional costs
- Should you fall ill on your trip to the USA, a credit card is useful for medical and hospital bills – every shop and restaurant accepts the credit cards
- In the US, cash is actually only paid up to around $ 20
So you can assume that if you already step in front of a counter with your credit card in hand, for example at the rental company, everything will be done quickly and easily. However, if you would like to pay cash in the hotel or the rental car, it may be that you are not allowed to move in or the car. Therefore, if you are planning a trip to the USA in the near future and do not yet have a credit card, it is essential to purchase one.
What credit cards are accepted in the United States?
If you already have a major credit card like Visa or MasterCard, you can use it to pay anywhere in the United States and withdraw cash from ATMs. If you have a Diners or American Express, it would be worth considering applying for another Mastercard or Visa credit card. Because Diners or American Express are not accepted in every shop, hotel or restaurant. This is primarily about how high the commission that a merchant has to pay if he accepts one or the other credit card. With Visa or Master, these commissions are lower than with the other providers, so these two cards are generally accepted for payment.
Since you will be paying by credit card most of the time due to the payment arrangements in the USA, you should clarify before the start of your trip that your credit line is high enough, you may apply for a second credit card from another company. If the credit line is exhausted due to hotel and car rental bills as well as other expenses, it can happen that the credit card is blocked and therefore no longer accepted.
Pay attention to the foreign assignment fees
Basically, banks are paying dearly for cash withdrawals from ATMs in the United States. Between 1% and 3% are required for the withdrawal amount. But since cash and cash don’t matter in the US, you can bring the little cash you may need for small expenses with you from home.
When paying with a credit card, on the other hand, the dollar amount is converted to the euro amount that is charged to the home account. The favorable ask price is determined for this. However, there are also fees for converting the amount paid, as well as for withdrawing from ATMs. So you can assume that paying with your credit card is still cheaper than withdrawing cash from an ATM.
If you are traveling to the USA in pairs or with several adults who are also entitled to a credit card, it is worth considering that everyone has a credit card. Because with cash or travelers checks, as they used to be, you won’t get far in America. It should be mentioned in connection with the USA that it is common in many hotels and rental car companies for customers to have their customers sign a blank card. However, the domestic consumer advocates warn of this procedure and recommend that travelers to the USA should not undertake this under any circumstances, because the signature can no longer be revoked, even if too much has been debited, as it is a money order.