How to pay in the United States: credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards and cash

When we start preparing a trip or a vacation to the USA, in addition to worrying about organizing hotel, flight, rental car, ..., the questions we all ask are: how to pay in the United States once arrived? how many dollars to change before leaving? better to pay in cash or by card?

In big cities, like New Yorkpractically everything can be paid by card (subway, hotels, taxis, shops, ...). Furthermore, having a credit card can be essential in some aspects of the trip, such as car rental.

But let's try to answer in detail all the questions you might ask yourself before the trip and the various payment methods accepted.

Is a credit card essential in the USA?

If you are traveling or making a tour of the United States, the credit card is almost indispensable. In addition to car rental, where it is required by most rental companies, it can also be requested as a security deposit in certain hotels and for the purchase of a flight on some airlines.

If the trip includes the visit only one city, like New York and you will move by public or private transport, you can also do without a credit card. Find out if the hotel requires a credit card and choose the ones that do not, in case you are traveling without a credit card.

Better to pay in cash or cards?

This is one of the questions that almost all of us ask ourselves before embarking on the journey. Carrying cash only, cards or both? We we recommend that you always carry and have both with you.

A little bit of cash money it can be used to make small payments, such as taxis or to leave tips, e one or two cards to make larger payments and withdraw money from ATMs or ATMs.

Many stores require a minimum expense $ 5 or $ 10 to pay by card. Some businesses, like some restaurants, require only cash payment (almost always outside there is a warning sign). In addition, there is usually an ATM inside to help those without cash. However, in principle you can also pay for a coffee or a packet of candy by paper.

Therefore, it is advisable to always leave some money aside for small eventualities, e always pay by card when possible. In addition to comfort, you'll save money if your card doesn't charge any payment fees. Furthermore, you will have the advantage of not bringing a lot of money and therefore one greater security in case of theft.

In case of theft, there would be no way to retrieve the bills and coins. On the other hand, in case of loss of the card, after having reported the theft or loss and blocked the card, it can be received in a few hours anywhere in the world.

How to pay tips?

La tip in the USA (in English tips) is practically mandatory, except in the case of having received a very bad service. Typically it is advisable to leave a 15-20% tip in restaurants and all places where a service is received.

If you are in a restaurant and want to pay by card, you can leave a tip cash on the table or have it added to the bill before paying by card.

How to know the euro-dollar exchange rate?

The euro-dollar exchange rate is as follows

Exchange rates

How to calculate a price or cost in dollars how many euros are there

Use this currency converter it's that simple. Just enter the figure to be converted in the US Dollar or the Euro box and the corresponding figure in the other currency will automatically appear in the other box.

Is it better to change money in the bank or post office before leaving?

Usually it is almost never convenient to change money before leaving in the bank or post office. The exchange rates and fees charged are quite high at post offices and banks. Perhaps inquire about exchange rates and commissions first, and then evaluate.

Where are automatic teller machines (ATMs) and how do they work?

In America it is possible to find ATMs everywhere, in short, ATMs. They can also be found in shops and restaurants. The withdrawal fees depend on the type of paper used, not the type of ATM used.

Theirs operation it is the same as those present in Spain, however the indications are almost always in English and if you do not know the language, you may have some difficulty in taking it.

Are debit cards better than credit cards?

Before answering this question we recommend that you inquire if your cards are suitable to payments and withdrawals in non-euro areas. Very often an activation may be required which can also be done online.

I advantages of paying by credit card are that payments are safer and in some cases it is the only means of payment accepted, such as car rental or where expressly requested.

I advantages of paying by debit card are the lowest commissions compared to credit cards. The recommended credit or debit cards to have on a trip to the USA are: Visa, MasterCard or American Express.


We recommend before leaving inquire with your bank about fees and rates of fees for withdrawals of money in the United States, and for information also what exchange costs are applied. Maybe evaluate and compare several banks.

In order not to be surprised by sudden expenses, add at least 20-25% to the budget that you had set for the whole trip or vacation. This way you will be calmer and more relaxed during the journey.

Always carry i telephone numbers useful for blocking the card promptly in case of theft or loss, or if you think it has been cloned.

Always take on trips more than one card credit and debit. In the event that one becomes demagnetized or exceeds the maximum withdrawal or daily use, you can rely on the second card.

A simple card to receive, very simple to use and especially very useful in travel is the HYPE card. It is not a credit card, but a Contacless MasterCard with which to pay online and in all stores. Very convenient for quick money transfers if you run out of money abroad. Furthermore, very safe because online payments or withdrawals can be activated or blocked directly from the smartphone.

How to pay in the United States: credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards and cash
Credit cards to pay in the United States -
add a comment of How to pay in the United States: credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards and cash
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.

End of content

No more pages to load