To avoid fees for converting $ to £ on a credit card, we were thinking of paying for gas and motels in cash. Is this possible? or do you need to do it by card. I'm concerned as I have also heard gas stations and hotels like to block out and amount on your card, and refund it the difference. Which means I will be charged for each transaction by the credit card company.
Your advice and experiences are most appreciated.
We also prefer to pay by cash due to currency fluctuations and fees. The world is fast evolving away from cash and the US is no exception. Almost everywhere you travel in US gas has to be paid up front before pumping starts. The procedure with cash is, estimate how much you need, line up for attendant and present cash, occasionally a receipt will be presented, fill car with fuel up to amount on deposit or fill if sufficient cash has been surrendered. Return to line up for attendant, reconcile fuel pumped with cash deposit and receive refund. We have been asked a few times to show ID even for cash purchases. A couple of times a glance at Driver's licence was requested. Unless this was the only option in town, we would decline the transaction and move on.
Hotels generally only allow CC upon arrival but some, usually smaller establishments, will settle for cash at check in but frequently you are still required to show CC or other ID. Usually a conversation with check in staff about desire to pay cash will result in no hold on CC but ask first.
Large currency bills are usually not a problem unless paying for a 2.00 item with a 100.00 bill.
Hope this helps. We are Canadians that have vast experience travelling in USA by road and have had the pleasure of one full tour of 66. A half journey in previous year and another full trip when conditions are suitable.
This is a general reply only. The largest bill you should ever have in the US is a $20. Many places will simply not accept $50 and $100. bills. You need a drivers license to rent a motel/hotel room so the company can guard against possible vandalism and damage. Also be aware that in many areas, motels give local police the drivers license data. There's more on this in the Travel section at my site: http://www.rt66pix.com
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