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Old 10-14-2013
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Going to BVI! Bring cash?

I'm chartering a boat in the BVI in November. What's everyone's experience with credit cards on the islands? Should I just bring cash? I hate to carry around too much cash.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Seagrass
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Most places take cards. Our strategy is to use cards wherever we can and then the cash we have on hand is plenty to cover the few that don't.
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Re: Going to BVI! Bring cash?

You will want some cash for the boats that come around selling ice and taking away trash and whatever (if you want those services). We stayed in at least one mooring in which a boat came to collect our fee and I suspect it was cash only. I don't know for sure. Also, if, like us, you want to try local roadside places to eat, best to have cash just in case.

Otherwise, everything else was on a credit card.
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Re: Going to BVI! Bring cash?

Thanks. About how much cash per day would you think? Could a couple (two people) get by on $50 a day cash? Is that too much?
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Re: Going to BVI! Bring cash?

Kind of depends on your plans for your charter. We grabbed a mooring every night and it was convenient to have cash on hand to pay the boat boy. If you'll be anchoring out then that won't matter. All the bars/restaurants/shops we visited took plastic but it was nice to have cash for tipping and in general it was a faster transaction. If you'll be cooking your own meals, not so much of a problem. We used cash often but still ended up taking too much with us. We tried to go lite on our first trip, but still overestimated what we needed for just about everything (clothes, food, booze, cash).

Check out TTOL for a good forum on chartering in the BVI.

You're going to have a blast!
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Re: Going to BVI! Bring cash?

I'd think $100 a day would be adequate, just in case. Plus, it doesn't take much room.
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Re: Going to BVI! Bring cash?

Even though the BVI uses US dollars, some credit card companies regard a transaction there as "foreign" and charge foreign transaction fees. I might have got this backwards but I'm pretty sure that Citi Mastercard charged but Chase Visa didn't. I usually use cash for most things, so it isn't a huge deal for me but it's worth checking with your credit card company if you are planning to use the card a lot.
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Old 10-15-2013
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Re: Going to BVI! Bring cash?

Bring cash and plenty of it! The wait staff will ask if you left "anything" for them. If you put the tip on the dinner bill they often won't get it. Best to tip them in cash separately.
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Re: Going to BVI! Bring cash?

Also note that there is no tax on restaurants and bars in the BVI. If you get a bill that includes any amount in the tax line on the form it is a tip.
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Re: Going to BVI! Bring cash?

Everyone ok with leaving cash stashed on the boat?

I could always hide a little zip lock bag of cash somehwere I guess. Are boat break-ins a problem in the BVI?
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