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Old 10-18-2006
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bank account help please

Hi there,
We are getting ready to depart for sailing adventures in the Caribbean, mexico and beyond. As newbees to the cruising world, there are loads of things to get "sorted". One such thing is finding a suitable way to manage our limited cruising kity.
I was thinking about opening an offshore bank account in US dollars. Does anyone have any recommendations?
I looked at HSBC and they do an offshore account, however it requires a minimum balance of 10k. We are very likely to dip below this while we are cruising.
Does anyone know of an account with an ATM or visa card that has a set yearly fee and minimal balance requirement?
Also, being able to set this up in New Zealand would be a bonus, as would acceptance of the atm/visa card in many countries is a must.
Cheers
Mike.
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Old 10-18-2006
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Old 10-18-2006
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Got any helpful advice apart from$%%sfkjkh?
Sorry thought my thread would fit into many subjects.
Doesn't hurt does it?
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Old 10-18-2006
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Yes it does when you click to read new posts and have to click on all 3 of yours to see if anything is different in each one.
As to advice...you don't need an offshore account...just a US bank that offers good on-line banking (Citibank, BOA or other). No need to carry a lot of cash. Just need your bank card and an internet connection and you are pretty much set anywhere.
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Old 10-19-2006
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HSBC only does commercial accounts for the BVI; the best international bank has historically been Citibank. But with the proliferation of credit cards and ATMs the requirement of having a "local" bank account has pretty much dropped away. And since the currency in much of the Caribbean is the US$ the exchange rates aren't much of an issue either (plus CCs tend to give the best exchange rates because they are regulated).
I looked into opening a private account in the BVI with 2 banks and have come to the realization that there isn't that much need. I'll pay for items with a CC or bank card when I can and carefully husband my cash for those times that I need it.
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Thanks for the advice guys. Appreciated.
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Old 10-19-2006
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As was mentioned, go with a bank that can issue you a Visa debit card. The funds will come out of your checking account, and if you run short, make sure you have a credit card also. This will also limit your need to carry excessive amounts of cash and some locations will allow you to pay with your debit card and add another $10-25 that you'll get back in cash without any ATM fee.
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Old 10-19-2006
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I travel around the world regularly. Just get an online account with Bank of America or something like that. Any ATM machine anywhere in the World will give you cash. You may not even have to push "1" for English in Germany or Spain! You can do all of your banking online with your computer.
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Old 10-19-2006
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Security?

Wondered if there were any extra concerns or fears using WiFi, Internet Cafes, etc doing banking transactions online?
Extra precautions?
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Old 10-19-2006
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Chueman-
"Wondered if there were any extra concerns or fears using WiFi, Internet Cafes, etc doing banking transactions online?" By now I think all banks are using https (secured web pages) for online banking, so thelack of security and encryption over open WiFi connections is not as great. Some of the EU banks have gone one better by requiring the use of a security device with the account, like the RSA "timecards" used here in the US corporate world for many years.
Some banks also guarantee to cover any damages caused by online banking security (etc) failures--that's an important policy to look for.
I wouldn't do any online banking from someone else's computer, even the ones at an internet cafe. It is too easy for someone to put a keystroke recorder or other malware in the computer--even without the owner's knowledge--to capture your online password. And then, even if the bank guarantees to cover the losses, you'd have to prove it wasn't you. Messy.
IIRC there was a big arrest over this on the US east coast about 5 years ago, someone had snuck GoToMyPC or something like that on a large number of public-access computers at Kinkos locations, and forwarded banking information to himself. "Ooopsie".
The gizmos used in the EU would stop that, but US banks prefer to spread the cost as a loss to all customers.
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