DON’T LET BANK ISSUES RUIN YOUR HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE
Most people don’t like carrying excess cash, however it’s difficult to gamble in Vegas without it. I’ve outlined below, the steps I follow to ensure I always have the right amount of money available to me.
First, the disclaimer! I’m not a Financial Advisor, nor am I in a professional position to offer financial advice. This information is based purely on my own observations and experiences…..Use it at your own discretion.
- Ring your bank to advise on dates of travel, or alternatively some banks offer an online facility for this service. Providing travel dates may prevent your card being put on hold, but don’t depend on it. I’ve come to expect a call or text from my bank while I’m in Vegas, and sometimes multiple calls. Ensure to provide the bank with a contactable phone number for you.
- Work out what your daily budget should be and make every effort to stick to this. Vegas can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it. If gambling, it can be expensive; there will be days where you will inevitably go over your budget, so try to keep as disciplined as possible.
- Convert cash before travelling. I like to convert sufficient cash to cover 1-2 days budget. This converted cash remains in my room safe, and is only used for emergencies, or situations where my card is put on hold. Having excess money in my room safe, gives me time to contact my bank before my cash runs out.
Las Vegas ATM Information
- There is a limit to how much can be withdrawn from the ATMs within a 24 hour period. This amount fluctuates, depending on currency rates. Debit card limit is normally below $200. Credit card limit can be up to $500, but this depends on the ATM machine.
- Warning: After returning your card and dispensing your cash, some ATMs will ask if you want another transaction. The next person at the ATM may have an opportunity to withdraw funds from your account should you leave the machine at this point. Be warned! Wait to see the ‘Welcome’ screen before leaving any ATM.
- Most ATM machines charge a usage fee, in the region of $2-$6 per transaction. Warning: Although not common any more, some Casino ATMs may charge a fee that is based on a percentage of funds withdrawn. These ATMs do not have to be located directly on the Casino floor to charge these rates, however they are required to have a sticker showing the breakdown of fees. Please be careful to look out for these sticker. You could be paying $50 for the $500 that you’re withdrawing, or more.
- If ATM issues impede access to your daily budget, the cashier’s desk or casino host may be able to help in the form of cashback against your credit or debit card. This service is generally only provided to hotel residents, for a fee that is based on the amount being withdrawn. Only use this as a last resort measure and not as a means to extending the daily budget.
Additional Vegas Money Tips
- High rollers concerned with ATM limitations can arrange a wire transfer in advance with the casino.
- As I prefer to retain my cash for game play, I use my credit or debit card to pay for purchases and put restaurant charges on my room. The advantage of charging to the room is that these charges are normally covered anyway by my players card. I pay all restaurant gratuities/tips with cash.
- Keep excess cash in the room safe, and only take your daily allowance with you. In the past I would have gambled my winnings, wagering bigger bets, however I find that putting it towards another day’s daily budget makes it go further.
My budgeting approach
- Before I go, I convert sufficient cash to cover 1-2 days budget. This converted cash remains in my room safe, and is only used for emergencies, or situations where my card is put on hold.
- On arrival to the States, I withdraw the ATM’s maximum daily allowance. If this amount exceeds my daily budget, the excess gets added to the cash that I’m holding in the safe.
- Each day starts with the balance left over from the previous day. During good days, the balance from one day can carry over into a number of days. On those not so good days, where the previous day’s balance gets totally depleted, I’II use the ATM to withdraw the day’s daily allowance.
- Handpays and large wins that bring my cash above my daily allowance get added to the safe each day.
- Any end of day balances in excess of my daily allowance gets added to the safe.
- Towards the end of the holiday, I stop using the ATM, and revert to using the money that I’ve kept in my safe.
- I normally end up bringing dollars home with me, which is great as it saves me having to convert cash for my next trip.
I hope this information was useful. If you’d like to share your own Vegas money tips, please add them to the comments below.