1st trip to India, confused re: money issues

Reply
#31 Oct 15th, 2009, 10:40
Join Date:
Sep 2008
Location:
Varies, currently in D.C.
Posts:
2,382
  • dillichaat is offline
#31
Quote:
yes, camelgirl, I am prone to panic attacks and I do not have enough funds to not know how much I am being charged at an ATM or to make any mistakes
I don't intend to be callous here, but if the above is correct and you have such a razor thin financial margin available then it might be a good idea to think hard if you really want to make this trip. India without money is no fun at all even if one is not prone to panic attacks. I also answered your other post about the travel budget you have available and don't need to tell you it's not much. Most often things work out ok but if the poop hits the proverbial fan it tends to hit hard and fly far in India. At a bare minimum you want travel insurance covering repatriation and the funds (or at last a guaranteed way to get them) to buy a ticket out.

Good luck!
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#32 Oct 20th, 2009, 22:24
Join Date:
Aug 2009
Location:
nomadic
Posts:
112
  • CFPhotoGrafie is offline
#32
many ATMs on my bank network here in States require to insert & immediately remove card for transaction so that is nothing new for me, anyway...

despite calling my bank, no one there has been able to confirm whether I can use card (its PLUS network which I understand I CAN) or how much fees might be...
astounding knowledge base there, customer service! (rolls eyes)

thanks for tips, guess I'll find out soon enough and pray everything works out!
#33 Oct 20th, 2009, 23:10
Join Date:
Aug 2009
Location:
Chennai, earlier Coimbatore, India
Posts:
750
Send a message via Skype™ to R Murli Dhar
  • R Murli Dhar is offline
#33
Having seen all the threads, I would like to refer you to all to one new RBI circular. First till now from last year upto 15th October, you could use Visa/Mastercard at any ATM rpt any ATM which carries Visa/Mastercard. Now money withdrawal from ATMs apart from your issuing bank is now restricted to 5 times a month, rpt 5 times a month! After five transactions, you will be charged Rs 20 per cash withdrawal rpt Rs 20 per cash withdrawal. Withdrawing cash from ATMs not recommended since ALL banks including Indian and foreign banks charge for cash!

2. Merchant establishments accepting Visa/Mastercards DO NOT CHARGE ANYTHING. At the time of purchase, the bank honoring (all banks) charge flat rate of 3.5 % on the purchase value for converting the USD/other currencies into INR (Indian Rupees). On this 3.5 per cent, there is a service tax of 10.5 per cent. NOTE: On 3.5 per cent there is 10 per cent surcharge called service tax levied by Government of India, NOT banks. It is NOT on purchase.

3. Merchant establishments not accepting Visa/Mastercard will show a NOTICE Board saying " Credit cards NOT accepted". Some will show "If using Credit CArd, please advise in advance before purchase".

4. New Rules for use of Visa/Mastercard. In addition to your 4 digit pin number now you have to log into your bank issuing your card, and add another two/three digits for safety purposes. I think I provided the link to the gentleman in question. Check with www.visa.com and go to helpline.

5. Please keep your passport handy while making purchases via Visa cards (debit/credit) to ensure proof of identity. DO NOT LET GO SIGHT OF YOUR PASSPORT. They will note down on the charge slip the passport number, date/place of issue and look for the Indian visa and its particulars.

6. If using travellers cheques, same rules apply about conversion charges, and also point number 5. Travellers cheques can be encashed at Bank branches all over India or you can use Amex or Thomas Cook.. you can also use Western Union Money transfer. Check www.westernunion.com for further details.

7. It's not a big deal

8. As for use of ATMs, yes certain bank ATMs return the card after verification, and roll out the money and the slip. Some keep it till the transaction is over. It's just like other countries all over the world. No big deal!

9. When carrying travellers cheques, please not before landing, cabin crew will give a declaration form for carrying dollars either in cash or cheques or in whatever form. Be sure to fill it in and hand it over at Customs/Immigration. They will stamp your passport with the amount.

10. When exchanging foreign exchange please remember to keep the receipt which will b issued to you, so that when yu return from India, Customs may ask for how many dollars you are carrying back; plus if you have spent the money in India, that will help you to convert it back into Dollars when you exchange it in India itself.

11. No bank, anywhere across the world provides free services. Sorry to make this comment, but US banks are notorious for their usurious charges. DO NOT exchange currency at airport. You are at their mercy, and have no choice. Take a little time out and check out which one charges the lowest commission. Bank conversion rates are fixed by the Indian Banks Association, based on the international exchange rate (London Exchange) overnight rate. Forex rates in India are free and subject to market fluctuations.

12. As for max amount of dollars that can be carried in bank notes, and travellers cheques, please wait for my next posting. will give you the exact amount and the exact link for you to check for yourself.

13. Don't worry. India has progressed a lot, and I do internet banking sitting at home, using Paypal, WU, etc, etc.

14. On a offish note, do remember most of the software being used by all banks emanate from Indian software professionals !

If I don't post within the next two/three days, PLEASE REMIND ME. GOOD WISHES AND DON'T WORRY. WORRYING DOESN'T HELP. FIND A WAY TO GET THE ANSWERS. I am surprised at the response from your Bank. It shows how great they are.

Good wishes.
#34 Oct 20th, 2009, 23:25
Join Date:
Aug 2009
Location:
Chennai, earlier Coimbatore, India
Posts:
750
Send a message via Skype™ to R Murli Dhar
  • R Murli Dhar is offline
#34
Back again: Here is an official link of the government of India

http://www.tourisminindia.com/traveltips/index.htm

if you want to know more just, after perusing this index, just type in www.tourisminindia.com or you could go to www.india.gov.in, and under government find websites, click on that, find the Ministry of External Affairs, click then on welcome, and look at the bottom of the next page, you will see something tourism on India. click on that and you will get a whole host of information. If you need more, just post, or send a mail offsite. Better on the blog so that other people can know.

As for banks suggest you contact JP Morgan Stanley Chase, who are correspondents of ICICIBank. Steep charges , but good service. Any problems, just post.

DON'T WORRY FIND OUT....

Good wishes.
#35 Oct 20th, 2009, 23:40
Join Date:
May 2005
Location:
Western NC USA
Posts:
3,805
  • camelgirl is offline
#35
Thanks for all the work you've done on this topic. I think you are mostly correct but I don't agree at all about declaring your traveler checks with anyone anywhere ever! Your point #9

You do not want or need to have this stamped into your passport!!! I don't care if there is such a form. In fact, it's pretty much looking for unwanted trouble. I have used T checks in India and all over the world and the only thing you ever need is the receipt you get from the bank when you cash them. In fact, it's always a good idea to keep any receipts you receive.

Point #11. It's also not true that there is no free banking from the U.S. I have a checking savings account with an ATM card which I use all over the world and it refunds my fees from any ATM machine up to a certain amount each month. So, I do get this benefit of zero fees when I use that ATM card.

The usurious charges of U.S. Banks are on using a credit card for a cash withdrawal (not a debit card) and for all kinds of other late fees, etc. It is true that credit card companies are overcharging customers who do not pay off their balances every month. Again, a credit card. If someone uses their debit card for more money than they have in the account, the bank will allow it to go through and consider it a "loan" and will charge huge fees.

If you know your particular bank's rules and regulations and fees, and they are all available if you know where to look, you can avoid fees 100% of the time. I have NEVER paid a fee on any credit card I have because I pay in full every month.

I'm not pursuing all your links because they are meaningless. I have cards linked to specific U.S. banks and the rules & fees are particular to that bank and my specific type of card. There are dozens of different kinds of Visa & Mastercards, each offering different benefits.

All the OP needs to know is if her ATM debit card will work and it seems like it will. Her fees are likely to be minimal if she follows the rules of her bank. Which she has trouble finding, I don't know why. Either online or calling the number on the card itself, should get you all those details. They are not a secret. They are required by law to tell you that information.
#36 Oct 21st, 2009, 00:03
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,425
  • Nick-H is offline
#36
Whilst it does add a little more, I don't think a Rs20 charge is going to be even noticed by most foreign travellers. When I used to use my British bank (debit) card here, the charges, if I remember rightly, were something like 4 (over Rs300) each time, but it was still an economic and convenient way for me to draw cash.

You do not need to declare cash or travellers' cheques below a certain limit. I suspect that makes it academic for most travellers (it's quite high, US$5,000, I think?). However, if you are bringing in big cash, you must declare it or risk loosing the lot
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#37 Oct 21st, 2009, 00:39
Join Date:
Aug 2009
Location:
nomadic
Posts:
112
  • CFPhotoGrafie is offline
#37
I am simply lost

my card is NOT a credit card, it is a VISA debit backed by my bank acct....it RUNS as a credit at shops (ie I do not have to enter my PIN)
I read somewhere in a travel guide (sadly I forget which one) that doing this in India will incur massive fees

I have never used it as an ATM card or to withdraw money anywhere except my home bank,
and it is my home bank which cannot seem to give me answers regarding where/whether I can use it in India or how much that will cost me

I am beyond confused; am probably making this much harder than it needs to be...
usually I would just carry cash but have been advised that it is not a good idea in India!
have never used Travelers Checks either and always thought (from working in retail) that basically they are same as cash

instead of clarifying matters this thread has made me even more confused
I DO appreciate everyone's time/input
but think my answers might lie elsewhere

thanks for trying to help me out, sorry I'm a bit of a dunce when it comes to financial matters
#38 Oct 21st, 2009, 00:56
Join Date:
Feb 2005
Location:
New Delhi
Posts:
701
  • *jyoti* is offline
#38
Wow! I am starting to get confused after reading all the advice and technical stuff, and I've been here for two years!!

CFPhotoGrafie -- if your card is both VISA and a debit card, you'll be fine. You've already made sure you bank knows you're traveling, and that's great. You can withdrawal from any ATM with a VISA logo (most have VISA, MasterCard, or both).

My bank charges me $1.50 for not using my card at one of their ATMs. Otherwise, I always get a good exchange rate (whatever other fees come out, the overall exchange is always very near what the current rate is online).

Before you leave, you will also want to make sure you're set up on online banking. This will let you keep track of your balance, and you can see exactly how much the exchange rate you're getting is. Some banks will give you your balance, some won't, and at a lot of them the "print receipt" won't be working so enjoy it while it lasts.

Do carry some USD or traveler's checks just in case you need them (you'll probably end up taking it home again), and don't let your cash get so low that if you can't find an ATM or it's not working you are absolutely stranded. And,of course, never carry all your money and debit cards in the same bag in case something is stolen.

Otherwise, happy travels! You'll be giving advice to other newbies within two days of your arrival, and reassuring them.
#39 Oct 21st, 2009, 00:57
Join Date:
May 2005
Location:
Western NC USA
Posts:
3,805
  • camelgirl is offline
#39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFPhotoGrafie View Post I am simply lost

my card is NOT a credit card, it is a VISA debit backed by my bank acct....it RUNS as a credit at shops (ie I do not have to enter my PIN)
I read somewhere in a travel guide (sadly I forget which one) that doing this in India will incur massive fees

I have never used it as an ATM card or to withdraw money anywhere except my home bank,
and it is my home bank which cannot seem to give me answers regarding where/whether I can use it in India or how much that will cost me

I am beyond confused; am probably making this much harder than it needs to be...
usually I would just carry cash but have been advised that it is not a good idea in India!
have never used Travelers Checks either and always thought (from working in retail) that basically they are same as cash
instead of clarifying matters this thread has made me even more confused
I DO appreciate everyone's time/input
but think my answers might lie elsewhere

thanks for trying to help me out, sorry I'm a bit of a dunce when it comes to financial matters
Traveler checks are not the same as cash. You have to buy them & pay for them from a company that sells them (usually American Express or Thomas Cook). You have to cash them in at a bank or money changer to get the local currency (the same as you would dollars). There will be small fees associated with them. Same as with cash. The biggest advantage is they are much safer than cash. If they are stolen or lost you can get your money back (keep a record of the numbers as you use them). You do not get anything back if you lose your cash.

I think you should ignore R Murli Dars lengthy post. It is well-meaning but very confusing to me also and therefore not helpful.

You're going to India soon, so you will find out really quickly how your card will work. There isn't much else to say about it.

I do not have an ATM linked to a debit/credit card. I never use that type though my banks always send them, I cut them up and tell them to just send a plain vanilla ATM which can only be used one way! BUT most people do have your type, so I don't think you need to worry.

I'm going to put a link which has nothing to do with your actual card, it's going to show you how to find out your fees. This is my bank, though not my account. It's just general information from their website about ATM debit cards. https://www.wachovia.com/foundation/...extfmt=default If you type in the name of your bank and look around, you should be able to find ALL the information you need. You don't have to be good at finances. It's going to be there on your banks website.
#40 Oct 21st, 2009, 01:03
Join Date:
Aug 2009
Location:
nomadic
Posts:
112
  • CFPhotoGrafie is offline
#40
thx for all your time & advice
#41 Oct 21st, 2009, 01:29
Join Date:
Mar 2009
Location:
Green grass of home
Posts:
1,954
  • Wildhorse is offline
#41
CPF, if you still read this and if it helps:

I have travelled in many countries in Asia, South America, Africa, the Middle East, etc. and I have hardly ever used my debit card because nobody has ever been able to tell me what fees it involves. My bank keeps telling me that it's not them who ask for fees, it's the foreign bank, and hence they can't tell me... blablabla. I do use my debit card in Europe, outside Europe really only if I can't avoid it.

I have been to India numerous times in recent years and I have never used my debit card; I carry cash and travellers' checks. From what people say here, you get the best exchange rate when using ATMs but in my case I don't see the point in getting a good exchange rate when I have to pay a high fee for using the ATM. I don't mind getting one or two rupees less per euro. Yes, it is a little bothersome sometimes to go to the bank and change TCs but it is safe and doesn't give me a headache.
#42 Oct 21st, 2009, 01:37
Join Date:
May 2005
Location:
Western NC USA
Posts:
3,805
  • camelgirl is offline
#42
Wildehorse Your bank is correct. The fees attached to the ATM withdrawal come from the bank in the country you are taking the money. The fees are not huge. They are small. If they weren't budget travelers would not use them. Budget travelers DO use ATM's to take out money nowadays. We who still use TC's (I include myself ) are relics from earlier days of travel--which is why I still bring some on every trip.

My bank ATM (as I said previously) refunds those foreign bank fees up to a certain amount--thus free ATM use. If you live in the U.S. (can't tell from your profile) look into Bank of Internet. I've had it about five years now & it's fantastic. Yes, it's a real FIDC U.S. bank. http://www.bankofinternet.com/high-i...-checking.aspx

click on ATM reimbursement

Ignore if you don't live in the U.S.!
#43 Oct 21st, 2009, 06:24
Join Date:
May 2003
Location:
Northern California
Posts:
5,360
  • wonderwomanusa is offline
#43
CFP One major problem here is that nobody knows where you are coming from. "Nomad" is sort of like "I'm not gonna tell you." So the Brits are telling you what the rules are where THEY live, Americans and Canadians doing the same. Yet each place hndles all this somewhat differently.

If you wouldn't mind saying where you live and the name of your bank, someone might actually be able to give you real information -- wouldn't that be something?
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#44 Oct 21st, 2009, 08:54
Join Date:
Aug 2009
Location:
Chennai, earlier Coimbatore, India
Posts:
750
Send a message via Skype™ to R Murli Dhar
  • R Murli Dhar is offline
#44
Quote:
Originally Posted by camelgirl View Post Thanks for all the work you've done on this topic. I think you are mostly correct but I don't agree at all about declaring your traveler checks with anyone anywhere ever! Your point #9

You do not want or need to have this stamped into your passport!!! I don't care if there is such a form. In fact, it's pretty much looking for unwanted trouble. I have used T checks in India and all over the world and the only thing you ever need is the receipt you get from the bank when you cash them. In fact, it's always a good idea to keep any receipts you receive.

Point #11. It's also not true that there is no free banking from the U.S. I have a checking savings account with an ATM card which I use all over the world and it refunds my fees from any ATM machine up to a certain amount each month. So, I do get this benefit of zero fees when I use that ATM card.

The usurious charges of U.S. Banks are on using a credit card for a cash withdrawal (not a debit card) and for all kinds of other late fees, etc. It is true that credit card companies are overcharging customers who do not pay off their balances every month. Again, a credit card. If someone uses their debit card for more money than they have in the account, the bank will allow it to go through and consider it a "loan" and will charge huge fees.

If you know your particular bank's rules and regulations and fees, and they are all available if you know where to look, you can avoid fees 100% of the time. I have NEVER paid a fee on any credit card I have because I pay in full every month.

I'm not pursuing all your links because they are meaningless. I have cards linked to specific U.S. banks and the rules & fees are particular to that bank and my specific type of card. There are dozens of different kinds of Visa & Mastercards, each offering different benefits.

All the OP needs to know is if her ATM debit card will work and it seems like it will. Her fees are likely to be minimal if she follows the rules of her bank. Which she has trouble finding, I don't know why. Either online or calling the number on the card itself, should get you all those details. They are not a secret. They are required by law to tell you that information.
You are right partially, just as I was !. Thanks for the detailed reply. I have given the relevant rules that are contained in the link I posted subsequently. ATM cards WILL work! The charges that I took were from official Bank sites, and a call made to my own banker ICICI Bank, who clarified the points. As for stamping passports, some do, some don't, but a currency declaration is mandatory when entering the country (see the link), so that when you go out of India, you don't face hassles. As I have said, rules regarding Foreign Exchange have pretty much changed for the better, and I will post the links diretly from the RBI website shortly. That's why I used the Indian Government's Ministry of External Affairs Link which is generally uptodate. Good wishes and Welcome to India to the OP My comment about US Banks was because I was fleeced when I travelled there. Please take it in the right spirit. Banks everywhere are the same.
#45 Oct 21st, 2009, 11:53
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,425
  • Nick-H is offline
#45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFPhotoGrafie View Post my card is NOT a credit card, it is a VISA debit backed by my bank acct....it RUNS as a credit at shops (ie I do not have to enter my PIN)
My Indian-bank debit card is visa (It says "Visa Electron") and works at ATMs internationally. You should have no problems.
Quote:
Originally Posted by *jyoti* My bank charges me $1.50 for not using my card at one of their ATMs.
What? Every time you walk past one? That must get expensive!
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Murli Dhar As for stamping passports, some do, some don't, but a currency declaration is mandatory when entering the country (see the link), so that when you go out of India, you don't face hassles.
No, no, no! At least not unless something has changed in the last four months. You do not have to declare any currency below a set minimum (it may be on the disembarkation form to say that you are not exceeding the minimum, so that could be called a declaration!). If you exceed the minimum, you are smuggling currency and may loose the lot. Unless it is suspected, currency will not even be mentioned! In fact, the vast majority of people entering India get nothing more than a wave on when passing through the customs 'green channel'.
Reply

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
1st timer to India-Very confused really need help!! May 11th, 2005 00:06 2 2120 India Travel Itinerary Advice


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success