Cash or credit card | How do I pay in the US?
Cash or credit card, how do I do it right?
Back in 2013, prior to our first trip to the US, we wondered a bit about how paying in the US would work. If you use cash or credit card, what's the best, what do we take with you?
For us, of course, it was very helpful to have a family in the US who could tell us exactly how it is paying.
My son, who has been living in California for some years, said to me, "Mom, the US is the land of credit cards , you can pay anything here by Visa or MasterCard."
I asked him what it would be like if I just got a coffee at Starbucks or a burger at In and Out. He explained to me that you can of course pay in cash but actually do not do that in the US. It is quite normal to pay even small amounts with the credit card, even the parking meters work with it.
You really only need cash for tips or sometimes for gum machines or something similar. He said that it makes no sense to take a larger amount of cash, also because you usually get a worse course in Germany.
We asked our house bank for the credit cards and then decided on a gold and a silver Mastercard.
The golden Mastercard includes travel cancellation insurance and health insurance for both of us. This is much cheaper than taking out these two insurance policies separately. The silver is in case of loss or. Defective, the replacement service should not work quickly.
You would not be able to check in without a credit card in any hotel in the US. Also to get a rental car would be very difficult, because for the payment of the deposit only the credit card is accepted. Even the ESTA, the travel authorization to the US can only be paid by credit card. Traveling without credit cards in the US is very difficult, almost impossible.
A little afraid to lose track, if I pay everything with card, I already had. I've cleared all the evidence and also written everything in a notebook for safety. A big problem for me in the restaurant was to give the waiter my credit card, as I imagined what he could do with it. But in the meantime, paying in the US with credit cards works smoothly and there have never been any problems.
But there are also a few exceptions where cash is also required in the US. Wholesale stores such as Costco or Sam's Club do not accept credit cards. But since you need a club card and must be a member that is not relevant for tourists.
Since I really enjoy shopping there and my family of course has this club card, I always take cash, because there you can buy well.