Questions about Hong Kong

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  1. #11

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    Nov 2005
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    well, its actually quite complicated whether which is cheaper.

    in banking, the cost is not just the fees or commission charged, but bulk of it is in the exchange rate.

    however, that said, if the OP intends to draw cash using credit card, versus using travellers cheque, i'd say travellers cheque is cheaper (that's because of the crazy interest rate charged on cash advances for credit card).

    however, for some countries like japan, the retail banking foreign exchange charges a spread of up to 10% between bid and offer, then by all means use credit card.

    travellers cheque has the option of issuing cheques in different currencies. so if the OP managed to get HKD cheques, then he is saved the cost of exchange provided he goes to the same issuer to swap his notes for cash.

    anyway, additional point, so far the most convenient and reasonably cost exchange I have experienced is to use Citibank MAxisave account. I have one in Singapore and i can draw from my account worldwide from any citibank ATMs. No additional charges, just the exchange at a reasonable rate. I have not tried plus or cirrus, etc.. but I assume they are similar, though most of them would charge a minimum service cost for drawing money.


  2. #12

    Okay sorry to be a dumdum. Let me see if I've got this straight...

    1. Traveler's checks suck. Don't use them for purchases. Go exchange them at a bank. This bank will charge me a commission for exchanging them, which is ... around how much? Do it in large amounts also to avoid commission fees.

    2. Would it be better for me to just leave my traveler's check money in my bank and use my Bank of America checkcard (debit) at an ATM? Haha, stupid question, but I'm also assuming exchange rates differ depending on where I draw the money from, be it hotel, ATM, or the local peddler down the street. ATM is the best choice for this right? And something about international fees? I am assuming on top of the exchange rate (is that even an added fee?), fee for money withdrawal, and international fee, since its a checkcard and has no interest, thats all the fees I'll be paying right? Sounds confusing. I also have a Visa card, not with me right now, that isn't activated that I got from my bank. It is supposedly 0% interest, although I don't really know too much about it. This card would incur all the fees listed above for my checkcard as well as cash advance fees? What is that. I'm clueless with money.

    3. As far as when and where to use cash and credit, I am getting some conflicting things. I am safe with HKD cash for most things, but I should make larger purchases with my debit or credit card. Something about the hotel ripping me off if I used credit card? Don't trust people who make carbon copies with my credit card. Also, using any debit or credit card for any place like starbucks would mean interest + exchange rate + international fees? This is confusing, someone please clarify.

    4. Copy my passport a few times. Buy SIM cards from local phone store and not from 7-11. What about SIM cards from vending machines? Also, bring mace for those dangerous situations.

    5. Oh, and I have another question. I need to go read up on it somewhere, but just in case. I have a passport and my pops went to some Chinese consulate in Houston, TX to go do something with it to allow me to travel to Hong Kong. Now, as I am use to him being not that bright, I need to cover my bases and see if there is anything missing. I am in college right now and can't see what he did or what papers were filed. Dundun here. So, in layman terms, I have right now: passport + some random china consulate stuff. What could that stuff be and do I need anything else to go to Hong Kong without any problems with paperwork?

    6. My main language is English. I can understand basic Cantonese although when it comes to names, places, and slightly more technical crap, I am also clueless. I can also speak kindergarten grade Cantonese, which means not much at all. How widespread is English knowhow among the Hong Kong shops, tourist traps, hotels, etc.? I've also just seen TVB's Revolving Doors of Vengeance but I am taking what they show with a big grain of salt. Would it be better for me to just use English only? Or base it on the situation to see how fluent the second party is in English? Since I suck at Cantonese I would probably prefer to use only English. As to not sound like an idiot. Although I am assuming that no matter which language I try to speak, I will sound like a foreigner or an ABC and they will jack up the prices accordingly.

    Yeah sorry for all the questions. I hope some of them can be answered clearly. Have a nice day.


  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    4. Buying SIMs from 7-11 is fine. I hope the thing about mace is a joke. It is illegal in HK and you really have no need for anything like that.

    5. A standard US passport is all you need to enter HK as a tourist. You will be granted visa-free entry on arrival for 90 days. You don't need anything from the Chinese consulate before you arrive unless you plan to visit the mainland, in which case you might choose to get a visa in the US (although you could also get one here).

    Last edited by PDLM; 23-04-2007 at 09:11 AM.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,650

    1. Hang Sang Bank charges HKD$60 to cash as many cheques as you like.

    7. Use English for everything except bargaining. It is much easier to get a low price by speaking Chinese IMO. That is pretty basicly. Involves only numbers, prices, quantity and pointing lol


  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    23,207

    1. Yes - but assuming the cheques are in USD, what is the exchange rate?


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