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Banking in USVI  

 

edeluv
(@edeluv)
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Joined: 4 years ago
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June 24, 2016 12:22 am  

I'm coming to the islands for 6-9 months and I read through some old blogs and something stuck out to me.

I know one cannot open a bank account without an island address. Now I presume that my mainland bank account debit card/credit card will be fine to use for goods and services but that leaves the first last and security deposits for rent.

Do I really have to travel with $20,000.00 cash as I stay in hotels and try to find a rental?

I'm very nervous about it and I'm wondering, do real estate agents perhaps have the ability to be paid by debit card or does anyone know of a better way than carrying a lot of cash?

Is there any way that a landlord will accept a mainland check if it's paid a week in advance of getting keys?

All suggestions or experiences welcome.

Thanks.


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CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
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June 24, 2016 12:38 am  

Use your debit card and withdraw the cash when you need it.


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edeluv
(@edeluv)
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June 24, 2016 12:48 am  

Do you mean via ATM? The problem with that is that most ATM's here have a daily limit, between $300-500, so it would take me a week to get all I would need to pay first last and security and I'd still be walking around with a lot of cash until I'd accumulated it.


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RockyDock
(@RockyDock)
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June 24, 2016 1:50 am  

Stateside accounts work fine here. Use a credit or debit card from you stateside financial institution for daily expenses. Draw cash when needed from an ATM machine, or get "cash back" at major chain stores when paying with your debit card. Use on-line deposit (scan checks) to put money back into your stateside account when someone pays you by check.

If you are dealing with a prospective landlord that can't handle a "wire-transfer" or a personal check, that by the way will clear through even their local bank here in less than five days time, then that may be a red flag.

We are not a technology challenged location that can only handle small bills delivered in a shoebox. That being said, Certified Bank Checks drawn on a stateside bank are still treated as a personal check and still require the few days to clear waiting period before having access to the funds.

Rocky Dock
Water Island


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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
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June 24, 2016 9:23 am  

PayPal.


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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June 24, 2016 10:55 am  

you have checks dont you?


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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
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June 24, 2016 11:17 am  

Is there any way that a landlord will accept a mainland check if it's paid a week in advance of getting keys?

That's entirely up to the individual landlord but in my experience the majority don't have a problem accepting a rent cheque drawn on a stateside bank. Businesses are more reluctant and small businesses often refuse as the clearance rate (as mentioned earlier) is at least a few days.


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Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
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June 24, 2016 11:30 am  

Popmoney


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ms411
(@ms411)
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June 24, 2016 11:57 am  

ATM fees are pretty high if you use what's referred to as a "foreign" ATM. The major stores that give cash back can't always give you cash back (doesn't happen often, but it has happened to me).

Bank of Nova Scotia used to partner with BofA and other international banks to offer free or reduced rates for their ATMs. You may want to check their website for current services.

Many people here maintain stateside accounts with some people having accounts both here and stateside.

Some people pay with US Postal money orders which you can purchase with a debit card.

Lots of options.


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edeluv
(@edeluv)
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Joined: 4 years ago
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June 25, 2016 9:28 pm  

Thank you terrific information.


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edeluv
(@edeluv)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 48
June 25, 2016 9:33 pm  

Good to know that is is likely a mainland check will be accepted for a deposit on a rental. This has been a big concern.

Reading through the blogs on the site made me nervous as several of the writers said this wasn't accepted but most of those blogs were written quite a while ago.

Definitely a worry off the list.

Thanks.


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edeluv
(@edeluv)
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June 25, 2016 9:34 pm  

Good to know. Thank you for taking the time. It is appreciated.


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STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 618
June 26, 2016 4:15 pm  

I heard Schwab account works well for international travelers. No ATM fees, no foreign transaction fees. Seems like overkill for USVI but worth considering.

Also, having an account in a local bank is easy and free if you maintain $1000 minimum. I use First bank for that purpose and I am reasonably happy with them. Electronic transfers from my mainland account are very easy and cheap.


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AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
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Joined: 8 years ago
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July 3, 2016 6:20 am  

All my landlords (3) have taken my stateside checks. I do pay a week early so it clears in time for them.

If you bank with BoA - you can use Scotia atm with no fees.... Or maybe it's chase. Just call your bank and ask which banks you can use for free. We always find one - even when we travel internationally.


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speee1dy
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July 5, 2016 3:41 pm  

scotia, which there is only 1 on island up at sunny isle


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