My 13yr old son is travelling to Florida for 10 days without us (with his uncle)
He’s going to use his kids uk revolut.
Any tips or anything I need to know in advance about transactions in USA?
Shame I can’t load usd to a teens account.
Will come out of his GBP that I load even though I can load usd to mine.
Here are some things that come to mind. Not all points might be relevant, your son probably doesn’t go out dining on his own
- Expect ATM fees in downtown areas
- Expect cash-only places. Depending on where you go, there might be a surprising number of places that only accept cash. I know, this seems counterintuitive but don’t be surprised if you see it.
- Tip generously in restaurants (15 to 20 %). Often, the waiter will authorise a payment for the amount on the bill. You then add the tip on the paper receipt and sign it. The initial authorisation (pending transaction) will be amended later, to include the tip. You‘ll see this in restaurants and „traditional“ places like iHop. Not so much in stores like Shakeshack, Starbucks.
- Some stores have terminals that have weird problems with international cards. This is an odd one and not very predictable. I had random problems to pay with a Revolut card with Apple Pay and the physical card at places like a large grocery store. My assumption is that it’s about Revolut’s limited offline capabilities.
- And related to that: Revolut might not work with some vending machines. I couldn’t pay for a rental bike in Chicago for example, where you unlock the bike at a vending machine and Revolut did not work for Chicago’s public transport.
- The most annoying „feature“ for me was when Revolut blocked a payment due to security concerns. I wanted to pay at a restaurant, and Revolut blocked the transaction. And other than online payments where you can confirm that a blocked payment was indeed correct and try again, this confirmation method is not an option for in-store payments with the card. There’s no way to tell Revolut that you want to let this payment through.
- Consider to activate the magstripe. The app should tell you when a payment was declined due to this.
- Don’t freak out when the first attempt to pay failed. The staff in stores is generally friendly and helpful. They are used to international cards being tricky sometimes.
- I don’t know the security settings for <18, but the location based security setting is less reliable without good cellphone data connection.
- You might encounter a POS terminal asking whether it’s credit or debit. Credit is usually what works! (This has nothing to to with the card being debit or credit, it’s about how banks in the US used to issue co-badged cards and „credit“ is the option to select the correct processing pipeline.)
Generally, Revolut works well in the US! I am travelling to the US regularly (family), to various places, from big cities to weird rural towns. Revolut changed so much since 2015. Some hiccups are sorted out, and the POS terminal landscape in the US changed quite a bit since then as well. I have no experience with the <18 card, but I would expect it to work in most places where teenagers want to pay.
I am curious how the experience was when your kid is back. I don’t remember any reports here about <18 cards in the US so far.
Great info thanks. A lot of details for a 13yr old to take in. I won’t expect him to though. I’ll ensure the location bit is switched off as not sure about his roaming yet. Also I’ll check the strip config in his app.
He’s been travelling with us through Uruguay for some time and had zero issues. Accepted everywhere.
But I haven’t tried revolut in USA yet.
I’ll make sure he has cash with him and an alternative card.
He’ll be with his uncle (has American express I believe) and cousin so will have a back up.
Guess I could set up google pay for him if I can add that to his account.
Google Pay is 16+ as far as I know.
Hello @CJD ,
I completely get your concern. Let me help you with that.
Kindly check here to know how Revolut<18 cards can be used in abroad while travelling. Before setting up google pay for your son, kindly check the eligibility here.
If your son is eligible, kindly check here to know how can you set up google pay for payment.
@Frank , Thanks for sharing those valuable inputs.
SG | Community Team