North America Currency Guide
In the USA, Canada and Mexico, there’s ATMs aplenty that’ll accept a wide variety of foreign cards, including American Express. Smaller villages and towns will still have ATM facilities, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on you, just in case. If you plan on withdrawing money or using your credit card while travelling, don’t forget to notify your bank before you go for security purposes and check what international withdrawal fees may apply to your card.
In the US and Canada, plastic is fantastic, but no matter where you are in North America, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you for tips. In the US in particular, tips are expected as the minimum wages are low and many people rely on tips to supplement their pay packet. The general rule of thumb is a couple of dollars for hotel porters, bartenders, valet parking attendants and doormen - if they hail you a cab, and 15 to 20 percent for waiters, hairdressers, tour guides and spa staff. US Dollars, Canadian Dollars and Mexican Dollars are available to pre-purchase from Travel Money Oz before you go, and you can also exchange your Aussie Dollars when you land.
For large purchases or big-ticket items, consider bringing a credit card or travel money card with you instead of carrying a lot of cash. If you don't have a credit card, consider a pre-paid Multi-currency Cash Passport™, which lets you access your money in the form of US Dollars and Canadian Dollars from ATMs and also use wherever MasterCard® is accepted.