Cash, Credit Card or Travelers Checks in St. Maarten?

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Cape Coral, FL
138 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Thanks to KenandJulie, my wife has now decided that she needs to buy a Tanzanite ring in St. Maarten. Just kidding. She really has wanted this ring since we saw it there last April.

What is the best way to pay for the ring in order to get the best deal? Do most of the stores accept Visa/MC/AMEX, etc? Do they give you a better deal if you pay with cash? I don't want to carry around a couple of thousand dollars in cash unless I can save at least 5%.



Rob & Marty Potter
2 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
One thing to be aware of in St. Maarten is that you may have trouble using your credit card for large purchases. I tried to use my card (also to purchase a ring) and it was repeatedly declined. After the very patient and understanding sales clerk called to company for me, I learned from my credit card company that since I was using the card so far from home, it was their policy to decline all purchases. Once I answered a few questions they were satisfied that I was who I claimed to be and let the purchase go through. They say that it is for my protection but it can be a long process.
1,463 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Remember, cash is king and leaves no audit trail.

On several cruises, we have heard announcements on disembarkation morning for people to come to a certain place to meet with customs. I have seen the line-ups there.

I have always wondered how 'customs' would know if a person exceeded their duty free allowance.

There could be 3 possibilities:

1. They bought a lot of stuff on the on board shops and they have informed customs.

2. Their credit card company informed customs.

3. The stores on the islands have 'ratted out' their best customers to customs.

It seems if you use cash and do not give your name or correct cruise ship to the store, you should get around this problems.
397 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
When bargaining with the seller, always ask for the price if you pay in cash (traveler's checks are considered cash). You'll get a much lower price on the item. It works for me every time!
Happy shopping!!!

Single and Croozin'
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