If you are traveling from abroad, check with your bank for any transaction fees associated with using your debit card for withdrawals or purchases. There are ATM’s in the Philadelphia airport and throughout the city. The currency exchange services at most banks and airports (world-wide) are more expensive – avoid them if possible.
Many credit card companies charge foreign transaction fees. These fees are generally 1-3% of each purchase. Some credit cards, e.g., Capital One, do not charge foreign transaction fees. Check with your card provider for fees.
Notify your bank and credit card providers to let them know you will be travelling so that your credit and debit cards are not rejected and blocked when you use them. This can often be done through the providers’ websites.
Current exchange rates:*
1 GBP = 1.32 USD
1 EUR = 1.15 USD
1 SEK = 0.11 USD
1 JPY = 0.009 USD
* Rates as of October 2018. Rates fluctuate - check www.xe.com for current rates or download the app for your phone.
Transport in Philadelphia
Once here, you’ll have no trouble navigating around the region. The best ways to get around Center City (Philadelphia’s downtown) are by foot, taxi/Uber or public transportation. If you plan on visiting the surrounding countryside, regional rail and cars are your best bets. Additional details: www.visitphilly.com/getting-around/.
Cell Phones – Check with your carrier for international rates for voice and text. You may need to purchase a SIMS card in the US in order to use your phone. Consider using skype or WhatsApp.
You will need a universal grounded adaptor plug for your electrical/electronic devices. The US runs on 110 V. Adaptors (or converters) are readily available at travel or electronics stores for about $10.