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Miami people?

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Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 497
My bank, Texans Credit Union, has these debit cards as well. Actually I have a combined Mastercard credit and debit card. So with every payment I make the machine will ask whether it's credit or debit.
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2449
Location: KTMB
After learning the correct terminology, there happens to be a complete ecosystem of prepaid credit cards which also offers good workarounds.

Two drawbacks become apparent:
1. nobody acceps these cards for car rental deposits/guarantees and hotel reservations, as they aren't covered by anything except the balance on the associated account which can evaporate instantly;
2. they totally lack any insurance against abuse, so if somebody learns the card information and reproduces it to make a transaction, you lost your money (up to your balance, obviously).

Also, these cards can easily be maxed out if somebody puts a reservation block on your card, which typically happens when you want to purchase fuel. The reservation may take days to unlock in some cases.

Not such a problem if you know it, and don't let them lock up the card but just immediately take USD 20 off it and program the pump for this.

These cards seem acceptable as a stop-gap measure until a universally working US credit card becomes available.


Jeroen
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 944
Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers wrote
Will Cronenwett wrote
They have a little "VISA" logo on them, and can be used anywhere that a credit card can be used, except that the cost of your purchase is deducted straight from your bank account.

Aha! This is what I could not yet verify to be true! Thanks, it basically solves all remaining issues.


Jeroen


I agree and couldn't follow the discussion about how debit cards are not available in the US. My bank, a fairly large national and multinational bank, required that I accept a debit card to be paid automatically from checking in order to open checking and savings accounts when we moved to Maine. I never use the thing since I like another megabank credit card's features better for purchase tracking and also to gain access to single-use credit card numbers for online shopping.

Glad this point of confusion is clarified now.
_______________
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch
Member
Registered: Jun 2011
Posts: 307
Location: TX
OH my my my I will say it again and again, your credit score effects everything you do in the States everything plain and simple if your score is low you pay extra for all insurance, higher deposits on everything... And what this 90 days that rubbish its 30 days late and it hits your credit report then what happens is your bank pulls your credit report sees your late and ups your rates that 30 day late is not removed form your report for three years then there is the 60 and 90 day lates these are diliquents and stay on your report for 7 years.

Landlords know how to report I figure they would have a management company :-) and you can bet your left testicle they are reporting.

you can get a little visa logo pre payed card from walmart but why would you do that? that's throwing money away a fee to load it a fee to use it and then a monthly fee and if you do not use it they keep the money and you get it back by a lenghty process not a cool thing.

OH hell poor hoppie they have starter cards here DO NOT TAKE ONE why? because you will get a 300 dollars limit (because you have no credit) a 175 dollars account activation fee a monthy management fee to be paid in advance of 25 dollars and then thats what you have left on a 300 dollars limit ad an interest rate that will scare you

Apply for a fuel card and apply for amex stay away from big banks they will shaft you without any lubricant ( can you tell I am a fan of the US banking system)... and credit unions they still want to see your credit report they will all nod nicely at you and smile but give you nothing, or if they do and its a big "IF" you will pay the one thing they know how to do is charge no idea on service.

Your wife will need a SS# you can not do anything without one really like drive a car... ask them to stamp it work not authorised
« Last edit by the mad hatter on Tue, 30 Aug 2011 04:05:37 +0000. »
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Location: KTMB
I love advice :mrgreen:

Rest assured that everything that is said over here by everybody goes into the flight plan, and will be used to maneuver around the thunderstorms and presumed CAT areas. Preparation is key for any journey!

Social security numbers aren't handed out any longer for anything else but work. Slowly the system is accepting other numbers where previously just SSN was acceptable, although sometimes you need to show a document which states that a SSN was refused and it is acceptable to use, say, the ITIN. This in particular holds for driving licenses -- SSN just for driving license is a big NO-NO these days.

H4 people aren't in the social security system, they don't get SSN, period. I presume they barely qualify as 'people' anyway.


Jeroen

PS. I got myself a European prepaid MasterCard -- no transaction fees, no hassle, just a simple key into the US card system that has a spending limit equal to what happens to be in the card account. I think it won't work for rental car deposits and such, but for 10 euros per year overall cost it should do for the simple stuff until I get some native plastic payment to work. We'll see.
« Last edit by Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers on Tue, 30 Aug 2011 09:00:14 +0000. »
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... just printed my 'emigration' boarding pass ... here we go!
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Location: EHGR

So many bureaucratic changes to do ... :-)
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Location: KTMB
Grmbl. :mrgreen:
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 958
Location: Chicago
Best of luck to you! I hope America treats you well.
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Will /Chicago /USA
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 772
Location: Sydney, Australia
Yaw'l keep in touch now!
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Moderator
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Posts: 2449
Location: KTMB
Today I got my license to kill \o/

Zero errors on the theoretical part.
Two errors on the practical: forgot to put the blinker on when parking in between four pylons on a footballfield of asphalt with no other cars, and same when doing the three-point turn in between painted lines on the footballfield of asphalt.

Major victory: passing without having paper proof with me that the car was actually registered in Florida (due to a wrong address on that paper so the office took it back and there is no replacement paper yet).

Next license should go in the vertical plane as well.


Jeroen
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 497
Congratulations. I had to go through this rigmarole as well. seems they really tested your skill level. I had to drive round the block, took all of four minutes.

Zero errors on the written too, which called for many "awesome, outstanding" calls from the various DMV employees. Just bear in mind that if you move state you have to get a new license!
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Location: KTMB
Florida, especially Miami-Dade county which is notorious for extremely bad driving, seems to be slightly more rigorous. My practical test involved about 11 minutes. Three to four on the asphalt football field near the very quiet shopping center where the drivers license center is based, and eight driving around it on residential roads.

While waiting in line for the final administratrivia, I studied the practical test score form which the examiner had marked up. There are predefined problem spots such as: "Repeatedly trying to start the engine while it is in gear" and "losing control after backing out of the parking stall." I kid you not.

I won't move state any time soon. I can't go anywhere but North, anyway :-)


Jeroen
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 944
I grew up in Atlanta, and the high-school driver's ed course I took one summer spent almost the whole time practicing parallel parking. Thus, we all became Olympic-class experts in this task. In Atlanta, this was 30 percent of the practical exam, and it was hard to pass the test without being proficient in parallel parking. To this day, I am still very skilled at this art form (grins).

I had trouble with the road sign test part of the practical driving test - the course in Atlanta included a section where 15-20 signs were simultaneously displayed and the state policemen who executed the test asked a vague question about one of the signs, but I wasn't sure which sign he was talking about. I answered a couple of questions incorrectly because of this confusion, which meant I needed 100% score on the other parts of the driving test. Thanks to my great parallel parking skills, I still passed, and thus could join my other 16-year-old friends in having a driver's license. As with most other US states, very young people can usually obtain full unlimited licenses very easily. If you study the written test material diligently you can score 100% on that test in most cases.

It's amazing how that event imprints itself on one's memory banks. I think part of this is due to the test being administered by a real state police office, which was stressful for this 16-year-old person.

My partner has an even more curious driving history. She never learned to drive a car in her teen years for various reasons, but learned to ride a motorcycle in her twenties, and obtained a motorcycle license normally. This was all she needed until her mid-30s when she needed a car license too. She was able to take advantage of a loophole in her state's laws that allowed her to skip the car driving test and add a car qualification onto the motorcycle license.

--------------

Now that you have a driver's license, you can probably get a concealed carry handgun permit in Florida. Might as well - everyone else down there has one. You don't want to be the only person accidentally attending a shopping mall shootout without a gun!

Unless they discriminate against "foreigner", you can probably easily get such a permit. Most US states are now "shall issue" states wherein unless they have a specific, major reason not to issue a permit, they are required to issue the permit. Typically, all you need is a couple of forms of ID and to fill out a fairly long but straightforward application and answer "no" to all the disqualifying questions. There is probably a $30 or so application fee, too, and processing may take a few weeks. Some states do require attending an informal handgun course, sometimes featuring a little practice shooting, too.

Even machine guns can be licensed for personal ownership, but that requires a Federal permit and some more red tape.

I gather that Europe doesn't look at handgun ownership, much less concealed carry permits, quite so liberally!
_______________
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 497
Quote
Now that you have a driver's license, you can probably get a concealed carry handgun permit in Florida. Might as well - everyone else down there has one. You don't want to be the only person accidentally attending a shopping mall shootout without a gun!


I know I can here in Missouri. But I choose not to. Even though I've been living in the USA for nearly 2.5 years I maintain my European outlook on guns.

Statistically speaking it seems you're more likely to get shot when you own a gun then when you don't.

Jeroen
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 944
I now realize that I should have made it clear that I would strongly prefer a much more European approach to firearms instead of the now radically deregulated US approach. This viewpoint was so deeply in my thoughts that I failed to notice that I hadn't mentioned this not so minor detail in my post, above.

Please excuse this gross oversight on my part!
_______________
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 497
No need to apoligize. This is one of those (many) areas where my wife and I see major differences between Europe and the US. I would not call one or the other good or bad, but I do have my own preferences. But it really comes downs to a fundamentally different outlook on society and individual freedoms.

So here's my US experience on guns: About a year ago I had my (adult) children visiting us here in Kansas City. My boys wanted to go and do some shooting, so we went to the local shooting range.

Told the guy that my sons wanted to do some shooting and could they get some instructions perhaps. Guys puts a gun and a box of amo in their hands and says: have fun boys!

So I tell him, that they've never shot a gun yet. So he looks at them and says: Boys, you be carefull and have fun! I checked with him about selling me (the foreigner) a gun. And he said, sure no problem. I just need formal US ID, and some proof that you lived here for at least three months. E.g. utility bills.

I don't have anything against guns perse. I used to hunt back in Europe. But my shot gun did not come out of its gun safe, unless I was going to actually hunt or practice. Would have been illegal in fact to have it for instance in the back of my car if I was not going to hunt or practice.

The idea of being able to carry a concealed weapon is pretty alien in most, if not all, of Europe.

And as some countries have proven, it's not necessarily the number of guns in private hands that's the problem.

Jeroen
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Location: KTMB
No way.

I'm in Miami. That's supposed to be dangerous. When everybody else starts shooting at each other in the shopping center, I simply will duck and wait.

As long as others keep shooting, nobody will notice me.


Jeroen

User posted image




I should organize a photo session with a borrowed automatic weapon and the company's Citation :mrgreen:
« Last edit by Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers on Thu, 08 Dec 2011 02:29:10 +0000. »
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 479
Location: EFTO
...in the meantime...

User posted image

Perfect fit, I'd say.

M "I am I" E.
EFTO
Moderator
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Location: KTMB
8)

Well I do have this one...

User posted image
My other car is a Kia
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 944
Ah...is that a bandolier strapped around your chest? (grins)

Perhaps you've found a way to participate in the "armed pilot" program that the US has implemented, allowing commercial airline pilots to pack heat?!?! (more grins)

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,444887,00.html
_______________
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch
Member
Registered: Jun 2011
Posts: 307
Location: TX
naaaaaaaaaaa don't to the APP it hurts really really hurts
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 944
This would sure be a test of the gun rights crowd's political power!

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/business/arguing-the-merits-of-guns-on-airplanes.html?ref=todayspaper
_______________
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2449
Location: KTMB
... the Transportation Security Administration director, John S. Pistole, said recently ...

WFT??! :D
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2449
Location: KTMB
I propose to do away with the oxygen masks in the cabin (hey, how often are they needed anyway?) and put loaded but uncocked 9mm Brownings in those lockers. When somebody starts shooting, the lockers open (either manually by flight crew action, or automatically by the decompression of the hull or by a gunshot audio detector) and 200 armed people can take care of the problem.

That will put an end to those terrorists.

Each aircraft will have 10-20 seats that do not have a gun, but keep the oxygen mask. It costs $50 to get such a seat and you need to sign a declaration that the airline is not responsible for you being shot after the guns get released.


Jeroen

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