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Cash-free in Los Santos

20th September 2019

Planning a trip to the USA? Most Kiwi’s will go through Los Angeles at some point as its airport is the best way for us to access the States. We asked Travel Money expert, Johanna, to take us along for the ride when she spent a few days stopover in LA!

This was my first time in Los Santos (sorry, Los Angeles for those non-GTA players), and I just had to get out and see at least one of the sites that I knew from the screens and compare!

I had to prioritise as I only had a short day and a half in LA on my way back to Australia. What did I want to see and where did I want to shop? 

First things first, I needed a quick and easy way to get around. LA’s public transport is pretty hopeless, so instead, I opted for rideshare app Lyft. I simply hooked up my Cash Passport Platinum as the payment option and was on my merry way. From then on I used Lyft to take me everywhere, and even experienced LA rush hour traffic (hot tip - check out the Luxe option if there’s a surcharge, you get to travel in style, AND it worked out about USD10 cheaper, even including tip!) They also have discount codes and first user discounts so be sure to keep an eye out for those. 


For my first point of call, I had to visit the famous beach and Pier. It was the perfect day for it, not too hot, but sunny with a little cloud cover (of course I still couldn’t escape putting on sunblock, there is no hiding from these pale, ginger genes!). You can hire bikes or scooters (use BIRD, an excellent app to arrange hire and use your Cash Passport to pay), or just walk along the path following the beach. As I made my way along the beach, I couldn’t help but take in the buskers, shops and souvenir markets and think how similar it was to driving through the game. There were even small planes and choppers flying over as well, so it seriously felt like GTA IRL. 


After walking (and shopping) for a bit down the boulevard, I had worked up a hard-earned thirst. In other words, it was time to have an iced coffee. Luckily the beachfront is littered with cute cafes that allowed me to swipe my Cash Passport and have an iced coffee in hand in less than a minute. I definitely had more coffees in my 1.5 days in LA then I would in a week in Australia, but this gal had to keep hydrated when seeing all of the sites. 

Food-wise, I tried as many local cuisines under $10 as I could. Thankfully I had some reliable recommendations from friends including Popeyes Louisiana chicken, Poke Republic, Panda Express and of course Starbucks (did I mention the iced coffee?). I also stumbled across an incredible gelato place called Amorino and would highly recommend indulging in one of their gelato flowers if you get a chance!


After a quick Google, I couldn’t pass up a trip to Los Angeles CatCafe - rescue and adoptable cats with a drink? Sign me up! I was able to quickly enter my Cash Passport Platinum details onto their website and book the next 90-minute session. Before I knew it, I was climbing into a Lyft on my way to an hour and a half of cat bliss. 

There were so many cute cats (and a couple of kittens!). The hour and a half went by so fast, and the cats really enjoyed the socialisation. Some of the cats who had been grumpy earlier ended up curling up and having a nap on my lap. It’s safe to say my leg went to sleep as well as I dared not move and disturb their perfect slumber. , 

Picture pawfect. 

It was almost as if I blinked, and my time in LA was over. Thankfully my Cash Passport was accepted everywhere I went and made travelling on a quick timeframe a breeze. So much so, that I didn’t have to touch cash the entire time I was in LA, instead paying and tipping for all of my purchases with the card. 

For more information, or to spend a few hours ogling at all of the cat pictures Johanna took, be sure to visit her in-store at Broadway Shopping Centre in Glebe, NSW, Australia. Alternatively, if you just need to get some USD for your own LA adventure, you can visit any of the 150+ stores across Australia and New Zealand or purchase online. 


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