Shopping With USD Cards


Jamaicans have been shopping online for some time now and this has given birth to various shipping companies. These companies will give you a US address that you can ship your items to once purchased. Some companies may even allow you to use their card (at a higher rate) to buy your things online. This information applies specifically to Jamaicans but may also be used for other countries.


Visa Debit cards are becoming the norm with various banks and this means everyone can shop online. That’s good, but the bad is the exchange rate. Unless you have a USD account your price for USD$1 may range from JMD$127-JMD$135. I kid you not. The exchange rate is set by the vendor – not the bank and their daily exchange rate – and you will then also have to pay the bank a conversion fee. This makes no sense if you use your card locally as you’ll have to pay the conversion fee for local purchases, and some banks don’t allow you to have an additional card.


Use a second bank with a USD account and card strictly for online purchases. This allows you to buy USD at a lower rate from the bank and do your purchases in USD. But – there’s another problem. If you only use your card then that’s great! But sometimes vendors or services (like Amazon and PayPal) may detect that your account / card is located in another country and attempt to help you by offering to convert the USD to your home currency. This brings us to:


First you need to get to the checkout section of your purchase. For this we will be using eBay and PayPal since Amazon is somewhat more straightforward. For Amazon just tell it to bill you in USD and not in JMD.

So – for eBay/PayPal you first need to get to the point where you’re going to checkout.

Checkout 01You’ll get your total in USD and then the highlighted section will show you your total according to their conversion rate in your local currency. You don’t want this. You want it in USD to avoid additional fees of converting to JMD. So. There’s a small X in the right corner of the highlighted area. Click it or click on the little balloon icon in the bottom left of the highlighted area to show the next section.

Checkout 02This will now show you the conversion rate and there will be a small down arrow that you need to click.

Checkout 03Once you click that small arrow you’ll see an option that says “USE CREDIT CARD EXCHANGE RATE” – click on that.

Checkout 04Once done you will notice that the total is displayed in USD only and there is no JMD (local currency) listed anymore. This will allow the transaction to take place in USD which will not incur any additional fees for conversion.

If you don’t do this process you’ll end up paying more as the currency will be converted from USD to JMD then back to USD and you’ll be billed for each conversion plus have to pay at a higher rate when going back to USD.

Hopefully this will help when making your purchase online.

Android OS “Marshmallow” (6.0–6.0.1) Storage

There’s been so many different Android OSes that it’s easy to get cavities once you sink your teeth into them. They’re all candy-type names. Kit-Kat and Lollipop are probably the most popular ones these days, but Marshmallow is getting more popular.

The reason I’m posting this is due to the lack of information I found online – yeah that’s possible – about the storage options. When you first setup Marshmallow you get prompted about how you should setup your storage card if one is present. The options include PORTABLE and INTERNAL. This was confusing until I found some more information through some deeper searching. Sections in RED were added by me to the original information. Source link below table.

Portable Card Internal Storage
Select this mode if you frequently swap your SD card between devices, use your SD card for media storage only. Select this mode if you want to completely extend your device storage with the card, and need the card to store large applications, games, and their data.
You have a Class 2, 4, or 6 card. You have a high-speed card (UHS-1) [Class 10 or higher]
If you frequently swap cards, use SD card to transfer content between devices and do not download many large app, we recommend configuring your card as “portable”. If you want to store large games on the card, if your device storage is always filling up, and you plan to always keep this card in the device, we recommend keeping your card as internal.
Only pictures and media can be stored on the card.Downloaded applications, their data, is always internal. they can not be moved to the card.The card is readable by other devices. (another phone, Mac, PC, digital camera)

Content on the card is not encrypted by default.

The card will NOT be reformatted when Portable storage is selected.

The SD card can become your device primary storageDownloaded applications, their data and media can be moved to the cardThe card is not readable by other devices. (another phone, Mac, PC, digital camera)

The card is always encrypted, and can not be decrypted on any other device. [This can be bad if the phone crashes]

The card will be formatted when Portable storage is selected.



The main thing there is the third set. If your SD card stays in your phone all the time – like with most of the recent phones – then it’s probably for you. If you don’t remove the card from the phone and always access it using a USB cable then setting it up as INTERNAL is best.


Once you setup the card as INTERNAL any and all information that was on it will be lost. If you have anything on it that you don’t want to lose create a backup first. Copy it to your PC/laptop and then setup the card. Once done you may copy the information back using the cable.

As stated above – if the phone crashes and you lose access to the card then all data is lost.

If you use CWM or TWRP and copy things to your SD card before flashing then you can’t do that if you setup the card as INTERNAL. This is because the SD card will only be decrypted by the OS and not by the recovery.

Overall this is good for privacy but bad if something goes wrong with the device. Use with caution and do backups.