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SeaWorld San Diego begins cashless operations | What you need to know

SeaWorld San Diego switched to cashless operations, meaning you have to swipe or tap your credit card, debit card, or smart device everywhere you typically use cash.

SAN DIEGO — SeaWorld San Diego has switched to cashless operations, meaning you have to swipe or tap your credit card, debit card, or smart device with Apple Pay or Google Pay everywhere you typically use cash.

SeaWorld San Diego visitors said it makes things more convenient. 

"I think it's good! We hardly carry cash anymore. It works for us. Yeah, we love it. We love everything that’s not paper," said San Diego parents visiting SeaWorld San Diego, Dan, and Kristin Bruno.

If visitors come to SeaWorld San Diego without cash, SeaWorld installed new machines that allow you to convert cash to a prepaid card. All you have to do is put cash in the machine and get a Visa prepaid debit card that you can use outside the amusement park.

"I guess it’s a good thing. I know some people don’t use cards whatsoever. I do like that there's an alternative and answer to the solution," said SeaWorld San Diego visitor Christie Urreloa.

University of San Diego’s economics professor, Alan Gin, says more and more businesses are going cashless.

"This is the trend of the future. More people will have different options besides credit cards, like Apple Pay, which will replace cash. The pros are that businesses can reduce some of their expenses, and they don’t have to deal with all this cash and hire companies to haul it away or train workers in handling cash; you also have a less likely situation for theft. Those are the pros as far as the business side is concerned," said Gin.

However, he says there is a downside to not using cash.

"Let me point out one concern. The worry is that you may lose track of your spending if you don’t physically use cash. It's so easy not to realize how much you are spending, and you get into financial problems as a result," said Gin.

CBS 8's Ariana Cohen researched a few answers to frequently asked questions about SeaWorld’s new Cash to Card kiosk system.

How much cash can you load onto a Visa prepaid debit card at a Cash-to-Card kiosk?

Answer: You may load up to 500 dollars at a time. There is no minimum amount required.

How can you check the balance of the Visa prepaid debit card?

Answer: You can check the balance at any Cash to Card kiosk at SeaWorld or go visit this website. 

What if you still have funds left on the card when you leave the park?

Answer: Your Visa prepaid debit card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. If you use the card regularly, you will not incur any fees, but keep in mind after 92 consecutive days with no transactions; you will be charged $3.95 per month as long as there is still a balance on the card. SeaWorld staff tell CBS 8 that the debit card cannot be canceled, much like a gift card.

For more answers to frequently asked questions about SeaWorld San Diego's new cashless system, click here. 

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