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Travelers Checks in Toronto...

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Indianapolis
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Travelers Checks in Toronto...

I brought Canadian currency travelers checks with me from America, because of the safety involved.

I was greately dismayed to discover that MANY places in Toronto didn't know how to handle travelers checks. That was a great shock!

One place even said, "I don't think we take this kind of money." My reply, "What...you don't take Canadian CASH!"

In every case, except one, we had to wait for managers to come up and they all knew how to handle them. You would think a city that gets as many tourists as Toronto could handle travelers checks.

Someone needs to put cashiers through better training.

Other than that inconvenience, our trip in Toronto was EXCELLENT!

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1. Re: Travelers Checks in Toronto...

It's not really training that's the issue. There's no obligation for any merchant to take them. There's a concern with counterfeit travellers cheques. With the popularity of credit cards and ATMs, travellers cheques just aren't popular. I occasionally use them in USA, but only at hotels or banks.

Toronto
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for Mykonos
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2. Re: Travelers Checks in Toronto...

I stopped using travellers' cheques several years ago after restaurants and shops in several Florida cities (including Orlando, of all places, and Naples) refused to accept them during one holiday, as did retailers and restaurants in Switzerland and Italy during another vacation. Merchants simply did not want to accept the cheques even though I had plenty of photo ID, including my passport, and said they would accept only cash or credit card payments. Since then, I have seen many other travellers encounter similar problems while I have been on vacation in Europe and Central America, and most recently just two weeks ago in Greece.

I'm not surprised you encountered problems trying to use travellers' cheques here in Toronto. I have seen many American tourists try to use the cheques while shopping in the Toronto Eaton Centre, one of the city's biggest tourist attractions, and encounter problems with cashiers who didn't have a clue how to process the cheques. Managers inevitably had to be called in to help and of course the ensuing delay did nothing but frustrate not only the tourists, but everyone standing in line behind them. I would agree with you that this is one aspect of Toronto tourism that needs improvement. Glad to hear you enjoyed our city apart from that experience!

Toronto
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3. Re: Travelers Checks in Toronto...

I haven't bothered with travellers cheques in years. I found them to be an unnecessary hassle, even in Europe. It doesn't surprise me at all that Toronto merchants didn't know what to do with them. I suspect that travellers cheques will soon go the way of telegrams.

Poland
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4. Re: Travelers Checks in Toronto...

I remember that Travellers' Checks were widely used ONLY in the USA (I was surprised that I didn't need to exchange them). I mean in shops.

Though it is an exception - because this is not 'official' money.

In all other countries this is not 'popular' at all.

Normally you have to exchange them in banks (or other special offices).

The good thing about them is that they're safe, but when you have to exchange them - usually you'll pay more then exchanging one currency into another.

So don't be so surprised - NOT accepting them in shops is quite a standard outside the USA.

London, UK
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5. Re: Travelers Checks in Toronto...

Last year I bought travellers cheques in Canadian currency. www.bbcanada.com has an icon which shows which B&Bs accept them. I found that many of the B&Bs actually did not know how to handle them even when they advertised that they accepted them.

Anyway I thought it would not be a problem exchanging them in banks. How wrong was I?

In Nova Scotia I had no problems cashing them in Scotiabank. No need for ID, just signed them and received the cash value.

It was a while later, in Montreal, that I cashed the next set. I had to visit several banks because each one wanted to charge commission! Some refused to accept them since the cheques had the Visa symbol and the bank said they only took Amex cheques. So I eventually found a Scotiabank. Straightforward? No way. I wasted one hour in the bank. No one including the manager knew how to cash them. They checked their forgery list. Then their stolen list. Then they ended up phoning the UK to make sure I had not stolen them!

Then they tried charging a fee! I refused and stood my ground since I had paid the fees to buy the cheques in the first place. Eventually they agreed.

In Toronto I had to run around banks again.

Never again. Last time I use travellers cheques.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Travelers Checks in Toronto...

Can't understand why anybody needs traveller's cheques any more. Just take you ATM card and you can get however much cash you need when you need it from an ATM machine. I have never had problems getting cash from ATM machines in countries as varied as Equador, Mexico, Barbados, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Russia, Slovakia and all of Wetern Europe. The only times I've had even a temporary problem was in the USA (where some bank machines won't accept foreign cards) and in the British Virgin Islands where for some reason they don't either.

As for the "safety" factor much vaunted by traveller's cheque companies, what could could safer than having your money sitting in your bank account back home until you need it!

London, UK
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7. Re: Travelers Checks in Toronto...

It was the first time of using them.

We were on a round the world trip and whilst I always use my bank card at ATMs in Europe I was not confident carrying just one source of funds for the whole trip. Spreading the risk, if for instance the card was stolen or a small town ATM was closed or chewed up in a machine.

Poland
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8. Re: Travelers Checks in Toronto...

Exactly - the safty is the main plus od travellers checks - so why you're surprised that they want an ID or that they're checking it on lists?

As regards charging for exchange - i'm afraid it's quite common everywhere - it's quite hard to find a check/place where they're exchanging it without a fee.

Abyway - those information everyone has to check before and I'm not sure if they're reliable.

I used them many years ago in the USA - and I was prepared to pay while exchanging in a bank, though I was surprised that they're accepted in shops on a basis 1:1. That was nice but I'm afraid characteristic only for the USA...