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Traveler's checks?

chicago, il
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48 posts
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Traveler's checks?

Hello!

I am going to HK next week from the US. Do you think I will get a better exchange rate using cash or travelers checks or an atm card? Also, are there banks notable for their good or poor exchange rates?

Much thanks!

Kansas City...
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1 post
36 reviews
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1. Re: Traveler's checks?

The hotel we're staying at said their exchange rate for travelers checks is about $1US to $7.3HK. They said the banks offer better rates on exchanging travelers checks. I used my credit card and the exchange rate is the going rate with a 1% fee. Some cards charge more.

Tin
Hong Kong
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6,584 posts
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2. Re: Traveler's checks?

Travellers' cheques in Hong Kong are not so common as in other parts of the world. HSBC is charging 0.375% commission (with a minimum charge of HK$60 if you have an account with them, otherwise minimum charge at HK$120). If you bought the travellers' cheque from HSBC, they won't charge you when you cash it. For instance, if you're cashing US$1000, you pay HK$120 fee, the effective charging rate will be 1.5%.

ATM should be a better choice if you're taking out a small amount of money.

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
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24,425 posts
30 reviews
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3. Re: Traveler's checks?

As a universal, general rule, atm havs better rate than traveller checks, which is better than cash.

Reason: it is most expensive for the bank to ship cash, followed by traveller checks, followed by "electronics data transfer" for ATM.

Having said that, there is a fee from your bank for ATM use. Fortunately there is no local access fee for foreign card holders, yet.

American Express checks can be cashed free and with excellent rate at the AMEX office (but there is only 1 in Central that does that, I think... I only cash personal checks there at equally good rate as a card member)

Banks with Chinese-sounding names tend to have better rates, according to my observation :) But they do charge an annoying fee for non-account-holders.

United Kingdom
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247 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Traveler's checks?

We had excellent rate with Amex in Central District and it was a Saturday (if I remember right they were opened half day). Very pleasantly surprised as we had used them for a few yrs now and were considering dropping them (because we had found them to be expensive) but in the last couple of yrs they seemed competitive, even in the UK and France we found. We were comparing cash rates as published in the papers. No commission for Amex T/C regardless of whether you are an Amex card holder.

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4,194 posts
177 reviews
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5. Re: Traveler's checks?

Pucca - depends on where you are and your itinerary for the day, making a special trip to Central District solely for the purpose of exchanging money does not make a lot of sense.

LAX
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150 posts
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6. Re: Traveler's checks?

Pucca, do you bank with Bank of America by any chance? They have several locations in HK and if you present your ATM card there, they will exchange $ with zero commission.