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travellers checks

uk
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travellers checks

Can you use travellers checks as cash in shops and restaurants as ive heard some places arent taking them anymore.thanks

San Jose, California
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1. Re: travellers checks

They are virtually obsolete, some places may take them, many do not. Best to use your ATM, bank card (Brits call it something else?) and get cash at the cash machines.

Isle of Skye, NW...
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2. Re: travellers checks

Travellers cheques are sooo 90's LoL!

I would recommend getting a Nationwide Flexaccount. Nationwide do not charge for foreign cash withdrawals (most banks charge us 2.75% or minimum of £5 every time you use your card to take cash out).

Also, a Post Office Credit card does not charge for foreign use. Have a look at the travel section of www.moneysavingexpert.com for more foreign cash saving.

Belfast, United...
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3. Re: travellers checks

Most shops and restaurants prefer not to take travellers cheques now. The post office and Thompsons travel have started to do 'travellers cheque cards.' You just load the card with your spending money before you go and use it as a bank/debit card while you are on holiday. I think they're great and have never had a problem with using them!:-)

Down Under
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for San Francisco
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4. Re: travellers checks

I must be living in a parallel universe or something.

Just spent 3 weeks in the US using travellers cheques in shops and restaurants everywhere and had no trouble cashing at any time.

I know there is a better option in the UK with some cards but I still object to paying a transaction fee and conversion fee each time I use a card.

West Hollywood...
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for Los Angeles
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5. Re: travellers checks

Travelers checks look like they have "no fees" but in reality it is not free to use them because:

1. There may be a fee to buy them.

2. Even if there isn't such a fee, the exchange rate offered to buy them is, often, not the best. (Even if it's a tiny bit worse than the "best rate", that amounts to a "fee" of sorts).

3. When you buy the travelers checks, you have to hand over some of your money which could otherwise be gaining interest in your account. Often, when one returns home, it could be several days or weeks until the travelers checks are cashed (again, with a less-than-"best" exchange rate) and you continue to lose interest on that money until you do cash them and re-deposit the funds into your account -- something that the travelers check company is "banking on".

4. Lastly, since you spend $1000s of dollars traveling, it seems silly to quibble over $2 or $3 as an ATM fee when you consider the convenience of being able to "produce cash" whenever you need it and in the amount you need. Some ATMs don't even charge a fee -- oh, and the exchange rate through the ATM system is virtually always better than what you get with Travelers checks.

5. You'll only use the money you need so you won't lose interest on your money.

6. And, of course, there are places that won't accept them -- especially if they are in large denominations.

Kapiti Coast
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6. Re: travellers checks

However that said there is also advantages to Travellers Cheques. We have purchased ours here in New Zealand in USD. We have been able to do this while the exchange rate is in our favour, and even with the bank charges we still make on what we would have got if we left the money in the bank.

Not only that for us to use an ATM it costs us $8 each time, so that soon mounts up if you dont want to be carrying a lot of cash at any one time. The beauty of travellers cheques is that they are of no value to anyone if stolen, cash on the other hand is.

If you get them in USD you should have no trouble cashing them at your hotel, a bank, ours are American Express so can also be cashed at any American Express office, and I have previously used them in most large stores. You will just want your passport for ID. Often the biggest issue is when they are in a foreign currency.

It would be great if you could load a debit or credit card up with the foreign currency of the place you are travelling to. Therefore allowing you to take advantage of the favourable exchange rate, unfortunately we dont have that choice here in NZ.

Enjoy your holiday.

Danville, California
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7. Re: travellers checks

90s? No, travelers cheques are really so '50s.

Now we have a global ATM system so there is no need to choose between TCs and cash. We also have credit cards which are even better as you earn miles or rebates, and pay little or no transaction fee.

I never use TCs in the UK, only my citibank and bank of america ATM cards. So why should you use them here? If you have an account at barclays you can use your ATM card without any service charges at bank of america atms which are everywhere in SF.

now to answer your question - yes i think most places would take them but you never know. why take the chance when other options are so much better?

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8. Re: travellers checks

Abbey have also recently launched a credit card called Abbey Zero which doesn't charge a fee on foreign transactions.

I've always used a credit card in the US and paid the balance off when I get home - I just feel more comfortable than carrying lots of cash around.

I took travellers cheques with me on my first trip to the US and in most cases the person serving me had never seen them before and had to ask management if they accepted them!

Edinburgh, United...
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9. Re: travellers checks

For any-one from the UK, i have found a company that does mastercard travel cards. www.fairfx.com

You get get them loaded with dollars and their exchange rate is good. The cards are free if you put on £500 the first time otherwise they cost £9.95. They can be used the same as a debit card or at an ATM. The ATM charge is just $2 per transaction.

--
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10. Re: travellers checks

kezza-heggi writes>>....You get get them loaded with dollars and their exchange rate is good.....<<

As sort of a follower of US consumer currency exchange games, I'm curious to what kind of exchange rate they're offering and you consider good.

For US bank-issued credit cards, the credit networks (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, etc.) levy a 1% conversion fee for foreign currency transactions. Even though the issuing bank doesn't have to do any additional work (the network takes care of it) several years ago the banks identified this as another source of profit, and started tacking on an additional 1.5-3% surcharge above the network fee. There's a few issuers that still don't do this but they're getting fewer and further between.

The latest ugly develop is banks tacking on currency exchange fees for cash withdrawals using an ATM or debit card. Citibank as an example started charging 2% in February, even when the withdrawal is being made from another Citibank holding or subsidiary outside of the country the account is held in.