Travelers Checks in Hong Kong

Old Apr 14th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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Travelers Checks in Hong Kong

I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on using travelers check in Hong Kong. Good or bad idea?
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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If there a particular reason you want to use traveler's checks there? I haven't used traverlers checks for over a decade. I find them more hassle than they are worth. I use an ATM card (one that doesn't charge a foreign exchange fee) and always take a few $100 bills to exchange if I'm not near an ATM.
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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About three years ago, I was able to cash a traveler check at our Hong Kong hotel. Of course, I did not get a very good exchange rate. I think I changed $20USD, so I would have enough to get some food. Then I found an ATM machine and got Hong Kong dollars.
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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They still actually sell Travelers' Cheques? With the ubiquity of ATMs, I'd have thought that TCs had gonje the way of the typewriter.
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 01:54 PM
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We use traveler's checks all the time...we don't like to carry cash in huge amounts, and our ATM cards have various problems for overseas use...one cannot be used outside of the Japanese banking system. The other has a ¥300 fee per overseas transaction plus a rather unfavorable exchange rate, not to mention rather weak security measures and lack of protection against fraud.

We've found that traveler's checks are the most inexpensive and convenient way to carry our money out of Japan, and have yet to have any trouble exchanging them, whether they are in yen or US dollars.

Never exchange any money in a hotel...cash or TCs. Hotels offer a horrible exchange rate. Take the 5 minutes and go to a bank...there are banks all over the place in Hong Kong and each one we used had a good exchange rate and cashed our checks very quickly as well. We found in Thailand that TCs got a better rate than cash!
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 07:21 PM
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Using TC is basically the same as using US paper money. You should get the same exchange rate and no fees. Just a little safer.

But the question is why are you not using a ATM instead?
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 07:24 PM
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I believe that many banks charge a fee for using other bank's machines, and many banks also charge for currency conversion. If your bank's terms are favorable, then the ATM is no problem...but more and more I'm hearing about hidden fees, unfavorable exchange rates and fees for currency conversion. At least with TCs these things are all avoided.
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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The exchange rate at an ATM will still be better than using cash/TC, even after you add all the fees and % charges.
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 07:42 PM
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That is most certainly not the case with our ATM cards issued by the Japanese post office.
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Every bank's cards seem to have different charges, With my ATM card, we do better at ATMs than with travelers checks.
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Old Apr 14th, 2007, 11:56 PM
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Actually we noticed that both ATM with the right ATM card which right now is the HSBC card and TC's are a good idea as TC'S do get a better rate in China and Japan than cash does and is safer to boot(although safety is not that much of a problem in Asia as it is in say Europe of course until you get mugged).

So in short it is actually a better deal to carry TC's than cash as you can get a little better rate of return in China and Japan and if you do get ripped off or the like you can get your money back by claiming.

Of course this is true only if you can get them with no fee through AAA and such. If you have to pay for them then the only advantage would be the safety factor as the fee would negate the small advantage cashing them instead of cash.

But the most convenient and less hassle way of getting cash is via an ATM preferably with the HSBC card which is taken at more ATM's in Asia (even in Japan with very few exceptions).

Check out all of the jet ramp ways at NRT and PEK and HKG airports....they all are sponsored by HSBC.

HSBC is a huge bank in Asia (HSBC stands for Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corp) and getting more market share as they just made a deal with the Chinese govt to be one of the only banks besides the Bank of China to be able to control and to administer to the Yuan.

A lot of the HK money has HSBC on it so it is absolutely no problem anywhere in China.

Aloha!

The only place that would not take our HSBC ATM card in Asia was at a MUGF Bank on the Ginza in Tokyo which only took Japanese cards,period but Japan is like that in so many ways yet. They are slow to change.

KimJ, you should really look into HSBC account when traveling abroad outside of Japan you may be pleasantly surprised and get a large interest rate to boot.

Aloha!
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