Travelers Checks or Cash?

Jun 18th, 2007, 11:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 17
Travelers Checks or Cash?

I am going to Jamaica in July for the first time. I was wondering if I need to get Travelers Checks or if it is ok to use cash.
kamikaze2910 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,832
They will always take cash. Some places don't even want Travelers Checks or can't break them if they are in a larger amount.
Knowing is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 44
Bringing cash to Jamaica will always bring different opinions. Here's mine, I've been travelling to Jamaica every year for the past 5 years.
1) I never bring Travellers Checks, most restaruants do not want them, if you cash them in at your hotel, you usually get a terrible exchange rate. Only other option is cashing them in at the Scotia Bank in the center of town.
2) I have Bank of America, which does not charge any fees for using Scotia Bank ATM, and you get the daily exchange rate from the ATM Machine.
3) I like to bring a couple hundred dollars in $5 and $1 bills, you will find them very useful for tipping, taxis, and small items along the way. It is hard to get smaller bills in Jamaican Dollars, so I find the small US bills useful.
4) Every few days I'll hit up the Scotia Bank ATM for Jamaican Dollars to use for restaurants, bars, etc.
5) Finally, anytime a resaurant takes credit cards I use it. You will always get the daily exchange rate when using your card.
rastavibes is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,038
Agree with the above. With the proliferation of ATMs there is no real advantage to using travelers checks. Most everyone in the tourist areas will take US dollars and most will give local currency in change.
One not count on using your Discover Card in Jamaica. Won't work.
SamH is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 44
I was assuming you were going to Negril! If not I do not know where the ATM's and banks are but I think the same thoughts apply. Only count on using Matercard or Visa, I have used Amex at a couple, more established, restaurants, but many do not accept it.
rastavibes is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,268
We always bring travelers cehcks as we get them free from AAA and there is nothing like knowing they'll be replaced in 24 hours if lost - not even an ATM or credit card can do that.

We don't usually spend them, more often we use a cambio to change them into JA$ as needed. Cambios are located all over, in supermarkets, drug stores, standalone in tourist areas. Of course banks change TCs also.

We do also bring ATM card and credit card for those situations but the majority of the vacation money is in TCs changed to JA cash as needed.
liza is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 10:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 17
Thanks for the advice. I am going to Whitehouse so I'm not sure how many ATM's will be around there since I have heard it is a less touristy area.
kamikaze2910 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,268
If you are going to SWH you probably won't need too much cash (or TCs), as you can pay for anything not included at the resort with a credit card.

So maybe just cash will work for you.

Not sure on the ATM situation right in Whitehouse (it's a pretty small town), but htere are definitely ATMs in Savannah la Mar and Black River, one or the other is likely to be on your way to anywhere you go on a day trip.
liza is offline  

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