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a simple(I hope) question about AmEX travellers cheques in Europe

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Jun 16th, 2007, 08:26 AM
  #1
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a simple(I hope) question about AmEX travellers cheques in Europe

IF I get my TCs fee-free, and IF I cash them at an AmEX office in Europe where there is no fee to exchange them, is THAT the best( most economical) way to take money to Europe?
I would charge most things on credit card, but I am thinking of the day to day cash requirements.
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Jun 16th, 2007, 08:32 AM
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Here we go again...you may want to read this most recent debate on that question.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35015841
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Jun 16th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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Unless your bank charges extortionate amount for using ATMs in Europe, just use your ATM card to get cash as you need it.
While Amex offices (there aren't many of them left, though there are banks and travel agents appointed to cash cheques) may not charge commission as such, the rates they give to convert your $ cheques into euro, pound, Swiss francs etc will be at least 5% worse than interbank rates, often 7-10%. Also many banks no longer cash TCs, even those that do charge a high fee and give poor rates. And their hours are limited and you wait in line (often more than one). Few merchants accept TCs, even if denominated in local currency.
TCs are really a dinosaur of travel money in Europe.
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Jun 16th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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so even if I buy the TCs, in Euros, at my bank, they would charge me a different conversion rate than if I was using my bank card at an ATM in Europe that very same day?
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Jun 16th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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No.

They may not charge a fee but they give you a terrible rate of exchange (7 to 10% higher than the interbank rate). If you use credit cards and pull cash from ATMs you will get the money at between 1 and 3% higher than the interbank rate - depending on how much your bank charges.

Trav Checks are passe - expensive, inconvenient and a waste of time.
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Jun 16th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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OK - if you buy € TCs in the states, that would be even worse than just using US$ TCs and exchanging them in Europe.

€ TC's maye be "fee free" but they get their fees somewhere - and that is w/ the really bad exchange rate you'd get.

Repeat after us "ATM card, ATM card, ATM card . . . . ."
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Jun 17th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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I hesitate to get into this discussion, because folks do seem to get so emotional about it. Like you, I use my credit card for restaurants, hotels, and gift purchases. Last summer I cashed some left-over AmEx travelers checks (free) in Swiss banks. I was never refused and never paid a fee. The exchange was what I had expected. NYT mentions "depending upon what your bank charges" with reference to ATM or credit card fees. That's a fact to be considered.

Take whatever you feel comfortable with. J.
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