AAA Euro Travellers Checks

Mar 4th, 2005, 08:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 55
AAA Euro Travellers Checks

We leave next month for Paris. I was planning to get these travellers checks and thought since they are already euros, that I will get that many euros there-no exchange fee. Am I incorrect?
KarenAG is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,587
No you are not correct. You will have a very hard time finding anyone who will cash traveler's checks, even if they are in euros. You will probably end up cashing them at a bank in Paris and paying fees for that. Use your ATM card!! Traveler's checks are a thing of the past, and by no means the best way to exchange money.
P_M is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 09:05 AM
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Posts: 33,427
You pay a fee because they are a check, not cash. Some plces may take them, but it depends why you want them? For major payments like a hotel or apartment, that might be okay. There is no point to having them for any other reason, you will have to convert them to local currency and you will pay to do that. I imagine the big dept. stores probably will take them, but may charge a fee, I don't know.

Lots of places will take them for exchange though -- not just banks. I mean professional bureaux de change, not stores, and they are all over. There is no point to taking them in euro if you want them for spending money. If you take them and plan to use them for expenses or even for emergencies, take them in your native currency such as USD. YOu will probably save money even if you use them taking them in USD, as whoever you are buying them from at home will charge you more to make them in euro than they do in Paris to exchange them from USD (plus you'll still pay a fee to cash them).

Christina is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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Amen to everything P_M said. Travelers Cheques are a terribly uneconomic way of getting foreign currency.

Use your ATM card for cash. If you like to use your credit card for large purchases, do so (never use your credit card to get cash from an ATM though - the interest rates on a cash advance are horrible and begin the minute you pull the cash out!). Some credit cards have lower fees for foreign transactions than others. Off the top of my head, I know MBNA, Capital One, and US Air have among the lowest transaction charges.
TexasAggie is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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Not only will you lose money on the transaction, you have no idea how much time out of your vacation you will lost either standing in lines at banks or trying to fob them off on unwilling merchants.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 09:48 AM
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Well, if you're set on using Travelers Checks there's no reason to get them in Euro because you will most likely need to cash them somewhere (bank, exchange bureau, etc.) and they will convert to euro at that time.

Also when you bring back US-TC's home unused you can simply deposit them or keep them for future trips anywhere.
suze is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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ditto to everything above. Plus you pay a pretty nasty exchange rate to buy those € TCs from AAA.

So not only do you have to pay to convert them, you lose money just buying them in the first place.
janis is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 04:20 PM
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Here's your other thread. The answers are hopefully helpful; it's pretty much unanimous!
suze is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 400
My bank here in Canada charges $5 FOR EACH overseas transaction at an ATM. How much would you take out at a time?

I don't want to carry an exagerated amount but $5 a day each day for 21 days could be quite a bit.

What amount are you comfortable having on you in your money-belt at one time?
Photobear is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000

Corrections by someone who has purchased and redeemed AAA Traveler's Checks to the misinformation above:

1. AAA TCs can be redeemed without charge at any Travelex outlet in the world.

2. For a $5 fee, Travelex sells a service called "Buy Back Plus" which offers to buy back leftover currency at the rate you bought it for. AAA waives the $5 fee.

The rest of the information in the posts above (e.g. Travelex/AAAs rates are a rip-off) is substantially correct.

I carry TXs for a few hundred dollars as "mad money" in case the ATM network takes the week off.
Robespierre is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,150
Hi photo,

My bank charge 75 cts American for each transaction.

I suggest you shop around and then tell your bank that you are considering switching if they won't give you a better rate on the transaction fee.

ira is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
I may be the lone dissenter of one idea.

I firmly agree to forget the TCs all together. Don't do them. Hard to cash, cost too much and all the other excuses.

BUT. . .if you mind IS MADE UP and you are definitely going to take TC's, then I say DO get them in Euro. You are right that when you do cash them in Europe you will get the face value for them. Trying to cash US dollar checks in Europe means you are at the total mercy of whatever the bank or business wants to give you for them. Of course, when you purchase the TCs in the STates in Euro, there will be some loss -- but AAA for example will give you a good (not great) rate. It is far better to have the option of what rate you are willing to accept when buying them, that it is to have to accept however many euros somebody is willing to give you for a US dollar check when they know they've "got you over a barrel", especially since we all know they don't even want to cash them.

The idea that the TCs may be used for emergencies is true, but the big problem is that emergencies rarely happen during banking hours, so you may need to cash them elsewhere. Yes, I agree they will be hard to cash, but at least you are more likely to get a store or your hotel or even a restaurant to accept a 50 euro TC at 50 Euro value, than they will be to take a US dollar check. If you manage to talk those same businesses into accepting a 50 US dollar check, god only knows how much they will give you for it.

And if you DO take them, there's no problem about bringing them home. You can put all you have left on your final hotel bill for full face value. Very few hotels will refuse taking TC's in euro. (Although they will be less agreeable about just cashing them for you).
Patrick is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
AAA fees net out to about 9%. You may apply your own choice of adjectives.
Robespierre is offline  

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