AAA Euro Travellers Checks

Mar 4th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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AAA Euro Travellers Checks

I didn't see this as a topic before so I'm retyping it. We're planning to get AAA euro travellers checks. Will we be billed an exchange fee for using these or cashing them in? I thought we'd just get get the face value.
KarenAG is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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just click on your name and the other thread will come up...there are several replies
socialworker is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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ask AAA if there is a place/ a bank chain where there is NO transaction fee for processing the check. they certainly should know from experience .

being in euros.. i would hope there is none but i cannot verify for you .
lincasanova is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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A rip off.
mikemo is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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There will be no exchange fees in Europe since your checks are in euro denominations just like there is no exchange fee in the USA for dollar denominated checks. You will pay an exchange fee if you cash your unused checks in the USA when you get back. You will however find very few places willing to take travelers checks and those who do almost always charge a sizeable service fee. Why would you want to use travelers checks anyway when the whole planet uses atm machines and gets the lowest exchange rates available and there is no service fee charged by the European bank. You will probably have a small insignificant fee charged by your own bank for using an atm not belonging to them. I use Bank One and they charge $1.50 per atm transaction regardless of amount. For my normal withdrawal of 300 euros per transaction I can live with that. Travelers checks really are obsolete.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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That's not necessarily true, Larry. My bank in France charges a 10€ fee to cash traveler's checks (in euros) if you are not an account holder at the bank, and I've encountered that same practice at other banks (though admittedly it's been a dog's age since I carried TC).
StCirq is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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St. Cirq is correct. I was told by a couple I met that they were charged fees to cash their euro TC's at a bank. They had brought the euro TC's thinking they can be readily cashed at stores, and learned the hard way that these TC's are a waste.

KarenAG, I answered this question on the same post you made earlier. Please click your name to find it.
P_M is online now  
Mar 4th, 2005, 03:50 PM
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Like I said before...

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 online now  
Mar 4th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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Not only is it likely you'll pay a fee or commission when you cash a Euro TC, but the exchange rate that AAA uses to calculate the value of the TCs in USD$$ is not equitable. There is a profit involved. I've already looked into this. For example, I just called AAA and their exchange rate to buy Euro TCs today is 1.4028. According to today's exchange rate is 1.324. That's almost $.08 per dollar less that goes into your pocket, or about 5.75% per Euro more that you'll be paying out.

Instead of buying TCs, deposit the money in your checking account and use your debit card for ATM withdrawls from cash machines owned by banks that have reciprocity with your bank. This way you won't be charged any transaction fees for cash withdrawls, and a minimum fee for purchases using your debit card instead of a credit card. I have a Bank of America Visa debit card and this is what I will be doing in May when I go to Greece. You can ask your bank which ATM partners they have in whatever countries you plan to visit, then go online and find the locations of the ATM machines at those destinations.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Mar 4th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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I have never done this but it makes sense to me, that a bank would charge you a fee because you are not a customer of that bank (having nothing to do with what currency the TC's are in).
suze is online now  
Mar 4th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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To ST.Cirq

Please read my post again. I said there is no exchange fee (as in currency exchange) for cashing tc's in Europe if they are euro denominated but you most likely will pay a service fee (as in rip off) to get anyone to cash it. It's a mystery to me why anyone would use tc's today.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 03:59 AM
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If a merchant or hotel accepts them, there will likely be no fee. If you try to cash them at at bank or cambio you will pay a hefty premium. The worst rip off I ever encountered was when I tried to cash American Express checks at an American Express office!

The best bet: find out which hotels you are staying at will accept them. Take enough to cover the hotels. Don't use traveller's checks for anything else.
metellus is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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Thank you all for your input. I think I'll use the ATM and credit cards.
KarenAG is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Sorry, Larry: I misinterpreted your use of the phrase "exchange fee." You're right. Anyway, moot point since Karen seems to have been persuaded against using TCs.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 09:26 AM
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St. Cirq

No problem and looks like we have another convert to smart travel economics.

I always enjoy your accurate and informative posts. I acknowledge you as the premier expert on France.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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I have never had a problem cashing Amex TCs in one of their offices and there was no service fee. I have cashed TCs in banks with no service fee, but have also seen a $10 fee! Like everyone else has said, ATM is the best way these days
bigtyke is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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AAA Travelers checks, at least those purchased in the USA, can be cashed for the face value ONLY at Travelex sights. However, there are plenty of these and they have long hours during which they are open. There is near the Place St. Michel, I think.
portia43 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 02:15 PM
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You will pay 4% for the acquistion of the AAA euro checks. The difference between what you pay for the checks and the wholesale bank rate of exchange is about 5%. You will pay 1% for using your ATM card.

I rarely pay a fee for using the ATM. My BOA ATM card allows me two free off net withdrawals per month, and if I use a correspondent bank in Europe it is considered an on-net transactions.

Deutsche Bank and Barclays are considered to be affiliates, hence the transaction is on net. I checked my statements from last year and none of the transactions at Barclays drew a charge, even though I had several of them and prior transactions in Switzerland.

I know, you will be told there is no fee for the checks. But check the exchange rate. Look up the bank wholesale rate before you buy and compare it with what you are offered.

I was in a situation laat year where I had to send money to Canada to secure a reservation at a place that did NOT accept credit cards. I weighted postal money orders, a cashier's check, buying Canadian currency, and buying Canadian dollar traveler's checks. I finally decided that for the amount I wanted to send the easiest and most agreeable alternative was to send traveler's checks. The cost me 5% over the bank wholesale rate of exchange.

I will say once again: If you don't know the bank wholesale rate of exchange you have no idea whether or not you are being charged a big fee or a little one.
It might not be labelled a fee, but if it is embedded in the rate of exchange, it is still money out of your pocket.

Do I carry traveler's checks? Yes.
Do I use them, heck no. I have them just in case all %#@@# breaks out.
On 9/12, the day after, I was happy to have a few in my pocket. Who knew what would happen next? I didn't. Did you?
bob_brown is offline  
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