AmEx Traveler's Express check card

May 5th, 2006, 06:27 AM
  #1  
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AmEx Traveler's Express check card

has anyone used the AmEX travelers check card in Europe? if so, do most ATM's have the AmEX logo and are therefore able to use it? how much were the fees? we have never used check cards but decided it was prob. the easiest way to deal with money but don't know which way to go. thanks.
P_Texas is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 06:37 AM
  #2  
 
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I would not recommend the Amex card. It is very expensive - you pay to open it, pay to add more money to it, pay to use it, and even have to pay to close it if you want to.

Plus it does not give you a very good exchange rate.

The best option is to have an ATM card linked to your checking account. An ATM (or debit card) will get you the best rates w/ the least fees.
janisj is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 08:41 AM
  #3  
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Thanks, that was the info i needed to know. someone had told my husband that they were the best way to go, so i called Amex, they did not know what i was talking about and i talked to 3 different departments. i finally found out how to get in touch with the right dept. and information was unclear about different charges. thanks again, appreciate the info.
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May 5th, 2006, 08:58 AM
  #4  
 
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P_Texas
I have had an Amex card since 1968. Obviously, I'm happy. But I don't use this card for an average card user. Here's a couple of reasons. I have rented a car from Hertz. I said I will be using the car for three weeks and they immediately blocked out the three weeks of my Visa card. I was using a debit card but there's a limit for monthly maximums for spending. In effect, the Hertz blocking shut down my credit card. This wouldn't have a problem if I had pulled out my Amex. There wouldn't block anything.

I always liked using the Amex for flight tickets. The frequent program charges at Amex but they allow a varied methods of charging.

I keep my wife to have an Amex too. I was travelling in another country and my wife had a crisis requiring to travel. She did clic-clic to the Amex charge and she can fly. She met to me in Switzerland and I gave her some money to travel. For me the card is a good assurance policy.

I never use my Amex card for ATM removals from my account. I normally use my Visa Gold.

So, get a Visa and use this for most things but get an Amex for other options.

Blackduff
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May 5th, 2006, 09:08 AM
  #5  
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Thanks Blackduff, i am pleased with theAmEX charge card, but we were interested in the check card or debit card. it's almost like traveler's check in that you already have the money invested (?-poor terminilogy, i know) but instead of carrying around a lot of paper and having to go to a bank to cash, you can just use an ATM.
P_Texas is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 09:19 AM
  #6  
 
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Won't your bank give you an ATM card? I've never heard of such a thing nowadays. I thought all banks had those. If they won't, I'd switch banks.

TCs could even be cheaper than using those Amex travelers check cards because the fees are so high. You don't have to cash TCs at a bank, either.
Christina is online now  
May 5th, 2006, 09:43 AM
  #7  
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actually, i do have an ATM card but my husband wanted to carry traveler's checks and this is just what a co-worker had recommended for him. it was just to be a compromise between his 80's traveling mentality and the 90's check card. he would prefer to just take cash, fortunately he does realize that could be disastrous.
P_Texas is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 09:51 AM
  #8  
 
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You will each have an ATM card, and at least one credit card each.

I also take about $200 US, which I can exchange (at a poor rate) in case of emergency.

That really is sufficient.

It is a good idea to call your bank and CC companies to let them know you'll be using your accounts overseas. Otherwise, you may find that the fraud department has frozen them for "unusual activity."
Lesli is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 10:00 AM
  #9  
 
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Actually I don't think cash is a "disastrous" idea.

I suggest:
1) ATM debit card to use at machines and withdraw local currency direct
2) Visa/MC charge card for purchases
3) US cash to exchange for emergencies
4) Travelers check if you feel the need for an additional method (but plan to go to a bank, not spend them directly)

Any pre-loaded type "travel cards" hit you with fees coming and going, seems to be the consensus on this forum.
suze is online now  
May 5th, 2006, 12:07 PM
  #10  
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thanks again for the advice. the AMEX website had a rate of $1.30/1Euro when currency converter shows 1.27something, so we will prob. just use the ATM we have.
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May 5th, 2006, 12:14 PM
  #11  
ira
 
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Hi PT,

> ... my husband wanted to carry traveler's checks.

That's OK, as long as it's only in $ and for emergency use.

If you use your charge cards wherever possible, and use your ATM card for cash as needed, he will be able to deposit the TC's when you get home.

ira is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 12:15 PM
  #12  
 
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This thread has been really helpful. I was wondering about the best way to go for our trip to Europe this summer as well - first trip, can't wait.

The ATM card for cash withdrawls and the credit card for charges sounds perfect. Basically what we do at home.
J_Correa is offline  
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