Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Anyone use the American Express Travel Card?

Notices

Anyone use the American Express Travel Card?

Old Jul 28th, 2004, 02:29 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 965
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anyone use the American Express Travel Card?

I have seen this advertised. It sounds like you put money into an account and you can spend it with the credit card. I guess the idea is that you aren't using your debit card and paying the fees with it yet you aren't being charged interest like a credit card. Do you use debit/ATM cards when you visit Western Europe and how much currency do you carry around? I would like the safety of a card when I visit Europe but I don't know if stores and restaurants take American Express, Visa , etc.
ilovetulips is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2004, 02:36 PM
  #2  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,414
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I assume you mean the AMEX Travel Funds card. Do a search here and you'll find a number of threads on it. Basically, they charge a high fee (for the card and for each transaction). The only reason to use it would be to give it to a minor who doesn't have ATM/CC yet and there is a limit the minor can use.

Here are just 2 threads I pasted:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34493413
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34508917
yk is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2004, 04:53 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,843
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is this the same card that is being dubbed as a replacement for paper Travelers Cheques?
ninasdream is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2004, 05:02 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We just used the travel funds card, one account for my wife and me, and one for each of my teenage daughters, when we traveled to London and Paris. We got them in American dollars so we would have no trouble converting any leftovers back home. Actually, we thought they were great. We didn't lose them, so I didn't test that part of the system, but it was easy to get cash w/d from almost any ATM, we could call at any time or get our balance remaining from the ATM, and when we used it like a credit card, there was no problem. The fees were not stiff, in my opinion. If you only get out a few bucks (or euros or pounds) at a time, then the percentage of the fee would be high. But we never went to get anything less than 100 pounds or 200 euros. That generally lasted for a couple of days of cash expenditures, and using it like a credit card took care of virtually everything else. THe only time we could not use it was for a taxi from the airport in Paris, but the driver did take MC or Visa. And with the kids, it really made a difference in our feeling secure that they would not lose their travel money! I highly recommend them. They last for 5 years, can be reloaded at any time, and there's no maintanance fee until the 5 year wait is up.
smiroglotta is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2004, 05:07 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's $14.95 to purchase it and it can be reloaded for 3 years..there is a reloading fee each time..I think it's another $14.95. Each transaction will incur a fee of $2.50. And there is a $400.00/day limit on withdrawals at ATMs, but you can still use it for credit purchases.

I do like that it isn't tied to a personal checking account. I just don't understand their loss or stolen policy. It says your money will be replaced in 24 hours OR a replacement card will be sent to your original purchashing address. That would not do you much good if you are in Europe. I'd like to know how they replace the funds in 24 hours.

jody is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2004, 05:10 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was just reading their FAQs and it said 3 years not 5. After that time they send you a new card and transfer any money left on theold one to the new card.

Do you remember what the reloading fee was?
jody is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2004, 05:21 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just checked and he reload fee is $5,00. They still do not answer the question..when it is usd as a credit card for purchases, do you have to use a PIN..nor do they answer how funds are replaced if lost. Anyone know?
jody is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2004, 05:59 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 865
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How could this card possibly be of any advantage or necessity? One could simply open a checking account at a bank that has no fee for foreign withdrawals (they're still out there), deposit some cash in it and use the ATM card in Europe. I repeat, there would be NO FEE.
OR, why not just use your existing ATM or debit card with your account balance the same as you would have it with the "Travel Card"?
AMEX needs you more than you need AMEX.
platzman is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2004, 08:31 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I may just open a 2nd checking account for travel only as my bank charges no fee. But $2.50 is hardly a HUGE sum to pay per debit transaction . And it would be nice to have a 2nd emergency card in case a card is lost or rejected or if I need more cash on a particular day than my bank allows.

The reason I don't want to use my regular ATM..which I never use even at home..is because all my deposits are automatic and I have almost every bill automatically withdrawn. I never write checks, except for my credit cards. I really don't want to chance losing my ATM and having no money in the account for the mortgage,electric, phone ,health insurance and variuos other bills when they are submitted for payment.I never carry cash I charge..I've had the same $20 bill in my wallet for months!
jody is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2004, 04:07 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to answer the question that came up-- there is no fee for using the AMEX travel funds card as a credit card. In case of loss, they will have the card delivered to you on your travels OR you can pick it up at an AMEX office if there is one in the town you are in.
smiroglotta is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2004, 05:02 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jody, I just did that this summer. Opened a free checking account, got a check card, and will put only enough in the acct to fund my ATM withdrawals next trip. Will use credit card for hotels, train, car rental, other major expenditures. That way, my primary bank acct is unaffected should the check card go astray. I can always fall back on the credit card if the ATM card is lost/stolen. Also, I brought home extra Euro from the last trip, and will make sure I take out a bit the last day of my next trip. That way, I always start out with enough for the first day.
Travelnut is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2004, 08:06 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Travelnut..I went and opened a second checking account this morning!

Funnily enough, I was looking thru my travel cosmetic bag prior to a short trip I have scheduled in a few weeks and came up with 125E from our trip last November that I had tucked inside and forgotten about! I think I'm all set! I really feel better knowing my primary checking account is safe. Bank of America will replace lost funds within 24 hours after reporting but who wants the bother and then if you are in Europe or elsewhere you can't get the new card as they mail it to your home address.
jody is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2004, 08:14 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,476
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Totally WRONG about getting replacement cards "mailed to your home address."

I lost a Visa recently in Paris and within 24 hours of calling a toll-free number in Dusseldorf I had a new card expressed to me at my hotel...Karl Malden has never, and will never move any faster..but if enjoy giving your money to AMEX for services you may already possess well, to each their own.
TopMan is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2004, 08:17 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
AAA has a similar offer for a pre-paid Visa or MC (not sure).

If you are AAA member I believe there is no set-up fee but I can't say for sure about ATM fees.

http://www.aaasouth.com/travel_funds.asp
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2004, 09:00 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 879
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I still don't get it - I hope my brain isn't going soft....
Can someone please explain in simple terms how these travel cards are better than getting a 2nd account (and a new card) at your local bank????
bardo is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2004, 09:30 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry Topman , you are talking about a regular Visa card ,I am talking about an ATM Check card which can only be mailed to the home address on the account, I specifically asked if it could be replaced if I were in Europe. They will replace the money lost by fraud but the new card goes to your home. Maybe your bank handles it differently but BofA also requires it to be activated in one of their own ATMs.

The Amex travel card also states that cards will be mailed only to the home addresses. They will replace the funds but the card will only be sent to your home address so you have the money on your card but no way to get to it until you receive the card at home.

Bardo, simple terms...they are not better , get the second account if you want an additional card that is not tied to your main accounts.
jody is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2004, 09:30 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,630
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jeeez.. I feel like an idiot. Er.. dahhh... I never THOUGHT of openning a second account and getting a second ATM card. So obvious when its pointed out!

Nice timing on this post! At least for me.
SuzieC is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Politicaux
Europe
17
Jun 20th, 2005 01:19 PM
scdvr219
United States
15
Sep 23rd, 2004 01:43 PM
oforparis
Europe
6
Sep 18th, 2004 05:07 AM
traceann01
Europe
4
May 8th, 2004 04:04 AM
ginn
Europe
11
Apr 22nd, 2004 10:19 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO