Cash, charge or Travelers' checks??

Jul 18th, 1999, 04:47 PM
  #1  
JJ
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Cash, charge or Travelers' checks??

What proportion of funds would be best to take to UK in Sept.........cash, use charge card, or travelers' checks(should we get these in $US or in English pounds here)?
We have had conflicting advice. Probably take some money in each of the three methods, but would like some advice. Also, is it difficult to use travelers' checks from US? And also, is there a charge for using one's "plastic"? Likewise, is it advntageous to get travelers'checks here in $US or pounds.

Thanks for your response.
JJ
 
Jul 18th, 1999, 05:03 PM
  #2  
wes fowler
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JJ,
If you'll do a search of words or phrases regarding ATMs, travelers' checks and debit cards, you'll find a wealth of information that will probably confuse the daylights out of you! I'd suggest you do so, nevertheless. The credit card, ATM or debit card will get you the most favorable exchange rate since it's tied to the banking and financial industries rate. At the ATM you'll probably pay a fee, perhaps two, depending upon your bank's regulations and that of the ATM. If withdrawing from an ATM, draw the largest amount available to reduce the incidence of tacked on fees. Do use your credit card for purchases whenever and wherever possible for that favorable rate. If you elect to use travelers' checks, buy them in U.S. dollars not British pounds. If you have any uncashed at the end of your trip and they're in pounds you'll lose on the exchange back to dollars. Cash them at American Express offices for the most favorable rates, with banks for the second most favorable rates, but not at hotels, restaurants or shops and certainly not at Bureaux de Change, which have the least favorable rates of exchange.
 
Jul 18th, 1999, 05:44 PM
  #3  
Martha
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I agree - use credit cards when possible because you will get the best exchange rate from them. I was just in the U.K. and got my credit card bill. I got a rate of $1.63 per pound on my card but a 1.70 when I exchanged U.S. travelers checks in the U.K., plus a commission charge. I did take U.S. travelers checks to change for pounds when I was there to pay for small items and had no problems exchanging them.
Martha

 
Jul 18th, 1999, 07:20 PM
  #4  
JJ
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Thanks, Wes and Martha. Will try to read up on the best places to use ATM, get traveler's checks here in $US, use the Mastercard where appropriate. The exchange rate seems to have improved a tiny bit; hope that holds and the dollar gains before the trip!! Again , thanks.
JJ
 
Jul 18th, 1999, 07:21 PM
  #5  
JJ
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Thanks, Wes and Martha. Will try to read up on the best places to use ATM, get traveler's checks here in $US, use the Mastercard where appropriate. The exchange rate seems to have improved a tiny bit; hope that holds and the dollar gains before the trip!! Again , thanks.
JJ
 
Jul 18th, 1999, 07:54 PM
  #6  
TiGuy
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Just to basically reiterate what everyone else has said:I've never been to the UK but I will assume it is similar to many places I've been. I'd go to my bank and get a few pounds to use after 1st arriving in the UK; after that I'd look for an ATM machine for cash, and use my credit card when I could; as stated previously this is the best way to get the most favorable exchange rate. You'll notice when you get get home and look at your statement how it changed from day to day, but you will be getting the best rate no doubt. Also, make sure you have some greenbacks for when you get home for airport parking and stuff like that.
 
Jul 18th, 1999, 09:09 PM
  #7  
Kirby Sanford
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JJ - Just returned from London last week and we did not take a single traveler's check. All purchases were made with credit card or cash. We took $100 worth of pounds sterling with us. All other cash was obtained from ATM machines of which there was an abundence. Other than the exchange rate charged by my bank (similar to rate charged by credit card) there was a $2.00 USD foreign ATM charge for each transaction. As a side note if you have American Express, use it for purchases of gifts so that if anything happens, AMEX will replace the items.
 
Jul 20th, 1999, 04:27 PM
  #8  
Vic
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I can't imagine why anyone would want to take cash or travelers checks to the UK. ATM's are everywhere and most places take credit cards. I used my ATM card connected to my US checking account throughout my recent trip to Europe. I didn't do any intricate calculations, but it seems that the conversion rate was a little better than my credit cards. The fee for each transaction seemed like it was alway $2. Since you pay a flat fee, you should get as much cash as you can with each visit to the ATM usually between $250 and $300. If you have UK pounds left over at the end of your visit, you can pay part of your hotel bill with it. Never convert US dollars or travelers checks into foreign currency. The rate paid by the money changer is far worse than by your ATM or credit cards.
Taking cash advances from your credit card through the ATM is also a bad idea. You will pay an exorbinate cash advance fee.
Lastly, some foreign ATM's limit PIN's to four digits. So if yours is more, change it before you leave.
A good article appeared a while back in the LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/HOME/TRAVEL/I...000041452.html
 
Aug 1st, 1999, 08:18 AM
  #9  
Diane
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ATM and credit cards are the way to go. We take some pounds with us, but like everyone says, the ATMs are abundant and every place takes credit cards (though we did have some trouble with our mastercard at some smaller shops, there was no problem with American Express)
 

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