Credit Cards/ ATM

Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 08:31 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Credit Cards/ ATM

I read that travelers checks are practically useless?
Jackie1214 is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 08:33 AM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Jackie,

Bringing TC's in dollars is good for an emergency, otherwise use your ATM card for cash and charge everything chargeable.
ira is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 08:41 AM
  #3  
AllyPally
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I don't know... i always worry that a foreign ATM will swallow my card. I always memorise - or input into my cell - the number from the ATM in case of any problems. I would bring a small amount in travellers checks
 
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 08:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think travelers checks are a hassle. I use my ATM card at the airport to get local currency and usually bring about $100 dollars in case I can't find an ATM and need to exchange money at some point during the trip.
Kendra is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 09:04 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I always hear about people worried that a European ATM will "swallow" their card. What brings about this fear? I've put my card in probably 150 European ATM's in the past 5 or 7 years and have never heard of such a thing. Do you have the same fear at home?
Patrick is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 09:05 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree that using a credit card for major purchases and getting cash from ATMs for everything else is the best way to go. For a good article on money matters, go to www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/moneytip.htm.
TimS is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 09:07 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree that traveller's cheques are a pain but it was wonderful to change traveller's cheques in Indian banks - a mind numbingly large number of little pieces of paper to be filled out, huge ledgers in which to record the transaction - one time it took over 25 minutes and involved no less that 5 people. And this was after trying six different banks that wouldn't change the brand of Visa traveller's cheques that we had. The issuing bank wasn't on their list of approved banks!

It was a wonderful experience. If you are worried about an ATM eating your card, then use one that is attached to a bank and use it when tge bank is open - that way you can always go into the bank if yoru card iis eaten.
wombat7 is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 09:09 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,114
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Patrick, ATM's have been known to eat cards, although it's not all that common.

I think people's fear is that in the event this happens, they are not near their bank where they can just walk in, take care of the situation, and get a new card. When you are in another country, it seems sensible to prepare for occurences that can't be remedied as simply as they could at home.
Statia is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 09:11 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sure a machine COULD eat you card - but it is just so unlikely. Just like one could eat it on a trip to Florida. Maybe because of being so far from home makes people overly worried about this happening overseas. Just do the same thing you would in the States - go into the bank and get it back. If it is a site away from a bank bldg there is always a phone number on the machine to call when there are problems.

Don't worry, it likely won't happen. But if lightening should strike - just have a credit card or some US $ handy to tide you over until you get the card back
janis is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 10:29 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is everyone talking about a bank card or a credit card for cash advances? I read that the ATM's in Russia frequently run out of money and in the small towns they are non-existant. Also every travel site including my tour company stressed travelers checks are almost useless.

Thank you everyone for your help
Jackie1214 is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 10:45 AM
  #11  
BLN
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For people who are knocking travelers checks - do you mean travelers checks in US$ or in the country's local currency? I agree that US$ TCs are annoying b/c you have to find a place to cash them, etc. But what about Euro TCs (when traveling in the Eurozone!)? We were planning on bringing some Euro TCs when we go to Italy this fall - figuring we can use them in shops and restaurants and get a few Euro back as change. Comments on this theory?
BLN is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:07 AM
  #12  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi bln,

I have brought TC's in E, GBP, etc. I have found that shops don't like to give back more than about $20 in change, and that many banks charge to cash AMEX TC's. That is why I use the ATMs now.
ira is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:25 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,407
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My husband and I never withdraw money from our credit card. We use our debit card for any ATM withdrawals, and only use our credit card for major purchases or car/hotel reservations.
BrimhamRocks is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:30 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 607
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I heard from someone at AAA that it is becoming more difficult to cash traveler's checks due to the increasing number of forgeries. We have always charged as much as possible on the credit card and used traveler's checks as our source of cash. This trip we are using the AAA cash passport - works just like a debit card except you preload a certain amount of money and it is not tied to your bank account. That is a feature that I like. It is also good only at ATMs so if it is lost or stolen it is no good to anyone without the pin number.
BoulderCO is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:43 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 770
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Jackie,
ATM is the best. However, once in Copenhagen our ATM would not work. Also, once in Budapest I was down to very little cash and went to the Am Exp office. They gave me a cash advance just by showing them my credit card. The fee was awful but I felt necessary. So I always take an AmExp card making sure to call them in advance to tell them I will be out of the country since I rarely use this card. If you don't want another credit card just take a few tc just in case.
mimipam is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 12:21 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I always take travelers checks as backup and have never had trouble cashing them, including very recently. I just don't have any problems.

I have had an ATM eat my card in Prague. If you want trouble, it's trying to get back an ATM card from a foreign ATm/banking machine, especially if it is closed for the weekend and you are traveling around.

I would never get TCs in Euros, that is the method that is a hassle and usually when people say they have trouble with them. Get them in your native currency, so you don't pay a fortune getting them in euro (which you will). I get them absolutely free at AAA in my own currency so there is no cost to getting them and if I don't use them, just put them in my bank account back home or use them at the grocery store. I have never had a problem or hassle cashing them, they are no more trouble than finding an ATM machine. The reason is because I do NOT try to use them to pay directly. Few places want to take them because they are not cash -- they are checks just like the name says and you should consider them that way.

You will pay a lot to get them in euro etc. in the US and then you will pay again to cash them in Europe in most places -- you will be charges to cash them even if they are euro. I would not assume any place is going to take a big TC in euro and give you back lots of cash in change so you won't need to use an ATM.

I do use an ATM as prime source, but use TCs sometimes and as a backup.
Christina is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 01:23 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I second what was said about using ATM cards when the bank is open. If that is not possible, there are some tricks you can try. Always bring tweezers with you to try to retrieve any card that might get stuck. In addition, to avoid any scams involving your card, feel around the insert area to see if anyone has inserted anything into the slot. Also, you can put the card in and then hit "cancel transaction" to make sure the card comes back BEFORE ENTERING YOUR PIN. Obviously, be particularly careful if someone else is also in line behind you that they don't read your pin.
DianaM is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 01:25 PM
  #18  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mimipam wrote
>... I was down to very little cash and went to the Am Exp office. They gave me a cash advance just by showing them my credit card. The fee was awful but I felt necessary.<

Once, when I was but a mere tyro with a high maintenace girl friend I ran out of money. Knowing that the AMEX people would always haelp out a fellow American down on his luck (See Treasure of the Sierra Madre) I went to the local office.

When they ascertained that I didn't have an AMEX card, they sent me to a local bank.

These folks cashed a personal check for me.

Ahhhhhhh. The good old days.
ira is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 03:56 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BLN - in a bank you can exchange $ travelers checks for euro currency. OR, you can cash euro travelers checks for currency. BUT most merchants do not accept $ or euro travelers checks. You end up have to go to banks to exchange/cash them.

$ TCs are free to buy and relatively expensive to exchange. Euro TCs are expensive to buy and relatively cheap to cash. So just avoid the whole hassle - use your ATM card and IF there is an emergency just have a little US currency or $ TCs to exchange in a bank.

Euro TCs are more trouble than they are worth. 99% of the time you will not need the TCs.
janis is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 06:26 PM
  #20  
BLN
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your replies, all of you. It's great to hear what works for people and what doesn't....
BLN is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
fsufan1
Europe
46
Jan 3rd, 2008 01:43 PM
nwbniteowl
Europe
20
Jul 19th, 2007 02:03 PM
djmaxxx
Europe
8
Jun 10th, 2004 02:38 PM
lulu1929
Europe
8
Sep 2nd, 2003 04:39 AM
lettie
Europe
5
May 8th, 2003 07:20 PM

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


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:27 PM.