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Is the ATM still the best source for cash or Travelers checks (in Euros)

Is the ATM still the best source for cash or Travelers checks (in Euros)

Old Apr 29th, 2008, 08:10 PM
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Is the ATM still the best source for cash or Travelers checks (in Euros)

Found posts dated 2006 stating preference for ATMs instead of TCs (Euros). Is this still the case or are TCs accepted outside the major cities now?
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 08:42 PM
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I forgot to say that -- If for any reason you feel a little nervous about going "cold turkey" on the TCs, -- just carry along $100 or so in your money belt,in the unlikely event that your first ATM is broken. Then u could always go to a money- exchange, tho the rate is much worse.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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It's difficult to get TCs accepted INSIDE the major cities, with the possible exception of the agency that issued them. Even then, such an agency might not be convenient in any particular city.
A hotel MIGHT accept them, but only at an exchange rate that might cause you to weep!
ATMs, on the other hand, are everywhere, and, whenever I've needed euros, I've always found one that would accept my Visa debit card.
Last time I took TCs to Europe was in the late 1980s, and I didn't use them then!
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 09:06 PM
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This is great! I was just going to register a new thread asking if anyone still uses TCs....Is it better to get Euros while still here in the States, or doesn't it matter?
 
Old Apr 29th, 2008, 09:46 PM
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You don't get € at home unless you like to burn money. It will be much cheaper to use your ATM card to get € as you need them in Europe.

Some people like to buy a FEW € ahead of time - but only a few because the exchange rate in the States is terrible.

And forget about TCs in either $ or € - they are not accepted most places and you will be charged large fees to cash them - When you CAN find a bank that will take them.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 10:12 PM
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TCs belong to 20th century.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 10:23 PM
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It's unnecessary to bring euros to Europe with you, there are ATMs at all the major European airports so you can get them as soon as you arrive.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 11:16 PM
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Please! Traveller Checks are a reserve and secure source of funds. They are more expensive than ATM funds. But they offer benefits that the ATMs don't. You can carry $1,000 of TCs for a month at a cost of perhaps $25. Get them for free at a local source and return them 30 days later again for no charge. Debit/check funds are best (or lowest cost) means to get operating cash.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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janisi, you are a wealth of info...thanks!
 
Old Apr 30th, 2008, 09:42 AM
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TCs, at best, are a reserve in case of emergencies. But if you have credit cards and one or more ATM cards, do you need to bother?

Buying any currency outside of its local use area is going to cost you money. So buying euros at home will always cost you more than getting it out of an ATM in the local area.

Some people get euros at home, but just enough to get from airport to city, in case ATM is broke, long line-ups,etc..

The case against TC is: you need to find a place to cash them (AMEX office, some banks may not cash) during business hours, so that means taking time out of your holiday to do a mundane task...versus seeing an ATM machine wherever you are and withdrawing money. And...don't expect restaurants to necessarily take them and/or hotels. They may...or may not.

Here is the other point, if you are going to Europe, do you get TCs in $ or euros. If euros, you will pay to get them at home. The exchange rate they use at home to calculate the cost can be whatever they want. Once there, they are in euros, so theoretically if you went to cash them no charge. When you get home with some leftover TCs in euros, you will pay again to convert them back to $. Pay twice.

If you get TCs in $ and go over, you are once again locked in to whatever rate the agency converting them to euros wants to charge.

With an ATM, you are getting porbably the best commercial exchange rate.

Forget TCs. Credit cards and ATMs are the modern way to go.

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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Tourists usually lose everything when they are robbed; passport, credit, debit card and drivers license. A list of TCs numbers in the suitcase is a God Send!. Robbers on trains do a great job of stripping everything of value from sleeping marks. TCs are inexpensive security insurance.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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TCs are inexpensive security insurance.

This is true, but you can get a similar level of insurance by having an AMEX card and forgo TCs completely.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 11:32 AM
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THe first part of my message apparently didn't post for Ambrosia -- who apparently has not been to Europe since ATMS took over totally as the money source.

I agreed with all the messages below that TCs are totally passe... on my first 6 trips I took $100 worth just as a back-up; now I just take $100 or so in USbucks. the rest is via ATM.

What I wanted to say, if ambrosia is new to using ATMS on a trip:

(1) it's a good idea to have your money in TWO different banks, each with an ATM card... just in case an ATM abroad gets finicky about one card, switch to the other!

(2) Make sure that your daily withdrawal limit is at least $500 -- so you don't keep running to an ATM.

(3) if you are a COUPLE, both husb AND wife should have a card on EACH bank account. Independence! Also, a safeguard in case a spouse should lose or mislay his/her wallet.

(4) you should inform each bank (the same way that you inform Via and Amex) that you are going to be using your ATM card abroad, and sucking out money at a good rate. This is so the bank won't get alarmed that it may be a stolen card and freeze the account.

It's surprising how many people forget this last item... and then are dismayed when they are locked out from their money. It's usually some one who hasn't travelled outside the US for awhile.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 03:43 AM
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On my recent trip to Greece 4/2-4/16, there was a woman in our group that brought TC's. She spent HOURS trying to find someplace that would cash them.
There wasn't one place that accepted them in the 2 weeks that we were there. She had to borrow money from her mother, who had her ATM card. The mother was the one who told her to bring the TC's in the first place.
As everyone has stated ATM's, are everywhere. You won't have any problems, just bring 1 or 2 cc's and your ATM card. I also like to have about 100 euros on me, so I get them at the airport before I leave. I know this isn't nessary, but I just feel better.

GSteed you sound like you work for a TC company.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 04:56 AM
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Travellers Cheques are more or less considered a relic from the stone age. They will be accepted LESS, not MORE in the future.
A combination of CC and debit card and ATMs is your best bet.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 05:22 AM
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GSteed you sound like you work for a TC company.

I think that is a bit unfair. GSteed specifically mentioned that TCs are not preferable to ATMs, except as a reserve of cash that can be used in case of loss of your wallet. Even though I think an AMEX card will offer the same level of insurance (since they offer overnight replacement and emergency cash as benefits), his advice is perfectly valid.
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