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Should I Purchase Travelers Checks In Euros?

Should I Purchase Travelers Checks In Euros?

Old Feb 15th, 2001, 02:09 AM
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Should I Purchase Travelers Checks In Euros?

Greetings Everyone!
I'm not sure what would be the best thing to do. Should I purchase traveler's checks in Euros or Pesetas? And, are traveler's checks widely accepted throughout Spain & Gibralter without a problem? Also, should I purchase a small amount of Spanish money before we leave the U.S.? Thanks for your help.
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 03:12 AM
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Not even sure you can buy TCs in pesetas. Even if you could I don't know why you would unless you're Spanish.

If you have TCs left over after your trip denominated in pesetas or euros you're going to take a an exchange rate/commission beating when you reconvert them.

Presuming you live in the US (?) buy your TCs in US dollars.

Use your ATM cash card to get cash as much as possible. Presuming you don't run large month to month balances use your credit card for large purchases (hotels, dinner, gifts) ... these will give you the best exchange rate. Some TCs are useful, though, for emergencies. Cash them in banks or, e.g., AMEX offices.

No reason to purchase pesetas before you leave home. Odds are good Spain won't run out of them before you get there.

More on handling your money on your European vacation at www.twenj.com/moneyand.htm

Old Feb 15th, 2001, 04:53 AM
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Euros are not available as currency until 2002.

Take enough pesetas to cover cab fare and light snacks, although I generally just go straight to an ATM on arrival at the airport.

I never use Traveller's cheques as I find them inconvenient and unnecessary.

I always use Visa and Mastercard for shop/hotel/restaurant purchases and ATMs for cash. I believe this is the most cost-effective and convenient method. But you will need a 4-digit pin code for ATMs.

If you want to take TCs, take them in US dollars.
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 05:13 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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While the Euro is not currently in circulation, I do believe that you can get TCs in Euros (though I wouldn't recommend it).

And don't bother taking any Pesetas with you. Simply use your ATM card at the airport. Takes about 90 seconds. Worst case (ATM or your card doesn't work) head over to one of numerous currency exchange windows and exchange Dollars for Pesetas. Takes about 120 seconds and the rate will be far superior to what you'll get in the States. Have fun.
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 05:47 AM
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You definitely can get traveler's checks in Euros in at least some places--as a matter of fact, I found that I *had* to at the American Express main travel office in Washington, DC, recently.

I rarely use TCs, except in this kind of case: sending a deposit to a hotel that doesn't take credit cards. I did the same thing a couple of years ago with the same hotel (Henri IV in Paris, the last of the truly rock-bottom bargain accommodations on the Ile de la Cite)--sent them a 300-franc traveler's check as a first night-plus-a-bit deposit. Worked fine.

This year, I go into the AmEx office and again ask for 300 francs in traveler's checks. They tell me they no longer issue TCs in francs, only in euros. I didn't have time to ask about their policy regarding other European currencies--just got my check in euros and hoped for the best. The Henri IV tells me it's no problem, so that's fine--it just seemed very odd to me that AmEx has already phased out the franc (and, presumably, other euro-linked currencies) for its TCs. (At least in that office, one of its bigger ones in the US.)

Another interesting note: AmEx will not accept the American Express card as payment for a traveler's check! (Or again, at least that office won't.)
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 05:51 AM
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Forgot to mention--although you *can* get TCs in euros, I don't know why you'd bother. I share Kate's approach: ATM card for cash and Visa/MC for larger purchases. I usually bring two credit cards in case there's a problem with one; that way I can also get a cash advance if the ATM card fails. (I don't like to do that, as the fees are higher, and I've never *needed* to--it's just an insurance policy.)

Everywhere from Great Britain to Tunisia, I've never had problems using an American bank-issued ATM card in overseas ATMs. There was one set of banks--Banque Sud, I think--in Tunisia that didn't seem to like my card, but I had no difficulties with any of the rest. Traveler's checks, IMO, are more trouble than they're worth 95% of the time.
Old Feb 15th, 2001, 11:54 AM
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What nobody seems to have mentioned is that when you buy TCs in a foreign currency, you pay the exchange rate--plus the 5% I believe. When you get the "local" cash from overseas ATMs, you don't pay that 5%. So you save money with ATMs over TCs. I only take TCs (in dollars) for emergencies, then deposit unused ones them back in my checking account when I return home. (By the way, I would take some TCs. I did on my trip to London. Then I lost my wallet (with my cash and ATM card) and all I had to fall back on was my TCs.
Old Feb 16th, 2001, 07:42 AM
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To the top for Jade who doesn't know how to use the search engine!
It took the silly little man 3 seconds to find it! My advice still stands!

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