travelers checks

Old Jun 7th, 2002, 04:03 PM
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I used travelers cheques a LOT in the UK last year. I never even considered getting $$ cheques. The bank (Royal BanK of Canada I think) gave us a very good rate on British pound cheques. I got 20s and 50s. 100s would be way too big for most places to cash.

They were very readily accepted everywhere in Scotland. Any Bank of Scotland would cash them cheerfully. In one store in Orkney, they didn't even accept VISA but travelers cheques were fine.

In England it was quite another matter. None of the English banks wanted to cash them (so I went to Bank of Scotland branches which were more security conscious, but just as nice as in Scotland). However, any tourist destination (St Pauls cathedral, Kensington Palace, gift shops) will take pounds sterling travellers cheques and give you change. This is why you don't want to have 100s -- they won't have enough cash in the till! I ended up using the VISA card more in England, such as to pay for family passes on the Underground.

I would definitely take pounds sterling travelers cheques to Scotland again. They were by far the most convenient means of carrying money. I like being able to negotiate the exchange rate at the beginning of the trip rather than rely on VISA's fluctuating rates, and also, having physical cheques allowed us to divide our money up according to days of the trip and track our spending rather accurately!
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 12:27 PM
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In reply to Patrick, a friend has just come back from Spain and to change Euro T/Chqs everywhere was charging 2-4% so they wouldn't give you 100 for 100 Euros.
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 01:20 PM
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That is interesting news. Does that mean they also charge that percent to cash US dollar TC's? If so that means they'd charge you 2 to 4 % on top of the exchange rate that is probably 4 to 6 percent off the standard exchange rate. That means up to 10% cost for cashing traveler's checks? Another good reason why I never buy them myself any more.

But one minor question. You said they charge that fee for cashing TC's? Are you sure that if you paid a hotel bill with them they wouldn't give you full value?
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