Travellers cheques

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Apr 16th, 2002, 12:03 AM
  #1
Missy
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Travellers cheques

I'm going to London in a week before I go to Paris and was wondering what kind of currency to get my travellers cheques in. I'm told that American money is more universally used therefore it will be easier to exchange. Is this true? Should I just get my travellers cheques in British pounds?
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 12:55 AM
  #2
x
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I always bring along travellers checks, but only as a back up in case the ATMs fail. I recommend getting them in dollars. You can easily cash them at the Amex office. Also if you don't use them, you can bring them home and use them locally.
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 08:38 AM
  #3
janis
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Missy: Please note that x said "ONLY as a back up in case the ATMs fail". If you take travelers cheques, only take a small amount in US $. Leave most of your money in your checking account at home and access it from ATMs in Europe.

I usually (but not always) take $200 or $300 in TCs but 90% of the time I never need them. It would be just as good to have a couple hundred dollars cash stashed away in case the ATMs are down - either TCs or cash can be exchanged at any bank/Post Office or Department store.
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 08:45 AM
  #4
jim
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Don't believe last paragraph of above post. I had AMEX TC's two years ago in London. Every bank I tried refuse to cash, and they were issued in GBP, and not US $. Only place to cash was an AMEX office.
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 08:59 AM
  #5
Missy
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I'm sorry, forgot to mention I'm Canadian. Should I get it in Us dollars anyways?
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 09:33 AM
  #6
Mike
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Missy: If you are traveling in just one country take a small amount in that countries currency, (Euro's make this easier). Since it is England save yourself a possible 10% fee and get GBP. A couple of years ago I took US Traveler cheques and when I went to cash them at a bank in Germany, they charged me a fee to cash and a 10% fee for god knows what. Since I was in need of a few dollars they got me. Lessons learned hard.
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 09:34 AM
  #7
Mike
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Missy: If you are traveling in just one country take a small amount in that countries currency, (Euro's make this easier). Since it is England save yourself a possible 10% fee and get GBP. A couple of years ago I took US Traveler cheques and when I went to cash them at a bank in Germany, they charged me a fee to cash and a 10% fee for god knows what. Since I was in need of a few dollars they got me. Lessons learned hard.
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 09:51 AM
  #8
Carolina
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There is absolutely no point in taking any US dollars / US dollar tcs. You lose money every time you go through an exchange rate. US dollars are about as useful in Europe as Euros are in the US or Canada.
I would take some Euros for France and some travellers' cheques in Canadian dollars as backup.
In England there are plenty of ATM machines and every bank exchanges foreign travellers chqs. I'm not sure how easy it is to use ATMs in France but I can't imagine it being too difficult.
Department stores in the UK, restaurants etc. only take travellers chqs in British pounds but you can usaully use debit / credit cards.
Have a good trip
Carolina
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 09:54 AM
  #9
Carolina
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One note on travellers chq fees:
When cashing try to use a bank that won't charge you.
Amex chqs can be exchanged at any Amex office free of fees.
Visa chqs - Barclays in the UK
Thomas Cook chqs - take to a Thomas Cook outlet
Relying mainly on ATMs will save you queueing at exchange counters.
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 02:51 PM
  #10
janis
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Missy - I assumed you were from the US since you spoke of American money. If you do take a few travelers Checks - which you don't need to do - take them in CANADIAN dollars. The reason to take them in your own local currency is because you will likely not exchange many, if any at all. Then when you go back home you can use them in Canade.

Never buy travelers checks in the currency of the countries you are visiting since they cost you MUCH more. Even is you do not have to pay a fee, the rate they sell them to you will be higher than the exchange rate over seas.

I have absolutely no idea what Jim is talking about. I have been to Europe over 35 times and have never had a bank or post office refuse to cash travelers checks. But then again, when I take them, they are in dollars not in GBP or Euro - maybe that is the difference.
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 08:32 PM
  #11
Patrick
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If you get American Express travelers checks in US dollars and cash them in Europe you will find that they will only cash them into the local currency at their own current exchange rates. Then if you want US dollars, they will again convert them into US dollars at their rate of exchange. When I tried to cash a US $100 travelers check in Geneva into US dollar the day before returning home, they would give me somewhere in the range of $60 for it, after cashing it into Swiss francs, then converting it to US dollars.
 
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Apr 16th, 2002, 11:07 PM
  #12
janis
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Patrick - it makes no sense AT ALL to exchange dollar travelers checks for dollars IN EUROPE. The point in using travelers cks is to exchange them for the local currency - not to convert them twice (into local currency and out of the local currency into $)

Why did you exchange them anyway? If you were returning home you could just use the dollar travelers checks (without converting them).
 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 10:03 PM
  #13
Missy
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Hello all!
Thanks for the feedback, I now have my backup travellers cheques. I really appreciate all the info.
 
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