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Do people use travellers cheques any more?

(9 Posts)
SweetApril Thu 11-Sep-08 09:41:31

I usually take Euro travellers cheques (for security) and some Euros in cash. Am I old-fashioned? Now it seems everyone just uses the ATM. I was wondering if the commission you pay the bank to use your cash card is more or less the same as the commission paid to cash travellers cheques. At least with the TCs you know how much you've paid - with the bank you don't really know until you get your statement when you come home!! Grateful for any advice - thanks!

mppaw Thu 11-Sep-08 10:25:19

We are regular travellers and we always take a bit of cash and then just use the ATM's....Our Building Society does not charge us a fee for using ATM's abroad. I am all for what makes life easier and for us, this is what works best, but if you like the security that Travellers cheques give you, then no problem. Also think the exchange rate you get via the ATM would be much better than TC's. IMO. Hope this helps. smile

Callisto Thu 11-Sep-08 12:47:11

Using ATM's can be an expensive way to exchange currency - the bank/credit card company may charge commission plus gives a bad rate of exchange and possibly an extra admin charge as well. We are taking travellers cheques to Canada next week and got the same exchange rate as changing cash.

Callisto Thu 11-Sep-08 12:48:51

That should be we got the same exchange rate for buying the TC's as we did for buying the dollars. This was through Thomas Cook btw - very good exchange rate and no commission charged.

SweetApril Thu 11-Sep-08 15:58:40

Thanks mppaw and callisto. I've done a bit of research after reading that and discovered that my bank charges one of the highest fees AND does also add on the extra admin charge so I think it'll be TCs.

Seeline Thu 11-Sep-08 16:00:49

We took TC's on a trip to Bruges earlier this year and the receptionist at the hotel had never seen one and didn't know what to do with it!!

Callisto Thu 11-Sep-08 16:01:16

Also, Bill Bryson won't use Visa TC's because it is such a palaver getting them replaced if stolen. he recommends American Express.

PurpleFrog Thu 09-Oct-08 14:13:10

We went to Holland this summer. We took with us Euro travellers cheques that we had carried around with us as an "emergency fund" for a couple of holidays. Since we had bought these at a much better exchange rate, we decided to cash them and use them this year. We went to the nearest large town, found a large bank and the teller told us she couldn't cash them - we had to go to a GWK office at the railway station. It turned out that a GWK is now the only place in Holland you can cash travellers cheques and they charged us around 3.5% commission for cashing them! This was particularly annoying as we could have done it for a total of 1-2 euros on the ferry over. Needless to say we won't be taking travellers cheques to Western Europe any more.

We also took out a Flexaccount with Nationwide before we went. Their debit card charges no commission and gives one of the best deals as far as exchange rate is concerned. We used this in ATMs to finance the rest of the holiday.

SweetApril Fri 10-Oct-08 10:10:53

Well, as it turned out we ended up taking mostly cash and some Euro TCs that, like you, PurpleFrog, we had been carrying around for a few hols. Also found that the local bank (on Greek island) weren't able to cash them. Had to go to the post office who charged 3%.
I'd heard that the Nationwide a/c was a good idea but had no time to set it up. Definitely going to organise that for next year though (assuming they don't go into liquidation in the meantime...)

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