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Traveler's Cheque cashing limits - London

Does anyone know if UK - London post office banks have a daily limit on the amount of traveler's cheques one may cash? I know, TCs are antiquated, but the OP feels we need some as backup.

Thanks

Posted by
6788 posts

My guess is that the limit for most banks would be zero - that is, nobody uses TCs anymore.
This is not a rational backup option IMHO. There are plenty of much more reasonable backups.

Posted by
5258 posts

I don't think anyone is cashing Traveler's Checks these days, although I may be incorrect.

I'd suggest taking 2 debit cards, from separate bank accounts, and keeping them safely stored in a money belt (under your clothes) as the best backup, along with 2 credit cards (separate accounts).

You'll also get the best exchange rate by withdrawing local currency from a bank ATM in the U.K. or elsewhere in Europe.

Have a great trip!

Edit to add...

You can also read Rick Steves' helpful information about money tips here.

Posted by
8293 posts

Where do you even get travellers cheques these days? More to the point, even if it is possible to acquire them, why?

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks all ... I fully understand about two cards, using debit ATMs and the like ....

BUT, the question I am asking is, specifcally, if anyone knows if there is a daily limit as to how much in American Express Traveler's Cheques will be accpeted and cashed at a bank ... in a post office ... in London.

Thanks . . .

Posted by
20312 posts

Why don't you ask American Express? The only likely place to cash them would be at the American Express office in London.

Posted by
6722 posts

You could also contact Barclays or HSBC by email and ask them. Believe they are two of the larger banks.

Posted by
5258 posts

Terry,

I was intrigued by your question, so I decided to call American Express directly at the phone number I gave you on my previous post.

Apparently each post office in London, and in the U.K., has their own daily limit when it comes to cashing AmEx Traveler's Checks, some will cash $2000, where as others may cash up to $5000.

Cheers!

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks to all - esp. Priscilla !

I think we have the backup Plan B (maybe it is Plan C) we needed to sort . . .

Knew this was the place to ask such an arcane - if not to say antiquated - question.

jazzsegue

Posted by
5355 posts

Places where you can nominally cash Amex cheques also include RBS (including Nat West). Post Office requires them to be the bar coded type, whatever that is, and it is only certain offices so check up beforehand. Tesco stopped taking them at most of their branches within the last 12 months but John Lewis still do.

Be aware though some bank branches will claim not to know anything about how to process travellers cheques as they don't see any from one end of the year to the next. London branches may be more familiar with this arcane instrument.

Posted by
7209 posts

You'll be losing money hand over fist with those Traveler's Cheques. Bad exchange rate, fees, etc. (That makes me cringe for you) We had someone in our group use traveler's cheques in Rome about 10+ years ago and even then we had to make a special trip to the AMEX office to get them cashed. I hope you have a great trip.

Posted by
23425 posts

After traveler's checks died, our back up was a couple hundred US dollars buried in the money belt. Then we decided that didn't make a lot of sense because there would still be the need to exchange the US dollars to local currency. Now the program is two debit cards tied to two different accounts, and three credit cards all with pins. Basically if the debit cards failed we would use the pins on the credit cards for cash advances. (Expensive, I know but it is the back up) That actually provides four levels of back up. However, the system has never been tested. Assume it would work. In ten plus years of depending on a debit card, we have never had a failure. A few rejections in early years but just moved on to the next ATM but in recent years there have been no rejections.

Posted by
3521 posts

Frank,

Exactly my process as well!

The days are long gone when anyone outside the US and its territories want USD, so why carry any at all? I of course have a few USD in my pocket when I leave on a trip because I live in the US and carry USD in my pocket. But I would never assume that I could use anything but the local currency in any place I might end up.

Traveler Cheques were great in the days before ATMs on every corner and credit cards being accepted everywhere. You could carry lots of money with you and not worry about losing it because AmEx and the others would replace them. I took some on my first trip to the UK and was able to cash them, but it took a lot of time to find somewhere that would do that. But after that experience decided they are not worth the hassle and expense.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks again to all - -

That's exactly the information we were seeking and all the responses are appreciated.

We are now set with a game plan that does not include traveler's cheques .....

Thank you

Thanks, Priscilla and all . . .

Terry

Posted by
14580 posts

The American Express office in London is still there, the last time I checked in 2012, where it has always been, on Haymarket, not far from the theater area. If you go to Vienna, the Amer. Ex is still located on Kärntner Straße, where it is always been. Until a few years ago I used left over Amer Ex TC as back-up too. The checks went to 1992, finally cashed them all here (full value) since for that type of financial reserve I'll use cash instead.

Posted by
4605 posts

The days are long gone when anyone outside the US and its territories want USD, so why carry any at all?

Because it's a backup and can be spent seamlessly upon returning home? I can't imagine carrying 3 credit cards, and remembering individual PINs, sounds more complicated.

So far in 3 recent trips to Europe, only one credit card and one ATM card was ever needed, so having just 1 backup of each was already unnecessary. 2 backups is too many.

Posted by
3521 posts

Tom_MN

I guess I should have extended my sentence to include "... for the purpose of exchanging it". In my next sentence I state I do have some USD in my pocket. Even at home I rarely spend cash preferring to use credit cards so I don't have much cash anyway.

Yes, my main credit and debit cards have served me without failure for 12 years of travel to Europe and I have never had to resort to alternative choices. I do take additional cards just in case that turns out to not be a continuing situation because things can and do go wrong unexpectedly. I would much rather have a backup card or two to use than dragging around a money belt full of cash that would take additional effort to convert to something I could spend. And I have ways to find my PIN numbers for all the cards I take that does not require memorizing the ones I don't have memorized.

The fact that we have different solutions to the same situation that work for each of us is great.

Posted by
23425 posts

....I can't imagine carrying 3 credit cards, and remembering individual PINs, sounds more complicated......

Not a problem at all. We just encode the pin number on the card. We have two debit cards and three credit cards and it has never presented a problem.

Posted by
14580 posts

No problem carrying three credit cards on the trip, as long as I choose my own four digit PIN beginning with a "1". That make them very easy to remember.

Posted by
915 posts

The only part of the world that I have heard that Traveler's Checks were needed were specific areas in Africa. The hotels in some areas do not take credit cards and large amounts of cash for that particular country may a risk. Unless they are absolutely needed why incur the fee to get the checks?

Ed