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Euro Traveler's Cheques

Anyone had experience with using Euro Traveler's Cheques?? If you belong to AAA you can get them issued for free and they are already in Euro so using them is no problem, right??

Posted by
1358 posts

Having the checks in Euros is a convenience alright, but your BIG problem will be finding a place to cash your checks.

They always advertise how easy it is to cash travelers checks, but my experience is contrary.

That's why I never use TC any longer. I always use my ATM card to convert currency. I find machines almost everywhere.

Air terminals, RR stations, in front of banks or in banks, in Post Offices, malls, retail stores and hotels.

Last time I counted 13 countries where I easily found machines.

Posted by
25 posts

We had Euro travelers cheques in Spain, and had tremendous difficulty getting them cashed. Banks would not even take them. We finally found one sympathic bank, but paid a huge fee.

I will not do that again.

Posted by
3 posts

So, you can't use TC's directly to pay for a hotel or dinner, etc...??

Posted by
7205 posts

NO - they are quite outdated and long past their usefulness. ATM cards are the way to go and have been for some years now.

Posted by
104 posts

We always take some TC in US dollars and cash them at American Express offices because no fees.

More than 1x we have had problems with ATM and would have not had any available cash for a few days otherwise.

We were told EURO checks were not as widely accepted so we go with US and take the conversion rate.

For checks, or ATM there are generally some type of fee to use either.

Posted by
6 posts

We found that using the American Express travel cheque card worked out just great. You can get the card in Euros and it can be used as a credit (debit) card or an ATM card. I t was much easier to use than traveler's checks.

Posted by
3 posts

Where did you use the American Express Cheque card?? Did hotels, restaraunts, etc.. take it?? What countries??

Posted by
6 posts

Agree w/ previous comments re: Travelers' Checques: outdated and not well accepted abroad because of counterfeit concerns.

Check with AAA for their version of a pre-loaded debit card (similar to the American Express Travel Card). Works like a regular VISA debit/credit card, and in ATMs everywhere w/ a PIN for $2.00/use charge. It is not linked to your checking or savings accounts and, at worst, you're only on the hook for the balance on the card. On a recent trip (May) into Eastern European countries, we had no problems and always had local currency to work with. You can add money if necessary via a toll-free phone number.

Posted by
1003 posts

From what I have read about those prepaid debit cards they add as much as 7% (maybe more?) built into the exchange.....ouch!

Posted by
334 posts

If you take any TC, take US dollars not EURO. I don't think AAA uses American Express checks anymore, so you might want to pay for American Express so you can cash at their office.

We just take a couple hundred dollars cash in our money belt for an emergency (no ATM working), but can almost always get local currency at an ATM. Sometimes one machine won't work and we go to another one (maybe out of money??) and we've found a couple of times that Mondays are hard (it's Sunday night in US). We also bring Euros home with us so we have a few for next time when we land (always expect there to be a next time).

We did specifically tell our credit union and bank that we were going to be using our ATM overseas. We've never done that before, but with the fraud issues thought it might be a good idea. Our credit union won't let us use "point of sale" debit cards overseas, but we didn't have problems with ATM cash withdrawals with a PIN.

Posted by
19 posts

ATM, ATM, ATM!!!

If you have accounts with different banks (maybe your main bank & another you use for savings or convenience) bring cards from each. If they are on different networks, even better - not all ATMs are on the same network. So if one card isn't accepted, you have a backup.

Next use your credit card - the best exchange rate. Carry as little cash as necessary to pay for the little things. Always ask if you can pay by credit card. You'll be surprised as to how little cash you may need to carry.

Note - But, make sure you have a "little" cash for the muggers. They get pissed if you don't have any money. :-) Just kidding.

Posted by
4 posts

VISA and MC almost all add 3% to your purchase overseas in addition to whatever exchange rate they give. May not be true for debit cards. Ask your bank.

Posted by
769 posts

dont forget to tell/call your ATM and CCs that you will be traveling or they may/will block the cards. as for the 3% - some like CapitolOne dont charge the %1 or the %2 MC/Visa fee.

as for cash - depending on where you travel - you cant ALWAYS use just a CC - small vendors in the sticks wont always take them, but having a 2-days supply of cash is fine... refill at ATMs as needed, and just pay large bills (restaurant/hotel etc) with CC. Its silly to buy an espresso with a CC, as much as it is here at home! so have that cash in a small wallet or moneclip in your "secured" pocket.!

Posted by
2788 posts

I took travelers checks on my first trip to Europe and found them a pain to get chashed except at banks. Ever since then I have only used ATMs and I use a credit union and WaMu ATM cards both of which only charge a 1% exchange fee. HOWEVER, I just returned 2 days ago from 30 days in Europe and about half way thru my trip, the WaMu ATM card stopped working - gland I had the other card. And, yes, I had called both places (the 1-800 #s) and told them I would be in Europe and the places and the dates. Went up to WaMu yesterday and was told that WaMu security had called my home to verrify I was the one using the card in Europe and since no one was home, I was in Europe, they stopped access to my accounts. Too much!! Won't let that happen again.

Posted by
5 posts

I just got back from Greece, and one hotel refused to accept any traveler's checks, and two others did accept them but only because they were in Euro, not US Dollars.

In future trips, we likely won't take any TC's, or maybe just very very little as a "just in case". Cash, credit card, and ATM all work fine, and are more reliable.

Posted by
11450 posts

I have not used travellers checks in about 15 years. I am surprised some people still use them. I know most small places will not accept them. They seem like a hassle.
ATM ATM ATM

Posted by
43 posts

Sure, but what do you do when you can't use ATMs? What kind of a card is everyone using? I don't have a debit card, and my credit card company charges an insane rate as a cash advance. What card makes this option more affordable?

Posted by
11450 posts

Linnae, go and get a debit card. Go to your bank, and have them make your account ATM assesible, this is very simple, and I can't imagine not having a debit card.

I have travelled to Europe many times and have never not been able to find a working ATM, in most large cities they are every few blocks, just like at home.

Travellers checks, if taken, ( which I do not recommend) should at the very least be in euros, why should a hotel or restaurant accept a tc in American dollars, the bill they present to you is in euros, why should they have to convert for you?

Posted by
272 posts

Agree with all that ATM is the way to go. Even though I have had one bad experience, it's not enough to change my mind. I use my ATM (WaMu bank) card in 7 different European countries and used it to get cash, pay at restaurants, shops, hotels, nightclubs, museum tickets, etc. It has always worked. My only challenge was on this last trip to Europe. Previous two trips to Portugal (both in 2006) it worked just fine. This time (May 2007) it didn't work anywhere. I read other posts on RS site and others had same issue with WaMu card and something about a change to Multibanco in Portugal and WaMu isn't compatible. In any case, very frustrated at the time that I had no access. I had tried at least 10 ATMs which in turn triggered a "fraud alert" on my card. When I got to Italy i tried again and got error msg.called wa mu from italy and they advised of fraud alert due to multiple unsuccessful attempts in portugal. they wanted to confirm it was me. i did and access reinstated. continue nxt msg..

Posted by
272 posts

Part 2 of my msg........if you would like another resource besides relying on your ATM or credit card or traveler check (advise against this option), you might want to check out the company called TravelEx. They are a worldwide currency company. I know you can exchange money before going overseas but they also have other services. Maybe something will give you an idea of an option for you. Also, if you are a AAA member you can get a discount on their services.

Posted by
2862 posts

Abdullah, take them to a bank that offers currency exchange services. You can usually find them with a currency chart in the bank window.

Posted by
1 posts

i have euro travelers cheque i m from germany but io dont know where i change it to maney any one can tell me plz

Posted by
1 posts

Always carry traveller's cheques, ALWAYS.
Have been stranded without ability to get cash from ATM because of lack of smart chip and also because in the United States of America banks are not always 4 digit PIN codes. Have run out of cash, credi cards frozen (even with calling ahead) due to activity, and needing to get to the airport. TC's can generally be cashed in major hotels (at least American ones and banks). Ran into the Hilton Metropole, and then caught the Paddington Express to Heathrow by the skin of my teeth and only because I was randomly carrying TC's!

Posted by
25749 posts

Vik welcome to the Helpline. You have woken a zombie thread from 2007!!! That's 5 years ago. There was one time it was woken for a single post 2 years ago. If you wish to discuss something it is usually best if you start a new thread. Also, this zombie is in the "East" section of the Helpline and your story is about England which is in the "North" section. The other consequence of waking a zombie (other than the noxious smell of rotting dead flesh) is that the Original Poster starts to get email notifications of responses to their long dead thread. It might be better if they went to you. Sorry to disturb you, Rhad (OP).