Do many establishments take travelers checks?
No, and somebody after me will tell you why.
Travelers Checks are dinosaurs, very few places accept them anymore. Best to use ATM machines for cash.
nope - virtually none...
Nope. Not taken anywhere in Europe anymore. With the fees attached to cash them, it is a real loss leader.
The last time I took travelers checks to the UK I found that businesses woudn't accept them. Had to cash them at banks. That trip, during which I found ATMs to be very handy, was in 1998. I haven't messed with travelers checks since.
Barb, Traveller's Cheques are a "dinosaur", and you'll probably have a lot of trouble cashing them anywhere but at a Bank. These are more trouble for merchants or hotels to deal with, as opposed to credit/debit cards or cash. I've seen a few establishments in various parts of Europe that clearly state "Travellers Cheques NOT accepted". Your best bet for currency in England is to use an ATM card to obtain Pounds Sterling. Although there may be "fees", that method will provide the best exchange rate. Cheers!
And as Ken says: an ATM card at an ATM machine and that ATM card should be a debit card tied to a checking account for the least expensive exchange.
Barb, this basically goes for all of Europe.Do not bother with travellers checks. Use your ATM card and take out local currency while there. I have my limit raised at bit so I just can withdraw cash every 3-5 days depending on my needs. Keep bulk of cash in moneybelt or safe at hotel ( which is what I do) and just carry a days worth around with you. I have an account that allows for free foreign atm withdrawals. I am surprised some banks in States still even sell them, my bank here doesn't even have them anymore at all.
A review of services at my financial institutions indicates travelers checks are long long gone.
With my monthly bank statement from the Royal Bank of Canada I received a pamphlet entitled "Travelling Abroad?" and 25% of the text is given over to promoting American Express Travellers Cheques. I complained in an e-mail to the RBC corporate headquarters about this and just had a telephone conversation with Lise Vautour (Client Care Specialist), who is in total denial about the uselessness of TCs in this day and age. I accuse RBC of giving bad advice to the uninitiated and for being at least 15 years behind the times. Ms Vautour insists that RBC would not offer them if there were not people who want them. Maybe she is right and there are naive first-time travellers to Europe who don't want to "leave home without them". Poor them when they try to cash them and find (a) they can't or (b) there is a fee involved. They won't be buying TCs second time around. I some how doubt anyone in RBC's corporate headquarters uses TCs when travelling "abroad".
Interesting story Norma. But I'm not surprised that someone is still reporting out of date or inaccurate travel information. There is a constant stream of reports in the travel media about how magnetic strip cards no longer work in Europe. I'm pretty convinced that travel writers don't actually travel much... I also suspect that your bank continues to sell travelers checks because there are still people that buy them. For every person that comes here asking if they can use them means there are many others that just buy them without asking.
A merchant in Blackpool told me they (travelers checks) were too easy to counterfit. Made sense to me....
Several years ago had a terrible time cashing those things at my local credit union in the states, just wanted to deposit them and it was very difficult. Would never use them again.
Douglas, I used to bank with RBC for years, and another bank, the TD. Finally after years of RBC being stupid and useless cut my ties and now bank only with TD, which does not sell Travellers Checks and agrees they are outdated. They ( the TD) also have a bank account ( Select Service) that if you keep a min balance of 5,000 dollars in it gives you a free safety deposit box, no monthly or yearly fees, and FREE foriegn ATM withdrawals.. Not all banks are created equal and a bank that promotes Travellers Checks is only doing to collect the fees they get paid to do so . Most savvy travellers do realize tcs are out,, but my girlfriends mom, who is 78, and takes a few months in Hawaii every winter, still gets them, she has no ATM card and is supiscious of anything new. Nuff said.
Pat, an aside- TD now has a big presence in the southeastern US, however, the origin of the acronym is never, ever mentioned. Wouldn't want to seem "foreign"!
Interesting post by Norma regarding Royal Bank of Canada. I work for a bank and we stopped issuing TCs several years ago. Why? No interest and I preached the use of ATM cards as a better, easier, more convenient and cheaper way to access cash.