Skip Navigation

money. money! money?

Travel Forums Asia money. money! money?

Page
  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

1. Posted by J kerouac (Budding Member 38 posts) 9y

Hey all,

Im going to S. East Asia for 6-8 months. I will be taking a combination of credit and atm cards (for emergency) and travelers checks.

My question is this: Ill have around 7000 USD in travelers checks, what denominations whould you reccomend i bring? I dont want to carry a fat load of checks but i dont want to have the hasstle of being unable to cash large checks in small towns.

Thanks in advance,

M

2. Posted by hillis (Budding Member 11 posts) 9y

Unlike most other places in the world at this moment, your dollar will go far in most Asian countries. Now, it depends on your purchases of course, but you'll be most conveniented with small denominations, since individual purchases will be on the low end.

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Michael,
I would recommend taking $100 travel checks. You are charged a set fee per check cashed. I looked at my records and VietNam charged me $2 per check. Not too bad if you have $100 TCs, but pretty steep if you have $20 TCs. Same in Thailand & Cambodia, set amount per check. You will change several $100 TCs into local currency when you hit each country. Then hit the bank again when you run low on local. Taking packets of $100 are much more convenient when you are talking thousands of dollars. Have a great trip.

4. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y

I think you've got things backwards. Take ATM cards as your main source of funds. Best idea is to have money in two different banks with two different cards and carry them seperate in case you lose one. There are ATM's in most of the region in every town where tourists go.
When I was there last there still weren't ATMs in Laos and Cambodia, but I believe this has changed. According to the ATM locater websites of Cirrus/Mastercard and PLUS/Visa, the two main international banking companies, there are several ATMs in Phnom Pehn and Siem Reap. Can't find any for Laos so maybe there still isn't any. Hopefully someone else here knows the answer to that.

So in the few cases were ATMs aren't available, traveller's cheques and credits cards will work as a back up. I would say take a couple hundred in TCs, depending on how long you plan to stay in these places, and over course depending on how much you plan to spend. I really don't think there is a need to carry 7 grand in cheques. That's just a waste of space and money if you have to pay for them.

5. Posted by laspinall6 (Budding Member 25 posts) 9y

hi
when traveling in cambodia be careful when you get your change they like to give you really old doller notes which other places will not take.
L

6. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello J Kerouac

Some banks and exchange places, charge comission for every cheque u cash, so i think it is economical to have big denomoninations. I would get 500s. And keep some US dollars, in small denominations, for when u only need smaller amounts. ie if u have only a few more days of travelling left.

I think if u wear a moneybelt, inside your clothes, u can just change money, when u are in big towns. Enough for a month, or however long u will be out in the wilds. I usually change enough money, for a month, and carry it around in my money belt. Everyday, i put enough, for the day, separately, so i am not seen taking out large amounts of money.

Mel

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1589 posts) 9y

My question is this: Ill have around 7000 USD in travelers checks, what denominations whould you reccomend i bring? I dont want to carry a fat load of checks but i dont want to have the hasstle of being unable to cash large checks in small towns.

--------------------

Depends on the country you go to and how much you plan to spend.

The smallest denomination traveler's checks that I would take with me would be the $100 size. You normally have no problems cashing TC's in that size range in Thailand everywhere I have been, top to bottom! The fee is the same to cash a $5 TC or a $100 TC. When you leave the country you can always change your money over to dollars again.

You can record the serial numbers of your traveler's checks on the internet, simply write the numbers down in an e-mail to yourself and save it! You can also use the internet to store your e-ticket confirmation numbers and schedules and other "need to remember" information.

In Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam U.S. dollars are often accepted in many places. You do have to change some dollars or TC's over to the local currency to pay for cheap items. DON'T LEAVE LAOS, CAMBODIA OR VIETNAM WITH THEIR CURRENCY - IT'S HARD TO GET RID OF IT ONCE YOU LEAVE THOSE COUNTRIES!

Look into using a debit card when you can. My credit union debit card only charges around $2.00 per ATM use (take out the largest amount you can to cut down on repeat charges.) A debit card does have daily limits on how much you can withdraw and you have to notify your bank or credit union ahead of time that you will be using the card overseas.

8. Posted by J kerouac (Budding Member 38 posts) 9y

thanks for your advise everyone,

i think ill be taking half my money in travelers checks (100, 250 and 500 denominations) and leave half in my VISA checking account, that way if one gets stolen ill have suffcient funds to get around while I have the other replaced.

-M

9. Posted by danahawkins (Full Member 128 posts) 9y

From what i've learned, travellers checks are pretty useless throughout asia. ATM's are the way to go. And cash. US dollars seem to be pretty acceptabe through some parts of asia. Seven grand is a lot to carry in cash, but usually I go with a combination of cash and card.

10. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1589 posts) 9y

Quoting funkfaerie

From what i've learned, travellers checks are pretty useless throughout asia. ATM's are the way to go. And cash. US dollars seem to be pretty acceptabe through some parts of asia. Seven grand is a lot to carry in cash, but usually I go with a combination of cash and card.

**********

I have used traveller's checks for the last 10 years in Thailand without any problems! I do get my trveller's checks without commission from my credit union, which is one of the reasons reason I take them with me.

I also have become a believer in debit cards - no daily accruing interest like credit cards have and with cheaper ATM fees. Some credit unions even pay a limited number of ATM fees too!

The little "mini banks" in in Thailand do ask difficult questions, like do you have your passport with you? And what is your hotel and room number? Traveller's checks were a little more difficult to cash in the Philippines but I always cash a couple at the airport when I arrive and that is enough. In the P.I. you can also cash traveller's checks and exchange big bills for pisos at the casinos without any problems.

In Thailand the fee to cash a TC is only 33 baht, that's cheaper than an ATM fee! I store the serial numbers of the TCs on the internet (type the info in an e-mail to yourself and save it!) I only bring $100 TCs.

  • *******

In Cambodia and Laos, on the border areas with Thailand, even Thai baht can be used in some places for small purchases. For Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam I take U.S. dollars. You can cash a TC at the airport if you have to though.