Due to depart for my RTW trip in a few weeks, and have been asked by a few people "Have you got your travellers Cheques?"
As of yet, i haven't bothered because i am not sure if i will need them. In terms of finances I have my debit card, my debit PLUS account (allows for free cash withdrawals) and a credit card.
Do you think i will really need Travellers Cheques as well?
What are the main Pro's of them?
I hope you can help.
With a debit card, debit plus account and a credit card you do not need Traveller Cheques.
I know a guy that swore by them from Germany. And before I took a trip a few years ago I tried to buy a few in the UK. No hope. I think Thomas Cook could get them, but it was an effort.
The idea of the travellers Cheque is that you can buy cheques in a major international Currency, then, when in a overseas country you can hop into any bank and cash them into local currency.
A major plus with Travellers Cheques was that if you ever had them lost, or stolen. You simply called up the agency or bank you bought them from and cancell the cheques based on the serial numbers. The agency would usually rush you out a new batch.
I recently travelled from West Europ across the mid east and on into Aisa overland. Credit cards were accepted in just about every major banks ATM. The exceptions being a place like Iran. A little research tells you that. Other problem hotspots are developing countries. A lot of the banks use satilittes to link there information up. In bad weather, or power shortages the ATM's are often down.
Debit cards are also common in major cities, esspeically in developed countries.
IT seems the Travelers cheque is dying away. I wish the Credit card compnies out there would offer a service to DHL out a lost or stolen card. This would be a major plus. Unfortunately most will only send to your home address. OR at best regular post out a Card, not a good idea in my book.
Take the Credit cards. Check with you bank about their rates. I have heard horror stories. But I have never had one. I try to stick with the same bank overseas all the time. One of the big well known ones. Have someone read at home in case you need one sent out as a replacement. And keep all your cards seperate.
Best of luck
No, travellers cheques aren't needed...all your cards will be fine.
We just make sure we have around US$50 with us stashed away in case of emergency so we can change it if we need to. There has only be one instance in 20 months where an ATM hasn't worked for us, then the whole international banking system for that country had gone down...luckily we had some British pounds which we exchanged.
The last time I used travellers cheques was 6 years ago when I bought some Thomas Cook Euro ones then found I was charged a commission to cash them in Euros, both in the Netherlands and in Germany, having already paid commission up front to buy them in Britain. They are a rip-off. Not surprisingly their use is now in decline. These days I use my credit card from the one British company that doesn't charge for non-Sterling transactions in order to pay for major purchases (travel and accommodation) and just take whatever cash I need for other things, mainly food.
I guess it depends where you go. In countries with a poor infrastructure, they might be of use, but personally I never had a need for them.