I only take $100 TCs. I also get them free from my bank. I got about 3,300 Thai baht at the currency exchanges in Pattaya. They are on almost every soi in Pattaya and many are open 24 hrs/day. Like Albert said, there is a 33 baht charge to change one. Much less than ATM fees. In VN, the USD is used along with the VN dong. I did cash one TC in HCMC and one in HaNoi. Used Sinh Cafe in HCM, went to a bank in HAN. Never had a problem in Cambodia either. Again, the USD is used everywhere. Pay in USD, get riel back. Everywhere you walk in Phnom Penh has currency exchange counters on the street. Convert your USD, TCs or Thai baht into riel. Never a problem.
I have never had to make a claim, but it states that they will reimburse you if stolen or lost. Thailand is one of the places that have higher lost/stolen claims than many other countries. I hope I never have to find out if you actually do get your money back!
I have no clue what a TC cashes in. Can you give me an estimate on what a 100 US dollar TC in baht brings?
Also, are they 100% safe (eg stolen and cashed in at some dubious place)?
I have seen ppl where the TC have been stolen.. but the ATM card was untouched.
I have been travelling for 15 years in a row now, 10 week trips each year, and most ppl with TC have always loads of probs cashing m in. (banking hours or finding a bank that accepts them) I admit, most jokes were in Africa, like only 1 bank and also only 1 ATM and such... but still.
Are they also accepted in an exchange office?
Thanks for the intel
If I can add my 2 cents to this travelers check thing - here goes.
Yes, in some other countries cashing a TC may be more of a bother than doing it in the US or Thailand. In Thailand it is no problem at all! Unless if you think having your passport with you is a bother. They have lots and lots of BANK money changers strategically located all over areas popular with tourists. These money changers are open late and open early 7 days a week. These money changers are available at the airport 24 hours a day, coming and going! The majority of money changers are operated by real banks not private money changers who sometimes change the rates at their discretion. The BANK money changers have about the same rate everywhere in Thailand for that particular day.
Using a BANK money changer in Thailand is not like the private money changers you have in other areas of the world. In Thailand the return you get for a TC is slightly more than what you get for cash, the rates are clearly posted. There is a fee of 33 baht per check. Where you make out is if you only need a little spending money and you do not want to spend the 150 baht surcharge using an ATM. In over a dozen years in Thailand and other parts of Asia I have never lost or had stolen any travelers checks. My preference for hotels has always been those with security boxes and I do use those boxes for storing cash, etc.
Albert makes a very good point. Cheap rooms usually don't have lock boxes, certainly not in your room. There should be some arrangement at the front desk. Perhaps a locked drawer, perhaps a safe, use your own envelope, sign the back for security. You room is not the best place to leave money, passports, etc. All the staff can get into your room. Too many keys from previous renters. If you use cheap rooms regularly, I would invest in pac-safe. Make it difficult for thieves to ruin your trip. My 2 cents.