Many would say that because travellers can now
use their ATM
cards when travelling that the need for Travellers Cheques is
being put to the test.
Travellers Cheques are still very much in use
however, and the reason for this may well be because they can
offer one feature which the other means of getting money when
abroad don't. That is security. While we ourselves have never had
a problem using our ATM cards or credit cards, there are scams out
there which travellers must be aware of - read our
on Using your ATM and Credit Cards Safely.
Travellers Cheques eliminate this threat,
and major traveller cheques issuers will normally offer you a
refund for any lost or stolen cheques. This additional security
comes with the price of a worse exchange rate than may be
available through the ATM network, and handling fees.
Most of the major companies such as American
Express, Visa etc offer Foreign Currency travellers cheques which
saves you the hassle of having to exchange them in the country you
are travelling to. If they don't offer the currency you need, then
you will need to exchange the cheques in the country you are
travelling to which may well incur more charges such as handling
fees, and an exchange rate.
While travellers cheques do offer some extra
piece of mind we would recommend sticking with your ATM and credit
cards for obtaining cash when overseas, just use them with
vigilance and care. See the section about
Foreign Currency for more tips and
advice about your cash when travelling.
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