Travellers cheque is another option to carrying foreign exchange in hard currency. People use small denominations when they travel abroad for vacation. The best thing about traveller cheque is that it gives you security against lost or stolen cheques.
You can buy a travellers cheque from all major Banks, Post office, Bureaux de change, some travel agents, specialist online providers including VISA, American Express, MasterCard and Thomas Cook and use it as cash to buy goods and services when travelling abroad.
If you don’t wish to carry prepaid card and a lot of cash on your foreign trip, it is a great option for you. Traveller’s cheque doesn’t have an expiry date, and help eliminate the risk of identity theft as it is not linked your bank account or line of credit. It’s quite a great alternative to cash and credit card, as not all debit and credit cards are accepted in foreign countries.
Benefits of travellers cheques
Travellers Cheques can be replaced virtually anywhere in the world – usually within 24 hours.
Easy to use
They are easy to use. Sign the Cheque when you buy them in the upper left hand corner and be sure to keep a note of the serial numbers so that you are protected in the event your Cheques are lost or stolen, in such case, you will be asked to provide the serial number of the Cheque. Keep your list of serial numbers in a safe place and separate from your Travellers Cheque.
When you’re ready to use a Cheque, just sign your name in the lower left hand corner in the presence of the acceptor. This proves you’re the person who bought the cheque, you might also need to show ID so it’s a good idea to keep your passport with you just in case. You can use them to buy things costing less than the value of the cheque and you’ll get change in local currency.
Travellers Cheques are welcomed around the world. They’re easy to get in Euro, Sterling or US Dollar, and are accepted at a wide variety of shops, restaurants and hotels, as well as banks and foreign currency exchange bureau. You can also exchange your cheque at many locations around the world.
No expiration date
Travellers Cheque donot expire, so you can save unused cheque for your next trip. Just remember to sign your Cheques when you receive them and you’re protected.
Purchasing travellers cheques
There are thousands of organizations worldwide that sell Travelers Cheque. Some agents may charge a small fee (2-3% or so), while others will offer them ‘fee free’.
Pros and cons
- They’re a large way to budget your money and keep a close eye on what you spend.
- You won’t need to carry large amounts of cash with you.
- If you want to switch them for cash you will need to find someone who accepts them. Not all merchants accept travellers cheque.
- You in general have to pay a fee when you buy the cheques and extra charges when you use them. Generally, they cost more than using cash or cards. There are sometimes very high transaction fees for cashing a cheque.
Here are a few tips to make sure you stay safe when using traveller’s cheques.
- Always keep your receipt
- Don’t countersign them, until you need to use them.
- Write down the serial number of each cheque and keep it in a different place together with the contact number for the company you got them from. Most traveller’s cheque include a separate page or slip for this.