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Why American Express Travellers Checks suck when you are on vacation

Updated on August 9, 2010

Let's face it, not only American Express travelers checks, but travelers check in general suck. You have to pay to change your cash into travelers check, and then when you want to cash one, you first have to find a bank that will cash it for you, and if they do, you again have to pay a small fee for them to exchange it for the local currency.

How did I become jaded about travelers checks? It was years ago when I was a travel virgin. I was told by friends before starting on my vacation that I should play it safe and change my money into American Express Travelers checks so I'll be safe, and everyone accepts them I was told! Sounded pretty smart, and I exchanged a thousand dollars sorted into hundreds.

Original Article can be found at:

So I find myself in the Philippines, traveling in the provinces and I'm having a great time exploring the beaches and the mountains when I find that I'm running out of the local currency. No problem, I'll just go to the local bank.

It's an American Express Travelers Cheque right? It's a name brand company and it should be easy to cash out, right? I mean, that's what the commercials say - you go in the bank with your cheque and happily come out with your money.

Not in the provinces.

ATM's are everywhere - use them!

The bank didn't accept. The next bank didn't accept. The problem was that no bank would trust a foreigner and a stranger by exchanging travelers checks. The banks in the province were not going to take the hassle to exchange what might be fake travelers cheques. I learned that I should go to the nearest American Express office in Manila, specifically in Makati the financial district of the Philippines.

So with my cash running out, my travelers checks can't be cashed in the provinces, what do I do? I use my credit card and get cash from the ATM machine! Using the ATM and getting money quickly will cost a few dollars in fees, but the convenience makes it worthwhile. 

That's right, anywhere in the Philippines and Asia for that matter is a nearby ATM machine by a bank, or a mall. Whether its in the provinces or the big city. You should be able to use your Visa or Mastercard that are in the Plus or Cirrus networks. Just look behind the back of your card to see which one you have. Most restaurants and department stores will accept American Express, Visa and Mastercard.

So now I had cash from the ATM machine using my Visa. I still wanted to cash out my American Express travelers checks. I was now in Ilocos Norte, so I had to take a Philippine Rabbit bus down to Baguio and from there, take a Victory liner bus down to Manila. Baguio is a big city and there might have been an American Express office, I didn't check. I decided upon the Manila office because I had friends there whom I could visit as well.

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A long journey to an American Express office

Must have taken around 10 hours to get to Manila by bus. All I have to say is that Philippines Rabbit and Victory Liner are two of the best bus lines in the Philippines. My memory is a bit fuzzy but I think the cost for a seat in an air-conditioned bus was around 200 Pesos years ago. That's about less than 5 dollars. The price should be about the same, bus tickets don't cost much and there are stops on the way to your destination.

The bus stops take a few minutes. You are given the oppurtunity to go to the bathroom, buy some snacks or drinks. Like me, you could just remain seated and continue napping.

Throughout the bus ride, people will be getting off and people will be getting on at multiple intervals. All they do is tell the bus conductor where they want to stop before hand or go to the front and wait for the location. Then tell the bus driver to stop.

At times, there are people by the side of the road and flag the bus to pick them up. Sometimes these will be guys selling peanuts, drinks, newspapers, corn and everything else that can be sold to hungry passengers.

Once I got to Manila, I took a taxi to Makati the financial center of the Philippines and the first thing I did was eat at Wendy's, yea that's right, Wendy's burger chain you find in the United States is also in Philippines. Not sure if the marketing is still current, but a few years ago in the Philippines, Wendy was a hot looking big titted model I saw on a billboard. A far cry from the American version of a sweet red head girl with dimples.

Regarding the taxi's in the city. Outside the Victory Liner terminal there's always a few taxi drivers waiting for people. I don't think much of these guys. I've had most of my problems with them regarding their meters. For some reason there's always a problem. Always ask taxi drivers to turn their meters on, if its broken or they start to ask for a set price, move on to the next one. Their trying to cheat you.

So I've walked a few blocks and flagged down a taxi. Ask for the meter before entering and if you are alone, take the front seat. I tend to get on the front seat, it breaks the ice and you can get some pretty good advise on where to go for.... anything.

Again, be friendly and try to talk with the driver. A lot of these guys are pretty friendly and speak multiple languages. If you trust the guy, see how much you could hire him for a day as a tour guide. Taxi drivers know where to go for some fun that might appeal to tourists from out of town. Yea, they probably get incentives to drive tourists to particular night spots, but if you're alone in the city, who else are you going to ask? Your momma?

Original Article can be found at:

After eating at Wendy's, I took a walk around the area and finally found the American Express office. The guard with their shotguns let me in and I cashed my travelers check. The process was easy once I entered the office, it was a quick transaction. Then I visited some friends and went back to the provinces the next day. That's how I wasted an entire day going and coming back to cash my American Express travelers check.

Advice from an experienced traveler

Now that I have some travel experience under my belt, I don't bother with travelers checks. I rely on cash and my credit cards. When going on vacation, In the case of money, once I arrive at the local airport, I exchange $200 into the local currency. This should last me a few days of food, souvenirs and entertainment.

In addition, if I need extra cash, I tend to bring $500 to $1000 separated in $20 dollar bills by groups of $100s in multiple envelopes. Then I place them in separate locations, a few envelopes in my carry-on luggage in different compartments, some in my shoulder bag, and then maybe my computer bag – all within reach of my body. There are multiple money changers or local banks that will exchange your dollars into the local currency for a small fee.

Original Article can be found at:

Notify your Credit Card Company! All of them!

Once your cash runs out, you can use your credit cards. Just a reminder, before you go on your vacation, call your credit card company and notify them when you are going on vacation, where you will be going and when you will be returning home. You really don't want to use your credit card in a foreign country and have your purchase rejected!

I normally use my Visa to get cash from an ATM at a local mall in the Philippines. When I had traveled to Thailand, the ATM machines were even more readily available.

The only other country I've traveled to has been Japan, and just FYI, the majority and I mean all domestic ATMs will not accept foreign credit cards! I was in Japan in 2008 and as I arrived, I took money from the ATM in the airport. I thought, great! Japanese ATMs work with foreign credit cards!

Once I traveled into the city and needed money, not one of the ATMs I tried worked! I had to go online and do some google searches. I finally found out that Citibank ATMs accepted foreign credit cards. I finally found a Citibank office where the ATM was located and I finally got some money.

I was really getting scared. I only had 1,000 Yen in cash left to my name. That was enough to buy a Big Mac meal from McDonalds, which I did after I found the Citibank ATM!

So there you go, travelers checks suck. Bring cash and exchange them into local currency and bring a few credit cards along and have fun on your vacation!

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Vacation Money

After one commentator talked about the amount of money a person can bring into a country, I'm now curious about how much money people bring with them on vacation. Personally, I only carry a few hundred dollars and no more than $1,000.

I then use money changers or pawnshops to exchange my dollars to local currency. Sometimes I go to a bank, but I've found that going to a money changer or pawnshop is easier and more convenient.

When I run out of dollars, and need additional funds, I use my credit card and look for an ATM.


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    • profile image

      Rod 2 years ago

      Shangrila hotel makati accepts or exchange Amex cheques only for its hotel guest staying with them

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 5 years ago

      I hear you. Good that you got help from your friends!

    • profile image

      LEO 5 years ago


    • profile image

      JD 5 years ago

      Thank you for all the informations. I learn a lot.

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 5 years ago

      That really sucks with your loss of $4,000 due to credit card fraud!

      That's a great point about creating a local account. For people staying for a month+ at one location, you might want to open a local bank account and just transfer money from your US bank.

      However, some people might stick with credit cards and cash for their travel needs.

      Like what nicole mentioned, they all have "pros and cons".

    • profile image

      nicole 5 years ago

      Except that when I was staying in Rome for a month about 4 years ago I decided to go with my credit/bank cards. I had my main bank and my backup bank cards. Within the first 4 days BOTH of my credit cards had been compromised and I was out almost $4,000 with no way of getting new cards overseas. I actually almost didn't make it back home because of it.

      I'm headed back to Italy in a week and will be staying again for a month. This time I've opened a bank account in Rome and am wiring the money from my account in the US to this new one. It's completely inconvenient and not realistic if you're traveling to several cities, like most people do.

      So my point is... I don't think it matters which one you take because they both have pros and cons, definitely more cons than pros for both.

    • profile image

      basti 5 years ago

      If only i read this before^^ next time no traveller checks anymore...

    • profile image

      Traveller fan 5 years ago

      Traveler check is not worth it, if traveling bring a friend, not a good idea have a girls traveling since need a man to protect lol, American, no ones like them.

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 5 years ago

      24 percent? WOW! Now that's highway robbery!

    • profile image

      Diane rothman 5 years ago

      Just returned from Florence where I was "robbed" in xchanging American xpress travelers checks into euros . In tot the money chNging office took 24 percent for the transaction!!! Awful!! Will never buy travelers cks again. Amex should do something to stop this milking !!!

    • profile image

      me 6 years ago

      A few years ago the ATMs in the Japan Post Office took American cards. However just went to India--ATMs do not take American credit cards--only chip and pin. Generally now travelers checks are a much bigger pain than cash.

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 6 years ago

      Wow! Thanks for the info Ray! Since writing the article, I've been using a mixture of cash and credit card. I use my credit car at most restaurants, department stores and hotels. I use the cash I bring with me for everything else. When I have a need for more money, I just go to an ATM.

      The only country I've had problems getting money from the ATM was in Japan. The machines in Japan don't work with foreign credit cards. The only exception was the Citibank ATMs. That's how it was in early 2010 when I was in Japan. Things might have changed since then and more ATMS might be compatible with non-Japanese credit cards! Can someone reply with their experience in Japan and the local ATMs?

      My experience was that I needed some money and I went to every local ATM machine near my hotel and could not get any money out of them. Some did not have an English option. Did some research on the Internet and found that Citibank ATMs were compatible with my credit card. Found a Citibank office a few blocks away from my hotel the next day and finally was able to get some cash!

    • profile image

      Ray 6 years ago

      I have just returned from a month long visit to Switzerland, Italy and Germany.

      I have carried all my money in American Express TC.

      I faced problem everywhere.

      In switzerland they took 3% commission. In Italy all banks refused TC and in Berlin the bank refused to encash 500$ bill. In berlin they took 8Euro per cheque.

      I have got a lesson now.

    • profile image

      Esteban 6 years ago

      Haven't used Travelers Checks for years because I could always find a no fee ATM and my bank only charges me a 3% foreign transaction fee. HOWEVER - that has changed. All of the foreign ATM that I have encountered now charge fees that can really add up and you are often limited to the amount that you can withdraw per transaction or day. Yes - I tend to be a cheapskate when it comes to giving money to the banks. On my next trip I will need to have access to several thousand dollars in cash in order to rent an apartment (no credit cards accepted) so I will probably take some travelers checks and find the local AMEX office. I've heard that there is no fee for cashing at an AMEX office. It's true that for general usage TC's are pretty useless. Hard to cash and high fees. My advice would be to check ahead and have multiple options for getting funds. Happy travels.

    • profile image

      gmchughtai 6 years ago

      they truly suckkkkkk never ever again

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 6 years ago

      Thanks for the info Richard! I guess people would have to find an American Express office somewhere in Spain, like what I had to do in the Philippines. However, if your on vacation with limited time and a few credit cards on hand, I'm not sure if people would travel to an American Express office in Spain.

    • profile image

      Richard 6 years ago

      Just came back from Spain. My bank there - Banko Popular would not accept Amex travellers cheques and said no bank in Spain would do so because they had been warned about forgeries.

    • profile image

      Scott 6 years ago

      I travelled to Taiwan recently. I knew my bank cards were iffy concerning out of country purchases, even after informing them of my travel itenerary. So I took a few thousand in Amex just in case I had to buy another ticket home, or if something major came up. I was in Taipei so there wasn't a shortage of banks. What I did was to simply exchange my moneys at the airports upon arrival and exit. No I didn't exchange the full amount, I just exchanged what I thought I would need for the length of the vacation and it worked out well. I came home with lots of travelers checks and can exchange them back in with my bank (where I got them). BUT since I PAID for the darn things I think I'll just hang onto them until my next vacation comes up.

      I also gave some as a last minute gift to a person and gave them notes about how to cash them here in the states. I told them to just take them to their bank for deposit or cash. I would think that most banks HERE should take them. Especially if you have an account with them. For me, the whole "extra traveler's checks" thing was nothing more than insurance. I certainly slept better at night while I was out of country alone for a few weeks.

    • profile image

      joe 6 years ago

      Got robbed in Rome a few years ago. Luckily , my Amex travelers checks were stolen. Got new ones the next day from Amex. While there is a convenience problem, they are a very secure way to protect your money.

    • profile image

      Denny 6 years ago

      I generally agree, BUT... believe it or not, there are places that charge huge fees for accepting credit cards or debit cards. That's because they get charged by Visa/MC/Amex or whoever, and they pass the fees on to consumers.

      I visited a small island in the Bahamas where the bar/restaurant basically functioned as the local bank, and they slapped a 5 percent surcharge for payments made with credit or debit cards. There were no ATMs on that island. There was no such surcharge for cash or traveler's checks, so I brought enough money in traveler's checks to pay the bill, plus cash for the bar and tips.

      And I didn't have to pay for the traveler's checks since I have an Amex card--I just went to an Amex office to buy them. (I believe you can get them free at AAA offices if you're a member, but it's true that you have to bring cash.)

      So while in most situations I would opt for using my ATM and credit cards, there are times when traveler's checks are better.

    • profile image

      Priscilla  6 years ago

      I wish I'd read this sooner, I just spent all day trying to find a U.S. bank to cash my unused American Express Japanese YEN travelers checks (20,000 YEN, approx $230), and no one would cash them, not even my own BB&T bank, with whom I have a checking account with $18,000 in it. After fussing and fuming, I finally looked up an American Express office and drove 30 minutes to redeem the Travelers checks. Net: Travelers checks are not as good as cash, nor will the banks treat them as checks (even if you have a checking account with them).

      I'll never purchase Travelers checks again.

    • profile image

      Espinaca Verde 7 years ago

      I went to Japan. I used my citibank debit card to take money out of my american account. Fee $10 and 3% of the amount. A real ripoff.

      At any bank, cash or t/c (traveller cheque) rates are shown. The rates for t/c are higher. I find that the posters here who bitch about traveller cheques are usually budget, cheapskate backpack travellers. I've never had a problem changing t/c s in Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan. What's your excuse?

    • profile image

      Freddy 7 years ago

      you may think travellers checks suck because you have to pay a convenience fee...big fuckin deal,,,you may haveforgotten that not all countries have atm's or have the capability of accepting credit cards, like me for example...i will be going to the only country in the world that americans are not allowed to travel to but because i have family there i am an exception. I will be travelling to Cuba.And having to pay a convenience feed does not bother me when in fact those checks are insured due to the fact your name is on it. You lose them and you have nothing to worry about, just show your receipt and you're covered.

    • profile image

      Richy 7 years ago

      Cashing TC in Manila, indeed a nightmare....

      Exchange shops do not take them and local banks told me they would only accept them if i had a savings account with them and it would take up to two months!

      At the Amex office in Makati, hard to find, they cashed me my USD TC but did not want my Euros denominated TC!

      I am still trying to cash these EUR ones....

      Well, in fact the Philippines are not the worse. This summer in France, I could not find any bank to cash Euros TC neither! Told me that with the Euro now they barely for foreign exchange transactions and they do not really know what TC are,,, even in Euros....

      What a world

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 7 years ago

      I'm looking at the US Customs website and Traveler's checks are considered "money" (

      "“Money” means monetary instruments and includes U.S. or foreign coins currently in circulation, currency, travelers’ checks in any form, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form."

      I'm assuming most countries would follow this definition of what is considered "money" when you have to declare at customs.

      I just found Japan's rules of declaring "money" at customs at

      "If you are carrying cash or other means of payment exceeding 1 million yen, you are required to declare to Customs. Please ask the Customs officer at seaport as well as airport for a blank form.

      What you have to declare

      1. Following items in excess of 1 million yen (or their equivalent):

      * Cash(including foreign currency)

      * Checks

      * Travelers checks

      * Promissory notes

      * Securities

      2. Gold bullion(not less than 90% purity) exceeding 1kg. "

      Again, Travelers checks are considered money in Japan.

      Now I figured, I might try one additional country, the United Kingdom, and I see ( that travellers' cheques are also considered money.

      "The term 'cash' covers:

      * notes and coins in any currency

      * bankers' drafts

      * cheques of any kind, including travellers' cheques"

      After looking at this info, I'm not sure how traveler's checks would help at customs.

    • profile image

      Alex 7 years ago

      One thing you are forgetting is that some countries have a restriction on the amount of cash you can bring in! That's when travellers checks are great instrument

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 7 years ago

      I was out very late looking for an ATM. That Mcdonalds was the only thing that was "cheap" and open other than the vending machines and the convenience stores.

    • profile image

      Well 7 years ago

      I can not believe. You go to a country and the first thing you do is to eat the same crap food we have at home.

    • profile image

      Sam 7 years ago

      I used to use foreign currency TCs when you could purchase them fee-free at the AAA office. I would cash them at the airport, usually for a better rate than cash. But those days are gone.

      Now, with the right credit card and the right ATM card, you can avoid all possible fees and get the best possible exchange rates. The people who talk about all the fees just haven't been shopping around. My Master Card and primary ATM have NO foreign transaction fees, and my backup ATM charges 3%, but rebates up to $6 of that at the end of the month.

    • profile image

      Shane Walton 7 years ago

      The process of getting AmEx checks replaced is horrendous in undeveloped nations! My checks were stolen in Ecuador and they wouldn't tell me what office could replace them until I printed/signed/scanned two forms. I explained that there was no printer (much less a paved road) in the town where I was living -- and they responded with one sentence stating they need these forms! Absolutely no protection when you actually need it!

    • profile image

      Rudy 7 years ago

      Don't blame the T/C's, it sounds like poor planning on your part. Rather than assume, find out the facts and have a back up plan.

    • profile image

      Rudy 7 years ago

      Doesn't matter how you get your money when travelling, someone will make a buck off you to change, convert, dispense money. ATM's in general will be the worse offenders.

      I travel with AMEX T/C's throughout ASIA and have had no problems whatsoever. They're inexpensive, good exchange rate and secure. A few more hoops to jump through for security sure and a bit of advanced planning but that's about it.

      As for ATM's, you deal with fees, poor exchange rates, possibility of having your card skimmed, lost, stolen or deactivated while your away. Credit cards, well they're just a rip off.

    • Flightkeeper profile image

      Flightkeeper 7 years ago from The East Coast

      It's been awhile since I've been to Europe, but when I travelled with Am Ex trav checks I had no problems finding a bank to change them to euros. Belgium, which was mentioned, was one of several countries that I skipped, so I don't know if they accept or not.

    • profile image

      Talen 7 years ago

      Sucks to here about your troubles in the Philippines with travelers checks but in most od SEA there is no problem. Particularly in Thailand where they can be cashed in any bank or kiosk easily.

      Thos of you that are extolling the virtues of cash and credit fail to explain the real problems with those monetary instruments.

      Cash is a no brainer...want to end a vacation or trip early , take cash. When you get robbed or lose your wad you are done....period! and you can bet there are people watching you wherever you go in the world eager to part you from your cash.

      ATM and Credi Cards. Sounds great until you realize you get screwed by multiple banks and fees. You will pay a high fee for the use of out of country ATM's by the countries bank then your bank will charge you a high fee for using an ATM machine out of the country and then your bank is going to hit you with a currency conversion fee. Travelers checks are cheaper in the long run and work in the majority of the world. Keep the ATM cards and credit cards as back ups

    • profile image

      Walt 7 years ago

      Search around yourself, but I believe most people agree that Capital One is the best debit or credit card to use internationally, as they do not pass on any fees.

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 8 years ago

      Most places in the world now accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express cards nowadays unless you visit the boonies in which case, you'd be smart enough to know that you'd need cold hard cash stuffed in different parts of your body and luggage.

    • profile image

      Lawrie Daub 8 years ago

      I paid a B & B in Belgium with 300 Euros in Amex travellers cheques. I later got an e-mail from the co-owner of the woman who accepted the cheque that no bank in all of Belgium would accept them. He is a bank officer in one of Belgium's major banking institutions, but I tried the banks anyway, with no luck. I later found out that Travelex accepts them, so I travelled to the nearest city with one of their offices only to be told that the commission to cash the cheques would be 6%. Amex and banks in Canada that sell these beasts advertise ease of use etc. This was most definitely not my experience in Belgium.

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 8 years ago


      Opening a separate "Vacation" account is a great idea for some people. Personally I'd still rely on my method, but the vacation account is a good way to keep your regular account safe.

      Also, a vacation account can be a great way to save money to use on vacation!

    • profile image

      lyrogersle 8 years ago

      I have relied on travelers' checks (mostly American Express) for years and in most cases in major European cities they have worked well. On my current trip from the west coast of the US to the midwest to Ireland and back to the midwest, the hotels, Irish banks and Chase cashed them, along with a local convenience store. When I returned to the convenience store to cash a check where I had done so only a few days before, the manager told me the store's bank did not accept them and a money exchange place nearby would not take them either. If you can, open a new account at a bank in advance of your trip, put your travel money in it apart from your "regular" money, and use the "travel" account card as your primary source of cash with the "regular" account as backup. Keep the cards apart so if one gets lost or stolen you will still have food.

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 8 years ago

      With the proliferation of ATM machines all over the world. I don't see any reason to buy travelers checks. As long as your credit card is in one of the major networks, like Cirrus or Plus, you should be able to get cash from any ATM machine in the world for a small fee. Look at the back of your card if you're not sure what network you're on.

      The other issue is the language of the ATM, but from traveling around, I've found a majority of ATMs give you the option of English.

    • Laura Berwick profile image

      Laura Berwick 8 years ago from Seoul, Korea

      Although I've never travelled in Asia with traveller's checks, I have used them in the UK and across Canada and never been hassled, although this was around 8 years ago. I haven't bothered to buy them when travelling in Asia as I have also found that ATMs are everywhere and if you use your credit card to take out a relatively large amount of local currency then the fee is pretty nominal.

    • Eaglekiwi profile image

      Eaglekiwi 8 years ago from -Oceania

      yipppeeee BiLO'S cash them, A SUPERMARKET chain (USA)!!! so if ya got any that are no good to you send them onto me ,hahaha!

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 8 years ago

      Yea, the only 100% CONFIRMED place that takes American Express travelers checks is the... American Express office!

      I'm not sure if the bigger national banks are accepting them in Asia or the rest of the world, but why bring upon yourself the hassle when cold hard cash or a credit card will do?

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      They are useless few places in Greece know what to do with them. Stick with the cash and the cards!

    • Eaglekiwi profile image

      Eaglekiwi 8 years ago from -Oceania

      just remembered something I read ,that  if its not cash then the banks have probably screwed it up, or on their way to doin so and grrr @ the wall st fat brats.

      actually the part that pissed me off the most is that I specifiaclly bought American Express because that's where I wanted to cash them in 'America' but I guess the whole banking system is jittery.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      I couldn't agree more. Many countries will not accept traveler's checks, they are outdated and generally not a smart idea.

    • Eaglekiwi profile image

      Eaglekiwi 8 years ago from -Oceania

      And get this ...they dont always work as well as they should even in the USA ,where their headquarters is at ,so I feel your frustration ,beleive me . We should never have taken it for granted that all International Airports would have their currency exchange counter open ( or exist) as we found out,then to receive blank looks when we needed to cash a check , really was annoying!

      But over all they are still better than cash ,enjoyed your hub thankyou

    • gbrgn profile image

      gbrgn 8 years ago

      Put it simply. Use cash or your credit card. Travellers cheques suck when your travel in Asia.

    • sophieqd profile image

      sophieqd 8 years ago

      why American Express travellers checks suck when you are on vacation

      Fantastic hub... I will be using some of your advice.

      -Nicki B.

    • profile image

      angelo 8 years ago

      agreed. I have been the the USA a few times, and buy american express travellers checks in US dollars in Australia. Some banks won't cash them, eg. TD bank. However Chase Bank is okay, and the fee is waived. The bank teller often doesn't know what it is, and the first question they ask is "do you have an account with us". ??Dumbo, haven't they worked out that I'm a tourist? So the first thing I say is "I'm a tourist from Australia, and I'd like to cash some travellers checks please".

      Also, most big hotels will cash them.