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Travellers Cheques

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Travellers Cheques

My husband is thinking of taking US Dollar Traveller Cheques for use in Cape Town, Wine Areas, and along the Garden Route. He has read that they can be cashed in banks. We will use credit cards where we can too but he is wary about having large sums of cash as we travel. Can anyone comment on how readily they are accepted please.

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Travellers Cheques

I think you'd be better off using your bank card to withdraw cash from ATMs. If you don't want to carry large amounts of cash, you can withdraw modest amounts at visits to ATMs. I don't think traveler checks are convenient to use and I can't imagine you'd get a better exchange rate as compared to the ATMs.

South Africa
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2. Re: Travellers Cheques

No not a good idea, just use your bank card to get some money, better rates at the ATM . But tell your bank you like to use yours cards in SA.

It will cost a lot of extra costs to converter the cheques into real money. And alsomin wil cost you twice converting costs from Pounds into USdollanr and then into Rands..

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Travellers Cheques

You can always withdraw a larger amount of money and then distribute it through your luggage so that you don't have it on your person.

But to be honest if you are using your credit card for meals and such you could probably get away with only needing ZAR2000 (110 sterling) for 5-7 days.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Travellers Cheques

And if the luggage gets stolen ? hmm.

Johannesburg, South...
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5. Re: Travellers Cheques

Travellers cheques are probably the most inconvenient, inefficient, and least commonly used way to obtain local currency nowadays.

And, has been said above, with all the admin involved, you will not get the advertised exchange rate, after commission, admin and VAT has been deducted.

Also, using pounds to buy dollar cheques, then converting to ZAR, you will be paying for two very inefficient transactions.

{{If you HAVE to bring travellers cheques, for some reason, why bring them in dollars?

Pounds are acceptable in South Africa, and you'd be buying them with pounds, thereby eliminating one of the conversions.}}

A much better idea is to use your CASH card, to directly draw ZAR from any of the MANY ATM's, which abound in South Africa.... Airports, every shopping mall, some supermarkets, most filling stations, and elsewhere.

They are open 24/7, unlike banks.

You can draw up to R3000.00 per day, and you will get the most favourable rate..

Use your credit (or cash) card for payments in restaurants, shops, etc.

You will only need cash for casual roadside purchases, tips, etc; as cards are accepted just about everywhere.

As someone said in another thread, you can use a card to buy anything from a cup of coffee to a car, if you like.

Just make sure your bank / card company know you'll be using the cards in S.A.

AND, never accept assistance from stranger at an ATM, no matter how well dressed or well spoken....... true for anywhere in the world.

Enjoy your visit


Berkhamsted, United...
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6. Re: Travellers Cheques

Using your UK debit card at an ATM is the best way to get cash.

Otherwise consider a prepaid ZAR card such as Fairfax or the Post Office.

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7. Re: Travellers Cheques

Don't payments in Kruger such as conservation fees need to be paid in cash? We would only have a day like many travellers in Joburg before heading for Kruger which doesn't allow you to withdraw more than 3000 Rand and hardly sufficient.

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: Travellers Cheques

3000 Rand is more than sufficient. If you can spend more than that in a day in cash, you are doing it wrong! There are ATMs in Kruger as well!

Cape Town
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9. Re: Travellers Cheques

The withdrawal limit depends on the bank. Many Standard Bank ATMs allow single withdrawals up to R5,000, Nedbank and ABSA usually R4,000, I think only FNB is R3,000. But then this is a single withdrawal. You can make multiple withdrawals on your card up to your UK daily withdrawal limit. 300GBP = R5.500 500GBP = R9,200. Maybe use different ATMs as your bank's system may possibly see multiple withdrawals from the same ATM as suspicious.

But then, as far as I can remember, all SANParks gate and office facilities will take Credit Cards. Certainly all the shops do.

Edited: 31 January 2014, 09:06
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10. Re: Travellers Cheques

I think VdC is right- AFAIK Sanparks take credit cards for conservation fees etc.

@Andrew C - if you are going to enter KNP for 5 days and you are a couple you need R2500 ish to cover your conservation fees. Or if you are staying longer and buying a Wildcard (international couple) then you are looking at R2610. We were also caught out about five times in KNP over a month stay with ATMs being without cash for 2-3 days and problems with EFTPOS machine connections being down. So I would always recommend that if you are going to KNP for five days or more then get a decent amount of cash to cover these eventualities. :)