We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Travellers Checks

Little Rock...
Level Contributor
2,128 posts
118 reviews
Save Topic
Travellers Checks

As a backup for ATMs, are travellers checks easily cashed in Japan? Thank you

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
54,850 posts
158 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Travellers Checks

You can use traveler's checks and cash them at banks. However, I find this rather time-consuming due to the limited banking hours for foreign exchange. You can also cash them at hotels and larger department stores but you will incur a less favorable rate. My suggestion is simply to bring some extra cash in your home currency just in case anything goes wrong with an ATM transaction. Normally though, you can just use the ATM at the airport and get enough money to last you quite a while. Carrying a stash of cash around in Japan is generally very safe.

Kanazawa, Japan
Level Contributor
3,920 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Travellers Checks

Whether you carry home currency cash or travelers checks, you will have the same dilemma to exchange them - only during banking hours and only at banks authorized to do foreign exchange.

TCs have two advantages. One is if you lose them, the money is not gone...they can be replaced. The other is that the exchange rate for TCs is much. much better than for cash. The banks can also be picky about the condition of bills, refusing to exchange bills which are folded, torn or marked in any way.

Kurashiki, Japan
Destination Expert
for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
Level Contributor
16,094 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Travellers Checks

TCs are a pain in the neck, which is why I haven't used one since 1985. Most local people have no qualms about walking around with thousands of dollars in cash, as it is a cash-oriented society. I am not suggesting you do this, but Japan is certainly safe enough, and postal ATMs are everywhere so you will have no problem wihtdrawing cash when needed. I think there is a limit on the amount one can withdraw from a foreign account, my mother couldn't withdraw more than 50,000 yen at a time the last time she was here (others, correct me if I am wrong here)...

Kanazawa, Japan
Level Contributor
3,920 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Travellers Checks

Although the local limit for postal ATMs is very high, the limit for cards from other banks, including foreign banks, is set by your home bank. If you don't know what your limit is, be sure to check.

I would never rely on only ATM anywhere in the world as my only source of money. I regularly buy TCs here in japan for use when we travel, as the exchange rate is far better than for cash (for both buying and selling yen). We also use credit cards. I've not encountered trouble buying or selling TCs in Japan. In Thailand, it has been my experience that you get more baht for TCs than cash. In Cambodia, I am able to use my US$ TCs to pay my guesthouse charges, and have no trouble exchanging them for cash at a money changer. Singapore also has a better exchange rate for TCs in my experience, and again, dead easy to exchange at the airport or any of the many moneychangers on the street.

IMO, TCs are the best back up for ATM. And if you are using ATM, when you check your withdrawal limit. be sure to check charges and exchange fees. Many banks charge a flat rate fee for out of network ATM use, plus a % fee for foreign exchange, making it very costly.

Durham
Level Contributor
1,036 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Travellers Checks

The daily withdrawal limit may be lower for ATMs abroad than at home.

I found this out the hard way when I meant to withdraw a small amount of won at Incheon airport in Seoul so I could buy a quick bite to eat and get over to Gimpo for my onward flight to Haneda. Unfortunately I accidentally put an extra zero on the end of the amount! This resulted in the ATM at Haneda not giving me the 30,000 yen I requested but instead only a receipt for 30,000 yen!

I know Route-san wouldn't approve but I'd arrived with only enough yen to travel the one stop on the train to the station at the airport perimeter.

Thankfully this ATM (Seven Bank I think) had a free phone attached to it and I got through to someone who spoke English who reassured me my 30,000 yen hadn't vanished and that I'd probably just requested too much for that day. Sure enough it did give me 10,000 yen and I could continue on my way. Phew!

(Those won could have been exchanged somewhere and I did also have a credit card from a different card network so your advice on sources of money weren't completely wasted on me Route-san!)

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
Level Contributor
23,531 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Travellers Checks

you can also cash traveler cheques at many post offices as well, but it takes at least 15 minutes (as opposed to 5 at the airport). I usually land in Japan with hardly any yen, but half dozen cards, USD T/C and USD cash. Of course USD T/C get the best exchange rate.

7. Re: Travellers Checks

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 25 October 2012, 12:18