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Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

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Dundee, Michigan
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Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

I am just curious, because I live in a pretty non-touristy area: Do people still tend to use travelers checks much when they travel? We always get them, just because it feels much safer than carrying large amounts of cash or depending on ATM machines in unfamiliar places, but I know that a lot of people do go the ATM route. I also don't like to depend on credit cards for the same reason that I don't like to carry large amounts of cash, the risk of theft. We are planning a trip to the Boston area in about six weeks and I am curious if tourists in your area commonly still use travelers checks or if the restauranteurs and shop owners in your area prefer cash or credit cards. Thanks!

Boston
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1. Re: Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

While Traevlers Checks are still around, their usage has dropped tremendously. There used to be reasons for carrying them, but with the availability and wide-spread acceptance of credit cards and ATM cards, it seems there is little advantage in their use.

Even (or particularly) in foreign countries, where folks (including me) used to get Travelers Checks to have foreign currency without have to go through undue hassle find that it's actually now a much bigger hassle dealing with cashing them (and worse yet, having to pay for the priviledge).

ATM cards are really wonderful for being able to get local currency in most corners of the world at the best exchange rates you can get. And for purchases, Visa and Mastercard are the way to go.

That's a long answer to your short question. Bottom line, I wouldn't bother with Travelers Checks anymore.

Boston...
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2. Re: Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

I would check to see if your bank has ATM's in this area that do not charge a fee. Sometimes your bank, as well as the bank with the ATM, will both charge fees and that can really add up. If that is the case, you might want to get some travelers checks. I have used traveler's checks that I had leftover from previous trips at various places in this area including the area malls and my local grocery store and never had a problem. Considering the number of tourists that visit Boston, I would be very surprised if you ran into a problem using them. You can usually cash them at the front desk of your hotel if you do run into a problem.

Dundee, Michigan
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3. Re: Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

Thanks for the help, guys. I had a feeling that they weren't as widely used as they used to be, but I always consider that if we got my purse or my husband's wallet stolen, at least some of our cash and credit cards would be in either of them and we would be up a creek, where with travelers checks, if I carry the checks and my husband carries the receipts, then at least we have a chance at getting our money back. I didn't know that you can usually cash them at the hotel desk. Thanks for that tip!

Staffordshire...
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4. Re: Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

I've always brought travellers cheques with me to Boston. I've never had a problem with hotels cashing them for me, or any stores either, infact I've bought things from carts in Quincy Market and they've taken them too. I guess it's whatever makes you feel less fraught.

Boston
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5. Re: Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

I still use them when I travel, but I'm old fashioned that way, it took me forever to get a debit card!. I went to Ireland last summer and it worked out very well with travelers cheques. You can cash them at the bank during the week in the vairous towns you happen to be in. Toward the end of the trip I used a debit card a few times and it worked out fine. I have to tell you though, it was a charge and a half on my statement I got a few weeks later when I got home! It was a much higher fee! I decided I'm still going to stick with travelers cheques regardless and use the debit card at the end of a trip.

It's up to you and how comfortable you are with plastic. You really have to be so careful at the various ATM machines now, more than ever. I really like the drive up ATM machines, but when I'm in downtown Boston I like the ones that are right inside the different banks, they're safer I think.

Paris, France
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6. Re: Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

I intend to bring traveler cheques with me to Boston. Do i pay commision when i cash them?

Thanks!

Boston, MA
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7. Re: Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

I agree with a few others that they are less widely used now for everday transactions. If you can get your hotel to cash them then that will work better but unfortunately at most regular places you will find the staff unsure of how to handle them.

I would recommend using a debit card to get cash once here or use credit cards. They are more widely accepted and you will have less hassle.

Good travels!

Boston and...
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8. Re: Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

Remember that Travelers Cheques are free at AAA if you're a member. Also, there are a lot of local establishments in Boston that give a AAA discount (on food, too). That said, I'm an ATM person. With cards, just like with money, the rule is "spread the risk" -- e.g., spread resources among several pockets. THAT said, I have never been or felt at risk in 25 years in Boston.

Now, driving's another thing... (Sorry, you just need to treat it as a sport -- but you indicated in another thread that it's your forte.)

9. Re: Are Travelers Checks Widely Used?

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