Using travellers cheques.

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 16:25
ThreadID: 70031 Views:2795 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Has anyone had difficulty in using travellers cheques within Australia?

I had them refused by a girl at a motel in Bulahdelah because her boss had told her not to accept cheques.

Are cash and credit cards the only alternative?
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Reply By: Horacehighroller - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 16:52

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 16:52
I don't know about Australia but swambo & I took them to Europe 3 years ago and they were a bit of a pain - people didn't want to accept them in B & Bs and Hotels, and alot of banks wanted to charge a commission to cash them.

That being said, we were robbed in Barcelona and because we had had American Express travellers cheques the people at Amex we fantastic. They offered to advise various authorities about our passports/licences/credit cards etc and to contact family(or anyone else) for us.

In future travel o/s I would take a couple just to avail myself of Amex's assistance in an emergency.

All that being said, financially take a VISA/Mastercard and a debit card and you'll be fine.

Peter
AnswerID: 371192

Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 16:56

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 16:56
They are not supposed to refuse travellers cheques as they are considered currency, and you legally cannot refuse currency. Most places in Aus would not be familiar with travellers cheques. Those that accept lots of overseas travellers, backpackers would, but that is more in city centres more familiar with them.
I would have said, "sorry, that's all I have, take it or leave it".... But then I'm probably pushier than you.... (: . Funny thing is, you are more likely to be dudded by a stolen or copied credit card, or a fake $50 note, than you are travellers cheques.
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AnswerID: 371193

Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 17:58

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 17:58
Hi Fred.
I agree that travellers cheques were designed to be close to true 'currency', but I don't think they ever got to the status of currency in either the UK or Oz. I have little or no knowledge of the USA in this regard.
An AMEX travellers cheque is just that, a promise by Amex to pay the face value, so its a good as Amex, not, for goodness sake, the esteemed Reserve Bank!!!
One practical aspect of a travellers cheque is that it is for a nominated amount, and a transaction will often involve change in cash. I'm not too sure how you'd go in some places offering a $100 note for a $2.50 item, let alone a travellers cheque. A bit like offering a wheat bag of 2 cent pieces to pay for a tank of petrol!!
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Follow Up By: DIO - Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 09:39

Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 09:39
Travveler's Cheques are NOT and NEVER have been classed as currency. As with ALL cheques, they are only a document/form that 'promises' to pay on presentation (at a bank/credit union etc). It's always up to the intended recipient if they choose to accept the cheque or not. Best method in Australia is either credit card or cash. With all the ATMs around the place there is no longer a need to carry excessively large amounts of cash.
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Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 16:57

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 16:57
Similar experiences to Peter above.

Cheques used to work well. Visa debit card or similar is now more accepted and easier to use.

We also carry some cash with us for those times where no one can take a credit card.
AnswerID: 371194

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 17:08

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 17:08
Well I would not even think about travelers cheques these days with credit cards in full swing.

We have been all over the place and never had a skerrick of trouble, carry a bit of cash (from the hole in the wall) and use the card everywhere. Much easier that worrying about where your trav cheques were.
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AnswerID: 371197

Reply By: Member - MR 1927 (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 17:32

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 17:32
Thanks people, I knew I could depend on this site for good advice.
AnswerID: 371202

Reply By: bgreeni - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 18:36

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 18:36
Need to be a bit careful with cards these days. My wife's family live in Moscow and they report that banks there are refusing to honour other banks credit cards as some banks can't pay. Looks like "Cash is king" may be coming back with the GFC.
AnswerID: 371207

Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 18:46

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 18:46
There is no law governing what type of payment will be accepted, it is upto the business owner on what sort of payment they want.

Depends where you are going, if travelling in remote areas most places will only accept cash.

Jervois Station on the Plenty Highway, a common fuel stop for outback travellers will only accept cash.

Travellers cheques can be cancelled at anytime and some places may only do banking once a month, so if someone cancelled there cheques they would loose the money.....most places are once bitten twice shy.

It is a pain carring upto $2000 in cash when travelling but sometimes you have very little choice.
AnswerID: 371208

Follow Up By: murranji - Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 13:33

Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 13:33
Jakarta 2008..American express refused to cash their own travellers cheque ex Australia..Extremely lucky we had access to cash or we had big problems..I am talking about an Amex office...Buyer beware!!!!!
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 17:30

Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 17:30
We don't accept Amex .
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Reply By: Member - Kingsley N (SA) - Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 17:53

Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 17:53
We gave up using travellers cheques a few years ago for all the reasons given above. If you don't have your own Visa type card with a pin to use in ATMs the best bet is one of these
Travelex cash passport
Have a look at the site to see the benefits. It works like a dream, but you still need to have a credit card for accommodation at least when checking in. If you restrict yourself to cash only, they are likely to ask for a huge deposit just in case you make a moonlight flip. You can still pay your bill using cash when checking out.

Kingo
AnswerID: 371359

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