I can tell you they're not widely used -- can't remember the last time I saw someone using them. I expect they're not so widely accepted any more, but not sure. The easier way to spend Canadian money would be to use your ATM card to withdraw Canadian cash from an ATM just don't make lots of small withdrawals or you'll pay a lot in fees. Credit cards are also widely accepted. Both probably give an as good or better deal than getting travellers cheques in terms of exchange rate and fees. I would say that you are going to run into a lot of resistance trying to use travelers cheques anywhere in North America.
For one thing, I would hazard a guess to say that, any young clerks now in shops have no idea what they are. Likely, you would be directed to a bank to have them cashed. My advice would be as follows The 'hole in the walls' are everywhere here. One thing as well, I have yet to check into any hotel here in Toronto , that does not want a credit card for ID. Even passports are not accepted. Probably to make sure that no one leaves without paying.
Unfortunately the reality is that 'fees' are now a part of international travel with regards to using credit cards. If you have a credit card with a 'chip' make sure that it has a 4 pin number as that is the standard here in NA. Although 'chip' technology is in most shops, some smaller retailers have yet to switch from swipe to chip. I would not bring GBP's and expect to exchange them here without being over charged by the money exchangers. Assuming that you will be staying somewhere in downtown Toronto , there are banks on just about every corner.
But back to the banks: you wouldn't have a problem cashing your Amex T-cheques in a bank. Most hotels these days have an online concierge who can answer this kinda thing. I'd use these for hotels, major bills, and mainstream stores and bring cash for small tabs and places that might not take cards generally the UK post office consistently gives her a good deal on currency. I agree that traveler's cheques are not used as widely as they used to be.
However, in my experience for the most part you won't have any problems cashing travellers cheques. The odd place will turn then down, even though they are supposed to be regarded the same as using cash. I have recently used Amex travelers cheques in both Canada and the U. The main thing is to have your driver's license handy they usually write the number on the back of the traveler's cheque. If you don't have a driver's license, bring photo id.
The only thing I have noticed using traveller's cheques is it will take a little longer at the check out counter due to needing to show id or if there is a new person working they will need to get the manager to walk them through the steps. Hope this helps. I live in Owen Sound, Ontario. My mother had passed away in Canada at the end of summer, and her last wishes were to have a celebration of her life held in Barbados, where she was born.
I went to Royal Bank in Barbados who gave me a number to call, and said that the TCs would probably be replaced within 24 hours. When I called American Express, I had great difficulty understanding what the person on the other end was saying because they had a very strong foreign accent. I asked to speak to a supervisor, but none was available. Anyway, after giving them all the required information, they said this would be passed on to a manager and I would receive a call within 24 hours. We were in Barbados for 17 days, and the matter was not dealt with, in spite of numerous telephone calls.
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I would rather take the risk and carry cash than be left with no funds at all. That is too bad to have to go through all that stress when you are supposed to be on vacation.. It might be worth your while to send in a written complaint to American Express about your recent experiences.
Like you, I usually like to bring some of my funds in travelers cheques when I go out of the country.
I usually use my credit card, but don't like to carry cash and I bring the Travelers Cheques more as a back up than anything that way I am just not relying on one form of cash. This March when I was in the States I had an incident cashing traveler's cheques and am probably going to stop buying them. The thing is as I mentioned above if you talk to any bank they will tell you using them is no different than producing cash when paying for something.
Anyway I was at a well known department store in Florida purchasing two blouses and the clerk was not impressed when I took out my traveler's cheques.
It was nearing the end of my trip and I figured rather than return home with them I may as well spend them. Anyhow the clerk informs me they would only accept one. I asked why and so he said he would get the manager to explain.
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So the manager comes out and tells me since I would require change back they would only accept one of the TC's and I would have to pay cash for the balance. I guess if this is their policy what can you do, but they were very rude about the whole thing and I am sure I was at the counter for over 20 minutes while they figured this out.. After this I thought it is just not worth using traveler's cheques any more which is really too bad, I have been using them all my life and find they are a good thing to have if you don't want to carry cash.
In this case it's really not the fault of American Express but I am just thinking it's just not worth the aggravation any more. No matter what form of currency you use when you travel, there are going to be fees, whether they are obvious right off the top like exchange fees or some ATM fees, or folded into an exchange rate; it's just a fact of life. I don't know how widely accepted they are by hotels, shops and restaurants. I think that really the only value they have to travellers nowadays is if you have them stashed, somewhere other than with the rest of your money and credit cards, for emergency use.
Had you told AMEX you lost them, your cheques would have been replaced in 24 hrs. In addition, security concerns of retailers has led to many businesses ceasing to accept them, in turn making them less attractive to travelers. This has led to complaints about the difficulty that holders have in using them. In much of Europe and Asia, traveler's cheques are no longer widely accepted and cannot be easily cashed, even at the banks that issued them. Since traveler's cheques do not earn interest, one of the main incentives financial institutions have to sell traveler's cheques is that they effectively represent an interest-free loan from the purchaser to the seller.
The sustained decline in interest rates in most of the developed world since the early-to-mid s has substantially reduced the profitability of traveler's cheques for their issuers. Financial institutions have responded to this development by charging new fees for traveler's cheques, increasing existing fees, or by exiting the business altogether. Traveler's cheques are sold by banks and agencies to customers for use at a later time. Upon obtaining custody of a purchased supply of traveler's cheques, the purchaser would immediately sign each cheque.
The purchaser will also receive a receipt and some other documentation that should be kept in a safe place other than where they carry the cheques. Traveler's cheques can usually be replaced if lost or stolen, assuming the owner still has the receipt issued with the purchase of the cheques showing the serial numbers allocated. To cash a traveler's cheque to make a purchase, the purchaser would, in the presence of the payee, date and countersign the cheque in the indicated space. Traveler's cheques are available in several currencies such as U. Traveler's cheques do not expire, so unused cheques can be kept by the purchaser to spend at any time in the future.
The purchaser of a supply of traveler's cheques effectively gives an interest-free loan to the issuer, which is why it is common for banks to sell them "commission free" to their customers. A payee receiving a traveler's cheque would follow its normal procedures for depositing cheques into its bank account: usually, endorsement by stamp or signature and listing the cheque and its amount on the deposit slip.
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The bank account will be credited with the amount of the cheque as with any other negotiable item submitted for clearance. In the United States , if the payee is equipped to process cheques electronically at point of sale see: Check 21 Act , they would still take custody of the cheque and submit it to a financial institution, particularly to avoid any confusion on the part of the purchaser.
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The widespread problem of counterfeit traveler's cheques has caused a number of businesses to no longer accept them or to impose stringent safeguards when they are used. It is a reasonable security procedure for the payee to ask to inspect the purchaser's picture ID ; a driver's license or passport should suffice, and doing so would most usefully be towards the end of comparing the purchaser's signature on the ID with those on the cheque. The best first step, however, that can be taken by any payee who has concerns about the validity of any traveler's cheque, is to contact the issuer directly; a negative finding by a third-party cheque verification service based on an ID cheque may merely indicate that the service has no record about the purchaser to be expected, practically by definition, of many travelers , or at worst that they have been deemed incompetent to manage a personal chequing account which would have no bearing on the validity of a traveler's cheque.
Some purchasers have found the process of filing a claim for lost or stolen cheques is cumbersome, and have been left without recourse after their cheques were lost or stolen. The widespread acceptance of credit cards and debit cards around the world starting in the s and s significantly replaced the use of traveler's cheques for paying for things on vacation. In , American Express released the American Express Travelers Cheque Card , a stored-value card that serves the same purposes as a traveler's cheque, but can be used in stores like a credit card.
It discontinued the card in October A number of other financial companies went on to issue stored-value or pre-paid debit cards containing several currencies that could be used like credit or debit cards at shops and at ATMs, mimicking the traveler's cheque in electronic form. One of the major examples is the Visa TravelMoney card. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
Money portal Numismatics portal. See also American and British English spelling differences. Archived from the original on October 15, Competition Commission. Archived from the original PDF on Retrieved American Express. Retrieved July 17, Retrieved January 3, Ameriprise Financial First Data Corp. Henry Wells William Fargo J.