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  #51  
Old 06-15-2018, 03:35 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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Back in 2012. When we took our big trip to Yellowstone last year I learned the bank no longer offered them.
  #52  
Old 06-15-2018, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
So you're equating the time it takes at a US bank to buy the checks with the time it takes in Chile to redeem them, and the times are equal? How do you know that?
Not only that, the time in Chile would be precious vacation time.
  #53  
Old 06-15-2018, 07:53 PM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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Not to mention Southern Hemisphere time.
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  #54  
Old 06-15-2018, 08:15 PM
davidm davidm is offline
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Originally Posted by Pantastic View Post
Not sure how Traveler's checks help with that. Yeah, you had to go to a bank to withdraw cash, but you also had to go to the bank to get traveler's checks, so that's a wash. The specific thing you did had a couple of hours of wait, but wouldn't you have the same wait buying checks?
Why would you have to wait a couple of hours to buy them at a bank? I used to purchase them at a local AAA office and IIRC it only took a couple of minutes. I can't imagine why it would take longer at a bank or Amex office.

Last edited by davidm; 06-15-2018 at 08:15 PM.
  #55  
Old 06-15-2018, 10:49 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
So you're equating the time it takes at a US bank to buy the checks with the time it takes in Chile to redeem them, and the times are equal? How do you know that?
No, I'm comparing the time it takes to buy traveler's checks with the time required to get cash. If it takes several hours to clear a transaction to get cash from a bank, why would the bank give you traveler's checks more quickly? Aren't they going to want to be sure the transaction actually clears, regardless of whether they hand you bills or checks?

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Originally Posted by davidm View Post
Why would you have to wait a couple of hours to buy them at a bank? I used to purchase them at a local AAA office and IIRC it only took a couple of minutes. I can't imagine why it would take longer at a bank or Amex office.
For whatever reason you'd have to wait a couple of hours to get cash at a bank. I'm not sure why getting cash would take several hours, and I really have no idea what bank would be willing to give you traveler's checks immediately but cash only after hours.
  #56  
Old 06-16-2018, 12:10 AM
davidm davidm is offline
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IIRC I always bought them with cash i had on hand, so the transaction was quick and easy. (Having cash on hand was pretty common back then.) I guess that explains my confusion about the timing.

I'm not sure how "after hours" enters into the conversation. I never tried to make such a transaction after hours.

Last edited by davidm; 06-16-2018 at 12:13 AM.
  #57  
Old 06-16-2018, 01:13 AM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantastic View Post
No, I'm comparing the time it takes to buy traveler's checks with the time required to get cash. If it takes several hours to clear a transaction to get cash from a bank, why would the bank give you traveler's checks more quickly? Aren't they going to want to be sure the transaction actually clears, regardless of whether they hand you bills or checks?



For whatever reason you'd have to wait a couple of hours to get cash at a bank. I'm not sure why getting cash would take several hours, and I really have no idea what bank would be willing to give you traveler's checks immediately but cash only after hours.
You could get travelers checks at your own bank in the US, where you have an account. It only takes a few minutes because they already know you have the money, and they take it right out of your account.

A foreign bank would typically accept a travelers check right away, so again, there would be no wait to get foreign currency if you wanted to exchange them.

There was no “couple of hours wait” on either end.
  #58  
Old 06-16-2018, 01:24 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is online now
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I THINK it was China in 2007. The next international trip we made (we were living in Bangkok) was Vietnam in 2010, and I'm sure that was the first time we relied exclusively on our ATM card.
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  #59  
Old 06-16-2018, 09:03 AM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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Originally Posted by suranyi View Post
You could get travelers checks at your own bank in the US, where you have an account. It only takes a few minutes because they already know you have the money, and they take it right out of your account.
You can get cash from your own bank too. It only takes a few minutes because they already know you have the money. This is not a magical property of Traveler's checks, this is how banks work. The several hours delay that I was responding to involved doing a cash advance against a credit card in a foreign bank, and I don't see where getting Traveler's checks instead of cash would help that. If you planned ahead and got checks in the US it might solve the problem, but you'd also solve the problem if you planned ahead and got cash.

Quote:
A foreign bank would typically accept a travelers check right away, so again, there would be no wait to get foreign currency if you wanted to exchange them.
Are you saying that a foreign bank wouldn't accept US cash for conversion into foreign currency, but would accept Traveler's checks? This runs contrary to what I've heard from people dealing with foreign currency, where US dollars are generally welcome.
  #60  
Old 06-16-2018, 02:35 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantastic View Post
You can get cash from your own bank too. It only takes a few minutes because they already know you have the money. This is not a magical property of Traveler's checks, this is how banks work. The several hours delay that I was responding to involved doing a cash advance against a credit card in a foreign bank, and I don't see where getting Traveler's checks instead of cash would help that. If you planned ahead and got checks in the US it might solve the problem, but you'd also solve the problem if you planned ahead and got cash.



Are you saying that a foreign bank wouldn't accept US cash for conversion into foreign currency, but would accept Traveler's checks? This runs contrary to what I've heard from people dealing with foreign currency, where US dollars are generally welcome.
The point wasn’t that travelers checks were more convenient than cash. The point was that they were safer than cash. If travelers checks were stolen they could be replaced. Remember this was in the age before ubiquitous ATMs and credit card acceptance. You could either carry a huge wad of cash, which could easily be stolen, or you took travelers checks.
  #61  
Old 06-16-2018, 03:59 PM
CharmaChameleon CharmaChameleon is offline
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The company I worked for issued travelers checks for all business travel until about 1990. After that it was all credit cards, sometimes even ones issued to the company.
  #62  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:17 PM
Icerigger Icerigger is offline
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I never leave home without them.
  #63  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:33 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suranyi View Post
The point wasn’t that travelers checks were more convenient than cash. The point was that they were safer than cash. If travelers checks were stolen they could be replaced. Remember this was in the age before ubiquitous ATMs and credit card acceptance. You could either carry a huge wad of cash, which could easily be stolen, or you took travelers checks.
No, that's definitely not the point. In the anecdote I was responding to, the poster was getting cash from a foreign bank. So any 'replace if stolen' protection would not be there, as he was getting foreign currency to carry around, not traveler's checks. I guess he'd have the protection during the 'plane flight - walk to foreign bank' leg of the trip, but that seems like a small fraction of the trip.
  #64  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:13 PM
nightshadea nightshadea is online now
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all travelers checks were was an international money order or that's how they were described to me when grandpa used them on our vacations in the 80s
  #65  
Old 06-16-2018, 09:19 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Last time was around 1993. The first time I got cash from an ATM in Cairo marked the last time I would get traveler's checks.
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  #66  
Old 06-16-2018, 10:08 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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1988, Ft. Gordon, GA. I had to take them to AAFES and exchange them for cash because the junk yard where I wanted to buy an engine wouldn't accept them, and military policy was no paychecks in cash, only in travellers' checks, unless your direct deposit was already working.
  #67  
Old 06-16-2018, 11:23 PM
doreen doreen is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantastic View Post
No, that's definitely not the point. In the anecdote I was responding to, the poster was getting cash from a foreign bank. So any 'replace if stolen' protection would not be there, as he was getting foreign currency to carry around, not traveler's checks. I guess he'd have the protection during the 'plane flight - walk to foreign bank' leg of the trip, but that seems like a small fraction of the trip.
Except that often there was no need to walk to a bank to exchange traveler's checks for cash. They have become much less common since the 90's because credit cards and ATM's have become more common. But when traveler's checks were more popular people would buy the checks at home (in the local currency of wherever they were visiting) and simply use the checks to pay for purchases since many businesses accepted them. So that "replace if lost or stolen" covered the whole vacation, not just the plane flight and walk to the bank.

The anecdote you responded to happened in the mid-90s , so it may have already become uncommon for businesses to accept traveler's checks as payment- but if he had bought traveler's checks in the US, it would have taken roughly the same time to convent them into local currency as it would have taken him to convert US currency into the local currency. And it's very possible that his hotel would have cashed the traveler's checks for him , which would have allowed him to cash some every day or two and minimize the amount of cash he was carrying around.






* I worked at fast food restaurants in the 80s that accepted traveler's checks and most other restaurants and stores and hotels did as well.

Last edited by doreen; 06-16-2018 at 11:24 PM.
  #68  
Old 06-17-2018, 10:34 AM
Musicat Musicat is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
1988, Ft. Gordon, GA. I had to take them to AAFES and exchange them for cash because the junk yard where I wanted to buy an engine wouldn't accept them, and military policy was no paychecks in cash, only in travellers' checks, unless your direct deposit was already working.
How odd. Your military pay was in traveler's checks?
  #69  
Old 06-17-2018, 12:02 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
How odd. Your military pay was in traveler's checks?
By the mid/late 1980s, at least in CONUS posts, the payclerks would no longer disburse in cash, so if for any reason you could not direct-deposit (such as the account still being processed) what would happen was that you would get a paycheck, then have it "cashed" in travelers' cheques at the next table over. I experienced that once in Basic Training, by the time the next pay period came around the direct deposit had kicked in.

At the time you were already being told to to set up an account that allowed direct deposit and ATM. However at that time that sort of account was not yet universal and many new enlistees were unbanked.

That BTW was my one and only use of travelers' cheques, ever.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 06-17-2018 at 12:03 PM.
  #70  
Old 06-17-2018, 12:46 PM
Musicat Musicat is online now
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It sounds like your "paycheck" was actually a voucher, redeemable only at specified locations, like the military clerk at the next table. If it was truly a check, it could have been cashed anywhere checks are accepted, like a bank or merchant.
  #71  
Old 06-17-2018, 01:00 PM
doreen doreen is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
It sounds like your "paycheck" was actually a voucher, redeemable only at specified locations, like the military clerk at the next table. If it was truly a check, it could have been cashed anywhere checks are accepted, like a bank or merchant.
It's possible- but it's way more likely that those who were cashing their checks at the next table simply didn't have a local bank account and preferred getting traveler's checks to paying a fee at a check cashing business. Even back then , few businesses would cash paychecks- supermarkets were the big exception.

Last edited by doreen; 06-17-2018 at 01:02 PM.
  #72  
Old 06-17-2018, 08:55 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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It was an actual check. We could have taken it and deposited it, or taken it to AAFES and have it cashed. The money order desk (which I think was AAFES) was just a convenience, and took the pressure off the military for handling cash. That is, the military would give us the check, and then we would go to the AAFES desk to cash the check, but policy wouldn't allow us to have more than a token amount of cash, so the rest was via purchasing travellers' checks.

This meant that AAFES was handling the cash, but AAFES was also earning all of those travellers' check fees.
  #73  
Old 06-17-2018, 09:14 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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1991 in Switzerland.
  #74  
Old 06-20-2018, 03:00 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is online now
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1984, when I hitched to New York City from New Mexico.

Pain in the butt to find a place that would process them — essentially only the banks that sold them themselves would touch them. I did in fact end up having them stolen, did have the receipt in my wallet, and although I spent the better part of an afternoon being stared at with utmost dubiety and suspicion by the bank personnel, they grudgingly allowed as to how I passed all the litmus tests and replaced them. I think they were still trying to suss out exactly how the scam worked when I went out their door.

Yeah, ATM machines after that.
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