Any idea how I can cash this check issued in British pounds?

In June I took a trip to England (it was fabulous, thanks for asking!). I had ordered an Oyster card (public transit) through the mail preloaded with 20 pounds. It worked beautifully the first day and got me into London and for a few bus rides. The next day no dice, nothing, do not pass go. The ticket office man told me it still had 15.20 on it but was inactivated and gave me a number to call and sold me a new oyster card which worked fine for the rest of the trip.

I had called the number, was given another number, then an email, blah blah blah. Eventually, weeks after my return to America, I received a check for 15.20. Fifteen pounds, twenty pence.

My bank won’t take it. The Travelex money exchange place at the airport won’t take it. It’s an HSBC check. The nearest HSBC is 4 hours away. They’ve told me by phone they won’t take it if I mail it, endorsed, to a friend that lives near an HSBC.

Any ideas? Besides accepting that $23.8564 isn’t all that much money in the grand scheme of things. Or worth going to very much more trouble for.

I’m really surprised your bank didn’t take it. I’m eager to see what the solution is…

Send it back, all it costs is postage!

Send a letter saying while you appreciate the effort it was somewhat wasted, as the closest place that will cash it is 4hrs away, as it’s not drawn in US funds. Do tell them you tried your bank (What the hell? In Canada the bank would take the cheque I believe, maybe charge you a fee because it’s a foreign currency, but still), the airport exchange, (again, what the hell? Any airport exchange should take it if you have ID.), and the only HSBC is 4 hrs away.

Ask them, politely, if they could see their way to taking another shot at it. Pointing out that you were patient and understanding, at the time, purchasing another card, and have since made all the correct phone calls and inquiries, etc. For all your efforts you have been rewarded with a cheque you cannot seem to cash.

You’re only out the postage for your effort, a short note to write, and wait to see what happens.

Good Luck and do let us know how it turns out!

I would have thought that fees would eat up most if not all of a cheque for such a trifling amount. Is it crossed to bearer only or could you make it out to a British person and have them cash it and send you $20 by Paypal?

My local bank stocks pounds and euros. I would certainly expect they’d be able to cash a check (er, 'scuse me, “cheque”) written in them. Then convert them to dollars and you’re done.

Odd, here you would just deposit it, of course it would take a month to clear and they would freeze that amount until it did, and there would be charges, probably fifteen quids worth. :smack:

Sign it on the back and send it to someone in England. My bank says don’t put foreign currency into the hole in the wall, but I did and they figured it out.

Mail it to me, along with your full name, banking information, and SIN. I will ensure it gets deposited in your account. I’ll need your PIN too.

That’s probably what I’d do – deposit it in the ATM, and see if someone smarter can figure it out.

Of course, I have a sensible bank that would be happy to accept a cheque in GBP, so that’s just a hypothetical.

Dopers are always so happy to help!

Funny, Leaffan doesn’t sound like a typically Nigerian name :dubious:

I don’t understand why your bank won’t take it. I’ve cashed all sorts of foreign currency cheques the “other way around” with UK accounts.

If you get them to make the cheque out to me I will do it for you and send ya the money by bank transfer (or paypal or something - banking is basically free for normal services here so I am not used to all the weird charges they put on in the US, would it cost you money to receive a SWIFT transfer?) no worries.

Where do you bank, a small community bank/CU or a large, multinational, fee-you-up joint (ie. Citi, BofA, etc)?
My guess is the former & they don’t have a ForEx desk.

It’s forex or Forex. Not ForEx. You’re thinking of FedEx lol

just fighting some ignorance

that’s not the termI’d use

What bank are you with?

My bank can’t deal in foreign currency. Not sure the exact reasons, but they are a small community bank. If I want to do any transactions in foreign currency, I have to visit a Bank of America branch (or any other bank that can do foreign currency transactions) and pay fees. Try calling other banks and see if they can help you.

Who is the cheque made payable to? Does it say ‘a/c payee only on it’?

That doesn’t even require stocking the original currency, just applying the conversion and any applicable fees.

Then again, as someone who had a check drawn in Citibank Spain rejected by Citibank US on account of “we don’t know this bank”, I feel the OP’s pain…

I once got a cheque from an English publisher (actually, the British office of an American publisher) for what eventually amounted to over $2000. My local bank, one of the big five Canadian banks, wanted $35 to cash it. I wrote to the publisher and they sent me a replacement in USD, which my bank was happy to handle for free (I have a USD account there). They explained all they would have to go through to cash it. Incidentally, US banks generally charge a hefty fee for cashing cheques drawn in CAD.

On the other hand, a Swiss bank was happy to cash a cheque in CAD and put a hold of only 8 days on it. This was in 1975 before everything got wired. Switzerland is the best place to change money. When I left Japan with nearly a quarter million yen and knew I was going to Switzerland a month later, I simply held on to the yen and changed them when I got off the plane in Zurich. Once when I tried to change a Traveler’s check in France, it took 15 minutes with forms, passports, talking to a bank official, etc. In Zurich Hauptbahnhof it took 15 seconds. Stamp, glance at passport, here’s the money sir.

American banks like to play this game where they pretend other countries don’t have banks. I’ve run into the Citibank issue mentioned above—even when they OWN the foreign bank, they pretend it doesn’t exist.

You say your bank won’t take it. Fair enough; have you asked to speak to a branch manager to find out how to cash it? What I would do is escalate it within your bank until you find someone who can. They CAN accept the check, you know, it’s just not worth the cost for them to do so, and the bank teller probably doesn’t know what all the options are.

(In the old days, I’d have said “sign it over to me and I’ll mail you an American check for $23” but I doubt if my British bank would take a third-party cheque anymore.)