Conversion rates for Travellers cheques vs Cash

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Mal, Apr 17, 2006.

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  1. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    Just about everywhere I have been, I see a better exchange rate for TC's over cash. Sometimes places want you to pay a transaction fee (and sometimes tax :( ), but generally TC's give you more money than the equivalent cash.

    Now, when I was in the UK recently, several places I went past (including some who were affiliated with global exchange companies) were completely opposite. They offered good rates for cash, but poor rates for TC's.

    Havn't seen this before. Is this common in any other countries?
     

  2. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    No I have not seen this in my travels.

    In Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore the better rates and fees most of the time are for TC's.

    In Thailand the last few days have noticed that the exchange rate for traveller's cheques can be between 0.5% and 1% better than cash depending on the exchange rate.
     
  3. auriga

    auriga Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
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    I would not bother with TC in Singapore.
    The money changers in Chinatown/ Little India area gives very good rates for cash, and are also good places to change third currencies with very little loss.
    Remember that bargaining is possible.
     
  4. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
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    But if you get commission free travellers cheques and you get a better rate for tcs at the changer you are still better off in asia to do it that way.
    I am just back from the USA and once again took most in $US tcs.Absolutely no problems using them,only once asked for ID although everytime when using credit card.
    Again got them free of commission and at CBA you get them at the conversion rate for the day so cheaper than getting cash.Also beware the airport.Yesterday at brisbane airport the rate for $US was68.6 whilst at CBA 73.36.
     
  5. Reggie

    Reggie Established Member

    Mar 20, 2006
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    ddron,

    Where do you change your tcs for cash in the US, hotels, airport, other? Do they charge a fee or just swap the cash for tc amount.

    I have never used tcs and am about ot get some US$ and euro's. Is coverting euro tcs the same as in the US?

    I am thinking of going with tcs' as CBA do them for free for gold card holders.
     
  6. drron

    drron Enthusiast

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    I use them at stores restaurants and hotels.I usely take them in $US100 denomination.Mrsdrron loves shopping and usually persuade her to make a small purchase eg$20 so get $80 in change.Never been knocked back,only occas in the US asked for ID.Would not use a bank as you will be charged.Some hotels will charge but you can go and have a couple of coffees in the lounge and pay with tc without commission so I do not understand their reasoning.
    In asia virtually any money changer,not a bank.I havent used tcs in europe as it doesnt seem to be as accepted there.
     
  7. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
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    I agree that in the US TC's can be used virtually as cash in many places (for example, at LAX I buy a newspaper for $1 and get the change in cash - cheaper than banks' commission).

    As for Euros, you need to be very careful. If you get Amex TC's (recommended), you can exchange them for cash commission free at Amex offices and nominated banks (eg Banco Santander) in Europe. Better check where these branches are before you go, via the Amex website. Otherwise, expect to pay a hefty commission at money changers and other banks, etc.
     
  8. Reggie

    Reggie Established Member

    Mar 20, 2006
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    Manchester
    Thanks drron and clifford, unfortunately I have already wasted my time and money getting cold hard cash in $us and euro. I will definitley give the tc's ago in the US next time
     
  9. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I actually did notice in BKK airport the day fees for travellers cheques which I have not seen before.

    The cash rate for A$1 was 27.48Baht and TC's was 27.72Baht. The processing fee is 30Baht + 3Baht Tax = 33 Baht per TC.

    If you had a A$100 TC then you would be worse off with a TC rather than cash.
     
  10. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    Yah, got this applied last time I changed TC's at departures @ BKK.

    It's only ~$1, so not the end of the world. Some other places have some steep TC's fees - anything up to 5 pounds or 5 Euros.. That's when you start feeling it on small cheque transactions!
     
  11. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
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    But at BKK airport you are using a bank.In town most of the money changers do not charge a commission.One outside river city shopping plaza also tries to charge this commission for cash as well so always ask first.
     
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