If you’re getting ready to go on vacation, you may have been advised to bring traveler’s checks with you instead of credit cards or too much cash. Printed with a set value, traveler’s checks can be cashed or redeemed, a little at a time, once you’ve arrived at your destination and need money. Traveler’s checks provide a sense of security for many, and it may be the way to go next time you go on a trip. But before relying solely on traveler’s checks, weigh both the pros and cons.
Disadvantages of traveler’s checks
It may not be easy to find locations to take your traveler’s checks for cash.
It will cost you—using a traveler’s check will require paying a small activation or transaction fee, unless you receive a promotion from a company that offers completely free traveler’s checks. And depending on where you’re traveling, it might actually be cheaper to use a debit or credit card.
You’ll need to be very organized with your finances throughout your trip, as you’ll need to know exactly what your remaining value is.
There’s a good chance you’ll still need to bring a credit card or a small amount of cash anyways, as not all vendors will accept traveler’s checks.
Advantages of traveler’s checks
While it’s true that a lot of vendors won’t accept traveler’s checks, many will. In fact, it’s likely that the hotel you’ll be staying at will be able to redeem them for cash, making the whole process very convenient.
Although you have to constantly keep track of how much you spent and how much exactly remains, this can actually be a good thing, as it can help you to stick to your vacation budget.
If all you bring is credit cards and technology isn’t cooperating somewhere (for example, a vendor’s credit card system goes down), you’ll have your traveler’s checks (or the cash from your traveler’s checks).
Perhaps the biggest advantage of all is the fact that lost or stolen cash or credit cards, especially when on vacation, can be an absolute nightmare. If it’s a lost or stolen credit/debit card you’re dealing with, you’ll have to contact your lender as soon as possible to cancel the card before any fraudulent charges are made. And there’s nothing that can be done about lost or stolen cash. But traveler’s checks will keep your money safe, and if they’re lost or stolen, can be quickly replaced.
Do you need a lump sum of cash now? Whether you need money to travel, make a large purchase, or pay off debt, we may be able to help. Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today if you’re receiving long-term payments.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.