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  1. #1
    Jan_WI Guest

    Default travelers checks vs prepaid debit card

    Has anyone encountered problems cashing travelers checks while on a road trip thru the good ol' USA? I'd prefer to take travelers checks along on a trip from Milwaukee WI to Yellowstone National Park but the bank offered the option of a prepaid travel card. Now I'm unsure which is better. I usually don't use plastic, even at home, and lean towards the checks but have heard that they may not be accepted in all places anymore. Please offer any opinions you might have on the subject or experiences you may have had. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Travelers Checks just seems like a very outdated method. The last time I used them was on an international trip nearly 10 years ago, and even then, they were fairly cumbersome.

    Plastic gives you the same kind of protection (perhaps even more) than a check would, and you're going to be able to use it nearly everywhere. To me, going with a prepaid card would be the obvious choice. The only thing is it is important to make sure you are aware of the fees, as some prepaid cards can be very expensive. Hopefully, your bank would treat you right, but just something to be mindful of.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    More and more places are no longer accepting travelers checks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Not easy to travel without the plastic.

    Without a credit card you could come across problems with booking into Hotels. They like to put a security hold on your card [freeze funds] so that the card can be charged if they find damage in the room or discover some extras have not been paid such as a bar bill, phone calls etc after you have departed. A pre paid card would do the job, but there would have to be enough available funds to cover whatever the security charge is and it could take a couple of days before them funds are made available to spend.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-02-2014 at 12:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Another thumbs down on traveler's checks

    I've not used Traveler's Checks since the early 1980's and I wouldn't recommend their use to anyone. Cash and plastic -- with more reliance on plastic is my preference as well.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    We've noticed that a number of places no longer accept checks of any sort (including traveler's checks). I'd go with plastic, myself.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I usually don't use plastic, even at home,
    Well, it looks like it's time. Talk to your bank and get a CREDIT card.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    I wasn't even aware that traveler's checks were still available! I would go with the plastic as others have stated. Most hotels will ask for two things at check in: your driver's license (or other form of ID,) and a credit card.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Can't travel without a credit card.

    A prepaid Travel Card is not acceptable at hotels for security. They are happy for you to 'pay' with the Travel card, but they will still require a credit card. If you do not have a credit card, most places will want a cash deposit, which can run as high as $150. My credit card, although presented whenever requested, is never used for payment. All my transactions are cash.

    I'd get a non-frills credit card, if possible without fees, and pay it off promptly when due, each month. That way it will not cost you anything. Of course the bank would suggest a Travel Card, they get the extra fees.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    We used the Prepaid cards and while they work okay you have to be aware that you put money on them to take it off and sometimes when you aren't able to keep track of what you have spent on the card, it will deny it. After using the cards, it isn't always easy to close them out-depending on which you get. So they can be good and a curse too just be fully knowledgeable about their power and how to use them

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