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How Do I Obtain Traveler’s Checks?

Traveler's checks were once a popular form of payment for travelers, providing a secure and convenient way to carry funds while abroad, but with the widespread availability of credit and debit cards, their use has declined in recent years. However, some people still prefer to use traveler’s checks when they travel. Here is how to get them:

  • Visit a bank or exchange service that still issues traveler’s checks. Check the provider's website or contact their customer service before you visit, to ensure the branch you go to offers this service. Be prepared to show identification, such as a passport, driver's license, or other government-issued ID and make sure you bring enough funds with you to pay for the amount of checks you would like to obtain.
  • Sign the Checks: Once you receive the traveler's checks, sign them immediately in the presence of the issuer. Traveler's checks are a type of prepaid instrument, and your signature serves as a security measure.
  • Keep a Record: Keep a record of the serial numbers, denominations, and the place where the checks were issued. This will help in case they are lost or stolen.
  • Exchange or Cash: If you need to use the traveler's checks as you travel, you can cash them at banks, currency exchange offices, or some hotels. Be prepared to show identification when cashing them. Keep in mind that there may be fees associated with cashing traveler's checks.

If you have traveler's checks left over after your trip, you can typically convert them back to your local currency at a bank or currency exchange office. Some providers may charge a fee for this service. Remember that while traveler's checks are secure, they are not as widely accepted as they once were. Many businesses and individuals prefer more modern payment methods like credit or debit cards. You can also use online money transfer services as a convenient alternative to obtaining cash, and often at favorable exchange rates, when you need it as you travel internationally. [WC: 332]

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