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Should you say Bon Voyage to Travellers Cheques?

By Bidvest Bank
30-11-2015
Passport? Check. Plane tickets? Check. Travellers cheques? Maybe not. With so many forms of forex available nowadays, travellers cheques are not the go-to option they used to be. Although they’re still a fairly safe choice as you can replace them if they get lost or stolen, they may not be your best bet when it comes to cost and convenience. Here are a couple of reasons you may want to trade paper for plastic the next time you head abroad.

The cost factor
Travellers cheques come with costs like commission fees and conversion charges, so it’s worth doing your homework to get a good idea of what you can expect to pay. What’s more, you’re likely to receive a better exchange rate when using your credit or debit card, or a prepaid travel card like the MasterCard® World Currency Card™, than you would when using travellers cheques.

The convenience factor
When it comes to paying for goods and services, travellers cheques are not as widely accepted as they used to be – which means you’ll need to find an exchange bureau to cash your cheques, and possibly take a back up like your credit card or debit card. As most bureaus and banks are only open during working hours, you’ll also need to plan accordingly to avoid being stranded with no access to cash. Since ATMs and credit card machines are easily accessible in most countries, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of travellers are opting to use a card to pay for their expenses.

Considered a prepaid travel card?
These days, you’re not limited to a choice of travellers cheques, credit cards or debit cards. You also have the option of a prepaid travel card like the MasterCard® World Currency Card™ from Bidvest Bank. You can load a set amount onto your travel card and use it to pay for your purchases or withdraw money from ATMs. It’s a convenient way to keep your travel money separate from your main bank accounts, and allows you to budget and keep track of your spending while you’re travelling.