Traveler’s Checks

So I was cleaning out some papers in my desk this week and I found a $20 Traveler’s Check!  If that isn’t a throwback, I don’t know what is.  It has no date on it so I have no clue how long I’ve had it but Traveler’s Checks used to be a must have when you went on vacation to avoid trouble trying to use personal checks or to keep from carrying large amounts of cash in the days before ATMs were everywhere.   Talk about a blast from the past!

So I got curious and started Googling to see if banks even issue Traveler’s Checks anymore – and I was shocked to learn they are still available.  American Express and Visa are the big names affiliated with them but after reading more, good luck with actually using them if you buy them.

First, you’ll pay a fee of 1-2% of the face value of the Traveler’s Check to buy it – and then you need to find a merchant that actually knows how to redeem it in order to spend it.  Your best bet if you want to use one is to find a bank that accepts them and redeem them for cash there.  Makes me glad we’ve moved on to gift cards, credit/debit cards and Apple Pay these days!

Here’s my old Traveler’s Check – yes, I covered the numbers on it just to make sure one of you enterprising readers doesn’t try to steal my $20!  Now I’m off to Fifth Third Bank to see if they’ll cash it!  Wish me luck!