Peter's Post: Travellers' cheques or bank cards - what's best?
Our travel expert answers your questions
My wife and I are travelling in the US in June. We normally take travellers' cheques when abroad. Any thoughts on whether we should change to a cash card for our forex? - Eric Bellingham
The use of travellers' cheques has been declining since the 1990s due to the growth in credit-card usage and ATM machines around the globe. These days, most people will carry their forex in a credit or debit card, backed up by some foreign currency notes. The advantage with the cards is that you can draw cash in local currency at ATMs everywhere. The disadvantage is that bank charges can be high and you could lose your money to fraud if someone gets hold of your PIN and card. Travellers' cheques are still used in the US, but their acceptance has been in decline due to fraud concerns. You can still take some of your allowance in travellers' cheques if it makes you feel secure, but perhaps the time has come to switch to an electronic card.
You could use a travel cash card like the Visa TravelMoney Card, but you can probably use your own credit and bank card everywhere. If your cards have a Visa or Cirrus symbol on them, you should be fine. Do carry more than one card in case one gets damaged or lost.