Thursday, July 7, 2011

What in the world is a traveler's check?

A few weeks ago, we had a weeklong segment on the blog about the one item that employees here at the Buffalo Chapter always make sure we have in our emergency kits. Ken Turner, our Senior Director of Emergency Services, mentioned that he always makes sure that he has traveler’s checks packed in his. 
Now, I am not afraid to admit that I really don’t know that much about travelers checks and certainly have no idea where to get them, so, I thought it would be worth an investigation…  After all, if the Senior Director of Emergency Services recommends having traveler’s checks on hand, I think it’s safe to say it’d be a good idea to get them!

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So, first things first, what is a traveler’s check?
Traveler’s checks are pre-payed checks that can generally be used world-wide.  
How do they work?
When you purchase travelers checks, they have a designated amount printed on them (i.e $20.00, $50.00, $100.00), your name, the date, where you purchased the cards from, a barcode, and your signature. 
When you use the checks, you show ID and then again sign the check to prove that it is your signature. 
If the item you buy is less than the exact price of the traveler’s check, you receive the local currency in change. 
If you lose your checks or they are stolen, you may be able to have them replaced as long as you have a copy of the receipt.   
Most banks (I.e. M&T, Bank of America, HSBC)
Certain credit card companies (I.e.
American Express and Visa)AAA club
What’s the advantage of them?
If they are ever lost or stolen they can be replaced! As long as you keep the receipt
They are accepted world-wide
They never expired
So, our Senior Director of Emergency Services was right in saying that we should keep travelers checks in our emergency kits! If the electricity ever goes out, traveler’s checks can still be used AND if your checks are ever stolen you can have them reissued and not lose out on any of your money!
For more information on what to pack in your emergency kit, click here!
Where can you get them?

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