What Is a Travelers Check?


Quick Answer

Traveler's checks are a form of currency used as an alternative form of payment while traveling domestically or overseas. Traveler's checks are purchased in denominations ranging from $20 to $500 each. They can be used in lieu of cash wherever they are accepted.

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What Is a Travelers Check?
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Full Answer

Traveler's checks are similar to money orders in that they are purchased in advance and require a signature before using them for payment. However, traveler's checks have a much wider financial reach than domestic money orders. When traveling in a foreign country they can often be exchanged for local currency. Traveler's checks have the added security of being refundable if they are ever lost or stolen while traveling. In order to benefit from this security policy, the purchaser must keep a record handy of check serial numbers. This information is vital for validation purposes.

Traditional traveler's checks are paper checks that show the denomination boldly at the top, and they also feature the issuing company's unique insignia. Carrying paper checks of this type while traveling can be awkward for some people. Another potential problem is that they are not accepted by all businesses. Traveler's checks can be purchased from established credit card companies, banks or trusted services that offer them to customers as a convenience.

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