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Travelers Checks

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:20 pm
by Anthony
Are there any concerns with exchanging travelers checks at the local bank for TT? We've done this on past trips(last visit December 2012) with no problems.

Re: Travelers Checks

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:49 am
by Paul Tallet
Hello Anthony

There are no problems ... just make sure you have photo ID.

I think you risk a charge if you go into the Banks and it can also be a long wait in one of the most miserable atmospheres imaginable ... I mean the Tobago cashiers make the bankers in the UK seem like Robin Williams on speed in comparison (may he rest in peace).

I see you live in the US so this may not apply there but you can use prepaid credit cards or normal credit cards that don't charge fees for cash transactions and you just go to the cash point and it's happy days.

Another option is to bring the cash and I know that is risky ... the US Dollar is an acceptable form of payment, I have never been rejected with US Dollars although I have occasionally had a second take when working out a vendor's rather unrealistic interpretation of the currency exchange rates ... perhaps arming oneself with a calculator helps.

Some resorts can offer cash facilities but of course they will charge big time.

If you are renting a room/villa from a small business, your host may accept a credit card payment in exchange for cash ... doing it that way means it is not treated as a cash transaction ... but you will need to trust your host and the host will very likely ask you to cover the credit card transaction fee he pays for having the card machine (up to 5%, possibly more).

It's so stressful going on holiday these days isn't it :mrgreen:


Re: Travelers Checks

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:11 am
by Phil Bondie
We used to take travelers checks but got tired of waiting in line to cash them. Before that we got cash at the ATM's with our credit card, stopped that because of the fees. It took us 7 years but finally got a bank account and now wire money down. It seems to me that I heard that some banks were not going to do travelers checks anymore. I think it had to do with fake checks. We used and use First Citizens and never had a problem except for the lines. We mostly use the Roxbouro (sp) branch. I think they wanted a passport to cash them. Hope you have a good trip. Phil

Re: Travelers Checks

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:43 pm
by Carol G
Hi Anthony,
Last year I got the brilliant idea of bringing travel cheques instead of doing our usual wire the rates seemed to be a little off when arriving in our Republic Bank account in Tobago.
I had difficulty even getting traveler cheques in Toronto; very few people request them these days.

It took over three hours to get them cashed and into our account...only one person could do & this is at the main branch.
Visiting banks is such a joy...I usually bring something to read if we really have to do a transaction that requires a teller/staff.

The best would be ATM (if you can get around fees), US or convert to TT at the airport or a money exchange in your home town. And of course for more expensive meals or purchases a credit card will do just fine. You need ID to use the bank services.

Have a great trip.
Cheers, Carol

Re: Travelers Checks

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:48 pm
by Hugh S
I, too, have given up on traveler's checks and now carry cash to convert at a bank. Plus I use a credit card that has no international fees for larger items.

Most cash transactions (US$ to TT$) will be at the 6 to 1 ratio which you can beat by exchanging at a bank and paying with TT$.

Good luck, Hugh 8)

Re: Travelers Checks

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:08 pm
by Anthony
Thanks everyone for the replies. We decided to travel with half of our funds in traveler's checks, and the rest split between US currency and our credit card for cash withdrawals and other purchases. Has anyone exchanged currency at "Global Exchange" in the POS Trinidad airport?