You CAN buy traveler’s checks with a credit card.
More Info: Traveler’s checks can be purchased with a credit card. This is in fact one of the best reasons to own an American Express card. By visiting the nearest American Express travel office, cardholders can purchase travelers checks in usually as large an amount as needed. Checks are also available through Bank of America and other leading financial institutions.
Although in some ways the idea of travelers checks seems antiquated in a day and age when money can be easily withdrawn from foreign ATMS (for a service fee level that is similar), some people simply prefer the security and comfort of a fixed supply of travelers checks. If the checks are lost or stolen, providers such as American Express have 24-hour toll free lines available to call through which to report the loss. Checks can quickly be canceled and re-issued, again in the case of American Express via a local or affiliated travel office.
However, a growing problem for lovers of traveler’s checks is the fact that an increasing number of shops and restaurants are no longer accepting them. In Europe, part of the reason for this is an increase in the counterfeiting of traveler’s checks. Issuer Travelex stopped printing traveler’s checks in 2008 because of this as well as the general decline in their use by travelers in Europe.
According to a Federal Reserve report, the use of traveler’s checks has been declining every single year since the mid-1990s, when usage by U.S. travelers was at its peak. Another issue for tourists can be trying to cash the checks at a bank rather than use them at a merchant or restaurant location. One U.S. traveler recently found that he was unable to exchange his checks for cash at German banks. He was told repeatedly that he needed to have a local account there.
American Express – Travelers Checks, Retrieved February 16, 2011 from https://www212.americanexpress.com/dsmlive/dsm/dom/us/en/personal/cardmember/additionalproductsandservices/giftcardsandtravelerscheques/travelerschequesandforeigncurrency.do?vgnextoid=6d17fc671492a110VgnVCM100000defaad94RCRD
Fox News – “Travelers Checks Decline in Use”, April 8, 2010, Retrieved February 16, 2011 from http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2010/04/08/travelers-checks-decline-use/
“Visa offers traveler’s checks at Citibank locations nationwide, as well as at several other banks. The service charge ranges between 1.5% and 2%; checks come in denominations of $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1,000. MasterCard also offers traveler’s checks.”
The Ins and Outs of Traveler’s Checks, Frommers.com