You CAN get cash for traveler’s checks.
More Info: You can cash your traveler’s checks at participating banks. The first thing that you will need to do is find a local bank that accepts the type of traveler’s check you purchased that will exchange it for local currency.
Cashing Traveler’s Checks at a Bank
To find a bank that will cash your traveler’s check, you can check the website of the group that issued your traveler’s check. American Express lists national and international banks that will cash traveler’s checks. If you cannot find the banks online or if you are unable to go online, you can call the customer service number printed on your checks.
Cashing Traveler’s Checks at Your Bank
If you have an account in good standing, most banks will cash your traveler’s checks. They will likely process the checks under the same guidelines that they handle other transactions for account holders.
Do Participating Merchants Cash Traveler’s Checks?
Merchants that accept traveler’s checks might only accept them for purchases, but will provide you with cash back on the difference between the purchase and the value of the traveler’s check. Be aware that any institution can set its own rules such as limiting the amount of cash back it will issue.
What Happens If Your Traveler’s Checks Are Lost or Stolen?
If traveler’s checks are stolen, they can be either replaced or refunded as long as you have the serial numbers of the checks that were stolen. It is also helpful to have the date and location where the traveler’s checks were originally purchased. Some institutions require that an official police report be filed before they will issue replacements. Once that is complete, call the number that was given by the issuing financial institution. Checks are usually replaced within 24 hours.
“29 Complaints and Reviews about American Express Travelers Cheques.” ConsumerAffairs.com: Knowledge is Power! Consumer news, reviews, complaints, resources, safety recalls. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <http://www.consumeraffairs.com/credit_cards/amex_travelers_cheques.html>.
“USING TRAVELLERS CHEQUES.” American Express. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2012. <www.americanexpress.com/uk/tc/faqs.shtml#8>.
“For the best rate when exchanging travelers cheques in U.S. dollars, cash the cheques at a bank rather than a hotel, airport or train station. Also, many banks or exchange houses charge a fee for each U.S. dollar travelers check converted, so it can be to your advantage to use cheques in high denominations.”
Taking Money Abroad: A Guide for Travelers, Wells Fargo Bank