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Travellers cheques or cash?

Innisil
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31 posts
3 reviews
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Travellers cheques or cash?

We were thinking of bringing some travellers cheques. Is this adviseable in this area? Is there problems cashing them? Any help would be appreciated. (we will also be bringing small bills for tips, etc.)

Alberta
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3,609 posts
32 reviews
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1. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

Do not bring travelers cheques. They are a thing of the past. Two choices. Order pesos from your bank, and ask for lots of small bills (20 peso bills). Or, wait until you get to Mexico and use the ATM to get pesos. Check with your bank ahead of time to see what the costs will be. With my account at the TD Bank, they charge $3 per transaction (so minimize them -- ideally one), and give me a reasonable exchange rate, close to 12 pesos per $CDN. But each bank, and your plan may differ. The ATM at the Hacienda at GBP is on the Plus system, so ask your bank what the Plus charge will be.

Wisconsin
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495 posts
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2. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

FishingCanuks,

I have been traveling down to Mexico for over 25 years and I still bring both Travelers checks, and I also order some pesos for the most of the things I need to do.

I will only use a credit card in an emergency basis.

The Identy theft business is very big world wide, where every 3 seconds here in the US some one gets their indentity stolen. I feel a lot safer having the Pesos and the TC's if needed for extra pesos.

The Bahia resorts exchange them at the front desk with no problems at all.

Everyone has their own choices, but better to be safe then sorry and have all of the headaches trying to get things fixed. Its

Just my opinion as I have been there done that and its not fun.

Snowman :O)

Calgary,Ab Canada
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477 posts
120 reviews
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3. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

I did bring Tr Chqs last year and had no problem cashing them at the front desk in Main Coba. Bring US$$ though not Cdn$$ you loose too much in exchange as they convert Cdn to US then to Peso. I brought $300. just in case I ran out of cash and of course I did.....

If you order now from the Bank they will have within 3-4 days. I got 3330 Peso's for $300. Cdn

Queretaro City...
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14,503 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

Hotels may accept travellers cheques but most banks no longer do. It is only a matter of time before hotels stop taking them - things are changing here!!

Alberta
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3,609 posts
32 reviews
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5. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

Assuming you are a Canuck, you will have to get travelers cheques in $US, as I don't think you can get travelers cheques in pesos. So you will get stung twice with exchange, once to get $US (5% loss), plus the cost of travelers cheques, and then a second time to get pesos. The second one to pesos can cost you 30%. Much more cost effective to pay the 5% exchange and go directly to pesos. If you can get travelers cheques in pesos then no problem, other than the cost of the travelers cheques.

Before I retired I traveled a fair bit and have not used travelers cheques for 15 years or so. ATM's are just too convenient. Have used an ATM in the middle of the African jungle. No problem, but you should advise your bank where you are traveling to. My VISA card did get frozen when in Africa, because I forgot to tell them. A phone call fixed it up.

Vancouver
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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42,310 posts
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6. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

Hotel lobbies and Exchange places (e.g. TSA in Akumal) will likely be the only place to use Trav. Ch. - getting harder to use them every year and your exchange rate is variable depending on the place that accepts them (they will take a PROFIT - they choose the exchange rate)

Many bring pesos with them ( or US $ -then you lose depending on where you spend them ) or obtain Pesos via ATMs (which is what I recommend)

There is a lenghty discussion in TOP QUESTIONS ABOUT AKUMAL to the right of the forum screen

Kentucky
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69 posts
17 reviews
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7. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

We also have traveled Mexico and Jamaica for the past 25 yrs. We use to get Travellers Checks the first 5 yrs. Then we stopped, I also contact the my bank and Credit Card Companies and let them know a limit and the length of our vacation, so far we have not had a problem in all our yrs of travel. I think it is whatever you would be comfortable with.

USA
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7,144 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

While there are some people that feel Travelers Cheques are a waste of time, obsolete, and a major hassle to cash, I disagree. We have stopped using plastic in our travels except for emergencies (don’t forget to tell your cc &/or debit card company you will be in Mexico) and pay cash (peso’s usually). We travel with about 2 or 3 days cash and the rest in American Express Travelers Cheques. We exchange the Travelers Cheques at the resort with no problem and normally exchange for about 2 or 3 days expenses at a time. Traditionally, you can get a slightly better exchange rate away from the resort but for us it is not worth the extra hassle and stick with the rate at the resort. We have stayed at 9 different resorts over the past 16 years and we have never had a problem with Travelers Cheques at the resorts.

Queretaro City...
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14,503 posts
10 reviews
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9. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

Bob - I understand the convenience of travelers checks but they are being accepted less and less. In Mexico they will soon be obsolete - things just ain't what they used to be!

Detroit, Michigan
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5,626 posts
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10. Re: Travellers cheques or cash?

I agree with Snow and Bob. We do the same thing.

I always think back to the 2003 northeast black out. If you didn't have cash on had you were hosed. No ATM's worked. Many places wouldn't take credit cards. I was basically stuck in my apartment for 3 days because I only had $20 in my wallet and a 1/8 tank of gas in my car. Oh, I had credit cards and debit cards but they were completely useless. How would you like to be in that situation in a foreign country? It can happen.

Identity theft is also an issue so I limit the use of credit cards in Mexico. Although rare, people have had their hotel safes compromised an lost their cash. Wallets get stolen...

Question:

Does anyone know if certain resorts are no longer accepting them? I did read that banks are no longer doing so. And I understand that this development is recent so past ability to cash them doesn't mean you can still cash them.

If the resorts stop accepting them, is there any place left to cash them?