Originally Posted by Kuki
Traveler's checks are becoming almost extinct. Very few places want to accept them anymore because they are easily counterfitted with today's available technology.
Though the ships are one of the few places you can still cash them.
I saw the above comment by Kuki concerning travelers checques.
I then saw a recent ad for a major Travelers Checques company.
and started to wonder about what was reality:
Accepted at thousands of locations worldwide
Refunded usually within 24 hours if lost or stolen*
24/7 customer support
Offered in a variety of currencies and denominations
Travellersí cheques are still a safe and easy way of taking money abroad. Other payment methods such as credit cards and prepaid cards are more easy to use, almost as cheap in terms of commission charges and are accepted worldwide. However, with credit/debit cards commissions and transaction charges can be very expensive due to interest rates.
As a neophyte cruiser, I think the advice to use travelers checques is excellent. First, I don't want to carry a bunch of cash - a thousand dollars for a two week cruise would be a pretty big bundle to carry around. Secondly, the ship's casino will give me cash for my travelers checques without charging a service charge. Third credit cards can be stolen and used before I know that the theft has taken place. Fourth, credit card numbers can be stolen and used before I know about it has happened.
So my conclusion is let those jerks who think my travelers checques are forgeries not take them. If they can't tell a forgery from a real checque they shouldn't be in business. I figure, If I really want something I still have cash and the ship is my bank for cashing my travelers checques. What's the going rate for cash advances on credit cards compared to zero for travelers checques and all the ship wants for identification is my sea pass. Finally, if I must have a blue diamond from St. Thomas then I can still use my credit card and pay for the interest and transaction charge.
Right now, I am figuring out how many travelers checques I should buy for my next cruise. Of course these travelers checques will be in addition to the pocket cash and credit card I will carry. I feel that travlers checques are a lot easier to carry than taking a thousand plus dollars in cash and safer and cheaper than credit cards with their high interest rates and transaction charges, etc., etc., etc..
Logic Rule I follow when someone makes a general declaration of what is true. First of all I question the statment because I find the fallacy of oversimplification involves the use of generalizations that are so broad that they oversimplify the truth.
PS: Here is an article to help detect fake travelers checques. It tells about the safeguards that are built into the checques. These safeguards are probalby better than US currency which is being counterfeit.
How to Detect Fake Traveler's Checks
by Margaret Telsch-Williams, Demand Media
Taking fake travelers cheques in your business as payment for a good or service can not only make you lose money, but also time and product. Before you accept a travelers cheque as payment, you should become familiar with them and know how to detect fake travelers cheques to avoid trouble in the future. Once you know how to spot the counterfeit, train anyone else that will be handling payments to keep their eye out for key security features found on authentic travelers cheques.
Accept the cheque while watching the customer sign only the bottom, left signature line. The top, right signature area must be previously signed at time of purchase from the issuing bank. Look over the signatures to make sure they are identical and match the signature on the person's ID.
Inspect the surface behind the signatures for signs of smudged or missing micro printing or brown discolorations, all of which are created when someone attempts to remove existing signatures from an authentic travelers cheque for the purpose of passing it off as new.
Hold the cheque to a light or bright window to reveal a watermark image on the face of the cheque. Remove the cheque from the light and make sure the watermark does not appear printed on the back of the cheque, which could signal a fake, or that you can see the image without holding the cheque to a light. No watermark is also a clue that you have a fake.
Look for a holographic thread running through the width of the cheque while you are holding it to the light. A thread will be in every real cheque and appear silver or metallic, with a shine to it. Fake threads may be dull or appear printed on the cheque and easily seen even when not held to light.
Feel the surface of the check for engraved, or upraised, printing which should create texture rather than be smooth. Often the border, denomination or the central image on the face of the check will be engraved. Real cheques should also feel similar to paper currency, without feeling overly smooth or thicker than paper money.
Note the amount of the cheque and do not accept cheques which are grossly larger than the amount needed for payment. For example, a $100 cheque being used to buy $5 of goods creates a loss of $95 to you when you give cash back if the cheque is fake.
Compare the serial numbers of the cheques if the customer is handing you more than one cheque of the same denomination. Travelers cheques sold in packs feature a number sequence, so a cheque ending in -002 can be expected to be paired with another check close in range, such as -001 or -003. Very random serial numbers of same denomination cheques for payment can signal fakes.