[quote=“bushibanned”]So what’s the deal with traveler’s cheques? Going home to the states in 6 days… bank account in Canada… have no idea if my atm card for there still works and want to bring a few thousand as spending money. Not sure if I should carry that much cash on me or not. Where can one buy US travelers cheques in Taipei? I’m thinking ICBC, ya? And… when I need to cash them in the states do I need to have a bank account at the bank I’m cashing them at? Are there huge fees involved? If it’s not worth the hassle then I’ll just take cash… although traveler’s cheques can be replaced if lost or stolen, right?
Thanks for any info![/quote]
The whole point of traveler’s cheques is supposed to be that they are almost as widely useful as cash, so no, you don’t need a bank account when you cash them (in most countries); Taiwan is an exception. Any bank in most countries (not Taiwan) should take them, as should money exchangers in airports, hotels, and even many retailers. You pay a small flat rate when you buy them, around 1-2 % I [i]think /i, and often a small charge per check when you cash them at money exchangers (which is why you want larger denominations – on the other hand if a retailer accepts a check for a purchase, they might not take one for much more than the purchase amount, so a few small ones can come in handy too). Oh, and do convert some to cash on arrival at the airport, as it may be a day or two before you find an open bank if it’s a weekend.
You should be able to buy them at larger international banks here. TC can be replaced if lost or stolen, yes, but you need to keep the receipt and check # list separate from them, and you MUST tick off the checks which you have already used, so that you’ll know exactly which serial numbers to report if they are stolen. You must also sign the checks when you buy them (in one spot on the check), and then you’ll need to countersign them in another place on the check at the time you use them. Don’t screw that up; don’t countersign them in advance, or you can’t get that refund if lost or stolen.
DO ask at the bank to confirm whether they will buy back the extra checks when you return from your trip. If the answer is no, be sure to convert them to cash while still abroad or at the airport at the end of your trip rather than bringing them back to Taiwan, as it can be a bit of a hassle to convert them here. Fubon in 101 confirmed to me that they will cash them but ONLY if you have an account there and bought them from that same branch and provide evidence of this. Keep your receipts!!! If you bought them at another bank, Fubon in 101 will only deposit (not cash) them for you, which requires that you have an account, and there are fees which apply, including a 0.05% fee, with a minimum of NT$200 in fees. Depositing two TC of US$100 each cost me NT$300, which compared to fees at airport money changers seems quite high.
Hope this helps.