A Replacement For TC (Travelers Checks) That Has The Same Level Of Security?

  |     |   6 posts since 2014

Amex (American Express) TC worked very well, in the past. This was because the merchant or bank could compare the signatures, after you signed the check right in front of them and be sure you are actually the person to whom the TC was originally issued. However, now few retailers will accept them and few banks will cash them.I guess desktop publishing has done in TC and cashiers checks as well. 

GC (gift cards) are what seem to have taken the place of TC. I have used Wal-Mart, Visa, MasterCard, Amex and other GCs. They work well, but if lost or stolen, they caneasily be used fraudulently. You can register a GC and that may help prevent fraudulent use, if stolen or lost. But, only if you know your GC is gone and then you can report the loss. If you do not know, your GC could be used up very quickly. The solution to this problem is password protection.

TD Waterhouse and Vanilla MasterCard (Bancorp Bank) both claim to have such a GC. However, I have found in practice, at checkout the GC can be put through as a GC or a credit card. The clerk should check the signature on the back of your GC, when used as a credit card. But, this doesn't happen. As long as the transaction goes through, that is all the clerk cares about. Is there a GC, or similar financial instrument that can be used at any merchant or online. That has the protection, travelers checks did in the past?

  |     |   2,898 posts since 2010
We used travelers checks in the 80's. I think they lost favor during the Iran Contra affair when so many were signed over to a third party. Even in the little town I lived in at the time they were given to an exchange student by his father who lived in South America to cash. I was working in the bank and refused to cash them. My manager approved it and they eventually found out to be part of the travelers checks used in the Iran Contra affair.  Original owners are OK but it when the are signed over to a second or third person than it can get to be a real problem. Remember when Ollie North said he was paid with $25,000 in travelers checks and then he signed them over to a friend for a "wedding present?" How can anyone believe that when he was passing a basket around for collections at the Liberty University graduation to pay for his legal bills.  
  |     |   53 posts since 2011
Not an answer, just a comment:  I never understood the concept of Travelers Checks.  I never say in benefit with them.   Why not just use a credit card?  If that is stolen you report it stolen.
  |     |   2,603 posts since 2011
We used travelers checks in our past travels when we wanted to take a large amount of money with us.  They were always protected if stolen as long as we kept their numbers and other info needed for proof.  Credit cards were always a good back up but if one doesn't want to return with a big credit card bill, I think using travelers checks is a good way to go.
  |     |   56 posts since 2011
DP, I agree.  I used traveler's checks many years ago but they seemed to have outlived their usefulness.  I use credit cards for just about every purchase.  I get cash back and since I pay off balances every month, the credit card company is paying me to use their cards (Shh, don't tell them!).  And I also like the insurance that comes with the items I buy.  Win-win.  I would much rather keep up with a couple of credit card (and make money doing it) than to keep up with unwieldy traveler's checks.

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