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?