Things You Need to Know About Using Travellers Cheques Versus Credit Cards When Travelling

Tourists and travellers generally can't think of an alternative to a credit card when they travel.

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Credit cards have become their only financial tool by default. No doubt, they do serve their purpose because carrying just one card against a bundle of currency notes is safer and more convenient. However, there is another financial tool that offers you as much, if not more than the benefits of a credit card - Travellers Cheques.

You will change your perception about credit cards after reading the following comparison of travellers cheques vs credit cards.

ID Requirement

Travellers cheques have a major advantage as they require an ID to cash them in. Picture this, even if someone succeeds in stealing your traveller's cheques, the thief won't possibly cash them without the appropriate identification? It's almost impossible for the thief to come up with a duplicate ID in such a short time.

Credit cards on the other hand do not require any identification. In fact, credit card companies advise their staff not to ask for your identification when you give them your card to swipe. Of course, these companies are just trying to make it quicker and easier for you to transact money but when the card falls into the wrong hands this comfort can prove a disaster.


The next question that might come to your mind is, what if I lose my travellers cheques while travelling? There is an immediate solution to this situation. Inform your company about your missing travellers cheques and you will receive replacement cheques within 24 hours of your request. Don't worry, with travellers cheques you will not get financially stranded because of this guarantee.

Credit cards, on the other hand, pose more risk. Yes, you get a replacement card, but generally speaking, you will have to wait a long time before you get one. These replacement services are usually accompanied with delays and various setbacks. And when you're travelling, this can quickly become a nuisance, especially if you are due on a flight.


Another huge advantage of travellers cheques is that you can convert them into many currencies and denominations and there are no transaction charges. The charge is paid when you apply for the cheques. When you begin your journey, your travellers cheques are automatically converted into the currency of your destination, thereby saving you considerable transaction charges.

Credit cards don't offer this feature and as a result they can prove quite costly. When you try to get cash through your card in a foreign country, you have to pay transaction charges. Foreign transaction fees can eat up a lot of your credit balance. And when you're travelling on a limited budget, it can sting you really nasty.

Overall, travellers cheques are a little cheaper to use than credit cards. Whether you travel with a card or cheques is really your choice. Some people prefer one of the two. As long as you keep the costs of cards in mind and some of the limitations of cheques, you will make the right choice for your needs. Happy travels.

Images: Shutterstock

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Credit Cards Comparison

Updated February 29th, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
Get 0% interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard
21.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes and a global wifi access.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.

Compare up to 4 providers

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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