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  #1  
Old 30 Oct 2007
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£ to US$ & Euro exchange

We are planning a Pan American trip starting next year and have been looking at the US $ exchange rate.
I found a company that forward sell dollars, payment now, for delivery in March 2008 at an exchange rate of $2.10. No comision on notes or Amex TC. The rate today is $1.96, On £5000 that is a diffence of $700.

There are other companies offering this type of deal so shop around.

Exchange Rates for Travel Money

It's a gamble as dollar could go up or down, so I a am just taking out some insurance by forward buying and it is good because there is no commision on TC.

Steve
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  #2  
Old 30 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveAttwood View Post
....no commision on TC.
TC = travelers checks?

IMO, TC's have little benefit for most of us, too few places in CA/SA accept them. They are intended for folks booking them 2-week all-inclusive resort vacations - resorts take TC's. Also, good for paying that upfront fee for the Galagagos Island tour, or for three weeks of language school, stuff like that where you know the amount in advance and will accept TC's, but otherwise...not worthless, just difficult to use.

You'll be going out of your way to cash them, hunting down elusive Amex offices in the big cities, or failing that, standing in line at banks and such if you depend on them for reserve cash. A good ATM card with a CC in reserve is all you need - if your not good at hanging on to such things, then two ATM cards to different bank accounts, always carried in separate places.
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  #3  
Old 30 Oct 2007
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The main motivation for this was the exchange rate. TCs do have some minor draw backs. Exchanging them is no harder than changing cash.
We will have ATM and CC but because they are British they will be subject to the exchange rate fluctuations and with the CC there will be commission charges.

I plan to get a couple of thosand in $500 denomination TC just to cover our time in the USA. We have to buy some dollars at some point, with a little forward planning I can get $2.10 for my £.

Steve
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  #4  
Old 30 Oct 2007
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Exchange rates

Right enough, the forward rates are a gamble (as is the day to day trading) and no one has the crystal ball which is going to foretell the future.

On the UK business programme today (Working Lunch) the considered opinion was that the $ will continue to fall against both the £ and the Euro and it could be at $2.15 to the pound by the end of this year.
Like any forecast, it is just that and no more.

I tend to agree with Quastdog, and I have not bothered with TCs for quite some years - however, I can see the reason for carrying a few large denomination ones and trading them in at a bank when more cash is required.
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  #5  
Old 31 Oct 2007
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I know its a bit off the topic but is it better to carry large or small denominations of dollars when travelling through africa?
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Old 31 Oct 2007
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Another thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickL View Post
I know its a bit off the topic but is it better to carry large or small denominations of dollars when travelling through africa?
Here's some information about that question:-

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...orgotten-30190
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Old 31 Oct 2007
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best bank card for Brits

A top tip for you and any other Brits going abroad is to have a Nationwide flexaccount, it is a current account which pays interest at a reasonable rate, but most important does not charge for foreign cash point withdrawls, other banks charge 2-4 pounds per withdrawl. You can also use their internet banking facility to keep most of you money in a higher earning account then move it across as needed.
Cash machines are readily available in South America
Mark
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  #8  
Old 31 Oct 2007
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I agree, the best way to go is with your atm card. Many places like gas stations, hotels, cafes and not to mention atms are common enough in most places to get money when needed. TCs are a big pain!
When my girfriend and I travel we each carry an atm card for the accounts just in case one of us lose ours.
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Old 31 Oct 2007
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Hi,

MYSELF I am waiting to buy Dollars as they look like they might be falling again before too long, but that's just ME I'm NOT giving advise I'm just STATING my point of view. I changed my UK current bank account to Euros last year, so made a little money by not holding my account in GBP, I use my Back card for purchases while on holiday.

But remember that if your bank charges a fixed amount for withdrawals that it's better to get double the money out, unless your leaving that country next day.
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  #10  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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Thumbs up Good job done

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveAttwood View Post
We are planning a Pan American trip starting next year and have been looking at the US $ exchange rate.
I found a company that forward sell dollars, payment now, for delivery in March 2008 at an exchange rate of $2.10. No comision on notes or Amex TC. The rate today is $1.96, On £5000 that is a diffence of $700.

There are other companies offering this type of deal so shop around.

Exchange Rates for Travel Money

It's a gamble as dollar could go up or down, so I a am just taking out some insurance by forward buying and it is good because there is no commision on TC.

Steve
Steve,
6 months on, and it turns out to be a very good deal.
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  #11  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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Hi Dave,

It worked out OK.
I ordered some Canadian Dollars as well. Decided on cash in the end. $100 dollar bills

These guys offer a very good deal I can't find anyone who can match them, for no commision and exchange rate.

Be aware of the risk, they are a LTD company, they have your money for a period.

I have used them 3 times now and no problems.

The bikes are on the high seas and we fly out in a couple of weeks.

Steve
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  #12  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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Personally i hate TC. 10 years ago while traveling I was in several places where i have lost entire days trying to cash em, and getting ripped off by fees in the end to boot.. no thanks from me....

I know Steve this is not why you are doing it.. but for those interested and in the UK the post office now has a card that acts like TCs but is a visa (all prepaid bal blah blah... ) I have not looked too deep into it but I was thinking that this may be a good way of backing up funds or only using it where you are unsure of using your real cards...

have a read
http://www.postoffice.co.uk/portal/p...diaId=26800661
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Old 22 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveAttwood View Post
Decided on cash in the end. $100 dollar bills
In Ecuador, where the US dollar is the official currency, you'll have an extremely difficult time finding anyone to cash/accept anything over a $20 bill. And they won't argue with you over it either - they simply don't take $50's and $100's. (too much 'good' counterfeit).

There's a special office in the main National Bank in Quito where you can change your $100's. Not even other banks make change on $50's and $100's - they all tell you to go to this NB office.

You may have similar experience as you pass through CA and other SA countries.

So I'd advise you carry a few hundred in $20's and smaller at all times. Otherwise, you may be in a situation where all your $100's won't buy you a soft drink.
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  #14  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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Thanks for the tip.
I doubt the cash we have now will last to Mexico. We start out in Montreal in May and I don't plan to get to Mexico until September ish.

It makes a change to travel and have the exchange rate in my favour

Steve

Quote:
Originally Posted by quastdog View Post
In Ecuador, where the US dollar is the official currency, you'll have an extremely difficult time finding anyone to cash/accept anything over a $20 bill. And they won't argue with you over it either - they simply don't take $50's and $100's. (too much 'good' counterfeit).

There's a special office in the main National Bank in Quito where you can change your $100's. Not even other banks make change on $50's and $100's - they all tell you to go to this NB office.

You may have similar experience as you pass through CA and other SA countries.

So I'd advise you carry a few hundred in $20's and smaller at all times. Otherwise, you may be in a situation where all your $100's won't buy you a soft drink.
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  #15  
Old 22 Apr 2008
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I'd have to agree that TC have had their day.

I went from the Uk to the USA for 5 months. i found travellers checks pain in the butt to cash... one bank (called citibank i think) refused to cash them because i don't have an account with them.
The AMEX travel offices are light on the ground i.e. nothing in San Diego!! I had to keep going into banks to find one to cash them. Bank of America changed them in the end but it was the second bank of America i tried.
I once got away with using them at Walmart. But on the whole it was a head wreaking idea

The USA is a great place to travel around, with fantastic roads and cheap accommidation ( go Motel 6!) but it's not set up like Europe. Everything is aimed at the domestic tourist. So some things can be a bit more difficult than a European trip.

Have a good ún!
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