Ask Terry Questions Travel Checks? or Credit Cards?

Travel Checks? or Credit Cards?

By Terry Savage on March 09, 2014 | Credit/Debt

In light of hacking and credit card data theft, do businesses today take travelers checks? We’d like to use these instead of credit cards while traveling in the U. S. However, before purchasing them we’d like to make sure they will be accepted.

Terry Says:  I think you’re living in the past!  Traveler’s checks are expensive to purchase, and relatively few merchants take them any more — or at least take them without giving you a hassle.  You should plan to use a Visa or MasterCard, or Amex, knowing that you are 100 percent guaranteed against fraud in your account.  But if you will be doing some traveling, you should notify your card issuer so that they won’t decline your card if they see too many charges outside your home base.

Also you can put a credit watch on your card at the same time, or even a credit freeze (which will cost about $20 to put on, and another $15 to take off, unless you are already a victim of fraud).  That way no one can open a new account using your name and information.  But it could prove a hindrance if you need to make credit available for a new  credit purchase, or life nsurance, or even a new car insurance policy.  All will require a check of your credit report.

One other thing you can do is go online — securely — (ie not from a hotel or internet café — and check your credit card balances every few days.  That will help you limit fraud in case someone does get your inf.

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