traveler's checks devaluation?

ronks

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Aug 13, 2003
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Good people

When I was in the DR in Jan. my traveler's checks were worth less than their face value. Usually by 1 or 2 pesos which can add up if you are changing thousands of dollars over time. Currently what is the difference between real U.S. currency and a traveler's check? I will be arriving in the DR next week and need to accurately assess my finances. Thank you. By the way I usually exchange at a bank when there are no exchange houses to compete. I will be in Barahona and then off to the Samana peninsula. Any recommendations where I will get the best rates most consistently?

Ron
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Because I was paid in travelers checks for a high ticket item I sold, I've been cashing a lot of them lately with no loss. But I know a lot of places don't like to take travelers checks from people they don't know, so that may be the reason for your problem. There are branches of a couple of major banks in Samana, including Popular. Also casas de cambio, but can't tell you which is best because I've been gone from there for too long. No nothing about Baharona.
 

ronks

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Aug 13, 2003
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Ken said:
Because I was paid in travelers checks for a high ticket item I sold, I've been cashing a lot of them lately with no loss. But I know a lot of places don't like to take travelers checks from people they don't know, so that may be the reason for your problem. There are branches of a couple of major banks in Samana, including Popular. Also casas de cambio, but can't tell you which is best because I've been gone from there for too long. No nothing about Baharona.

Ken,

thanks for the report. I know that in January, when I was in Sosua where I had cashed a lot of Traveler's Checks the year before, and where people knew me, they still discounted them. Their reasoning was that there has been a lot of fraudulent Traveler Check problems and there is always a delay in getting their money converted when they have to go to the bank. The same thing happened in Monte Criste and Barahona at the banks because the casa de cambios would not take them. If that situation has changed, I would like to know about it.

Ironically, in 2003, during my first visit, Traveler's Checks were actually commanding a higher value. Strange how the custom changes. So I still need to know about reports from other areas, as I will be traveling quite a bit. Thanks.

Ron
 

Rocky

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ronks said:
Ken,

thanks for the report. I know that in January, when I was in Sosua where I had cashed a lot of Traveler's Checks the year before, and where people knew me, they still discounted them. Their reasoning was that there has been a lot of fraudulent Traveler Check problems and there is always a delay in getting their money converted when they have to go to the bank. The same thing happened in Monte Criste and Barahona at the banks because the casa de cambios would not take them. If that situation has changed, I would like to know about it.

Ironically, in 2003, during my first visit, Traveler's Checks were actually commanding a higher value. Strange how the custom changes. So I still need to know about reports from other areas, as I will be traveling quite a bit. Thanks.

Ron
Although what you wrote is true, and rather strange that it shifted that way, I think it's a small price to pay for the security the checques offer.
 

rellosk

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Mar 18, 2002
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The are places that charge a fee for changing Travelers Checks. Generally the places that do will have a sign posted. I've seen the fees as high as 3%.
 

Rocky

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rellosk said:
The are places that charge a fee for changing Travelers Checks. Generally the places that do will have a sign posted. I've seen the fees as high as 3%.
That's highway robbery.
Usually the difference is more like 28.90 for cash & 28.80 for checques, which represents a difference of 0.34%
 

Aguayo

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Oct 11, 2003
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Popular bank will accept travelers, without charging any fee, if you have an account with them, but the money will not be available for more than a month.
R.U.S.A. (the exchange house in 27 de Febrero, POP) gave me U$ cash instantly, without discounting any money. They didn't know me but asked for my passport or cedula.
 

Tamborista

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Apr 4, 2005
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Question for Ken

Is the tasa still a little lower these days for cashing AMEX traveler's cheques?
I understand they might do a little better on larger sums.
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Don't know. But I think it pretty much depends on who cashes your checks. What I would do would be to go to as many bancos de cambio as necessary to find one who will give you same exchange rate as for dollars.

When you go in, ask what the rate of exchange is. Don't say you have travelers checks until you know the rate. If he then tells you that you will get a lower rate because you have tc, take your check and leave. Don't be surprised if he stops you before you get out the door.