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Old 04-22-2006, 05:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can you purchase travelers checks with a credit card?

I am trying to get organized for our upcoming trip, and was considering getting travelers checks, but would like to also get the reward points from our Disney card by paying with our CC. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] I know that you can't pay for a money order with a CC, but was not sure about travelers checks.
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Old 04-23-2006, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Can you purchase travelers checks with a credit card?

Generally, no. You usually can't "buy" cash of any sort with credit cards for several reasons. Credit card companies make a lot of their money by charging the merchant (typically) 2-3% of the value of each purchase. So, if you bought travelers checks, you'd have to pay about $103 for every $100 dollars in travelers checks (plus the customary traveler's check fee) to compensate. However, credit card company rules and some state laws state that merchants cannot charge extra for credit card purchases, so the traveler's check issuer loses money by exchanging credit for cash. When you are allowed to get travelers checks, the credit card company considers it a cash advance, not a credit purchase. If you read the fine print, you'll find that you generally don't get reward points on cash advances (and you pay through the nose in other ways).

Why go through the trouble of purchasing travelers checks when you've already got the credit card? Are you trying to rack-up the rewards points before you travel? For domestic travel, I've seen no benefit to carrying travelers checks over credit cards. Both are comparably safe, both are relatively simple to replace if lost or stolen. I'll take travelers checks on trips out of the country since I need cash to exchange for various foreign currencies.
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Can you purchase travelers checks with a credit card?

You explained that sooo much better than anyone else has ever been able to do! I now understand. Why couldn't you have been my algebra teacher in high school? Maybe than I would not have HATED math so much!
I am actually trying to earn more rewards before we travel, but am having a hard time getting more than 15-18 points/reward dollars per month. I just thought it was worth a try.
Thanks!
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