Traveler Checks problems
I called my Credit Union last week to check on travelers checks. In "010" they told me they may not carry them anymore. They did have SOME but will not reorder when these are gone. So I almost cleaned out their supply, I left the small denominations so I would not have the bulk to carry around. Well, I went to the bank where I purchased additional checks in "010" and they no longer carry them. Then I went to another large bank and they no longer carry them either. So back to my Credit Union and yes, I totally cleaned them out!
I have been told that the checks are easy to duplicate and there is to much fraud with them so they are on the way out. People have brought them back to the Banks/Credit Unions saying businesses would not accept them.
Has anyone else run into this situation? What else are we to do when we can not get travelers checks anymore?
I know most international outfitters do not accept credit cards unless they have a booking agent in the states, or they charge a premium fee to use them.
Let's hear from all parties here for future reference.
"A Dream can be relived, again and again in Africa".
i have been told, cash...or money transfer.
some will take credit cards after they take you to there bank on your time...
i have this worked out prior to leaving...
And no to traveler's checks.
I wire transfer deposits, but now I guess we will have to pre-pay our hunts by transfer then get a credit back by transfer or cash from outfittter if there is one.
Last week I found out from booking agent that we can pre-pay if it is 30 days prior to hunt, for me it was too late.
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"A Dream can be relived, again and again in Africa."
Not sure why 30 days is an issue. I have had all my wires go through in just a couple days??? If you trust your outfitter/agent then pre-paying trophy fees is a great option. I did that this year and it worked out perfectly.
Originally Posted by RogerHeintzman
Roger, I was lucky and had my wife do a transfer afterward from home.
We tried the credit card thing and the bank was too small to manage it and wanted to charge the outfitter and unreasonable amount to process the transaction.
I left the country with a promise to pay.
The collateral of my first animals was pretty good incentive to get him paid. :)
The money was in his hands in two days.
Never even considered travellers cheques. ("checks" to you)
This is a seriuos problem in our industry. In South Africa the currency can fluctuate up to 10 % in a coupleof weeks. It is difficult if a client pre pays to give a refund because we work in a different currency and the difference between an iniward transfer and arefund can easily exeed 10 %. You can draw on adebit card at the bank with prior arrangement with your bank in the USA. South Africa's bank costs are crazy ! Credit card transactions on average run 5% . As far as I know you can still get travellers checks but need to pre order them at least couple weeks before !
Spot on comments on the exchange and bank fees in SA. I exchange money twice a month and always come away with bad feelings.
May want to check AAA for travelers checks, understand they still do Amex.
One reason using an agent is a good option. He handles the wire transfers and holds any pre-paid funds for trophy fees. If there is a reimbursement, or that sable walks out and you can't resist, you are working those deposits with someone in the States (I have used Atcheson's for years). Almost no one will take a traveler's check any longer. The only cash you then have to deal with is for tips and the like.
So when I go next year I should just take cash to pay for the trip(minus my deposit) and any other costs? Maybe I could pay the outfitter when he comes to the sportsmans expo in Jan part of the costs also? My hunt is in April/May 2013.
remember when traveling with cash and you take more than $10,000 make sure you fill out the paperwork needed so that your money will not be confiscated.
and follow guide lines on making sure your money is not stolen.
Originally Posted by Divernhunter
"Paperwork" Where here in the USA or over there? What paperwork and where do I get it?
Also what guidelines so it is not stolen?
Thanks for any help as I am not sure how much I will need/want to take with me.
You do have to declare Cash or monetary "instruments" of 10K or more. I haven't a clue what he means by "guidelines so it is not stolen"..... maybe bring along seal team for security? If you don't have a booking agent, then I would wire any costs of which I was reasonably sure of incurring (i.e. daily rates and trophy fees to cover my basic shooting list). I would bring cash for tips and incidentals, and then I'd try to reach an agreement with my PH to wire additional funds should you shoot something expensive. In the towns and at the airports, credit cards are the way to go for souvenirs, gifts, etc - you will get a better exchange rate. I would also note that your ATM/check card will work in most ATMs.
Originally Posted by Divernhunter
red legs & d hunter
an airline pilot posted info on traveling on airplanes to help guide you to protect your money if you put it in your carry on bag.
like lockable bag if you sleep. or a money belt. trying to put your money in different locations to help protect the theft of your entire sum.
airport travel info and making sure you have your money with you even if going to the restroom.
not putting your carry on bag with money in the scanner until you are ready to step into the scan area...so you can monitor your bag at all times...tsa at some location has been your money re-leaver...so be guarded...if you lock your bag they will ask for your key and you will be able to watch the search.
the list was quite long and i do not have it with me while traveling..
Sorry Jameses, you have a unique way of expressing yourself, but you bring up a valid point which underscores the bottom line to this thread. Currently, other than a booking agent, there is no really good way to handle the large sums of money involved in an African hunt. And bringing large denominations of cash along is one of the worst. I don't much like carrying around tip and incidental money which can easily push a couple of grand. Throw in daily rates and trophy fees and there is no list of safety precautions which will leave anyone comfortable. And it is not just an African hunt. I was in Argentina a couple of months ago for ducks and doves where shell costs make up a major part of the trip cost. Those had to be paid in cash at the close of the hunt. Like in Africa, an agent would have made all that much smoother.
Originally Posted by James.Grage
I hate cash also. Picked clean in Joburg once. As pointed out Rand can be had at an ATM for the cheapest conversion rate, good for the small buys. Limits on the draw will mean you can not pay for a hunt unless it is a one afternoon duicker. You need to be aware that our commercial banks beat us badly on fees. We pay to deposit cash and an abusive exchange rate. We also get beat hard on wire transfer costs. I really like the idea of prepay as much ass you can before and restrict cash. Your outfitter/PH may have some personal opinions and should be asked.
If using credit cards at all in Africa, make sure you call your card company ahead of time and inform them you will be using your card there. They will ask you what a large purchase would be and restrict anything above that amount, what your dates will be etc.
We always have the client provide us with anticipated trophy fees in advance and keep the money here in the States. On the final day of the safari we receive a message from camp with the total of trophy fees due and wire immediately. If a refund is due to the client we than wire or mail a check back to the client. Cleanest and easiest way to go.
If you have booked direct with an outfitter, ask them if they have an agent in the States. Most do and would be willing to handle this transaction for you for the wire fees associated. We have helped out in this fashion several times.
In Zim, on goverment concessions, we are required to pay parks and wildlife trophy fees within seven days of the completion of a safari.
This prevents us, to a certain extent, from being able to wait for the client to return home and then send funds.
That is the same way that I do it. It just makes it cleaner and easier for all involved.
That is how i do it also...
just have to worry about gifts and tips...