By Andy Abramson
In the old days of travel the best and safest way to carry money meant carrying a wallet full of travelers checks. To obtain travelers checks, you went to the bank and purchased them in various denominations, and in various currencies based on where you were going. When you go to your destination you either went to a bank to cash them in local currency or simply presented the travelers check to pay your bill, and if there was any balance left over, you were given back the change.
Fast forward to the credit card / debit card era with internationally connected ATMs and the travelers check became a thing of the past, dramatically reducing the need to go to the foreign exchange. Today, except for incurring charges for currency conversions or use of not-network ATMs, securing cash on the road is as easy as withdrawing it at home as the global network of ATMs is now in place.
And while U.S.-based bank credit cards are still accepted by hotels and airlines, more and more travelers abroad are starting to see other merchants choosing to accept only cards from either local in-country banks, or those with the secure Chip and Pin technology. Designed as a security method to protect the merchant as well as the cardholder, Chip and Pin makes paying for any purchase as easy as withdrawing money from an ATM. But, unfortunately, only a few U.S. banks are getting into the Chip and Pin game; as a result, many locations that used to accept U.S. bank cards and debit cards no longer do.A way around all this is to obtain a CashPassport from Travelex. With a CashPassport ,you can carry multiple currencies on the card, including U.S. dollars, British pounds sterling, Euros, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, and Japanese yen. What’s more, you can move your money between the various currencies using the web site. Loading the card with cash is easy, too. Just transfer money from your bank account or visit any TravelEx office and deposit the money with them, or have the teller make an ATM debit and you’re all set. Once you have your CashPassport loaded with local currency, you’ll then have to use your four -digit pin to access your funds on deposit to authorize payments any time you want, whenever you present the card.
Today, we may no longer carry those paper travelers checks in our billfolds, but travelers still need access to their money. With a CashPassport in your wallet serving as your secure Chip and Pin card that works just about everywhere in the world, you have the same results and a lot more piece of mind.
Andy Abramson is the Founder of Comunicano Inc., a boutique marketing consultancy based in Del Mar, CA. A veteran of the marketing and public relations industry, Andy has almost 40 years of experience in all facets of marketing and corporate communications. When not working he shares a love of wine, travel, dining, and technology. To hear more from Andy, check out his blog at andyabramson.blogs.com.