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Old 07-07-2014, 08:10 AM
 
1,804 posts, read 6,308,275 times
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Hi everyone!! I need suggestions for how a 20 year old young man should access and/or have money while traveling throughout Africa. Do they still do travelers checks ?? I have never traveled to a non-developed area before. Travelers checks seem the safest. The checks and a combination of cash and access to debit cards as needed. He does have a debit card(s) but no credit card. I know fees can be outrageous for cash back but he does have an account that will pay for fees - however I need to check as I don't know if that covers atm's in Africa. He will be gone for 4 months, combo of big cities and rural. Thanks!!!!!
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:31 AM
 
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Which country/countries?

Edit to add - you should also check with his university - both his "home" school and the institution that is sponsoring him abroad. He surely isn't the first student to study abroad with either organization, and they have definitely answered this question before.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:02 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,148 posts, read 17,273,742 times
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Travelers checks (The Paper ones) are not trusted any more, There are so many forged ones, that no one trusts them.

Get a Debit card that is NOT tied directly to his Main Accounts, Transfer $'s in as he would need it so he can take it out, US Dollars are King. (Also British Pounds) He should try to use a ATM that gives out Dollars or Pounds. Many of the "Big" mega Banks have ATM in the main cities, Find a bank that is on there network, or get a account @ the mega-banks.

Even with the ATM fees its still the safest way to go. Outside of the Big Main Cities you will not find ATM's its Cash there. (To Be safe, he should have two ATM cards, Cloning is a big problem, he uses card, and they have swipe's on the ATM and steal his Card # and PIN. That's why you don't keep extra in the account. ) Also let the bank customer service Dept know he will be in Africa.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:14 AM
 
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Most places won't even accept travelers checks any more.

Check with your bank--many of the large US banks have arrangements with banks around the world for no-fee ATM withdrawls.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:55 AM
 
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Thanks everyone!! He will be in the southern region, including some time in South Africa. I have read the program literature and their recs, they recommend a credit card and mention a debit card and of course cash. I'm not sure how I feel about him having a credit card and wanted to know if people even still used travelers checks anymore.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:02 AM
 
1,804 posts, read 6,308,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
Travelers checks (The Paper ones) are not trusted any more, There are so many forged ones, that no one trusts them.

Get a Debit card that is NOT tied directly to his Main Accounts, Transfer $'s in as he would need it so he can take it out, US Dollars are King. (Also British Pounds) He should try to use a ATM that gives out Dollars or Pounds. Many of the "Big" mega Banks have ATM in the main cities, Find a bank that is on there network, or get a account @ the mega-banks.

Even with the ATM fees its still the safest way to go. Outside of the Big Main Cities you will not find ATM's its Cash there. (To Be safe, he should have two ATM cards, Cloning is a big problem, he uses card, and they have swipe's on the ATM and steal his Card # and PIN. That's why you don't keep extra in the account. ) Also let the bank customer service Dept know he will be in Africa.
Question about the bolded comment. Do you mean one of those cards that are heavily advertised like the AMX cash card/debit card?? I am not familiar with the non bank sponsered cards. Also, as far as the "bank on their network", do you mean checking out which bank/network is big in let's say Cape Town and going with them?? Thanks so much.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,155 posts, read 19,210,331 times
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I'd also suggest a debit/ATM card, but I'll be specific about which bank to use: https://home.capitalone360.com/online-savings-account. They don't charge the foreign transaction fee when you withdraw money from the ATM. The bank that 'owns' the ATM will probably add a charge, but not CapitalOne.

You can do everything online, only putting enough money into the CaptitalOne account to cover the immediate future. This leaves the bulk of the money in an account that is NOT attached to the debit card, safe and sound.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:33 AM
 
1,804 posts, read 6,308,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
I'd also suggest a debit/ATM card, but I'll be specific about which bank to use: https://home.capitalone360.com/online-savings-account. They don't charge the foreign transaction fee when you withdraw money from the ATM. The bank that 'owns' the ATM will probably add a charge, but not CapitalOne.

You can do everything online, only putting enough money into the CaptitalOne account to cover the immediate future. This leaves the bulk of the money in an account that is NOT attached to the debit card, safe and sound.
Thanks. Going to check it out now.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:34 PM
 
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The safest will always be credit cards - even if lost or stolen and used improperly you are protected. Combine with ATM cards - withdraw cash at comfortable intervals for an amount you can live with if you lose the cash. You will have no issue finding ATM machines in South Africa. You are then good to go.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:33 PM
 
2,291 posts, read 3,957,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousegirl View Post
Thanks everyone!! He will be in the southern region, including some time in South Africa. I have read the program literature and their recs, they recommend a credit card and mention a debit card and of course cash. I'm not sure how I feel about him having a credit card and wanted to know if people even still used travelers checks anymore.
A credit card with a low limit would actually be a good way for him to build up his credit and be (relatively) protected against fraud and other consequences from theft/etc. If you're worried about him making dumb young adult decisions -- he's won't be able to all that much stupid stuff with a $750 limit.
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