travelex cash card you can get where you can load money in your currency, it converts it to overseas currency and you can use it like a credit/debit card overseas. also option of topping it up online via BPAY...
i have heard of a travelex cash card you can get (apparently travellers cheques are fairly outdated?) where you can load on your money in your currency (i think they accept au$ US$, euro, NZ$ and pound) and it converts it to the overseas currency and you can use it like a credit/debit card overseas. and the part i liked was the option of topping it up online via BPAY... has anyone used this method and if so what did you think... was it worth it?
i haven't used it but here is the official site: http://www.cashpassportcard.com/
It seems to basically be a more modern, flexible pre-paid card that you can keep adding funds on as you said. One thing that would be very important to consider is where you are traveling and the accessibility of ATMs. I have been to several destinations where I had to really search for an ATM that took my card (it's a visa check card), and i can imagine that with something like this it could possibly be difficult as well, depending on the destination. And you are correct, many places will not take travelers checks these days, or if they do they charge quite a bit for exchanging them. However, again this depends on your destintation. I had clients go to Egypt last year and they told me that over there travelers checks were the best way to go. So it's something to research carefully.
If you do not use the travelex card, i suggest using your credit card as much as you can (as long as you are traveling to destinations in which you can use them), as you get the best exchange rate on them. Capital One visa is good because they do not apply the extra "conversion charge", which many other cards charge - this might not be the correct name for the fee but it's basically a charge for using it where there's foreign currency.
I know this is way more than you asked for but what can i say, i do it for a living so i'm passionate about it! hope it helps!!
thanks heaps maya, the more info the better!
i will be travelling to japan... and i have heard that credit card is not hugely popular over there. i have also heard it's a pretty cash driven society and it is apparently fairly safe so i will probably carry a bit of cash around, but as another option i thought something like the cash passport could be a good option. thanks for the info on capital one not charging conversion fee! i didnt know that, so will definitely check it out. thanks for your advice!
a piece of advice i can give you: when travelling to japan pay special attention to the dollar-yen exchange rate
the banks, or whatever institutions you might contact, offer you. a "not so financially clever" friend of mine was terribly fooled by a guy who pretended to be a professional for-ex dealer. he told me this crook had his own, professional looking store, but in the end he just talked him into exchanging the money at his store, maybe because his secretary was a beautiful asian, i don't know. just take care!
well i do have a penchant for beautiful asian secretaries ....haha... thanks for the tip CK i will be sure to keep this in mind!