Using TravelCards - Travelers Checks with a Twist

On average, Americans carry about $200 in cash while traveling on vacation. While this form of currency offers the convenience of being accepted everywhere, it also poses a great lure for pickpockets. Debit cards, too, can be used by others to wipe out your bank account if they fall into the wrong hands.

"Today's travelers have an increasing number of worries when it comes to protecting their travel funds and valuables. In addition to concerns about loss and theft, more and more people are also worried about becoming a victim of identity theft," said Valerie Sorrano Keating, president, American Express Global Travelers Cheques and Prepaid Services Group. "Yet despite these concerns, Americans spend more than $100 billion in cash annually when they travel. When that money is lost or stolen, it's gone forever."

To help put travelers' minds at ease, American Express has introduced the TravelFunds Card, a prepaid, reloadable travel card. Available in three currencies-U.S. dollar, Euro or British Pound Sterling-it can be used globally anywhere the American Express Card is accepted, including ATMs.

The TravelFunds Card brings travelers a level of safety and convenience that other payment methods do not provide, such as the ability to obtain a refund, usually within 24 hours, if the card is ever lost or stolen. Moreover, unlike a debit card, it is not linked to a bank account, providing further protection from financial theft and loss.

By design, the card offers the same security as American Express Travelers Cheques, in a convenient plastic card. Additional tips for managing your money while on vacation include:

• Never carry just one form of payment. Carry a combination of credit cards, the American Express TravelFunds Card, cash and Travelers Cheques.

• Limit the amount of cash you carry. A small amount for tips and other incidentals is okay, but there are no rewards or protections when using cash-and if it's lost or stolen, it's gone for good.

• Know what travel services and protections your travel payment options carry. American Express offers its TravelFunds Card and Travelers Cheques customers passport and credit card replacement assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the world.

The TravelFunds Card can be purchased by phone at 1-800-AMEX-TFC and on the Internet at

With a handy new payment card, travelers can avoid carrying cash and are protected against theft.

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