Cheques & Balances

TCF offering AmEx prepaid money card

Published in CSP Daily News

WAYZATA, Minn. -- TCF National Bank is offering the new American Express Travelers Cheque Card throughout TCF's 430-branch retail banking network beginning May 31.

Earlier this month, just in time for the summer travel season, American Express unveiled a modernized version of its venerable paper Travelers Cheques with the American Express Travelers Cheque Card, a prepaid, reloadable card that can be used at merchants and ATMs worldwide that accept American Express. The Travelers Cheque Card offers 24-hour refundability.

The Travelers [image-nocss] Cheque Card can be used at merchants and ATMs worldwide that accept American Express Cards. The card is backed by American Express customer service and provides travelers worldwide with the ability to obtain a refund of the balance within 24 hours if the card is lost or stolen.

The Traveler Cheque Card will be sold at TCF branches in preloaded denominations of $500, $700, $1,000 and $2,000. A cardholder may reload the card up to $2,750 from virtually anywhere.

Meanwhile, nearly half of all Americans (47%) are planning a summer vacation this year, according to the American Express Summer Travel Payment Survey. While Americans carry a significant amount of cashspending approximately $100 billion in cash annually when they travelthey agree that cash is the least safe form of travel money (68%). Travelers Cheques are broadly seen by travelers as the safest form of "travel money, cited by 40% of respondents.

Losing a wallet tops the list of money-related concerns, cited by more than a third of those surveyed (37%). Other money concerns are budgeting wisely (29%), losing credit cards (10%), a passport (7%) or debit card (5%).

One in 10 surveyed has either lost cash or had it stolen while traveling. Those reporting losses of cash, credit and debit cards, and identification documents spent eight hours of their vacations on average seeking emergency assistance; for more than one in four (27%) the problem was never resolved.

Travelers are also worried about the risks associated with losing their debit cards while traveling. They fear a lost or stolen debit card could put them at risk for identity theft (42%), could result in financial loss because it is linked to their bank account (38%), and provide less control over currency fluctuations since they are subject to each bank's exchange rates (17%).

"Today's travelers have an increasing number of worries when it comes to protecting their funds and valuables," said Valerie Soranno Keating, President, American Express Global Travelers Cheques and Prepaid Services Group. "The Travelers Cheque Card takes safe travel to a whole new level, helping to ensure they will have a stress-free trip."

One in four (25%) admit they do not take any special precautions to protect their valuables while traveling; 40% separate and carry their cash, credit cards and travel documents in different pockets; a third (33%) use hotel safes, and nearly as many (31%) make sure they carry credit and debit cards that can easily be replaced if lost. More than one in five travelers (22%) carry their valuables in a hidden money belt or pouch.

The American Express Travelers Cheque Card addresses many of concerns highlighted in the survey, offering travelers a safe and convenient payment method. Unlike debit cards, the Travelers Cheque Card is not linked to a bank account, helping reduce the risk of financial loss and identity theft.