Convenience at a Cost

Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, January15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 1

Travelers to Europe are often advised to use credit cards or travelers checksrather than carry large amounts of cash. Now there's the American ExpressTravelFunds card (, which letsyou load up to $2750 in American dollars, or the equivalent in euros or Britishpounds, and then use it as a debit card to pay travel expenses. You'll pay for theconvenience, though; the card costs $14.95 a year, plus a $5 fee every timeyou load it up. Use it at a European ATM and you'll pay another $2.50 fee on topof whatever the bank charges you. And if you use it in a country where the currencyisn't the same as what's on the card, you'll pay a 2% conversion fee.