Traveler's Check

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DEFINITION of 'Traveler's Check'

A medium of exchange that can be used in place of hard currency. Travelers' checks are often used by individuals who are traveling on vacation to foreign countries. The checks were first introduced by American Express back in 1891.

BREAKING DOWN 'Traveler's Check'

Travelers' checks provide a safe way to carry currency abroad. Security is provided against lost or stolen checks by the issuing party - usually a bank. Specific checks are given unique check numbers, similar to a normal check. When a lost or stolen check is identified, it is simply canceled and the individual is re-issued a new check.

Although banks issue the checks directly to individuals, they are produced by a separate party.

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