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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by dave, Apr 18, 2001.
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Not usually. The credit card companies are extremely insistant about the idea that no method be allowed to exist whereby a customer can come up with cash by making a purchase of any kind that can be converted directly to cash.
They want to be sure that they can collect interest on cash money loaned out.Here is why. They charge the merchant a percentage of the amount of your purchase, whatever that percentage may be. They can't do that when somebody gets cash instead of purchase of merchandise because there is then no one they can charge a percentage to.
That may not be exactly correct, but that's at least about the gist of it.
I think the real obstacle is that the bank issuing the travelers checks operates on a very thin margin. If it paid, say, a 3% fee to your Visa bank as part of your purchase, then it couldn't make a profit. It charges its own fees at much less than 3%, and depends on its own float to make a profit.
The Visa bank would be happy to offer you a float on any purchase, as long as it gets its 3% or so cut from the merchant. But no bank selling travelers checks is willing to pay that kind of fee, so no bank will accept a visa for purchases of travelers checks.