Pay by check for a Peru vacation?

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Dec 19, 2018
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#1
A small travel agency that I found, but I am not familiar with, has been working with me on the ground arraingements for a vacation to Peru. They are telling me that the agency in Peru that they are working with will require a check for payment. They will not accept a credit card. They will want me to overnight the check (about $3000). I have not used a travel agent since they days when airlines paid commissions. What is right here? Is this a common or an acceptable practice?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,624
14,189
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Don’t do it. There are plenty of suppliers that will take a credit card. You have no protection if the agency doesn’t pay the supplier for your trip by paying by check.

Are they asking you to write the check payable to the agency or the the Peru supplier? Some local tour operators want an agency to wire funds to them for payment but I am not comfortable using them myself if it’s not someone so personally know.

Have you googled the name of the agency by googling “complaints about xyz company”? You should check on the agency. Are they members of ASTA? (American Society of Travel Advisors?)

Run and go to another agency that allows credit card payments. There are hundreds of suppliers that sell Peru that will take credit card payments. Find one.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,546
7,332
113
San Francisco
#6
A travel provider anywhere in the world who does not accept credit cards has a problem. A problem with their credit status, their ethics, their backgrounds or a myriad of other bad stuff. The only reason a travel provider would require a check is because they can't get a credit card company to work with them. Your doubts were very valid and I'm so glad you came to us first. I would also go after this "travel agent" for giving questionable advice to travelers.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,624
14,189
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
A travel provider anywhere in the world who does not accept credit cards has a problem. A problem with their credit status, their ethics, their backgrounds or a myriad of other bad stuff. The only reason a travel provider would require a check is because they can't get a credit card company to work with them. Your doubts were very valid and I'm so glad you came to us first. I would also go after this "travel agent" for giving questionable advice to travelers.
There are suppliers in some countries that are quite legitimate that don’t have the ability to accept credit cards. We have some we deal with that are like this. But WE will charge the clients credit card and pay the supplier. We don’t ask for a check.

The writer never used the company before but the agency should have had a way to accept a credit card. When you read stories about agencies that suddenly go out of business with clients finding out they never had reservations- this is how it happens. The companies always ask the clients to pay them directly.