Those Amex Travelers checks are looking better and better. At least I don't have to go to the one Citi office in France to use 'em.
Don't rely too much on travelers checks for daily expenditure. They are accepted less and less by businesses, and there is often a charge. Even at the currency exchange booths, you will often pay a fee even if the check is in euros.
Just back from Paris where I was rather shocked by the prices. But got a chance to workout my Citi ATM card. At the Citi office on the Champs I got 100 Euros and was charged just over $133. Appears to be no added forex charge. Also got some Euros with the card at a non-Citi ATM at CDG and got charged a couple of bucks forex charge and a $1.50 non Citi ATM usage fee. Too bad Citi has only one ATM site in all of France. Kinda makes it hard to avoid fees.
Particularly when, as indicated above, it frequently runs out of cash!
When I made my one use of the Citi ATM Champs machine I did notice that there were two machines for general use which where not working and two for Citi account holders only, one of which actually provided me with cash, as well as the chance to check my account balances--not really something I went to France to do, but I guess it could be useful. Given French prices I really needed the cash.
Just for information Citibank UK account holders can open a Euro account, transfer some Sterling into Euros (at usually fairly good rates), link ATM card to Euro account and then withdraw Euros from any ATM in France (and rest of Euro land) without any charge. Without charge unless the ATM provider in France charges.
Same applies if a US dollar account is opened in Citibank UK.