How to Use an American Express Gift Cheque

American Express is a large lending institution in the U.S. that provides mostly credit cards to consumers. There are an inordinate number of programs offered by American Express, including charge cards, revolving cards and instalment loans. In addition, American Express offers gift cheques for all purposes. Most companies will accept these as cash.

Sign the cheque on the upper front left hand corner as soon as you receive it. There is a line that reads "Sign Here Upon Receipt." Sign and date the cheque.

Decide whether to cash the cheque or use the check as cash. Most major banks will cash the cheque in a branch office, so long as you have an account.

Bring the cheque to a bank with your photo ID. The teller must watch as you counter-endorse the cheque. There is a line running along the bottom of the face of the cheque, under which reads, "Countersign here in presence of person cashing." The teller must witness this. There is no fee from American Express to cash these, but different banks may impose fees. Use the cash as you normally would.

Bring the American Express gift cheque into a major retailer. Before making purchases, ask a representative or manager if the store accepts gift cheques. You can also check on the American Express gift cheque website (see Resource 1). Use the "Pay to the Order Of" line (on the face of the check, in the centre) to make out the gift cheque directly to a retailer. The cashier then must witness you sign on the "countersign" line (see Step 3).

Use the gift cheque to purchase items internationally. Make sure the money exchange business or retailer accepts the cheques. Also, check the exchange rate offered. Most retailers will charge the most possible for currency exchanges in the store. You may be better off cashing the cheque and exchanging money at a bank.

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About the Author

Based in Eugene, Ore., Duncan Jenkins has been writing finance-related articles since 2008. His specialties include personal finance advice, mortgage/equity loans and credit management. Jenkins obtained his bachelor's degree in English from Clark University.

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