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Cash vs atm or credit

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I have a friend who does a lot of European travel. He swears by taking his trip money in US dollars and then exchanging it at windows that he says are all over the place. He says the exchange rate is better than banks or ATMs and that the exchangers are competing with one another. I had never heard this suggestion and wonder what you think. I expressed concern about losing all my trip money in one shot. He swears if one is careful that's really not a concern.

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