Using ATMs for Getting Cash!

Dec 10th, 2003, 12:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 51
Using ATMs for Getting Cash!

Hi- my hubby and I are going on a 12-day Med cruise next summer and I've been trying to figure out the best way to handle money while there. I have read a few posts on this site about it, but they are a bit old... Most suggest getting cash via ATMs - but are they easy to find and do they accept most bank's cards? Others suggested using credit cards, that the exchange rate is better that way. Anyone out there have any other suggestions or opinions? We'll obviously need some cash for food/inexpensive items, but plan to use credit cards for anything that's more expensive. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!
LeighB is offline  
Dec 10th, 2003, 04:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
We took a Med cruise the year before most countries in Europe changed to the Euro. We took a real bath in exchange fees changing money back & forth.

Except for small amounts of money you might feel comfortable with in exchanging money on board the cruise ship, I would recommend using your credit card/debit card in ATM machines to get the cash you need in most ports.

ATM machines are everywhere in Europe.

I would recommend using your credit card for all buying transactions in Europe. You do get the best exchange rate.
Budman is offline  
Dec 10th, 2003, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 261
We go to Italy often to visit family. We use only our ATM card. I remember reading a newspaper travel article just before our last trip and the writer claimed that one of our BIG banks was charging a high fee for overseas ATM transactions and felt other banks might start doing the same. I checked with my small-town-bank and they said the charge would be just what it would be here if I used any bank but theirs. They were right and so the fee was minimal and the exchange rate was always the best available. Plus, you can just get the amount you want, when you want it. And, like here, the machines are all over the place!
Have a great trip!
esd is offline  
Dec 10th, 2003, 06:48 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
We used ATMs as well, but found the best exchnage rate when we used our debit card for purchases, as there was no additional fee.
abram is offline  
Dec 11th, 2003, 02:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 686
When I did a land trip to Europe 2 years ago I asked my bank about currency. He recommending using ATM's - I had no problems whatsoever. At the time, the ATM listed the currency is Euros and the Euros were pretty close to the dollar in value so it was easy. Not sure how close they are right now.

Had no problems using a Wells Fargo ATM at any ATM or finding ATMs.
Theresa is offline  
Dec 11th, 2003, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2
One thing to keep in mind when using a credit card are the hidden transaction fees. If you have more than one credit card, check with your card issuers and find out what rate they charge for foreign transctions. All cards charge a fee to convert the foreign currency into local currency, usually one percent. However, many card issuers, usually the big banks, then tack on an extra two or three percent of the transaction amount as a "foreign transaction fee" which is pure profit for the bank. Community banks and credit unions are less likely to add the transaction fee onto purhases.
mrhowell is offline  
Dec 13th, 2003, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 80
We always do the following:
-Take some Euros with us for the first day. When we used the ATM we got enough money for five or six days.
-always use ATM for to get local cash
-use credit cards for all purchases UNLESS we can get a 3 to 5 or more percent discount for cash
-we always ensure that at least 2 cards can access the bank, ie credit card and bank card. WE never carry both together when we are sighseeing.

Keep in mind that all of the ATMS in Europe seem to take 4 didgit pins. One or two bank ATM's in Italy would not take our card but it was not a big deal as we went to another ATM. The ATM's are multilingual-just have to press the Great Britain flag and instructions etc will be in English.
johnian is offline  
Dec 14th, 2003, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 6
they do have a new program where you buy a debit card to use as your travlers checks you have a pin and people do not have access to your bank numbers
Dars is offline  

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