ATM's or Travelers Checks

Jun 6th, 2000, 04:14 AM
Mike Morley
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ATM's or Travelers Checks

My wife and I will be in Italy the month of July, should weplan on ATM's or Travelers Checks ? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Jun 6th, 2000, 04:16 AM
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Use a credit card for purchases as much as possible,get cash from atms with a debit or atm card (4 digit pin not starting with zero) and take a couple of travelers checks in your own currency just for emergency backup.
Jun 6th, 2000, 04:39 AM
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There's a currency exchange website that can give you exchange rates. I found that while visiting Spain, the best exchange rates are bank to bank so use your Credit Card!

I did find the best exchange rate for my US dollars was at the airport. I know that probably sounds crazy since it wasn't that long ago that it was the worst place. I received 184 pts per US dollar and there was no commission. In Barcelona, the best I got was 178 but usually around 166.

You probably should just double check with your bank before you go about any reported problems from customers. Your PIN number should be four digits.
Jun 6th, 2000, 05:02 AM
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Mike, we normally use our Visa for most things, our ATM card for things we can't charge with a small amount of cash as a backup. However, on our recent trip to Portugal, we discovered that our ATM card did not work in Portugal (although it worked in Spain a couple of days earleir) and that all of the banks are linked together so we had to rely solely on our Visa and our small amount of cash and spent far too much time in search of an ATM that worked and worrying about what we were going to do if we ran out of money.

The moral of the story is that although its wise to figure out the preferred method, make sure you have backup options. I would have felt much better if I had remembered my PIN for cash advances on my Visa or had some travelers checks as a backup.

We also found that the airport in Barcelona and in Lisbon had the best exchange rates for cash transactions, banks seemed to be the worst.
Jun 6th, 2000, 10:30 AM
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ATM card(s) definitely. It offers the best exchange rate. And, as previously posted, take a couple hundred dollars in travelers checks "just in case." (As with most other travelers who've posted on Fodor's, we never cashed the ones we took for that purpose.)

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