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Best option for Dollars to Euros for apartment payment"

Best option for Dollars to Euros for apartment payment"

Dec 8th, 2013, 10:30 AM
  #1  
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Best option for Dollars to Euros for apartment payment"

Hello - we are less than two weeks away from heading to Rome for the holidays. The apartment firm has requested a payment in Euros Cash only of 2250e when we arrive and have inspected the place to our satisfaction. My question is this: we can exchange dollars to euros at our bank here before leaving but that is carrying a lot of cash around during transit. Or, we can up our ATM withdrawal limit to allow us to take the money out when we arrive (given it will be a Saturday, not sure if banks will be open or amenable). Or, we could take a cashier's check or something and hope to find a bank that will cash it for us. What have others done??
cmeyer54 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 10:47 AM
  #2  
 
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Forget the cashier's check idea. No bank in Europe will do business with you unless you have an account, and none will deal with a cashier's check in dollars. Getting your bank to give you euros before departure will probably cost you about 10% more than you should be paying, plus you've got the, risk of carrying around a huge wad of cash.

Open a second account just for this trip and get your bank to increase your limit for ATM withdrawals to the maximum. Make several withdrawals from both accounts in different ATM machines until you have enough cash. Using an ATM machine will be fine any day of the week, just like here in the USA. Or get an international draft in euros from your bank (should cost you under $10) if your Roman landlord will accept one (it will likely cost about 20 euros for him to deposit this into his account, so be prepared for that).
StCirq is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 10:56 AM
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I don't know how they can do this, as cash transactions over 1000 euros are illegal in Italy.

In any case, the only way to pay this would be in cash, and this cash payment requirement is one of the reasons I'm reluctant to rent apartments. You won't find a bank that would be willing to cash it for someone who didn't have an account at their bank.

I myself would recommend getting it from a bank at home and securing it very well on your person during transit, perhaps in a money pouch under your clothing. You'll surely get a poor exchange rate from your bank, and you'd better let them know immediately that you need such a large quantity of cash. However, most ATMs in Italy allow you to withdraw only €250 at a time; some allow you to make multiple withdrawals in this amount, and some limit you to one withdrawal. So you'd have to make 11 withdrawals, probably at different banks to get all this cash on arrival in Italy. I think the risk is greater, considering that someone may see you withdrawing large amounts of cash, and you'd probably have no opportunity to hide the money without being observed.
bvlenci is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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I agree, bvlenci, it's got to be an illegal rental (not that they aren't common, but I wouldn't ever get involved in one).

Good point about the number of withdrawals and the risks of that.

Sounds like a rather bad deal all around, IMO.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 11:46 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the input - I had no idea about the cash limits. I am considering taking enough euros to cover our first two nights (Saturday/Sunday) and then going to our bank's rome branch on Monday for the rest. Its just a few blocks from the apartment and if the place is a dive, we can always head to a hotel...pay through the nose no doubt but it beats an italian jail cell!
cmeyer54 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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The 1000 euro limit is for Italian citizens only. Still since bank transfers are sop easy to do why not ask.
bilboburgler is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 12:09 PM
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Yikes, we did paypal for deposit and had the option of doing the balance that way but took cash to pay in Florence but wasn't near that amount. I have two accounts I can draw from and if your husband has one then you'd have at least two.
flpab is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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We found in Venice last year that we could withdraw 500 euro in a single transaction from an ATM. So that means four or five withdrawals to pay the rent. Not so hard.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Not all US banks will "up" your withdrawal maximum per day. Cap One would not; "for our own safety" We opened another account at Andrews Federal Credit Union [with all of it's other perks] and used both accounts to get needed cash for apartment.
DebitNM is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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>>I am considering taking enough euros to cover our first two nights (Saturday/Sunday) and then going to our bank's rome branch on Monday for the rest.<<

My guess is if you don't have all the cash on arrival you won't get the keys.
janisj is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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cmeyer, I hope you will report back after your trip to tell how things worked out for you. We will need to do something similar in France in June; 2500 euro cash for apartment and security deposit. We will not be as short on time to gather the cash as you but we will end our trip with the return of our security deposit.

Will you be receiving your security deposit returned to you in cash at the end of your stay like we will? Due to this we will have at least 1500 cash in euros when we usually come home with no more than 200 euros "seed money" for our next trip! We use ATM 's and don't like to carry so much cash much less bring so many euros home with us. Going on a spending spree with the euros is not an option for me, unfortunately . Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 01:53 PM
  #12  
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Deborah - our security deposit can be done in USD so that won't be a big issue. We used PayPal for the initial deposit which was fine. The weekend and banking hours just occured to me last night and I really don't want to carry around that many euros from the US to Rome. Running from ATM to ATM to withdraw money and paying those fees also makes me a bit crazy. And...if we can withdraw up to 500e, is that Per Day or Per Withdrawal? I will talk to our bank tomorrow but if its Per Day, we'd need up to 4 separate accounts. Next time, I will only consider places that take credit cards or revert to hotels. This has gotten to be a huge hassle.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 01:55 PM
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@bilboburgler - if we do a bank transfer, would it have to be done before we leave the US since the banks are closed on Saturday when we arrive...and if the place is unacceptable, would we then be stuck??
cmeyer54 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 03:29 PM
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Cmeyer Is it just you withdrawing or also a spouse/partner? Each person with an ATM card on the same account can each withdraw the max per day is our experience. The problem we have found is the ATM may have a limit that is less than our card so we have to go to multiple ATM's. We have an online Capital One card which is different and a much better ATM card than the brick and mortar Capital One bank ATM card that we also have. We are going to be making a lot of ATM runs also. At least you are in a large enough city to do this "dance". Imagine what it would be like in a small town. Good luck. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 04:15 PM
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If the Italian landlord is insisting on cash it is probably because he does not want to pay taxes on that income. If so, he will certainly will not want any sort of bank transfer that will leave a paper trail. It may be illegal for him, but what do you care? Many/most Italians routinely evade taxes as a matter of honor.
nukesafe is offline  
Dec 9th, 2013, 01:25 AM
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For sure bank transfers need to be done based on bank timings and once paid cannot be with held. I guess its about trust and how much cash you like to carry about on your person.

The Italian Money Police are being driven hard at the moment so Italians are being a bit more careful. Would you want to rent a property from a criminal? Hardly gives the best image for what happens if you have any other problems with the rental. I'd back out if only cash was acceptable.
bilboburgler is offline  
Dec 9th, 2013, 03:44 AM
  #17  
 
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Best option for Dollars to Euros for apartment payment"
Posted by: cmeyer54 on Dec 8, 13 at 2:30pm
The apartment firm has requested a payment in Euros Cash only of 2250e when we arrive and have inspected the place to our satisfaction. My question is this: we can exchange dollars to euros at our bank here before leaving but that is carrying a lot of cash around during transit.


Assuming that the apartment firm owns or controls the property I would do it their way. Bring over US$ in NEW crisp $100s and change them for euros at a bank in Italy. Heck, the apartment firm might even accept the US$. They are just going to drive up to Switzerland and deposit the cash anyway.

Europe is much more a cash society than plastic USA. My BIL near Milan runs a small business and regularly walks around with a wad of euros in his front pocket. It would literally choke a horse. Taxes, smatches. The only threat to him is the mafia trying to muscle in on his business.

I made a road trip from Germany to Turkey. Being not sure if my plastic would be any good in those lands I carried $2,000, half in US$ and half in €. I put the cash in small ZipLoc baggies and put it in the bottoms of my shoes. No problem. After you clear the TSA shoe inspection you could do that.
spaarne is offline  
Dec 9th, 2013, 07:19 AM
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I would try to negotiate a bank transfer, although that means that the payment is no longer invisible to the Italian fiscal authorities. Perhaps have them agree to a cash payment of 4 or 5 days and then an electronic transfer from bank to bank. Once the system is set up, it can be done from any computer and after you have seen the apartment. I transfer money to France using www.xe.com. Most of the methods suggested above involve higher costs, especially in the conversion rate.
Michael is offline  
Dec 9th, 2013, 07:45 AM
  #19  
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@Michael and Spaarne - yes, we'd love to do a bank transfer using quikpay or similar thru Chase. don't know if the landlord will accept that or not. the current offer is 1000e transfer in advance (before we've seen the place) and 1240e in cash when we arrive. we can't go to Chase when we arrive since it will be on a Saturday and they are not open. However, with quikpay, all we will need is internet connection. I'd do paypal as well!
cmeyer54 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2013, 09:32 AM
  #20  
 
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Getting your ATM daily limit raised can usually be done but as noted you will probably have to visit multiple ATMs as the bank whose ATM you will use has a daily limit on what THEY will allow you to withdraw regardless of what YOUR bank will allow you to withdraw daily.

Your basic question is where will you get the best exchange rate and the answer is at the ATM in Italy. The problem is the multiple ATM visits required. I have negotiated in the past with situations like this to pay over a period of days, not all on day one. Explaining why you need to do so may make it acceptable to the landlord. But you should find out BEFORE you leave home, not wait till you arrive and then ask to delay payment.

Otherwise, the best way is to take US cash as spaarne suggests and change it at a bank in Italy. Not the best security but not the highest risk in the world either.
dulciusexasperis is offline  

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