Best place/way to buy Euros in US?

Apr 3rd, 2011, 06:52 PM
Original Poster
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Best place/way to buy Euros in US?

Heading of to Italy in a week. Yes - I know I can just use the ATM when I arrive in Venice - but I am too risk averse for that. I need a couple hundred Euros in my pocket when I land.

What is the most cost effective way to buy Euro's in the US? I live in a major metro area (Washington DC).

Thanks for your input.
rholt is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 06:55 PM
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"What is the most cost effective way to buy Euro's in the US?"

If you must get a few €€ in advance, the fastest/easiest way is to just buy them at the bureau de Change in the departure lounge of your US airport. No need to order them in advance,
janisj is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 07:12 PM
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Ask your friends. So many of them work for companies that get a good rate.

Unfortunately, a week may be cutting it a little close.
TPAYT is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 07:22 PM
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Some of the bigger banks in large cities have (or can get) euro. Call around and ask. Also AAA provides the service at certain locations for members (bigger cities again).
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 07:51 PM
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Why are you worrying? You can easily get several hundred euros(depending on your bank here in the US) from your first ATM transaction.YOU DON'T NEED TO GET MONEY HERE IN THE USA!!!!
dutyfree is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 08:09 PM
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I agree w/ dutyfree -- but since you said you aren't willing to arrive in Europe w/o € in your pocket, just get some at your departure airport. You will have PLENTY of time to kill after check in/security. You might as well use part of it buying your currency.

(I never get currency in advance - or at least not in the last 10 years or so)
janisj is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 09:01 PM
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If you must have cash in pocket then carry several hundred $US and change it at the change bureau in the arrival airport if every ATM isn't working.

If that is still too risky for you, then get some from your local bank. The rates at the TravelEx booths in US airports are worse than what AAA or a US bank will charge.
J62 is online now  
Apr 4th, 2011, 12:32 PM
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I think it would be riskier to travel with large sums of cash than use a bank machine on arrival. What specific kind of risk are you trying to avoid? I can certainly understand your concern, but there may be a much better way to address these concerns.
griz_fan is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 01:04 PM
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Go to Travelex at 18th and K. They'll happily bilk you out of your hard-earned cash so you can touch down with some euros in your pocket.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 4th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Another cost to using that Travelex is transportation and/or parking, unless you are already in the Farragut area for some other purpose. The kiosk or multi-currency ATM at Dulles will be more convenient, for little or no extra expense.
kayd is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 02:25 PM
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I've NEVER had a problem getting Euro from the airport at which we arrive in Europe.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 02:35 PM
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If you plan to go to Europe again, before you return home make sure you have a few extra hundred € to get started with your next trip. As you can see from this post it isn't a popular idea to make the banks in the US rich....I agree.
Ann1 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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ATMs are not infallible. I arrived in Madrid once and all of the ATMs in the airport were out of order. The line for the change bureau was a mile long--just what I needed after a long overseas flight. In Greece, sometimes the ATM would accept my card and sometimes it wouldn't--even when using it at different branches of the same bank. The first couple of ATMs I tried--including the one at Athens airport--my card didn't work.

I live a couple of blocks from a Travelex and I usually pick up $50 or $60 bucks in local currency before leaving. The rates aren't the best, but compared to what I am already paying for the trip, a couple of extra dollars is not something I'm going to stress over.

We each travel in our own way. If you prefer to have money in your pocket when you land as opposed to getting it from an ATM on arrival, there's nothing wrong with that.
walkabout is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 04:08 PM
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When you exit customs at Venice, you will see an ATM in front of you, just to the right. It will probably work. Further to the right of the ATM, you’ll see a currency exchange booth. If the ATM does not do it for you, the people at the exchange booth will gladly exchange your hard earned USD for a paltry amount of Euro.

One tip, though. Should you need to use an airport baggage trolley, then you need a one euro coin to liberate it.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 04:34 PM
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I don't understand the nearly religious fervor which many posters exhibit whenever someone says they like to have some currency in hand before they land (especially these days with currency conversion fees on ATM cards).

Anyway, I live in DC and the best place I have found for getting a little foreign currency is the exchange bureau in the bottom of the Old Post Office building (next to Ben and Jerrys). Sometimes my bank will have a better rate, but they charge a flat fee and I would need to get a lot to make it worthwhile (plus you have to order a week in advance or something these days).
Doh is offline  
Apr 20th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Just go to your bank a week or two before trip and ask them to order you som euro from Fed Reserve bank. If you live in a fed reserve bank city such as Denver, Kansas City and many others just go to the Fed Reserve Bank and get them on the spot.
kcroamer2 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2013, 02:35 PM
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kcroamer2 -- this post is two years old. I assume the OP survived the week in Italy.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Apr 20th, 2013, 08:03 PM
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Yes knew it...but some other party may need same advice and previous answers made light of his delimma
kcroamer2 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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I am another party that had the same question for a trip this July. So I appreciate all input regardless of the date of posting...unless the technology/issue becomes obsolete...(10 years from now when ATM's are 'old school' dinosaurs or something.)
TexasTSip is offline  
Jun 10th, 2013, 06:45 PM
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I have plenty of euros left over from my last trip and will be happy to exchange them at two dollars per.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  

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