Best way to EXCHANGE US TO EURO.

Old Feb 7th, 2012, 03:33 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Best way to EXCHANGE US TO EURO.

Hello I am leaving for Rome,Italy this march and i read one of your thread here before saying its better to withdraw from the ATM machine in Italy then to exchange here in USA. My question is that is the exchange rate lower from the ATM machine then bringing dollar and exchanging it there inside their bank since there is a withdrawal charge from the ATM machine? Is there any difference on the conversion rate if i exchange it through the Italy teller machine and in ATM machine? And by any chance does anyone know if the Italian banks in the airport (FCO) charges for any ATM transactions/withdrawals?
Jrdy888 is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 03:37 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17,471
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
.
iris1745 is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 03:37 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,398
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't believe any european bank charges ATM fees. The conversion rate for ATM withdrawls will likely be BETTER than any cash exchange - even inside a bank. And much safer.
apersuader65 is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 03:39 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,806
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
European banks do not charge for the use of their ATMs. It is your bank that might levy a charge. If your bank is the BofA, you can withdraw money from BNL ATMs in Italy at no charge. But if you use an ATM independent of a bank, it probably will charge you for the withdrawal and your bank will probably charge you also for the transaction. I use a credit union ATM card because my credit union does not charge for foreign withdrawals. You might want to check out your local credit union to see if it has the same policy.
Michael is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 03:44 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have an account in TD BANK and CITIBANK I am amazed with TD BANK because i just spoke with their customer service and he just confirmed that they don't have any charges for any international ATM withdrawals transactions. So this will come out good for me. I was planning to bring cash but since you said the exchange rate in ATM is lower I might as well withdraw in the ATM machine.
Jrdy888 is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 03:50 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,030
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Over the years, I have noticed that people recommend ATMs for exchanging money electronically, and they are a viable source.

However, if you have cash, any post office in Italy & England will exchange your US dollars for euros at a minimal cost...like $2.00 for 1,000 euro or pound. Okay, maybe it's a little bit more than in 2009. All you need is a passport, step up to the window, fill out a form and you're good to go. Even in small towns like Bellagio, it has never been a problem for us.

It's so simple, if you want to bring cash.
i_am_kane is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 04:17 PM
  #7  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,446
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Going into the bank will be much less convenient than the ATM and more expensive. Use your ATM card, but do notify your bank in advance that it will be used overseas.
P_M is online now  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 04:38 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And you don't want to carry a big wad of US$. Too dangerous. Use the ATM.
mamcalice is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 04:49 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,345
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
i_am_kane: "However, if you have cash, any post office in Italy & England will exchange your US dollars for euros at a minimal cost...like $2.00 for 1,000 euro or pound. Okay, maybe it's a little bit more than in 2009. All you need is a passport, step up to the window, fill out a form and you're good to go. Even in small towns like Bellagio, it has never been a problem for us.

It's so simple, if you want to bring cash.
"

Sorry, but that is very bad advice. Not only is there a 'nominal' fee, there is an inflated exchange rate. Plus the security issues w/ carrying large sums of cash. ATMs are cheaper, safer and better all around. And no, not every PO in England will do it.
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 05:01 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,741
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jdry- "Dove il bancomat, per favore?"

Pronounced doh-vay ill bank-o-mat, pear fah-voray.

Translation: "Where is ATM Machine, please?"

DO let your bank know what days you will be overseas and if you need a "no limit" ability to withdraw funds, get that taken care of. Make sure your bank contacts the security and fraud departments, if they are separate. (I had this issue on one trip. As soon as I used my card in Rome, it stopped working. When I called my credit union... they had failed to contact the fraud department. It was fixed right quick, but caused me a bit of inconvenience.)

Buon viaggio!
sarge56 is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 06:56 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all your help!
Jrdy888 is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 07:48 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 12,719
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree that bring cash and exchanging at a bank or anywhere else is a bad idea. It's not the "nominal" fee. It's the bad exchange rate that is the problem.

My experience has been that using an ATM or a credit card is the most economical way to get money. My Mileage Plus Visa charges a 3% fee for every charge, which is irritating, but I earn frequent flyer miles with the card, and I've taken multiple trips to Europe with the miles, so it's worth it to me.

My bank charges $5.00 per foreign withdrawal, no matter how much or how little I withdraw, so I take the maximum allowed amount. If I have leftover euros, I bring them home and use them on the next trip.

Don't bring traveler's checks, and do use a money belt.
Paying with cash would be more economical, but it's worth the extra 3% fees to earn the miles.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2012, 09:00 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 35,453
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
>>>However, if you have cash, any post office in Italy & England will exchange your US dollars for euros at a minimal cost...like $2.00 for 1,000 euro or pound.
kybourbon is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2012, 12:02 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,176
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
While agreeing that getting money from an ATM is the best way to go, you would have absolutely no problem in exchanging US dollars (or any other currency) in the U.K. Virtually all post offices do foreign exchange, as do most travel agents, many branches of Marks & Spencers and other chain stores. Banks seem to have dropped foreign exchange at most of their branches now, but there are lots of reliable alternatives.

You may be charged a fee, and the exchange rate will not be the best, but the facility is certainly there.
chartley is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2012, 04:48 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,030
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
janisj, Are you speaking from experience with the post offices? I am. You can lose an ATM card or it can get caught in the ATM or the ATM simply won't read the plastic card. Having USD exchanged at a local post office took that kind of stress of us a few times. Read chartley's comments.

Mamcalise, Dangerous to carry US currency? What about carrying the euros or pounds that you get out of the ATM...is it dangerous to carry them?

BTW, I never said anything about huge or big sums of cash. RIF.
i_am_kane is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2012, 06:10 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As noted above, any currency transaction has TWO components, the fee and the exchange rate. BOTH are controlled by the agency/bank doing the trasnaction. So, often you will see a 'No Fee' currency echange booth..means nothing, they just adjust the exchange rate in their favour.

My bank charges ~%5 over the newspaper excahange rate. ATM was better than that. Part of using ATM si also convenience. No need to carry around huge wads of money, just enough to get you through next couple of days.

A not bad idea is getting some euros (say 50-100) for a situation of when you land, you have enough to get you to hotel, or the ATM at airport is brokon or long line-up, or will be jet-lagged.

I commit a sacrilege when I travel..I don't use a money belt. I only have enough money for next couple of days. I may move things around, to have ATM cards in different pockets.

Note that banks in Europe may have a different withdrawals limit htan your bank. If this happens, you just break up withdrawals into 2 consecutive cash withdrawals, up to your bank's limit.

Also, banks probably will not offer you choice of checkingor saving account, it will remove money from your primary account. Figure out which one that is for you.

There are several ATM networkds (on back of your card). So either have a couple of ATM accounts, or realize you may have to go to another bank. This happened to me in London last visit.

Cash for small stuff, credit card for large (like hotels). I also pay my meals in cash. Don't try using US$

For CC billing, do not let them bill you in US$, insist on local currency. There is a scam about this.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2012, 06:46 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,345
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
"janisj, Are you speaking from experience with the post offices? I am."

Yes, I'm speaking from experience. I didn't say a PO would not exchange currency. I mentioned there is more than just the 'small fee', than not every PO can do it (Sub POs seldom can/will), and the security issue of carrying large sums of cash.
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 8th, 2012, 07:27 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The simple answer is use an ATM and you don't have to bring a nickel of US currency.

Check the Forex fees with TD Bank too. Most charge about 3% (i.e., you exchange at the Interbank rate plus 3%). Cap One and various credit unions charge 0%.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2012, 08:46 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,149
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I believe using the ATM is more convenient and safer than carrying an amount of cash that anybody can see you exchanging. There are too many thieves prawling around banks already to make their job easier.

We used the ATMs all over Europe in 2010 and I loved the convenience of just going to the machine and getting Euros. Make sure you speak to your bank and raise your daily limit for the withdrawal, some have a $300 to $1,000 daily if required. I did ask for it, so I could get money every 3 days if needed. I believe my bank, Wellsfargo, charges me for the international US$ conversion wherever I withdraw, Europe or Chile when I go home.
pookymimi is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2012, 08:49 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Before you go, not a bad idea to let your CC company know that you are going to Europe. They could block charges because you have never used it there before.

No need to do this with ATM card.
Michel_Paris is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:15 AM.