Buying euros

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Mar 18th, 2008, 01:20 PM
  #21
 
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bardo1 -- good to know, thanks!
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Mar 18th, 2008, 03:21 PM
  #22
 
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bardo1: "at the going exchange rate." -- care to tell us the rate you got, and the date you did this?? Every bank I am aware of (west coast and east coast major cities) has tacked on either an inflated exchange rate, a transaction fee - or both.

elyang: Getting €700 (or more) will not be a problem IF you advise your bank to raise your daily withdrawal limit. Many people don't know they can do that. If I'll be paying a big lump sum, I usually raise my daily limit to $1000 or sometimes more. But that isn't necessary if you are a couple each w/ cards to the same acct. Say your daily limit is $500 - then you can get $500 on each card each day. You usually can't get that much out of a European ATM at one time. But just use the card again -- or step to a different, nearby machine and you can w/d more. Now -- if the apartment costs a lot - say €2000 or something - then it does get more complicated and you might want to pre-buy few hundred € and use the ATM card(s) for the rest.
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Mar 18th, 2008, 05:38 PM
  #23
 
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I always get my money at an ATM at the airport. However keep in mind you are paying a fee for the ATM and then most credit cards charge an average of 3% to convert to $. I recently took out a Capital One credit card as they are free and do NOT charge a fee for converting foreign money (!)
ATM's are easy to find in most large cities but don't count on them in smaller places. You will need cash.
Good luck!
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Mar 18th, 2008, 06:13 PM
  #24
 
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BigAppleTurnover, please tell me I'm misunderstanding you. Surely you aren't talking about using a credit card to withdraw money from an ATM? That is financial suicide -- a horrible mistake!

I know of no ATM debit cards that charge 3% to change your own money to euros at an ATM, but I suppose one may exist. Most will charge at most 1% and possibly a fee of up to $5 for the total transaction. I could be wrong, but I think even a Capital One credit card will charge you a big fee (charging you interest for the "loan") for using their credit card to withdraw money from an ATM. One should only use an ATM/debit card to withdraw money from an ATM -- never a credit card.
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Mar 18th, 2008, 06:24 PM
  #25
 
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I bought euros today. Chase did not charge a fee but did use the "retail rate". I asked what the "commercial rate" was and it was 10 cents less per Euro. $1.66 vs $1.56. Teller told me each Chase ATM withdrawal overseas is $3 plus 3%. I have another ATM card I will be using linked to a bank that pays all the ATM fees on both ends.
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Mar 18th, 2008, 06:33 PM
  #26
 
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Say what? BigAppleTraveler, I have no idea why I called you BigAppleTurnover. I must have had a dessert calling to me at the time! No offense was intended.
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Mar 18th, 2008, 08:53 PM
  #27
 
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magrb: Sure hope you didn't buy many €. You were taken for a ride. $1.66 per €??!! That is highway robbery. Sorry - but it is.

At an ATM in Europe you would have paid between $1.56 and $1.57. Plus maybe a $3 fee. I would look for a different bank if it were me. My credit Union charges nothing and my bank charges $1.50 - both give a rate 1% over the inter-bank ("commercial") exchange rate.
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Mar 19th, 2008, 04:25 AM
  #28
 
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janis, I was charged $1.35 in June 07 (it seemed SO high at the time). So, other than the "inter-bank" rate, does each bank and ATM determines their own Euro price to charge their account holders (just as there is no official "price of gasoline")? Is that correct?
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Mar 19th, 2008, 04:54 AM
  #29
ira
 
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Hi el,

>What if I need 700+E to pay for the rent+deposit upon arrival at the apartment?

Your daily limit is set by your bank, not the ATM.

A: Ask your bank to raise your daily limit to $1200.

They might not.

B: Ask them to raise it to $1200 on a particular day.

They might not.

C: Ask them to set it to $600

Get an ATM card for yourself and your spouse. This will give you 2x your DL.

D: Open another account just for travel. Get 2 cards.

This will give you 4x your DL.

The ATM will allow you to take out about 250-300E each transaction, so you will have to ask it 3x for your 700E.

The ATM might not have 700E in it. Don't worry. Use the ATM next door as well.

You will be much better off buying E in Europe. The OP says

>I just ordered 160 E from Citibank, which cost $268.

That's a rate of $1.67/E. The ATM will offer it for about $1.60 - 5% saving.
................................
Hi B,

>does each bank and ATM determines their own Euro price

If you use a bank ATM, the rate is set at the interbank rate + 1% for Visa/MC conversion, 2% for Amex.

Your bank might add as much as 3% "conversion fee".

You have to ask your bank.



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Mar 19th, 2008, 05:24 AM
  #30
 
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Please make sure I got this post info correct.

Buy euros at arrival airport with ATM. 200 should be a good start.

Bring backup cash in case of card failure.

Use Capitol One for charges not getting eros...

We do not live near a major financial area so buying a home is not feasible with the price of gas.

Correct or confused?

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Mar 19th, 2008, 06:23 AM
  #31
 
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Yesterday I stopped at my bank for something else but I also bought euros there. The lady filled out a form on-line, used the money that was in my savings account and even put in a request for the particular denominations I wanted (1 50, 10 20's, 5 10's) The euros will be there in 2 business days and there was no charge. I'll use an ATM in Paris, but this is the cheapest way to do it. And generally if you only use an ATM you will be stuck with 300 euors in 50's.

Pjk
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Mar 19th, 2008, 06:35 AM
  #32
 
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Peter, I hope you're right. But "no charge"? Really? Did you find out what rate of exchange they will be using? I'm always amazed when people pay up to 10% extra via the currency exchange rate and then proudly say there was "no charge" for doing it.

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Mar 19th, 2008, 06:41 AM
  #33
ira
 
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Hi J,

>Buy euros at arrival airport with ATM. 200 should be a good start.

Yes

>Bring backup cash in case of card failure.

I would buy USD TC's and then deposit them when I got home.

>Use Capitol One for charges not getting euros...

Yes

Enjoy your visit.


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Mar 19th, 2008, 06:42 AM
  #34
 
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Just want to point out that ATMs are available even in small villages now. So they're very convenient as well as relatively cheap.

Individual ATMs do have limits on how much they will push out on a single transaction.
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Mar 19th, 2008, 08:16 AM
  #35
 
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Thank you ira and mimar, never been anywhere that you had to get money exchanged before.

So I am fearful of making wrong choice due to ignorance.

Doesn't sound too difficult though.

Applied for capitol one and hubby also so we will have 2 accounts in case one fails to work properly.
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Mar 19th, 2008, 08:49 AM
  #36
 
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Peter, Would you please give us the name of your bank that charges no fee so we all can share in that knowledge? Thanks so much, Agile
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Mar 19th, 2008, 08:56 AM
  #37
 
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NeoPatrick has hit the nail on the head!!

What amazes most is the overall awareness of financial dealings by the public in general.

The same people who believe they got Euros from a bank at lower net cost than an ATM in Europe are also (and I generalize, of course), the ones who pay interest on credit card balances, take out sub-prime mortgages, provide interest free loans to the IRS so they get a refund on April 15, etc, etc.

It's not wonder there is a deep financial crisis brewing with this level of financial acumen.

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Mar 19th, 2008, 01:42 PM
  #38
 
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Perhaps, Peter's bank is called "National Bank of Charity"? I hope they have a branch in our town if they really don't charge "anything" for such service.
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Mar 20th, 2008, 07:31 AM
  #39
 
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We purchased Euros last year at Chase at a larger branch in NJ; made life so much easier to have some on hand for arrival in Paris for minor purchases. Bought perhaps $100 worth and do not recall the nonetheless small fee.
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Mar 20th, 2008, 08:21 AM
  #40
 
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After stressful Florence experience when ATMs would not take our (Cirrus) cards and having to wait for bank to open to get CC advance I would rather have a little more expensive cushion of a day or 2 of euros in my pocket when I land.
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