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Buying Euros in the US vs ATM on the first morning

Buying Euros in the US vs ATM on the first morning

Mar 26th, 2010, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 146
In Istanbul last week, the airport ATM machine wouldn't let me take out 400 lira (which was only about $260, well under my $300 daily ATM limit). I wondered if it was because the number 400 itself was the reason. (There was no option to request 300). So I asked for 200 lira, and did a second transaction and asked for 200 and it allowed this.

Prior to leaving on my trip, I was told to be sure to create a checking account at my credit union, as the ATM machine in Istanbul would require money to be pulled from checking not savings. I did. When I got home, I found the ATM withdrawals were pulled from my savings account, not my checking.
lgnutah is offline  
Mar 26th, 2010, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,085
If this is your first trip, do take the trouble to get some sort of "starter set" of Euro at your local American Express or bank before you leave. You might lose a bit on the exchange rate, but that way, you're not managing kids plus jet lag plus luggage, etc. while trying to work a new ATM before you get your taxi. Don't get something huge--just enough for your taxi in and a cafe snack.

After you get into your hotel and get rid of the luggage, it's easier to hit up an area ATM with a bit more awareness of your surroundings. My husband and I are big fans of the "dual ATM hit".

FYI, in Italy, we FREQUENTLY had ATMs go kaput at some points during the day and yet work at other times. Usually an ATM around the corner would work during the lag, so it wasn't any big deal, but with little kids, luggage, etc., the transaction could be stressful.

And as far as limits--phh! My husband still cannot believe he can take out more money in Europe than he can at home. He enjoys playing "how high can you go" with each ATM (what can I say--he's old; thrills are far and few).

As Ann1 suggested, carry home 400 Euro (making sure to keep some 1 and 2 Euro pieces) so you're set for the next trip. You will, after all, be coming back!
AlessandraZoe is offline  

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