buying the euro/pound

Feb 10th, 2011, 07:39 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 28
@ Michel_Paris - Of cos, one needs to pay the exchange rate - I thot that was a given when one is converting currencies. AFAIK there are no other fees that I pay(at least for the latest one I use). For Eg you pay $x and load the equivalent Euro based on that days exchange rate. Then we are free to use that card in the eurozone with no extra charges to yourself.
innocentspirit is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 07:40 AM
  #22  
 
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I looked up the card innocentspirit mentioned. It charges a conversion rate of $1.46US/1 euro -- vs. the interbank rate of $1.36. That's a surcharge of about 6.5%. SO that's how they make their money.

There is no free lunch.
Mimar is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 07:44 AM
  #23  
 
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It looks like that card is the new electronic travelers check -- similar cost to purchase but easier to spend.
kayd is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 07:49 AM
  #24  
 
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innocent....THEY set the exchange rate they want to use. That is how they make their money. It is also hoe the banks make their money when you go to get euros. If you compare their counter rate to the 'newspaper rate', they charge ~5% more.

It is like me saying to you...I will buy all of your leftover euros, no charge to you, I will pay your postage to send it, I will fedex your money back to you, no fess for this service...but I will set the exchange rate

you lose.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 08:03 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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@ M_P - I understand that they set the exchange rate that is advantageous to them - after all it is a business and they are not in it for charity.

all I said was - for me personally I loose a lot less by using one of these prepaid foreign currency travel cards than I would by directly using my bank's credit/debit card while on a holiday in eurozone.....hope this clarifies
innocentspirit is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 08:04 AM
  #26  
 
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innocentspirit,

For the day's rate, so that you can compare what you are paying, go to http://www.xe.com/ucc/. And if you are interested in what you were charged by your credit card, go to http://www.xe.com/ccc/.
Michael is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 08:12 AM
  #27  
 
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nnocentspirit,

Not to harp on this ...

Could you provide what the costs for this card are, and conditions of use?

VISA prepaid euro cards were slammed, justly. Be interested in knowing the facts on yours.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 08:49 AM
  #28  
 
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innocentspirit -- the difference must be that your bank charges rates and fees that greatly exceed the average by most US banks. Mine is 1% plus $3 for an ATM withdrawal, that is $6 for $300 or 2% total, far better than the 6.5% you say is better than what you'd pay using your bank's ATM card. The highest cost I've hear of for US banks was 3% plus $5 -- or $14 for $300, but that still under 5% total.
kayd is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 09:00 AM
  #29  
 
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I don't think 7 cents is so bad if you want some in advance, it sounds better than what you'd get at the airport bureau de change. Of course it depends which way you are quoting the rate, euro to $ or $ to euro as to what percent that is. It's only 5 pct if you are quoting USD to euro but I think banks usually quote the reverse, in which case it is closer to 10 pct (ie euro to USD which is about .74 now).
Christina is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 11:15 AM
  #30  
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Wow! no contest here. I'll tell my American bank to stuff it & take a few hundred dollars with me. Thanks everyone.
alienor is offline  
Feb 10th, 2011, 11:19 AM
  #31  
 
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innocentspirit is precisely that.

Travlex, no matter which side of the pond it's on, charges an arm and a leg for every single one of its products.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 10:10 AM
  #32  
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Scratch taking US
alienor is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 10:11 AM
  #33  
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dollars and changing at a bank. The banks won't change currency, I had to go to American Express which gave me a rate as bad as my US bank and then charged me 5%. Stick with the ATM and it's horrid 3%; there's no other way I've found.
alienor is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 10:24 AM
  #34  
 
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alienor, again get an account at a credit union. They're not-for-profit. And withdrawals from your credit union account at foreign ATMs are charged at the interbank + 1%.
Mimar is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:01 PM
  #35  
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"Stick with the ATM and it's horrid 3%; there's no other way I've found."

Look no more. I echo mimar's comments. My local credit union charges only the 1% over interbank rate, and no per-transaction fee.
J62 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:14 PM
  #36  
 
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If you do not want to look for a bank or credit union with lower costs, accept that 3% as your least "horrid" alternative and stop worrying about it. Really, it is a very small percentage of the expense of your trip. Just go and have fun.
kayd is offline  

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