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Buying w Euro vs Travelers Checks vs Credit cards

Buying w Euro vs Travelers Checks vs Credit cards

Old Aug 27th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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Michel_Paris,

Just as backup in case I have problems with my debit cards.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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clevelandbrown, in what country do ATMs have a transaction limit??? I routinely withdraw 400 or 500€⁄ in Greece at a wide variety of banks, such as Alpha, Piraeus, other big bank chains, so I seriously doubt that "ATM machine limit" theory. My theory, BOA goofed so they lied when questioned. After all this is BOA that nearly turned turtle due to its various fiscal shenanigans.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 08:12 AM
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As a backup, and assuming at no cost (AAA?), I would only bring US$ TCs. Otherwise you get ripped at the beginning, and ripped when you convert back when get home. Might be easier just to bing US$ cash, with appropriate safety.

I bring multiple ATM cards, and have a VISA and AMEX.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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I think travelers checks are OK (get them in USD) but only as a back up should every other method not work.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 10:53 AM
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Travelerjan,

Most recently in Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the US, just to name the ones I recall. The transaction limit need not be universal; it is set by the owner of the ATM, so its conceivable the same bank might set different transaction limits in different neighborhoods. Since I found out about being able to make a second withdrawal, I haven't really paid attention to transaction limits.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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">In the US, merchants cannot offer a discount for using cash instead of a credit card. In the EEC, they can,

No, they cannot, actually."

Oh yes they bloody well can.

Americans may tolerate banks dictating how merchants choose to trade. We don't.

It's illegal for a credit card company here to attempt to interfere with the prices a business charges. If I want to charge Amex users double, that's up to me.
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 03:56 PM
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Thanks, Michel and Suze
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 08:24 PM
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which US Banks do not charge a transaction fee for using ATM cards? I don't have time to get a Capitol One Card, but I do have a BBT ATM card and can get a Wachoiva/Wells Fargo card pretty fast.

Help !
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 08:40 PM
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Well you certainly want to avoid Wachovia/Wells Fargo if you have another choice. I still have an account with them because I haven't gotten around to changing my automatic deposits and payments, but they're my last choice for foreign travel now (# Non-Wachovia ATM Withdrawals, $2.50; # Non-Wachovia ATM Inquiries, $2.00 [!!!], plus I think it's now 3% conversion fee). I just got a Cap One checking account to go with my Credit Union account for my next trip.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 07:43 AM
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Andy,

I think it is common practice for US banks to charge a fee when you use an ATM that is not one of theirs. I've only seen a few banks advertising that they don't charge such a fee.

On the other hand, I think it is fairly common for US credit unions to not have such a fee. I no longer belong to a credit union, so I can't be certain of that, but it would be easy for you to ask one.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 09:15 AM
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Andy, andy, always helps to say where you are from, at least in y our profile. TD Bank you can open an account and get a card in a couple of days --- and NO charge for ATM transactions up to 10 per month... and you can have them raise the daily withdrawal limit from $500 to $750 or $1000.... and you should not be spending more than $10,000 cash on your trip anyway.

TD Bank is on West coast, and east coast, but we don't know where you are from. Say. Unless you are in Witness Protection program, why not.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 08:12 PM
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traveljan..went to TD BANK and opened a free checking- deposited money I was going to use for vcation. GOT my ATM cards IMMEDIATELY and they even go to make sure the card works BEFORE u leave the bank !! and NO FEES!!!!

Many thanks....

And Now- Heads up to ANYONE going to TURKEY...I also have an ATM from BBT.. They told me that if I use my ATM in turkey, it will AUTOMATICALLY shut my account down. He said there is HUGE CLONING of BOTH ATM and CC in Turkey....Since that is our first stop on a cruise, I am glad I was told this info....
They said to NEVER let my CC out of my site in Turkey..so I made this decision to get Euros in Greece and not take out one CC or ATM card in TURKEY....!!!

Hope it helps someone- as it prevemted my trip from getting messed up before it started..
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 08:55 PM
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You do know that Turkey doesn't use the Euro?

What does TD Bank say about using your ATM card in Turkey? I've used my ATM and credit cards there with no problems.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 09:46 PM
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TURKEY is BIG on CLONING ATM cards and Credit cards..BBT gave me the warning that my account would immediately be shut down.

TD Bank knew nothing of it..I still would NOT go near a turkish ATM or use my credit card there..it is not worth the aggrevation when it is the beginning of our cruise.

Andy
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 10:57 PM
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I had no problems with my ATM card in Turkey. I'm not sure that I used my credit card.
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 05:59 AM
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"I still would NOT go near a turkish ATM or use my credit card there" - dear me, how alarmist! What are you going to use for money?
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 08:22 AM
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Andy, what others are trying to tell you and which you seem not to hear, is that Turkey does not use the Euro. You cannot use Euros to buy things there. Turkey uses the Turkish LIRA -- So if you want to use cash to buy stuff, you will have to take it to a currency exchange bureau and pay a sizable premium.

If you are determined to do this here's how to "prep" --

You can prepare yourself by going to a standard Currency Conversion Website to see what the "Bank rate" of exchange is right now. Here is the best on: http://www.xe.com/ucc/ As of today, 1 Euro = 1.93 TUrkish liras. If you used an ATM, you might get 1.9 or 1.89. If you go to an exchange bureau today, you probably would get no better than 1.83 or so. But since you are on a cruise, you won't be staying long anywhere, so it shouldn't be disastrous.

But stop for a minute, Andy. Did you ask TD Bank what their position was on use of ATMs in Turkey??? TD Bank is Canada-based, and is VERY Sound and sensible. I would be surprised if they automatically closed your account if you used their ATM card in Istanbul. We are now talking about ATM cards only --- not giving a credit card to someone to take off to a back room and duplicate.

I do believe in prudent use of ATM cards -- apparently there is a doohickey that could be inserted in a machine, to capture data. BUt this has mainly been noted in Northern Europe, and in isolated facilities, where the doohickey could be installed and retrieved without being noticed... it's a procedure that takes awhile.

When I use an ATM, in Greece, France, you name it, I do the sensible thing -- I do not use a free-standing ATM in some dark corner somewhere. I ONLY use an ATM that is attached to a bank, either in the lobby or on the outside wall... on a prominent high-trafficked street. Not a place where someone can install some kind of doohickey in the slot.

Furthermore i use the ATM only when the bank is open for business -- so in case there is some "glitch" or, my card gets "eaten" I would have instant recourse. It has never happened yet in more than 10 trips but prudence is a good strategy.

BTW, how experienced is this BBT outfit about financial doings abroad? I just looked them up online, and they sound a little confused to me! Their officials blame the recent financial crisis on "too much govt. regulation" ... yet they had to take a bailout to keep from going under. The internet description adds "It is also notable for certain ideological stances taken by its management, and for its financial support of academic programs concerning "libertarianism" and the "moral foundations of capitalism." " It's popular in the south, Texas and my good ol' childhood state of Indiana. But I would rely on TD's opinion re Turkey.
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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Andy, you are right to be cautious, and it seems to me you are being given a hard time over some of your questions. Since you are going on a cruise, you will be able to exchange $ for Turkish lira at the purser's office before going ashore. I've no idea what fees the ship will charge for currency exchange, but at least your debit/credit cards will be secure. Your only problem will be to decide how much currency to bring with you on the port call.
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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BTW, here is an interesting website, written by a Fodor's author:
http://cruisediva.com/money.htm
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Old Sep 4th, 2010, 09:51 AM
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May be a Fodor's author, but not entirely the best advice.

"Note the current exchange rate posted while you're waiting for your luggage" - much better to check xe.com before you go, then you know how much extra the currency exchange will cost compared to an ATM.

"If the ship's purser is holding your passport, carry a copy of it ashore, along with your driver's license or other form of ID." You shouldn't to do that just because you may change money. You should do it anyway.

But note: "For large purchases, a credit card is safe and usually yields the best exchange rate."
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