Cash in Italy

Sep 15th, 2017, 08:35 AM
  #1  
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Cash in Italy

Hello all-

I am going to Italy in a few weeks and am looking for advice on Euros.
We are taking some personal tours and I'm sure those folks will want cash, so I will be needing 1000-2000 Euros while there. My plan was to get to Italy and then go to an ATM to extract Euros with my Debit card. However, I've heard that the machines are limited to 250/day.
I'm not happy about doing the exchange beforehand and taking the 8% hit.

Any advice?
sammyjenkis is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 08:40 AM
  #2  
 
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that is per day - and you could ask your ATM issuing bank for a higher limit - that may or may not be possible. But $250 a day would be OK? Again ask bank about that. And tell your bank you are going to Italy so foreign transactions will not be blocked -ditto for credit card.

You have a credit card -then use it for nearly everything else except probably those personal tours.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 08:47 AM
  #3  
 
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Whatever the limit is on the ATM you use, if you ask your bank to raise your daily limit on the card, you will be able to use the same machine several times. For example, I have a card for business with a £1500 daily limit and although an ASTM may have a €200 or €300 limit per transaction, I can use that ATM multiple times until I have the amount I want.

I would recommend that if you do this, you use an in-bank ATM rather than one on a street. One more thing, don't accept being billed in your own currency, use the local currency. This is known as DCC-Dynamic Currency Conversion - and will charge more than you want in the exchange rate.
Rubicund is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 08:54 AM
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I personally would never ever take a tour that cost 1000-2000 euro and they demanded cash. I'd suggest you don't do that. I can't imagine what kind of tour that could be that cost so much, but any tour charging that amt should accept CCs. Or I wouldn't use it.
Christina is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 09:00 AM
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I can't imagine carrying around several thousand euro. I don't think you will see many machines that limit you to 250 euro these days.
kybourbon is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 09:26 AM
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I can't imagine a tour that costs that much. You are being completely scammed on all accounts.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 09:30 AM
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Well in any case why do you need more than 250 euros a day? Why can't pay for everything but tours with c card or debit card?

why needing to carry that much cash around - a foolish thing at any costs!

Yes what kind of tours are you doing?
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 09:47 AM
  #8  
 
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>>I personally would never ever take a tour that cost 1000-2000 euro and they demanded cash. <<
>>I can't imagine a tour that costs that much. You are being completely scammed on all accounts.<<

I don't think that's what the OP said. Re-read the OP.

Anyway, if the tour people want cash, which is common, they fully understand that people don't want to walk around with tons of cash, and it's a simple matter for you to say to them, "At some point, I'll need to stop and a bancomat to get the cash to pay you."

The other option is to open a separate bank account that offers a (second) debit card. That way, you'll have two debit cards from two separate accounts, and the limit will essentially double for you.

I guess you've totaled up what the tours will cost to arrive at the 1000-2000 figure. How much is each tour, and over what period of time will you be taking the tours?
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 10:24 AM
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I agree with Vincenzo. The OP did not state that the personal tours would cost 1000-2000 but the combined total of the tours would reach this amount.

Most reputable tour guides should be able to accept payment by card especially since there are now so many means to process payments "on the move" with today's smart phones. If they want payment in cash you should demand a discount since not only are they avoiding the very steep Italian sales tax (IVA) at 22% but they are also avoiding taxes on their income.
nochblad is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 10:31 AM
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I prepaid for all of my tours so I'm rather curious that you've booked these without paying for them up front. 250 is a really low limit too- that's either outdated or your bank is strange.

But at any rate, you really don't need cash. Very few places refuse card in Italy at least in the main destinations. Even the places that say they don't take card often take card.
marvelousmouse is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 10:31 AM
  #11  
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Yes thanks for the cooler heads on my original question. This is 3 or 4 private tours over the whole country over a 2 week period.
I will ask the tour folks if they would take a card.
sammyjenkis is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 11:09 AM
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My limit is 450 or 550 euros a day not 250.
Whathello is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 11:15 AM
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They'd better accept credit cards, because Italian law requires that electronic payment be accepted for all transactions over 5 euros. Starting this month there are heavy fines for insisting on cash payments.

Apart from that, a guide who insists on cash payment is almost certainly not a licensed guide.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 11:26 AM
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<>

And you need to be especially careful in that case. Italy used to have very strict laws on licensing guides and allowing only licensed guides to lead tours. I'm doubting the country changed those ...

Ultimately, someone seeking cash only could be scamming you.
BigRuss is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 12:10 PM
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Or they could just be avoiding the 3-5% or so they have to pay the c.c. company.

. Starting this month there are heavy fines for insisting on cash payments>

Insisting and asking are two different things. But OP should insist on c.c. payments in light of what bvlenci says.

bvlenci - can places take cards and charge an extra % for doing so. In U.S. TMK illegal to charge extra for cards (though often done) I believe.

anyway c c gets the very best rate of exchange I believe in euro transactions.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 12:25 PM
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>>And you need to be especially careful in that case. Italy used to have very strict laws on licensing guides and allowing only licensed guides to lead tours. I'm doubting the country changed those ...

Ultimately, someone seeking cash only could be scamming you.<<

I am relying on memory, but I think when we used a licensed guide at Pompeii, we paid in cash. That was about 3-4 years ago, so the policy could have changed since then. (And yes, I am certain he was licensed.)
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 01:05 PM
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Italy has policies and then there is enforcement of them...

Is it still law that every caffe has to give you a receipt and you the customer must carry it out of the place? For example of laws that to me were never always carried out.

And though guides like offering to take you on tours of Colosseum who accost folks out front - are they all licensed -point is a law does not mean, especially in Italy, that it is enforced.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 02:47 PM
  #18  
 
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The law about electronic payments is fairly recent, maybe in the past year. In the past, there have been restrictions on large cash payments, but tour guides might have been one of the exempt categories.

It's still required to give some sort of fiscal receipt for any transaction, but the buyer is no longer required to keep it. It used to apply within a certain distance (200 m?) from the shop.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 03:15 PM
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An ATM may have a limit. And your home bank imposes a limit. There's two different reasons the amount of an ATM withdrawal might be capped. You can get your home bank to raise your daily limit. Nothing you can do if a bank machine has it's own limit (but I've never heard of one as low as 250 myself).
suze is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 03:46 PM
  #20  
 
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I've learned to always keep some surplus euros on hand - once in Italy there was a national strike and nearly no ATM had any money in it or your card may not work for some reason - be sure your ATM card is in good condition - I had one once with strip worn that worked here but not always in Europe.
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