Cash in Italy

Sep 15th, 2017, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,222
>>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.<<

Then you are only talking about 2 or 3 hundred € at any one time. So even IF these guides don't take cards (I cannot imagine that for expensive tours) it isn't any different than any other expenses. Carrying €300 or €400 is no biggie. Get € as you need them. Easy peasy.
janisj is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 02:23 AM
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Good thread. Thanks!
starrs is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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once in Italy there was a national strike and nearly no ATM had any money in it

That must have been a long time ago.

Anyway, what kind of strike could have prevented re-stocking ATM machines?
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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No business in the US can charge more for payment with CCs. If they try to do so all you need to do is complain to the CC company - who will cut off the business - severely limiting their business.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 07:53 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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Going back to the original question, I have Bank of America, and they give me some Euros beforehand at no extra charge above the equivalent in dollars and the exchange rate is fair. It takes a couple of days and I have to go back to the bank to pick it up, but there is no fee. Of course, you don't want to take as much as 1,000-2,000E, but I get a couple hundred to start just so I have some cash when I arrive.
daria is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 08:23 PM
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>>I have Bank of America, and they give me some Euros beforehand at no extra charge above the equivalent in dollars and the exchange rate is fair.<<

If that is true -- it will be the first time BofA has done such a thing. They charge some of the highest fees and if there were none, then they got you w/ the exchange rate. BofA (and other banks) don't provide that service for free.
janisj is offline  
Sep 17th, 2017, 12:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
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It's half true. The exchange rate being fair is debatable- last I checked it's like a 7 cents difference between market and Boa which doesn't sound like much but...

To get a currency fee waived at Bank of America, you have to order more than $1,000. So let's say Daria did did that- the rate they offer today means that they'd be making $70 off of Daria. They waived 7.50. So nice of them. Eye roll...any time BofA "waives fees", I pull out a fine tooth comb...

But they make money off fees when you use an ATM, too, 3% plus ATM charge. So probably what gets most people is DCC or just taking out too little money too frequently. I think DCC is actually the bigger problem. I've done the math a few times out of curiousity and I was glad I follow along here and knew what that was. The exchange is never in the customer's favor. Met a few backpackers in Japan who had no idea what that was. And then BofA still charges that 3% fee because that fee ISN'T for conversion. It's for "foreign purchases". I don't think many people understand that.

(Just FYI, Daria. I actually like Boa- or at least did until they cancelled a bunch of the rural branches- but no such thing as a free lunch.)
marvelousmouse is offline  
Sep 17th, 2017, 02:11 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,567
I was on a tour in Italy this past May. After traveling in Italy many times it was the first time I had trouble using ATMs. Where they ask what language you want on the screen, it was written in Italian. I don't speak Italian so I had no idea how to use the ATM. If I spoke Italian I wouldn't have needed instructions in English. Our tour guide helped us use the ATMs. This was in Florence and Orvieto.

It was a long time ago, but I was in Paris when the people who deliver money to ATMs went on strike. It was a problem getting money out of ATMs for several days.
luvtotravel is offline  
Sep 17th, 2017, 02:32 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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>>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).<<

250 did sound low to me, too. I was recently in Europe and used an ATM, but my withdrawals didn't approach that amount, so I can't say for sure what the limit was.

>>No business in the US can charge more for payment with CCs.<<

Gas stations do it. Of course, there's some sleight-of-hand involved because it's depicted as a discount for cash, but it amounts to a surcharge for using a CC.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2017, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,525
A lot of ATMs in Italy have a €250 limit, but it's a transaction limit, so you can withdraw a 2nd time to get more.

When I use my US card, there is a message asking what language I want to use, but it gives me a choice of "Italiano / English / Deutsch..." etc. Even if you don't understand Italian, the word "English" should jump out at you.
bvlenci is offline  

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