Convert Dollars to Euros

Old Aug 9th, 2010, 04:57 PM
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Convert Dollars to Euros

Hi, I am going with my wife and three teens to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, etc. and would like advice on whether or not I should bother considering converting dollars to Euros and if so to what extent and where, how, etc. Please advice.

Thanks a lot

kendu is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 05:06 PM
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Just use an ATM once you arrive. You will get a better conversion rate. Do call your bank and credit card companies to fin out what their fees are and use the cheapest card.
cherrybomb is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 05:06 PM
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No way! I converted some dollars before leaving and I forgot the envelope at home, but that is not the reason why not too bring, there is no advantage on it.

You can get Euros from mostly any Bankomat machine, just work out a limit with your bank, one of my account could only withdraw 300 euros a day, the other 1,000 a day.

Your bank will also give you the best exchange available at the moment at least that was in my case for the last 2 months in Europe.
pookymimi is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 05:09 PM
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I would buy about 100 Euro at the exchange at your departing airport - but the exchange rate will be very poor. It's nice to have a little local cash on arrival, but no big deal.
Then draw Euro from an ATM on arrival, using your debit card. You will find an ATM at the airport without any problems. Italy has ATMs everywhee, can't comment on Greece, Turkey, Croatia.

Buying a lot of cash is not a good idea - theft, loss, etc. And travellers cheques are not well accepted, if at all.

Italian ATMs expect a four digit PIN, not five digits.

Enjoy your trip!
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 05:11 PM
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Well, you are going to need euros. The question is how to get them. The answer is to head for an ATM (called bancomat in Italy) as soon as you get off the plane. And use ATMs thereafter. Be sure to tell your bank you will be in those countries, and the date of your departure and return. It's a good idea to have more than one debit card. (Oh, yes, be sure you don't use a credit card, as then you get charged more for your withdrawals.)
charnees is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 05:11 PM
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Pookymini is correct - Bancomats (aka ATMs) give a better exchange rate than currency exchange booths.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 05:21 PM
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The Euro is not the currency of Croatia. The currency is the Kuna.
Sher is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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It's not the currency of Turkey either. Make sure you have US$20 in cash per person for your Turkish visa.
Michael is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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"The Euro is not the currency of Croatia. The currency is the Kuna.
It's not the currency of Turkey either."

I forgot to add that we brought some Euros home because as although some stores in Switzerland accept Euros we mostly used the Francs we got from the Bancomats. So, more reason just to use the ATMs, just keep a little amount of dollars and Euros to use on a new Country, every neighbor Country will accept Euros in small amounts as it happens in Switzerland and you have bancomats in every train station, main steets and airports.
pookymimi is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 09:00 AM
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What is the currency of Turkey?
judilie is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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Turkish Lira
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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I always use my ATM card once I arrive in Europe. Have a good trip!
KL467 is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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I used my ATM card in Turkey with no issues.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Kendu, absolutely use your ATM card. Here's the FULL story on getting Cash in Europe. Do you consider yourself a smart money manager? Then do some homework, as to which banks give you the best deal, and what you should do to fare best & avoid hassle.

(1) The Italian/Greek etc local banks do NOT charge you any fees for using their machines (ATM/Bancomat).. any charges that show up on your bank statement are by Y OUR bank.

(2) There is a 1% "currency conversion charge" which is for changing $ into Euros... levied by Visa or Mastercard, whichever is the indicia on your ATM card. Most banks pass that along in the exchange rate that they provide to you (The Capitol One online account will "eat" that fee, but very few others). However, if this is the bank's only charge, you are still waaay ahead of the rate provided by the "Exchange Bureaus" which charge you at least 8% over the official daily rate.

(3) Additional fees vary WIDELY. Some banks like WellsFargo/Wachovia have decided to rip you off. Formerly they charged $3 flat fee per transaction. Now they charge $5, PLUS 3% of the total. Thus, to get out $300 worth of Euros, you would pay $5+$9 = $14. Ridiculous.
The TD Bank (it's all over on the West Coast & N.East), charges NOTHING, NADA for up to 10 transactions per month overseas. And if you can get a LOT on each transaction, you can do your whole trip on no fees. I have an account at TD I use ONLY for travel . My credit Union also charges NO fee.... that's my back-up card.

(4) Before your trip, go to your bank(s) and tell them you will be withdrawing money in Europe, and watch while they mark it in their computer... that way they won't put a freeze on your account, because you never tried to get money before in France etc. NOTE: even if u are going to only one country, say "Europe" just in case.

(5)FInd out what the bank's daily withdrawal limit is (often $500) and get it raised to $750 or $1000. Then you have fewer ATM trips... I pay cash a LOT in Europe... because Credit cards often charge you 3% for charging a hotel bill or restaurant bill. Maybe u don't care; I do.

(6) Two accounts (different banks) are better than 1, just on the belt-and-suspenders principle.

(7) You are a couple, each person should have his/her own ATM cards ... you may be in different places on some days, and one person should not have to ask the other for the card. Also, if one lost a card/cards thru a disaster, the other would have the duplicates.

(8) Only carry the card on the day that you're using an ATM machine; otherwise leave it locked in your luggage in hotel room (that's in Greece ... in other countries u may want toleave in the hotel safe).
travelerjan is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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All good info, but on point 8 I might say keep the card on you. Just as I don't ever leave my CC anywhere but on me, applies to ATM.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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I've always found it helpful to bring from home enough local currency for the first day. Though it means paying a bit extra at my home bank, it's worth it for the convenience of being able to land and get settled before worrying about getting money.
And using ATM cards as described above is definitely the way to go! Also, keep a record of your bank's customer service phone number in case your card is lost or stolen.
JenniFTF is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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We can go round and round on whether it is better to carry credit/debit cards and passport with you at all times. I'm of the opinion that they are safer locked in your hotel room, but others disagree. Whatever you do, it is best to keep your primary and backup cards in separate places - otherwise, if you lose one you will lose them all.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 01:01 PM
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Passport..maybe. But never heard of leaving credit cards somewhere
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 01:29 PM
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Well, I don't like to carry all my eggs in one basket. I prefer to divide up my credit and debit cards, carrying only the one I am likely to use, and leaving the others behind in a safe location. It would be so easy to lose your wallet or be the victim of a pickpocket! Why carry a card that you aren't going to use? Okay, we all do it at home, but when you are thousands of miles away, imagine what the consequences could be.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 05:44 PM
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Heimdall, you and I travel to Greece. Our cards are secure, locked in a Greek hotel room. Petty theft is not a basic part of the Greek culture, and Greek hotels, also, are family-run. (the Metro pickpocket rings that have been captured have been 99% noncitizen) ... so we know about Greek safety. Other people have had bad hotel experiences in other countries, so feel they must carry all their valuables with them. A pity.
travelerjan is offline  
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