Currency concerns in Ireland

Jul 21st, 1998, 10:17 AM
Brian Cutick
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Currency concerns in Ireland

My wife and I (along with five other family members) are travelling to Ireland in three weeks for 7 days. We will be spending most of our time visiting relatives in Donegal. My questions regarding money:
Should I take US$$ travellers checks and exchange them for Irish currency when I get there? Will Irish merchants accept US$$ travellers checks? I've heard that the best exchange rates are to be found at large Irish banks? Is this true? What about taking cash advances in punts(sp?) from my MasterCard through an Irish ATM?

I have one more unrelated question: I've been hearing about the need for "traveller's insurance". What does that cover and do I need it?

Sorry for all the ???? - this is my first European trip and want to make sure I have all the bases covered!

Thanks for any tips and advice!

Jul 21st, 1998, 11:18 AM
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We took traveler's checks for emergency use and brought them all home. We used our ATM card to get Irish punts. The only charge was $1.50 for each transaction from our bank at home. ATM machines were very easy to find. Just be sure your PIN number is only 4 digits.If you use your Mastercard for cash advances you will be paying interest. We used our Mastercard to charge things whenever we could as that gave us better rates. Hope this helps.
Jul 28th, 1998, 10:16 AM
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I agree with Bev above. ATM machines are the easiest, safest and most cost effective way to go. A lot of Irish ATMs support US ATM Cards. Most ATMS will accept Credit Cards as well. Using yout ATM card, you are guaranteed the exchange rate prevailing at that time, plus depending on your bank, you don't pay commission charges, which you will have to do if you exchange at large banks in Ireland or at any Bureau de Change. You may however incurr additional costs if your US bank charges you for each transaction you conduct with each ATM outside of their ATM network.

Regarding Insurance, it depends what you cover. Medical and accidental can be covered under your health insurance here in the US. You can get travel insurance for loss of luggage plus insurance is advisable if you rent a car.

Hope it helps.

Have a great trip!!
Jul 28th, 1998, 11:18 AM
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We just got back. I suggest purchasing $100 in Irish before you leave or when you get to the airport. The rest of the time we used our credit card. The exchange rate on the credit card is your best bet. We did not need any other cash. If you do need cash use the ATM. Have a great trip.
Jul 28th, 1998, 03:34 PM
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Travel insurance should be to prevent a loss of a large amount of money in case you can't go. We usually get insurance to cover trip cancellation. Medical and auto expenses are covered by our other policies. The other loss is usually minimal. The trip cancellation insurance came in handy once when there was a death in the family, and we would have lost money for a cruise.

In your case, the most money would be lost with plane tickets - but I suppose you could reschedule that and not lose much. You won't be spending much otherwise, so I don't think you would need trip insurance.
Jul 28th, 1998, 03:39 PM
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When you get to the airport, get a good amount of cash with your ATM card. Make sure that there is enough money in your account at home. Otherwise, pay everthing with your credit card. Travelers or personal checks are not needed. Carry a spare ATM card and credit card separately just in case.

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