Currency conversion fee

Apr 10th, 2005, 11:57 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
Currency conversion fee

I drew 1,000 zlotych(Poland)from a Polish ATM against my USA debit card. Posted conversion cost was $319.61. ATM fee was $1.50. Foreign Conversion cost fee was, $3.20 (hence 3%). Travellers may want to consider bringing USA $s and changing them for local currency. This should result in a savings of up to 4.5%. Comments?
GSteed is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 12:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,172
Is there an exchange kiosk in Poland offering better rates than what you got? It's possible, perhaps, but I would be extremely careful, because odds are it doesn't.

That said, I can get almost any currency in Vancouver for a rate of 2% over the interbank rate at one particular exchange place, with no additional fee. I know people in Toronto have the same option too. So it's possible there's a better deal than an ATM, but make sure you have the complete picture.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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Hi GS,

Today's bank rate is 1000Z = 317.03.
You paid about 1% over the bank rate.

I've not yet met a currency exchange shop that is that cheap.

>Foreign Conversion cost fee was, $3.20

Was this an additional fee?

ira is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't understand the way you are quoting rates or what you are calling a "conversion cost". That looks like the entire amount of money that was charged to your USA bank account for 1000 zloty, not a conversion cost. And what is the other $3.20 for? And why are you saying that is 3 pct of something. It's exactly one percent of your $320 you call a "conversion cost"? It would be 3 pct of $107.

Maybe you are calling your ATM fee plus the difference in $320 and the interbank rate your "foreign conversion cost"? Well, not really, as I suspect you'd have an ATM fee at any ATM you used that wasn't your own bank, so it's not really a foreign conversion cost. It still would be 3 pct of the amount, more like 1 pct as Ira says.

I don't know what you are referring to, but I've been to Poland and used my ATM card several times and never had those kind of "conversion costs". I do have my ATM fee any time I use it outside my own bank's network, of course. If you thought you spent 3 pct, how could you save 4.5 pct?
Christina is online now  
Apr 11th, 2005, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't know where Ira looked, but I just checked oanda and they say today's bank rate is 1000 PLN is about $315 ($1=3.17 PLN or 1 PLN=$0.315). Of course, it's hard to say the rate when you did your exchange, but I guess if like today's, that would be more like between 2 pct cost between that difference plus the ATM fee. Well, maybe they both added up to 3 pct when you did it and you know that but I still don't see how you could save 4.5 pct if you only spent 3 pct.
Christina is online now  

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