currency exchange

Old Aug 18th, 2005, 04:10 PM
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currency exchange

I checked with Bank of America, Visa, and online currency exchange sites. The rates seem to vary greatly. It's been a while, but I checked them all on the same day.

BA ATM - 1 euro = $1.304 plus $5 fee
Visa credit card 1 euro = $1.237 + 3% fee
AE 1 euro = 1.319 (same rate as travelers check)
Thomas Cook 1 euro = 1.38
Travelex 1 euro = 1.329

Does this sound right?

I guess I should use credit card as much as possible. But we are gonna need cash, and all these rates sound excessive. Any ideas?
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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Since the current exchange rate at oanda.com shows 1 euro = $1.218, it sounds high.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 04:19 PM
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I don't think anyone in reality gets that official bank exchange rate, do they?
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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I don't think individuals get it, but I still think most of theilian's quotes are too high. The $1.237 from VISA he quotes is more like it. But even there, the 3% fee is not with all VISA cards.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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As I mentioned, those rates are a bit old. Today I presume visa rate would be 1 euro = 1.219 plus 3%. I suppose other rates would be slightly lower.

Howeever, ny recommendations for getting cheaper rate would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 04:53 PM
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First, you have to realize that the rate of exchange is a moving target, like a stock price. As currencies are bought and sold according to their asked and bid prices in markets all over the world, the market fluctuates from moment to moment and from place to place. So not only is there not an "August 18" rate, there isn't even a "15:37 in London" rate.

Second, the rate quoted on the internet exchange sites is a "mid-market" price, which term is explained at xe.com

My Salomon Smith Barney FMA Master Card gets me Interbank rate with no markup and a flat $1 ATM cash withdrawal fee.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 04:54 PM
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You've left out the most important one. The current exchange rate using your ATM card should be pretty much the lowest bank rate you would find. Probably the same as the current VISA credit card rate but without the extra 3%.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 05:00 PM
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But when I checked with my bank (Bank of America), ATM rate was higher than Visa (about 7 cents highter than midmarket rate per euro). Plus there is $5 fee.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 05:38 PM
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I'm sorry to disagree, but I find that last statement hard to believe. My bank is Bank of America also, and my ATM rate has always been within 1% of the posted bank rate. I think you misunderstood something if you thought it was 7 cents higher. That simply doesn't make sense. There is no way that Bank of America would charge you 7 cents to the dollar above market rate on an ATM withdrawal -- period!

Meanwhile where are you going? BofA has a number of partner banks where if you use their ATM there is NO charge at all -- for example Barclay's in the UK and Deutsche Bank in Germany and Italy.

Meanwhile I usually take out about $300 from at ATM at a time. Even if you were charged $5, that's a lot better than the $9 charge for charging $300 worth of purchases using a 3% credit card, and a whole lot better than some of those exchange rates you're talking about if you were to change currency.
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