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Currency Exchange traveling to Paris, France from USA

Currency Exchange traveling to Paris, France from USA

Sep 6th, 2010, 03:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 51
Currency Exchange traveling to Paris, France from USA

My husband and I will be traveling to Paris from the USA in a couple of weeks. Would it be wiser to exchange our US dollars to Euros while we're still in America, or better to do it once we arrive at Charles DeGaulle airport? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
rjs is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,777
use ATM'S once you arrive. hands down best way.
Seamus is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,481
Neither. Give your bank the dates that you will be in France and then use your ATM card to withdraw money. Your bank might charge you for this service. If you have a BofA account, use a BNP Paribas ATM for no service charges, otherwise it is $5 + 3% for every withdrawal. Check with your bank to see what it charges. If you do not like the rate, consider setting up a travel account with your local credit union. Mine does not charge for withdrawals in foreign countries.
Michael is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 03:11 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 148
I like to get some euros before i go so i don't have to bother with that as soon as i land.
Venezia123 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 228
Go to your local bank and order a couple hundred euro before you go. More than likely they won't have the euros on hand and they will have to order them. Probably best to ask for a variety of notes 5s, 10s & 20s. You'll probably not get the best rates but at least you'll have some cash when you get there to take a taxi, eat etc.

Then call your bank's service center (number would be on back of your debit card) and let them know you will be in Paris and what timeframes. Ask them about exchange rates fees etc. You will need a 4 digit pin number in Europe.

Hey, have fun and spend as much as you can afford!

PS, if you have credit card call them too.
pauljagman is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,246
I wouldn't bother ordering a "€ starter pack" from your bank. BAD exchange rate plus usually a fee. Check in is so early for international flight, you have a lot of time to kill in the departure lounge. So, if you will be nervous about not having cash on hand when you land, spend some of that time in departures to buy a few € from the bureau de change. It won't be a great exchange rate, but will probably be better than what you'd pay your bank. Maybe €100 max.

After that just rely on ATM in France

(I personally don't buy any ahead of time - but if I did it would be at my departure airport)
janisj is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 05:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
If you really must have cst exchange abut $200 at the bureau de change in the airport before you leave. the rate will be awull - but the rate to exchange cast - esp in the US - is always awful

For the best rate of exchange (Interbank rate plus 2% versus Interbank plus 8 to 10%) pay for everything you can with a credit card and pull walking around money from your checking account at the nearest ATM.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,389
I hadn't exchanged money in years -- just use ATMs and credit cards, but a couple weeks ago I was leaving Hong Kong for Bangkok and decided to exchange the rest of my HK money for Thai Baht, especially since they'd also take coins and I had quite a few of them. It wasn't a lot, but I did it at a no fee booth -- when I was done I checked current rates for the two currencies and found it had cost me about 12% total! I'm glad I WASN'T exchanging a lot of money!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,700
I never have any local currency in advance. Since I am not a 'carry-on only person' and have to wait a few minute or half hour for luggage delivery, that is plenty of time to hit the ATM. If anyone is traveling with me, they do get nervous, but I assure them there will be no problem and there never has been.
cynthia_booker is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90,960
ATM after arrival is the best value.

If you want to have Euro in hand just buy a small amount, at the airport, from your home bank, AAA, wherever... knowing you'll not get the best rate for the convenience of having it in hand in advance.
suze is offline  

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