currency in Italy

Apr 12th, 2007, 10:18 AM
  #1  
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currency in Italy

I will be traveling to Rome in May 2007. I need 800 euros when I arrive to pay for an apartment in cash. Am I better off getting the Euros in the US or at the airport in Italy

Thanks
Yurtman is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 10:24 AM
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You're always better off getting the currency in-country using your debit card linked to a checking account. However, most banks won't let you take out 800 euro at a pop (neither your own bank back home nor a European one), so you may have to opt for a different plan. You could take out as much as your bank allows and then exchange the rest at a change bureau at the airport, or you could get some of it in advance of your trip.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 10:42 AM
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Contact your bank (everyone should this no matter how much they want) and see if they can raise your limit.
jabez is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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J62
 
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I have found that apartment owners are sometimes ok to let you pay in several installments after you arrive due to the daily ATM limit. You may want to inquire and see if they will allow that.

J62 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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I would get the Euro once you arrive in Rome, but you have to make sure your daily ATM limit will allow it. For example, 800 Euro is a around $1,075 at today's rate. If your limit is $1000 per day, you would need a second ATM card from a different institution.

Be advised also that some machines will only dispense a certain amount of Euro per transaction, so you may have to make several transactions on the same machine to get the amount you need.

Another thing to factor in is the cost per transaction your bank imposes. Some of the bank rates are very very high.

Budman is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 06:46 PM
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sjj
 
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I suggest asking the apartment owner if he'll accept travelers' checks in euros.
sjj is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 09:48 PM
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If you are in a larger city you can go to your Amex office and get your currency there. The fee is reasonable and they had no problem with the larger amounts I've needed to travel with in the past.
cupid1 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 09:49 PM
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Sorry, long day. I of course meant before leaving home. I'd never consider landing in a foreign country without enough funds with me to pay for where I want to lay my head that night!
cupid1 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 09:51 PM
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Why is an airport in-country ATM machine (with its normal fees) the cheaper way to obtain the local currency?
sdgypsy is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 10:45 PM
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sdgypsy, European bank ATM's, whether they be at the airport or in town, do not charge you anything for its use. The only charges you incur are those imposed by your bank. (Conversion fees/transaction fees, etc.)

It's cheaper to get Euro from an ATM machine in Europe because in the States you will not only have to pay a conversion fee, but also some sort of commission. Depending upon the fees imposed by your bank ATM card, it's normally less expensive to get your Euro in Europe.

You really need to check with your bank/bank card to find out what kind of fees/transaction fee, etc they will impose on you.
Budman is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 11:00 PM
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Why cash -? get the bank details and do a transfer to the italien bank before you leave home. Get the IBAN number and SWIFT code and account name from the owner and trsnsfer the money a couple of days before u leave. OR take the cash 800 eurowill not take a lot of space in ur wallet 50 euro notes and pay the guy as soon as you arrive
blightyboy is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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For transferring funds, check this site out:

http://www.xe.com/fx/
Michael is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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It will likely cost you a lot more to transfer funds through your bank. As noted, the best way is to get the money from an ATM when you get there. As Budman said, if the Italian ATM machine has a limit (some are 250E, some 500E), just do more transactions from the same machine to get the amount you need. My card doesn't cost me anything, so it doesn't matter how many transactions I need to do.
SusanP is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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I recently returned from Italy/Sicily. I got Euros prior to my departure from our Credit Union. The fee was only $5.00, which was reasonable, since I knew I had Euros available when arriving in Palermo and did not have to search out an ATM. Ciao. mhm
mercy is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 09:28 AM
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mercy, that's a great fee for getting Euro. What exchange rate did they give you as compared to the interbank rate? Sometimes I think this can make a big difference. If the conversion fee was only 1% like what the VISA/Mastercard charge, it would be well worth it.
Budman is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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J62
 
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For several rentals this summer I am planning to use xetrade.com (as Michael noted). The wire fee is ~$15 (much lower than my bank), and the exchange rate is just a hair over interbank rate.

The only downside I see is that it took a couple of days and some rigorous ID verification to set up (to have a trail when I start my money laundering business I guess).
J62 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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When the ATM limits aren't high enough to pay up front, the LW and I have been known to show up at an Italian Bank with $1,000 each to exchange. This seems to be their per person limit. The fees and exchange rates are always lower than we can get in our Central Florida hometown, and taking twenty or thirty hundreds in my waist belt does not bother me. We also try to bring home at least 500 - 1000 euro for the next trip.
GianniFL is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Why cash? Perhaps the landlord doesn't want a record of his rental income ;-)
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Heimdall,
That is exactly why they would want cash. Taxes are EXTREMLY high in Italy.
CharlotteR is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Even though my bank raised my daily limit to 1000.00, I still could not find a machine that would dispense more than 250.00 or 300.00 at one time. The limit is not always controlled by your own bank limits.
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