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Does anyone state side know how much Bank of America charges to change money?

Does anyone state side know how much Bank of America charges to change money?

Old Apr 11th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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Does anyone state side know how much Bank of America charges to change money?

I am getting ready to leave for London in a few weeks, and I still need to change my money. I asked at my local bank, Bank of America how much they charge, and can't seem to get a straight answer. I know the exchange rate is terrible, but do they charge a fee on top of the exchange rate? Or a commission? If so, how much?
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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You don't need to "exchange" your money, you want to take your BofA ATM card and use it in any Barclay's Bank cash machine. You will get a much better rate and not have any fees.

And yes, if you do exchange money at BofA, they will charge you a lot.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 04:13 PM
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My BoA had a flat $10 for customers fee, plus their bad exchange rate. There was no visible commission beyond the one fee. I did have to go to a downtown branch with a foreign exchange desk. If you ordered it to your own branch, perhaps there's a different fee structure.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Here's my answer to your same question on the US board:

"Huh? Do you have a BofA debit/ATM card? If so, use that and it will be the lowest rate you can get, far better than getting them in advance. And if you use a Barclay's ATM in UK, then there will be absolutely no fee for doing so. If you use another bank's ATM then you might have up to a $5 charge for each withdrawal."

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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 04:20 PM
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This is how much they charge

http://www.bankofamerica.com/foreign...ew.cfm#ratebox
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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So, no fee at all to just use my BOA debit card? Not even the 3% foreign currency conversion charge?

I still worry about depending solely on the debit card when traveling.

The ATMs in Italy aren't consistent, and I had the alarming situation where one bank ATM took my card. It took quite a bit of time with my limited Italian to figure out that only certain banks take certain cards.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Don't confuse a credit card charge of 3% with an ATM charge of usually 1%.

I have no idea what you mean by "only certain banks take certain cards". I've used my BofA ATM card in probably 20 different Italian bank ATMs.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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shsaytravels~ I would call your bank again. That is ridiculous if you can't get a "straight answer" to a simply question like this one.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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Neo,

I was confusing them--thanks!

It was a bank in Florence near the Piazza della Republica that took the card. I don't remember the name, but I think that the bank they sent us to, which is actually in the Piazza, was a Deutschbank.

Maybe it wasn't a debit card...maybe it was an ordinary credit card. I think they are supposed to work in ATMs too, right? At home, I would never do that, but we were low on cash toward the end of our trip.

I did use ATMs to move funds around in bank accounts successfully in Paris with no problem. I think they had a $300 limit at the time, which got used up waaay too soon!
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 05:30 PM
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It's usually YOUR bank that imposes a limit on the amount of funds you can take out. Just call ahead of time and have them raise your limit.

And there's nothing to prevent you from going to 3 different ATMs and withdrawing $300 each time.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Bank of America has consistently charged less to their own customers than most every other American bank in Europe.

I use my BofA card to charge and I use it to take money from my account. For use in Europe I really haven't found a better bank.

PS Listen to Patrick!!
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Old Apr 12th, 2008, 12:55 AM
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Operations Management...bureaucracy!
Banks have many 'departments' or bureaus. Few know what the other does. You have to deal with their foreign exchange department. There may not be such a department in all their banks. LAwoman posted a BoA address that answers your questions. They will deliver $1,000 of Euros to you without a charge. Today that amount is Euros 605! That number includes their costs or fees. Banking is a for profit business....
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 07:12 AM
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I wish I had consulted this forum 4 weeks ago, prior to our trip to Germany...in regards to the ATM usage for obtaining Euros. Everything NeoPatrick has stated about strategies for getting the local currency is so true. We learned the hard way..wish we had also asked Wells Fargo to raise our daily limit at the same time as we let them know that we were going to another location (even when we go to Hawaii, since I have also been a victim of identity theft). And we found out that the time zone made a difference for counting withdrawals in a "day." we are limited to a certain amount of withdrawal, and you do want the maximum Euros you can get out per visit/charge.
Well, our lessons will be put to good use since we will be visiting the UK next year. Just trying to keep up with where our daughter and son-in-law are going to colleges.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 08:38 AM
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I am a B of A customer, but I rarely if ever use my credit card and I don't use my aTM card unless there is a partner bank such as Barclays or Deutsche Bank within range.

Unless I can get to a partner bank such as Barclays, B of A socks me with a a $5.00 fee.

I am going to the Czech Republic this year and I hope my alternative cards work without a hitch.

If I exchange money at home before I depart, I get socked with a fee and a bad exchange rate.

If I use my B of A credit card outside the USA I get clipped with a 3% surcharge.

As a counter measure I use a Capital One Credit card in Europe and, for this year, I have a Fidelity Visa debit card on my core account.

I also have a credit union MC debit card but it let me down last year in Switzerland thus forcing me to use my B of A card.

(I never got a reason why the credit union card failed in Switzerland. It worked in Germany and at most banks in Scotland.)

So my B of A plastic stays in my passport case unless I am absolutely forced to use it.

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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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After just returning from Italy I would advise everyone to have euros handy before you travel to Europe. My bank card did not work the 1st 5 days in Rome, luckily I had 100E w/me. I do not know if it was the fluctuating exchange rate from USD to Euros and the Italian ATM did not want to process my bank card account (as I heard other travelers having the same problem) or if my bank forgot to change usage for foreign transactions (I did notify them before I left). The ATM card did finally work but the money was taken out of my savings account which was depleted quickly because I had my money in my checking account. The Rome banks would not take money out of the checking account. It was a lean vacation.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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Do some research about the partner banks. If there aren't any where you're going there will be a $5 fee per ATM transaction.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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litefoot: "the money was taken out of my savings account which was depleted quickly because I had my money in my checking account. The Rome banks would not take money out of the checking account"

It has nothing to do w/ the Italian bank not taking money out of your checking account. It is that your savings account is your "primary" account. Next time talk to your bank about making your checking account the primary - then you would not have that problem. If the checking account was the primary account all of your withdrawals would have come out of it.

To solve the problem this time, you could have gone on line and transferred $ from your checking to savings account
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 10:06 PM
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Thanks for the advice janisj, someone forewarned me that foreign ATMs can take money out of either your savings or checking account. I thought my checking account was listed as primary. I shall be contacting my bank today as I have several questions to ask, not only the one previously mentioned but also would like to know why they shut down my credit card.

I did not have a laptop and would not use a computer in a foreign country for online bank transfers for security reasons. Through email someone at home contacted my bank to let them know where I was (I did send all travel information before I left to the bank). But I was not near a computer the 2nd week, and the phone I rented did not work.
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