dollars for euros

Apr 8th, 2005, 08:21 AM
Original Poster
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dollars for euros

Will I get a better exchange rate from a bank in France if I bring dollars to exchange for euros?
bitteen is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 08:24 AM
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no - you will get a bad rate. your best rate for getting cash is using an ATM card linked to your checking account.
janis is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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Janis is quite right. ATMs and credits are definitely the way to go.
HowardR is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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But *IF* I insist on exchanging U.S. dollars, isn't it a slightly better deal to do it at a bank in France, rather than my home bank or an exchange bureau in the USA?
suze is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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Short answer: maybe in terms of bank here vs. bank there. Banks are usually definitely better than any of those bureaus.

Be sure to ask YOUR bank if they charge a commission for exchanges (the bureaus either charge an outrageous commission while giving you a better exchange rate OR they charge little or no commission and give you a bad exchange rate; in other words, avoid them).

I still think you should bag the whole idea and use an ATM if at all possible for the BEST exchange rate.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Another possible problem--a few years ago a friend traveled to Italy and brought US dollars to exchange. The Italian bank would exchange only $100 bills and only the new ones with the bigger face. I'm not sure if there would be a similar problem in France. People just aren't doing this kind of exchange anymore. . . ATM cards for your bank account are the way to go.
ellenem is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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It really depends on your bank, there is no rule. Generally, I think it is certainly true you would get a better rate in France, of course, that's where euros are used. I've seen rates on here that people quoted from their bank of around 5-15 pct, if I recall. Usually it seems to be around 10 pct, I think. I do remember one post from someone who did get euro at a very low rate from their bank, I was surprised.

Banks in France do not necessarily give you the best rate and many won't do that. I have always found bureaux de change to give the best rates in Paris, for example and they are more convenient in lots of ways. THis does not mean you will get a good rate if you insist on going to ones at the worst tourist points in Paris (like around place de Tertre in Montmartre or around place St-Michel; St-Germain is pretty bad, also). Avoid chain called Chequepoint.

It is very easy to exchange money in Paris, there are many bureaux de change, just don't fixate on banks.
Christina is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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A couple of years ago in Italy we went to park and had no change which we needed for the ticket machine. I went into a bank and tried to get change for large euros. They wouldn't do that for me since I wasn't a customer. I then pulled out a $20 US bill and asked them if they would exchange it for euro (cleverly thinking it wouldn't come out even and I'd end up with some change). Again they said they wouldn't do it for me because I wasn't a bank customer. So don't think that banks will necessarily exchange currency for you at all!
Patrick is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 03:51 PM
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>But *IF* I insist on exchanging U.S. dollars, ....<

Do whatever you want to do. We have given you our best advice.

ira is online now  
Apr 8th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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I think suze was using I to mean one -- in other words, a theoretical inquiry.

I agree with all posters that bringing dollars to exchange is a mistake and has been since the 80s.
tedgale is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 08:58 PM
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We got the same line as Patrick when we were in Edinburgh last year. We were told we had to be a customer. We ended up just using our ATM card and redeposited our dollars when we got home.
bettyk is offline  
Apr 9th, 2005, 11:27 AM
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Correct, I was just trying to get an answer for the OP (I don't know for sure myself).

Everyone is in agreement that ATMs are the best way to go. But some people, for whatever reason don't want to use this method. Some people don't have charge cards, etc.

So I am curious on the OPs behalf *IF* I must exchange U.S. dollars to Euro, "will I get a better exchange rate" if I do it at home or in France?

I was assuming in France.

suze is offline  
Apr 9th, 2005, 12:30 PM
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Hi suze,

I didn't intend my response to be directed at you, which is why I just quoted the remark.

If one absolutely refuses to take our advice and just has to exchage cash, there will be a slight advantage to doing it in France.

ira is online now  
Apr 9th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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We're taking a repositioning cruise at the end of April and our stops includes Funchal and Lisbon Portugal, Villefranche (taking a taxi or local transport to Monaco and Monte Carlo for a couple of hours) France and Malaga and Barcelona Spain. Any input on if all three countries take the Euro, if we should wait to get to Portugal and get enough Euro for all stops, get it in each individual country or what? Hate to sound unsure, but I am. You said to use ATM's - are you saying that when we are in each individual place (or the first place) we should find an ATM, use our US bank card and "withdraw" whatever amount of Euro's we want at the time? Thank you so much for your help.
barbara33428 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2005, 03:06 PM
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Portugal, Spain and France all use the euro. It doesn't matter in which country you get them. The euros you get in Portugal will work just as well in Spain, France or any country that takes euros. When you enter a withdrawl amount into the ATM, you are asking for that amount in euros, not dollars.
P_M is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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In the States, banks do not necessarily give the best rates. I use BofA and its rates plus the service charge turned out to be far worse than the local exchange bureau's.
Michael is online now  

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