EU's in the U.S.?

May 29th, 2004, 06:51 PM
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EU's in the U.S.?

can i purchase EU's in the U.S.? if so, where can i purchase them? can i purchase any european currency in the U>S>?
rapscallion is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 06:55 PM
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If you are a member of Triple A you can get euros at a pretty decent exchange. If you bank with Wells Fargo, they will order them for you. There are places online where you can order them as well, but if you pay for them with a credit card it counts and is charged interest as a cash advance.

Joelleinitaly04 is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 07:40 PM
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I am assuming that you want to purchase Euros which is the currency used by most of the countries belonging to the European Union, or the EU for short. I'm not trying to be a smarty pants, I'm just trying to help. If you walk into a bank and ask to buy EU's, an inexperienced teller might not know what you're talking about.

If you look at any thread on currency exchange you will find that just about everyone recommends that you get your Euros at the ATM once you get to Europe. I see no harm in getting about $50 worth of Euros before leaving home, but it will be a lot more economical and convenient to get your cash there from the ATM. The exchange rate you will get here stinks compared to what the ATM in Europe will give you, even allowing for a small fee. It also wouldn't hurt to bring a spare ATM card and some TC's in US$ as a back-up.
P_M is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 07:45 PM
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Yes, you can easily get euro in the US -- from AMEX, your bank, an exchange bureau, etc. But my question is WHY would you want to? If you are going to Europe you can get euro much less expensively from any ATM after you are there.
janis is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 07:47 PM
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I was posting the same time as P_M - basically we agree -- don't but euro in the States (except for maybe a tiny amount at your departure airport)
janis is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 08:59 PM
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If you mean euros, then my question is why do you want to buy them here?
Most American bank tellers roll their eyes up in their heads and say "Huhh".
And you will pay more for them here than there.
bob_brown is offline  
May 29th, 2004, 09:10 PM
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We always get a few euros before we leave. Call it insurance. It makes us happy. The exchange rate isn't that bad and we don't have to look for an ATM when we land totally jet lagged.

You can get euros at your bank. If the teller doesn't know what you are talking about, call customer service and ask for the foreign currency person. They simply debit whichever account you tell them and mail the euros to you. You can even have them sent overnight if you want to pay the FedEx fees. If you live in a large city, you can usually just go in and get euros without calling ahead.

Get them or not . . . whatever makes you more comfortable. Don't take a large amount though because it really is cheaper to get them in Europe.
SalB is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 05:20 AM
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My hometown bank will gladly sell euro to me, but for a 15 dollar fee AND an exchange rate that is about 10 to 12 percent worse than you'd find at the seediest exchange kiosk anywhere in Europe. For years now, when arriving overseas, I go to the nearest airport ATM, insert card and pull out about 3 days worth of local cash at a time. I get the wholesale rate of exchange and pay NO fee. For backup, I have 2 credit cards, another ATM card tied to a different checking account, and 100 to 200 dollars in crisp, new 20s to be used at an exchange kiosk or bank if all else fails(exchange places can get really annoyed with worn out, old currency). Sometimes, I have 20 to 30 euro left over from the previous trip only because I didn't get the chance to sell them back the last time. But it is not at all necessary to bring euro in my experience.
platzman is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 05:34 AM
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What is an EU?
xyz123 is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 05:40 AM
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I'm only aware of one of them- the European Union- still it could be worse; he she or it might have asked about Eurodollars
sheila is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 09:21 AM
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Just got some British Pounds from Bank of America. The fee was 5% plus a $10 service charge. I felt it was a fair price. After all they are in business to make money, not to provide me free services.
Bob_C is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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You can purchase currency at home thru any major bank. I don't bother, but rather wait until I arrive (w/ U.S. cash and an ATM card) and go to a change window, ATM or regular bank. Money exchange and ATM's are easy to find at any international airport.
suze is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 09:42 AM
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Unless you live in a city where there is a lot of international commerce, it is unlikely that your local banks will be able to provide you with Euros. I live by Cleveland (!) and years ago two banks here did currency exchange, but when I checked a couple of years ago, none did, and they suggested I try American Express. AAA may also be a source, but I think both of these are expensive. I have had good luck getting local currency at an ATM after arriving. Another suggestion might be to see if someone you know has been to Europe and brought back some euros. You could either buy from them, or borrow and return euros when you come back. This has only been an item for consideration on our first trip to a given area, as we end up bringing home sone local currency and saving it for the next trip.
clevelandbrown is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 02:00 PM
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So you can get the £s out of an ATM for 1% over the wholesale bank rate in England. Why pay what American banks charge when there is a better price to be had?
bob_brown is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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Why pay? Well there are people around who have this paranoia about 21st century technology or use the line that after a long flight feeling jet lagged who wants to start hunting for an ATM.

There are many ATM's found in every international airport and while people are waiting for baggage to come down the chute, it is an easy matter to hit the ATM.

Then there are those who worry about ATM's not working etc. It's never happened to me, it does happen once in a blue moon. But for that reason, you bring some nice crisp $20's as somebody suggested and voila you swallow the loss but you can easily get local currency.

And in the UK, you don't really need local currency immediately. I tube it into town and the Underground takes credit cards and in the underground station guess what, there are ATM's.

But as they say, to each his or her own.
xyz123 is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 08:19 PM
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Believe it or not, sometimes ATMs break down. And there are places where the people who put money into the ATMs go on strike occasionally. And once in a while, someone's card won't work for one reason or another.

We don't bother to get any in advance, but if it makes someone more comfortable to spend an extra $15 or $20 to get 50 or 100 euros before they leave, it's no big deal. It won't set their retirement or new car purchase plans back more than a few minutes.

Now if they decide to buy all the euros they need before going over, that's another thing.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
May 31st, 2004, 03:07 AM
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Let me make it clear..nobody says there should be 100% reliance on ATM's. There has to be a back up just in case and bringing US cash is one such back up.

The point is why all the hassle to go and acquire Euro or Pounds or Swiss Francs or whatever before leaving? People run from bank to bank, call companies, wait at h ome for Fed Ex to deliver and then have to remember to pack the foreign currency.

The fact is currency exchange was part of European life for a long time; long bfore there was a currency called the Euro. French people going to Germany did not stock up on Marks before they left France. At the border, they exchanged for whatever they needed. One of the purposes of the Euro was (and is) to make travel much easier.

Americans are just not used to this idea that as you travel, different currencies are involved. Travel for 3000 miles in the US and they still use US dollars (I always enjoyed looking at my USD bank notes to see which Federal Reserve Bank issued them but that's another story). However, let them go into Canada and they can't comprehend why they need Canadian dollars.

There are still those who travel who don't understand why all the world doesn't take US dollars; there are even guide books which recommend people use US $1 bank notes for tips; as if most people want them in Europe.

Having said all that, changing currencies when entering a new country is simply a fact of life. 21st century technology with ATM's has made it much less of a hassle, stick the card in, press a few button and you have local cash. Credit cards (and even debit cards which I think are dangerous) are another way of hassle proofing your trip. When the French truck drivers went on strike a couple of years ago, it wasn't just the ATM's that were without bank notes, it was the whole banking industry. You know what they discovered, use credit cards. So credit cards are now taken on the Metro for as little as €1.

So, it is absolutely not necessary to run all over town looking for Euro before you leave. Use the ATM or the currency exchange booth at the airport while you are waiting the obligatory 20 minutes for your bags to come down the chute. I doubt extremely that even if you have your currency in advance, and get nicked for an extra $10 on a €50 purchase, you will get out of the airport one second sooner than the person who waits and gets his or her local currency upon arrival.
xyz123 is offline  
May 31st, 2004, 04:41 AM
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Again, if it makes you more comfortable to spend $10 or $15 to get some currency in advance, it's no big deal. I don't think it's as much an arduous ordeal to get a few euros in the USA as depicted. You can order them online, just go to AMEX or AAA, etc. We don't do it, but if it gives someone who is a bit nervous some peace of mind, then it's a cheap tranquilizer.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
May 31st, 2004, 07:42 AM
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If you are renting an apartment, most want cash upfront. I ordered the euros before hand because I didn't want to be running around to different machines trying to get enough out, and I wanted to be sure I had enough without worrying about something going wrong. I kept it in a neck pouch and never had a problem.

Also when I landed at the airport, there was a lot of us to think about, getting through customs, to baggage claim, meeting the driver. It was a lot nicer having some euro in my pocket without having to wait in line at a crowded ATM (which they were at airports and train stations)

Joelleinitaly04 is offline  
May 31st, 2004, 09:06 AM
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I looked up in the yellow pages and called around for the best rates. Fortunately for me, I live in NYC, and so have a multitude of places for me to choose from. I do agree with everyone else though, depending on where you're going, get the bulk of your Euros at the country you're visiting. In Madrid, I found a bank that did straight exchange, no extra fees. In Amsterdam, however, everywhere I went wanted to charge me something extra, and so the exchange rate was comparable to what I would have gotten in NYC.
Also try
Looks interesting, and something I might try for my next trip (tbd) next year.
mcnyc is offline  

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