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Euro or Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Romania currency?

Euro or Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Romania currency?

Apr 23rd, 2012, 05:44 AM
  #1  
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Euro or Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Romania currency?

Leaving next Monday to Eastern Europe. Will we be able to manage with Euros or will we have to change money for each country?
stilltravelingat62 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2012, 05:54 AM
  #2  
 
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Use local currency but you don't change money - use your debit card to get money from ATM machines. It's the easiest way and you get the best exchange rates.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 06:38 AM
  #3  
P_M
 
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Slovakia has the € as the local currency but the other countries you named still have their own currency. You might find a few people who will take the € but not at a favorable exchange rate for you. As mentioned above, use your ATM card to get local currency.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 06:40 AM
  #4  
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and the easiest way to rack up bank fees. I do use my ATM, but since we are going to 4 countries in 3 wks, it is more convenient to cash in once for Euros unless they are not generally accepted = that is the question.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 06:40 AM
  #5  
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One more thing--use up your coins before crossing borders as coins cannot be exchanged or used in other countries. We always stopped at convenience stores just before a border and bought little odds and ends to get rid of excess coins.

Of course this advice does not apply to leaving Slovakia, as you can use your € coins on other trips to countries using the €.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 06:46 AM
  #6  
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I just saw your second post.

Bank fees are nothing compared to the mark-up you will pay for exchanging currency. Bank fees are also nothing compared with what a vendor will charge if you insist on paying with €'s. (that's assuming you can find someone who will take €'s) If you really want to avoid fees then the ATM is still the best way to go.

Getting back to your question, no you cannot use €'s everywhere except Slovakia and you will need local currency.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 06:47 AM
  #7  
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CORRECTION: When I say bank fees I am referring to ATM fees. Just to make sure we are on the same page.

Enjoy your trip.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 07:15 AM
  #8  
 
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There are two components to the cost of getting foreign currency.

1. The exchange rate
2. The fees charged for making the exchange

The best exchange rate will be from an ATM. Whether the combination of rate and fee is higher for using an ATM rather than a bureau de change depends on your bank. Your bank will probably charge a foreign conversion fee, and may charge for using a foreign ATM. The bank account I use for travel charges neither, and most Credit Unions charge minimal fees. If you are banking with somewhere like Wells Fargo, for instance, the fees can be high.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2012, 10:08 AM
  #9  
 
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For your next trip - since you're still traveling - change banks or open a special travel account at a credit union or bank where they charge no ATM fee and an exchange rate at the interbank rate or slightly above.

And, when charging to a credit card, if the proprietor offers to charge your card in your home currency, say no. He's making money on the exchange rate; you're losing money.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 11:06 AM
  #10  
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I would like to add to Mimar's good advice about not letting them charge you in your home currency. I was in Spain a couple of weeks ago and not only did a few merchants offer to charge me in USD (which I declined) but an ATM offered to charge me in USD. Be sure to decline that too.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 04:47 PM
  #11  
 
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First of all, you are going to central europe - eastern europe would be Russia and Ukraine.

Second you shuold be using the local currency ineach country to avoid 1) embarassment and 2) getting a hideous rate of exchange inthe few tourist shops that will take euros.

Third, you shuld not be changing money anywhere. You should pay for everythng possible with a credit card and pull walking around money from your checking account at ATMs associated with banks. This will give you rates from 1 to 3% over the interbank rate - changing cash will usually give you a rate 8 to 10% over the interbank rate - costing you at least 5% of your money.

And agreed do not pay any bill presented in US $ (since they will give you a terrible rate of exchange). Insist on bills in local currency (all credit cards require that merchants do this).
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 07:47 AM
  #12  
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My question was not about HOW to get money or fees. Did anyone notice I am 63 now and have been in over 60 countries. My question was how widely used is the Euro in Eastern European countries, and yes I know that if you look at a map and consider the former Soviet Union countries, it is not Eastern, but most people DO consider this area Eastern Europe. So if anyone is following this and has the same question I really asked, I can report that unless you go to a hotel or expensive/tourist restaurant, this area of any name will accept only their own currency. They do not trust the Euro and most want their country out of the EU. And of the fun and expense of ATMs....I called my bank, Fifth Third, weeks before leaving and informed them the dates and which countries I would be in. So then why was my card rejected??? I called and was told it is "for my own good". But not to worry, I have my fee-less Captial One card. Both Hungary/Romania require a pin to use. I call and ask why my card is being rejected and their response was they will mail a pin to my home right away. Thanks, how was that helpful to me at the time? When I called to tell them I'd be in those countries, why didn't they advise me I'd need a pin and give me one then -- now that would have been helpful. For some reason my husband's ATM card, from the same bank, worked and we used his Visa card, with no pin, and incurred their outrageous fees. ATMs are very expensive; you not only pay the fee for the bank you are using, your own bank's ATM fees and their internat'l transaction fees plus a small fee for "Mastercard fee", which in the past I have called about and the bank can't even explain what it is for; the best they finally came up with is " an add'l ATM fee". And yes, I hate to change from the bank where we do all our personal and company business, but I AM going to change to a credit union with no fees before France in the fall. This is all too much.
stilltravelingat62 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 07:55 AM
  #13  
 
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Wow.

I have lived in Eastern and Central Europe for the last 14 years and thought the advice given was excellent. Sorry you had such a hard time. I didn´t notice your age nor did I notice that you had been to 60 countries. Still, even with that knowledge, I find your answer a bit testy.

I have lived in both Central and Eastern Europe for the past 14 years. The distinction amongst the residents of the region is an important one and the sloppiness shown by carelessly calling CE EE is not appreciated. However, you are correct that your average North American thinks of it all as Eastern Europe.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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I'm sorry you had so many problems but I think your ranting should be directed toward your banks, not at us. I've never had any of the problems you've described in Central or Eastern Europe. Or any place else.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 09:16 AM
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I'm in Prague right now and virtually everything is listed in CZK and Euros.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 10:53 AM
  #16  
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I was just there a few months ago and I had none of the problems you had. When I made ATM withdrawals in the countries you visited I never paid fees to the ATM machine, and with the Cap One ATM card I didn't pay any fees at all.

We shared our experiences with you just as you asked. Sorry you had so much trouble but it's not our fault so you can stop blasting us.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 11:05 AM
  #17  
 
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<>

Ditto.

Why did you think a debit card from Cap One would not require a PIN? It does in the US, not just Romania or Hungary.
BigRuss is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 01:22 PM
  #18  
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Sorry to have offended everyone, so you can lecture me about how to get money from an ATM and I can't say Wait a Minute, not what I asked? You bet I did rant at the bank and Capital One. My Capital One did not require a pin and I have used it both internationally and in the US; I've never been asked for a pin before. In Romania, they actually prefer a "chip". Believe me when I say my card was rejected consistently. You must have an ATM with no fees because clearly wherever you use your card at other than your bank, there is always a fee for the bank dispensing the money - they really give it to you for free and charge me, wow. Again, unless you go to very expensive or restaurants full of tourists, these countries prefer to use their own currency = which was my question in the first place.
stilltravelingat62 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 01:53 PM
  #19  
 
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I was the first responder to this post and my first three words were:

use local currency

Perhaps I should have phrased my comment a bit more strongly but I can't speak in absolutes on this topic, especially as I told someone on another thread that they would have problems in Prague if they did not use local currency and the poster came back and said that he did not have any problem using currency other than Krona. Perhaps he went to very high-end establishments but I did not and could not imagine using dollars or euros to buy a salad or a bottle of water, etc.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 02:21 PM
  #20  
 
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What kind of Capital One card are you talking about that doesn't require a PIN everywhere? I've never heard of an ATM card that doesn't require a PIN. Were you perhaps using a Capital One credit card? (The most expensive way to get cash.)
thursdaysd is offline  

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