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diann24 Oct 9th, 2010 06:43 PM

Euro question
When you arrive in italy do you then get the Euros from a ATM machine or you do get them before you leave. Which is the best way and best exchange rate? Thanks.

Seamus Oct 9th, 2010 06:58 PM

Yes, get them from an ATM machine when you arrive. Keep in mind:
Prior to leaving be sure to notify your bank that you will be traveling outside the country so they do not suspect fraudulent use and disable your card.
Also ask your bank what is the daily limit on how much you can withdraw. If it seems low request a temporary increase.
Use only your ATM card to withdraw cash, not a credit card.
When making an ATM withdrawal take out the max amount allowed there are charges that accrue for each time you use the ATM.

xyz123 Oct 9th, 2010 06:59 PM

By far the best is to get them at an ATM upon arrival in Italy...the rates are much much much better. To get the best rate try to make sure you have an ATM card or debit card that charges the proper fee for accessing YOUR money i.e. nothing (there are many such banks, especially on the internet). Some of the nay sayers here will throw out stuff like you will be exhausted after a trans Atlantic flight or the machines might be down or stuff like that and suggest you get some euro at home but if the machine should be down just exchange a little bit at the currency exchange at the arrival airport...the rate will be better than at home even though it won't be as good as the ATM.

kismetchimera Oct 9th, 2010 07:07 PM

I always get at at least a couple of hundred dollars before leaving..It is worth to have ready cash to pay for transportations and lunch..

LoveItaly Oct 9th, 2010 07:14 PM

I do as kismetchimera does, but each of us have our own way of travelling. Also, no matter what your bank allows you via the ATM be aware that the ATM's in Italy will have a maximum that you can withdraw despite what your US bank allows. The bank ATM's in Italy do not charge a fee (but non bank ATM's will no doubt) but your US bank will charge you a fee for each withdrawal. If you need more than the Italian ATM allows go to another ATM and withdraw more. Be aware that your US bank will charge you for each withdrawal.

xyz123 Oct 9th, 2010 07:18 PM

"your bank will charge you a fee".....many do, many don't. The idea is to find one that doesn't and what I have done is open up a travel account with an internet bank, keep $1.01 in the account and then transfer money into the account before a trip and transfer money out after the trip....nobody should be charged a red cent to access THEIR money period.

Iowa_Redhead Oct 9th, 2010 07:34 PM

We just got cash from the ATM's before we left the Rome airport. I've never exchanged money prior to a trip.

As a heads up, you may need to try more than one ATM. When we were in the Rome airport the first ATM didn't work, then we went to the one that was across the walkway directly behind us and it worked fine. Other people had problems with the first machine as well. If an ATM doesn't work, don't panic! Just try another one. If 3 or 4 don't work, then call your bank.

KayF Oct 9th, 2010 10:28 PM

I agree with Iowa Redhead, if one ATM doesn't work, keep trying a few more. We've had numerous problems, over many years, trying to access money from ATMs overseas but it always works out in the end. We've even tried pressing other buttons out of desperation and that has worked sometimes. Take your bank phone number you need to dial, including overseas access codes etc, in case you are really stuck. I would take a little cash with me as well as a back up.


klondike Oct 10th, 2010 12:38 AM

We like to have a few euros in our pocket before arrival, but it is certainly not essential.

To add to what Iowa Redhead and KayF have to say about ATM aware that if you have a problem at a specific ATM (punched the wrong numbers or something) and keep trying, the machine can interpret this as a theft attempt and will KEEP YOUR CARD. This happened to me, so I never try more than 2 attempts at the same machine now.

Happy Travels!

lin_c Oct 10th, 2010 02:01 AM

we went to different banks in Italy to ask for the best dollar-euro exchange rates. we also used ATMs a couple of times, try both methods.
Enjoy your trip!

ParisAmsterdam Oct 10th, 2010 05:15 AM

An important point I don't think has been brought up yet is to notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans. Otherwise you can end up with a frozen card...

travelme Oct 10th, 2010 05:23 AM

I had about 1000 euro left over from my last trip. I just took out too much from the ATM. Now I am glad that I did as I see the dollar is tanking yet again. It was at $1.26 at the time of the withdrawal and the dollar is at a pitiful 1.39 which is so lame. We are going to Europe for a week in the spring so I will have more than enough for spending money for the 8 days that I will be on vacation. The lodgings were prepaid with travel insurance no less! Love it!

Michel_Paris Oct 10th, 2010 05:38 AM

It costs money for your bank to get those ueors to you, while in Europe, they are..home.

Note that you will not get a choice of accounts to withdraw from when using a European ATM, it will come from the primary account linked to the card. Also, take out enpugh money for a few days, to minimize fees your bank may charge.

diann24 Oct 10th, 2010 06:25 AM

Thanks so much--have you ever used I see it makes sense to arrive with some euros then get them as needed. Yes of course I would tell my bank prior to leaving. That would be awful to get there have machines broken, and cannot get money out. We are charged here if we do not use specific ATMS so I would expect to be charged a fee for withdrawal.

WWanderer Oct 10th, 2010 06:45 AM

I wouldn't worry about not being able to find an ATM. Airports usually have a several. I usually take a few euros, I keep a stash actually, in hopes of another trip. If you live in big city, you should be able to get them from a currency exchange, or a bank.

Mimar Oct 10th, 2010 06:47 AM

It might be worth it to get a different bank account for travel. At worst your bank will charge you a fee for an ATM withdrawal plus a surcharge added to the exchange rate. Travelex also will charge you in its exchange rate.

Whereas my credit union charges no ATM fee and only the system wide 1% on the exchange rate (bank rate) on both ATM withdrawals and credit card charges.

You said you wanted the best way. ATMs are the best way to get cash. In larger airports there are banks of ATMs by the departure gate. Every little Italian town has at least one ATM. And they work fine 99% of the time.

Individual machines may have a per-withdrawal limit. Just make 2 withdrawals. And your bank may have a 24-hour withdrawal limit. If you expect to need more, ask the bank to raise your limit. But the beauty of ATMs is you don't need to walk around with lots of cash. Just get more as you need it.

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