Euro vs. US Dollar

Nov 8th, 2008, 12:56 PM
  #1  
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Euro vs. US Dollar

I am going from the US to Italy in March 2009.

The dollar was very weak against the Euro last year when I traveled to Europe.

Since the exchange rate is a bit more favorable currently, any thoughts if it would be advantageous to purchase some euros now in case the dollar weakens once again?

8-)
cwojo99 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 01:02 PM
  #2  
 
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I've been wondering the same thing. I think it's a good idea and one that might save some real money.

The last time I was in Europe, I think the dollar was about $1.60 to the euro. I've been thinking I'd buy a couple thousand dollars worth with the idea of saving the money for my next trip. If things go wrong and I'm starving, I can sell them back.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 01:03 PM
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I forgot to say that my bank charges $5.00 for each foreign withdrawal, so buying ahead of time would save those charges too.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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>>my bank charges $5.00 for each foreign withdrawal, so buying ahead of time would save those charges too.<<

Changing banks would also save these charges. My bank doesn't charge me any per-transaction fee.

Only you can decide if you want to take "a couple thousand dollars" out of your account and gamble that the exchange rate might worsen.
ellenem is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 02:13 PM
  #5  
P_M
 
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Peg, we must use the same bank because my primary bank also charges a $5 fee. That's why I have a small account at a credit union which I use for travel. My credit union only charges $1 per w/d.

If you buy €'s in this country you will pay a huge exchange fee. If you knew with any certainty the € will rise again then it would be worthwhile. But you don't know that will happen, nor does anyone else. If the future could be predicted, we would all be rich. So it's a gamble to buy €'s now and it's a gamble to wait. Personally I wouldn't do it. Your chances of losing are as good as your chances of winning.
P_M is online now  
Nov 8th, 2008, 02:28 PM
  #6  
 
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I was in Spain last month. My daughters and I will be meeting in Paris in May. I e-mailed them from Spain that the euro was at $1.33 and they both wanted 150 euros.

I bought and now, even with a fee for the purchase, they could probably do as well or better buying here....it is truly gambling!
Judy is online now  
Nov 8th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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Unless you normally play the fx market I think this is an awful idea. You should be following a well-thought out savings/investment strategy, not dabbling in the fx market to save $200 on your next European vacation.

If, after careful consideration, you decide that the dollar is overvalued, then I would suggest speaking with your investment adviser as to how you might change your investment strategy to accommodate that. Buying a couple thousand euros to stuff under your mattress doesn't qualify as an investment strategy.
travelgourmet is online now  
Nov 8th, 2008, 03:11 PM
  #8  
 
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I bought Euros in the US because we needed cash for a guide a few days after our arrival, couldn't get that much cash plus regular cash in that amont of time. I know that wasn't the cheapest way to do it, but I wasn't interested in spending the first few days counting Euros and skimping to have enough to give the guide.
I bought when the dollar got to 70, since it had been lower than that. Since then it has been up to 79, which was good for when we were actually traveling.
My point is that the way the stock market is swinging wildly, you can't be sure which way it will go. Maybe you could hedge your bets and buy some Euros now.
I am also traveling to Italy in March, wanted to bring some home with me since the dollar was up, but we somehow forgot to do that. Oh well.
Challiman is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 07:32 PM
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I have to agree with travelgourmet.

Unless you are buying and awful lot of euros,it is not worth the small saving you will obtain.

I have been buying euros off and on for 5 years now and at present in desk drawer I have about.... $ 2,000.00 euros.

I spent the month of August touring France ,Switzerland and Germany .

So while the others I went with were complaining about their last minute euro buying..... I just took some out of the drawer and used my Visa also.

Withdrawl fee !!!??????

What???
Never in my life has my bank charged me a fee to withdrawl my own money regardless of what currency it was.

But I purchase euros NOT as an investment strategy...but rather just to have it ,when I need it,without running to the bank, each time I go to a euro country.!

Right now One euro cost $1.27 US$

I paid about $ 1.42 for one euro several months ago..but I am not going to run out and get more right now just because it is 15 cents lower.!

Percy



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Nov 9th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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Percy, your bank may have never in your life charged you a fee for withdrawing from an ATM other than its own, but it appears you are incredulous that such a thing occurs or doubting that (given your punctuation), which means you are not familiar with a lot of bank practices, at least in the US. I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of US banks charge some fee for an ATM withdrawal at some ATM other than its own, whether in the US or Europe. On top of that, within the last five years or so, a lot of US banks seem to have instituted percentage fees on foreign currency withdrawals, very similar to the MC/Visa fees charged to credit cards/debit cards with their logos. I think it may be because a lot of banks may use them for their ATM processing, I am not sure.

But I know from reading and talking to others than a lot of US banks do this now, mine started it several years ago and they now charge 3 pct on foreign ATM withdrawals. And this is not some major national bank, either, like B of A or Chase, it is a regional one. Now at least my bank does not charge me any ATM withdrawal flat fee (used to be about $2), but I know many banks do.

Also, some banks do it and people aren't even aware of it and claim they do not -- we see posts on Fodors all the time from folks claiming their bank doesn't charge them anything for foreign currency services, but it seems when it gets down to it and as is eventually revealed, they always do and those folks don't understand exchange rates.
Christina is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 10:31 AM
  #11  
Eli
 
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Here is a currency analysis from my financial magazine regarding mid-term prospects of euro vs. USD: in the span of 6 months, the $ will weaken against the euro. Or the euro will weaken against the $.
How about using this for your planning?
Eli is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 11:04 AM
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Christina:

Fortunately or unfortunately..I know a lot about banking and banking charges.

In reading the postings again, by foreign withdrawl charges, I assumed that people were paying $5.00 for withdrawing their own foreign currency from the bank.

You are talking about ATM's and that is not what I was talking about.

Almost everyone pays for ATM withdrawl, unless you have special arrangements with your bank.

I agree that some people think they are not paying any charges when in fact they are.

One lady I know pays a yearly fee of $120.00 to her bank, and she can do as much banking and currency withdrawls as she wants.!!!

Then she thinks when she goes to buy euros and the bank does not charge her, that she is getting this service free!

She forgets about the $120.00 per years she pays.

Banks live on fees and giving out loans at higher than the prime rate...
they are so greedy to give you a loan and charge you high interest rates, ....that they get blined to everything else.

That is why the US banks( mainly) are in such a financial mess.
They are poorly regulated.

You may have heard (CNN) or read last month that the Financial Institute from Geneva Switzerland gave their rating of the world's best run banks .

#1 was Canada
#2 was Sweden
#3 was Belgium

# 41 was the USA !!
# 42 Was England.

So when you are # 41 in the whole world, I expect a "poorly " run system.

Yes, if you are in Cairo Egypt and you go to an ATM, or use your Visa at the ATM, you WILL be charged a fee.

You may be able to circumvent the charge from your bank, but certainly not from Visa or Mastercard.

Your bank knows you ,to Visa and Mastercard,you are just a number .

And yes , you are right, if you use the ATM to with draw money from an ATM that is not directly owned by your bank,then you are charged a fee.
Bank # A is not going to support your transaction at Bank #B for free.

When I say I have never paid a fee ,I mean:

1.When I pay a bill at the bank...no fee
2. When I get currency for other countries at my bank...no fee (ever).
3. When I exchange foreign currency at my bank...no fee.

4. I have never withdrawn money using Mastercard or Visa, either at home or Europe .

Believe me , without giving you my occupation, I understand almost 99% of what goes on in the financial world.

Percy

Percy is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 11:14 AM
  #13  
 
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"Best run" banks mean nothing. Belgium? Biggest bank Fortis was broken up after it failed late September. Dexia, ING, KBC all got huge government bailout.

I wonder where Iceland rank in that list.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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I do not know where Iceland ranked on the list,but it was on the list.

And Iceland too is in troble.

But just imagine that Belgium is #3 and it has problems, what does that say about all the bank further down the line !

You know what bank was at the very bottom ?
Nigeria.

Percy
Percy is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Percy: "Withdrawl fee !!!??????

What???
Never in my life has my bank charged me a fee to withdrawl my own money regardless of what currency it was.
"

Your post took a comment about fees when withdrawing €/£ from ATMs and confused it w/ what happens when getting funds from your own bank. Just not on point much at all.

Re getting currency from your own bank -- LOTS of banks don't charge a fee for foreign currency. But they make the money by using really REALLY bad exchange rates. So no, you did not pay a "fee" but you almost certainly did pay a premium.

janisj is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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I believe that most experts believe that the euro will weaken against the dollar in the next few months. I would wait.
bigtyke is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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Hi janisj

No, I do not pay a premium.

I am just extra lucky.!

And don't say, every one pays a premiun ,because a lot of people do not !

But if I used my Visa in Oslo Norway to draw out cash out of an ATM then for sure I would Visa would charge me.

Visa does not know me.
My bank does.

I see where China goverment has just injected 600 Billion to shore up their economy.

bigtyke:

I do not know where the euro will go.
All these smart Wall Street experts now need the taxpayers to bail out their expert decisions !!

You know what the definition of an Expert is .

X...is an unknown quantity
Spurt...is a drip under pressure.

So the Wall Street Experts are unknown quantities under pressure.!!

Percy
Percy is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 01:33 PM
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Did those "experts" predict the USD would have risen so much against most currencies this year?

Truth is, nobody knows. If the OP really wants to "fix" the exchange rate, doesn't mind the extra fees, and doesn't mind having money locked up, then it's up to him/her to do it.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 01:35 PM
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I believe that most experts believe that the euro will weaken against the dollar in the next few months. I would wait.

If by most experts, you mean the one that you happened to read, then yes. Personally, I don't think there is any consensus.

Or, do you happen to remember what the rationale was for this consensus? Surely there must be one?

BTW, this is a link discussing the world's soundest banking systems:

http://tinyurl.com/5jorqe

The divide between #1 and #44 isn't that dramatic.
travelgourmet is online now  
Nov 9th, 2008, 01:39 PM
  #20  
ira
 
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HI cw,

Leave currency speculation to the currency speculators.

Charge everything chargeable.
CapitalOne doesn't add conversion fees.

Get the small number of Euros that you will need from an ATM.

ira is offline  

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