Euros

Old Aug 13th, 2016, 07:48 AM
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Euros

We are traveling to Austria and Germany from the US in October. In the past we have exchanged dollars to euros through a bank here. Is that necessary or is there a good exchange rate at the airports in these countries? Thanks.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 07:51 AM
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Use ATMs when you want cash.Make sure they are bank ATMs, not private ones - often at airports the ATMs belong to the exchange office and don't give a good rate. If you need some money on arrival get a small amount from an airport ATM if it isn't a bank one, and then find a bank later. User your credit card as much as possible too.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 07:52 AM
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ATMs in Europe are generally the cheapest way of getting euros, and the ATMs are available in all the major airports.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 08:13 AM
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ATM is the best way to get local currency. Changing cash for cash at airport exchange bureaus (usually) does not get you a very good rate of exchange.

I also like to get some in advance from my home bank (order online, pick up at my branch) but realize I pay a bit more for the convenience/security of having the appropriate currency on me when I arrive.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 08:19 AM
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In general, you will pay a hefty fee to get Euros in the US or Canada, and you will pay a not quite as hefty fee at airport exchanges. As mentioned above getting Euros from an ATM in Europe will give you the best exchange rate.

Do you have a credit card that doesn't charge foreign exchange fees on charges made in other countries? Many cards do charge 3%. And what does your bank charge you to make withdrawals from an ATM in a foreign country? Many of the big banks charge US$5 per withdrawal, plus 3% foreign exchange. By shopping wisely for credit cards and for banks you can avoid all of these charges.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 08:34 AM
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All good information. I'm just chiming in to say that we do as suze does: we rely on ATM's but try to order some currency in advance to have with us when we land. (It also often happens that we have some currency "left over" from our last trip, and then we use that instead of ordering more.)

Sometimes we have landed without local currency and used an ATM in the airport without difficulty. It's really just personal preference.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 08:39 AM
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I used to rely more heavily on ATMs until a recent trip when my new chipped BoA debit card didn't work anywhere (this was in Mexico).

If I hadn't had other money and methods w/ me I would have been up a creek.

So I now always go with 4 options: local currency from my home bank (I don't consider the $7.50 I pay for the convenience a "hefty fee"), USD dollars to trade in a pinch, ATM debit card, charge card(s).
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 08:40 AM
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I cannot imagine why anyone who travels back and forth to Europe as much as some people SAY they do doesn't keep a few Euros or other currency on hand from that last trip.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 08:52 AM
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I always cash in my euros upon departing Europe. I see no point in letting money sit around.

One more reason to bring some euros with you: A couple of times, the nearest airport ATM was out of order, and there was a long line at the next one. You're sort of stock in that situation if you must have euros.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 09:28 AM
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Well I can only speak to the Mexican Peso, Dukey1, since I haven't been to Europe in ages, but I usually end up spending all mine, come home broke, and have to start over the next trip.
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 04:23 PM
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Dukey, I completely agree as I always have a few euros on hand which are leftover from our last trip. We brought home about €100 from our trip last week to Austria/Germany. We didn't plan to bring home that much, it's just the way it played out. The great thing about the euro is that it can be used in so many countries, it's good to keep a stash on hand if you know you are going back in the next year or so.

For those who don't go often, I agree with the others that the ATM is the best way to get cash. In addition to the ~$7.50 fee charged by banks, they also mark up the exchange rate by about 8%, last time I checked.
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 04:56 PM
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I never get currency before departing for a trip. That seems like a waste of money that serves no purpose. I have two ATM cards for different accounts and neither one has ever failed me to get local currency. I carry a hundred USD or more as a backup - currency I could change in an emergency, though I've never needed to, so it costs me nothing to carry it. And I bring at least three credit cards.
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 05:30 PM
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The cheapest and most convenient way to obtain local currency - bar none - is a debit card at a bank owned ATM in country. I always come in with at least a 100 in local currency either from a previous trip or purchased at my bank so I don't to waste time finding a good ATM at the airport. One less thing to worry about when arriving.
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 08:30 PM
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It is very country specific. I arrive in France euroless (actually I may have €20 or so left over froom a previous trip. I use my foreign transaction free credit cards almost universally especially in Paris. RER from CDG into centrr-ville? Credit card. Public transport in Paris? Credit card. Most if not all meals...credit cards. The French discoverd several years ago during a strike of ATM drivers that they could live quite nicely by credit carding everything. Thus you will hardly ever see in Paris, for example, silly things like required inimums to use a card. Same holds for the most part in the UK. Now Germany, Netherlands and Austria, as examples, are different stories although slowly they are coming to the realization this is the 21st century and soon, just like in Sweden, cash will be obsolete where even to buy a cup of coffee, you have to use a credit card. I am proud to say that the last time I was forced to use cash for anything was December 2014 when I bought a mickey bar at a kiosk at Disneyland although I am told they now taking cards even there. But there are a few places where cash is king, I have to reluctantly admit. For those places, the only way to go are ATM's making sure I use an ATM card with no fee, no foreign transaction fee and if the bank owning the ATM charges a fee (actually few banks do in Europe) I will be reimbursed.
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 09:14 PM
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"In general, you will pay a hefty fee to get Euros in the US or Canada, and you will pay a not quite as hefty fee at airport exchanges".

What fee?

I never travel without foreign currency .
The last thing I want to do is start looking for ATM when tired and jet lagged
or worry if my taxi driver in Prague will take a CC.
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Old Aug 18th, 2016, 12:23 AM
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Usually not a separate fee as such, but incorporated in poor exchange rate they use.
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Old Aug 18th, 2016, 12:46 AM
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>

The lousy exchange rate they usually offer. Travelex being the absolute worst. If it doesn't bother you to throw away a good percentage of your money, no problem.
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