Euros - confused on how to buy

Jul 3rd, 2005, 01:50 PM
Original Poster
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Euros - confused on how to buy

I think I'll be using more cash than credit this time to Italy. I look at the rate on and see a rate of 1.27430000. As a customer of BofA, is that typically inclusive of all fees? And if I were to use an ATM in Italy would I likely get a better rate than that?
mdtravel is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 01:53 PM
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You'll definitely get a better rate by using an ATM. Today's exchange for the Euro is just over 1.19. Your bank may tack on a percentage point or so for international withdrawals, but even so the rate would be better than 1.27.
elle is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Why do you want to buy euro? Put your money in your checking account and use an ATM card to withdraw your dollars as euros for the best rate you can get anywhere. If like some people you are really hung up on the idea that you MUST have some euros on arrival then get some from Bank of America if that is easy. Who cares if it costs an extra dollar or two if you are doing it for some peace of mind?
Patrick is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 02:40 PM
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I might add that the ATM at the airport let us take out more Euros than any other machine we visited. We took out 500€ upon landing (and maybe would have given more), and subsequently all machines only let us take out 250-300€.
wliwl is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 02:43 PM
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Yes, I agree with the above posters. I went to Europe this month, I took no Euro with me and used the ATMs there. I was able to withdraw large amounts (600E) at the airport and smaller (300E) in the city.
vivi is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 03:23 PM
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I have always wondered why the RER from CDG to Paris seems like a high-crime area.

Now I know: the thieves watch tourists get $500-$600 at a pop out of the airport ATMs.
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 03:34 PM
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Robespierre, I was interested in your post as I just read on the SF Chronical webpage (Traveler's section) that in Mexico City the crooks stand around the airport watching travellers arrive and using the airport AMT's to get a lot of peso's. Than they know who to rob.

Personally, as I have said before, I arrive with some Euro. For example, if the power is down, the ATM will not work. And the security issue is something to think about. But we all make different decisions.

mdtravel, personally I would take about $100 to $200 euro with me from the US. And than get more in Italy when I needed it. Make sure your ATM card has a 4 digit pin number (no letters on Italian ATM'S). Let your bank know the dates you will be in Italy. And make sure that your ATM card is connected to your checking account as if it is connected to just your saving account you will not be able to access your money.

And many here have reported that your ATM card will work best if it is also a debit card with preferably the VISA logo although my daughter & SIL had no problem using their ATM/Debit card with the MasterCard logo this month. But possibly you may have to try more than one ATM unless you have the VISA logo. Have a beautiful trip!
LoveItaly is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 04:04 PM
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I've been reading these posts with interest, as it seems to be high-stress factor with folks who have impending vacations.

I can only speak from my experience, and I remember being told that I would not need Euros until I got to the airport, and there would be ATM's everywhere for me - a veritable ATM wonderland!

Well, maybe I was in the wrong terminal, but by the time I passed through security and entry, and got my bag, I only found one ATM, and it took my card, which has a VISA logo. But this particular machine seemed testy that day and would not take my card. Great.

I had called my bank before leaving and they made all the necessary changes to my account, allowing me to withdraw higher daily limits, noting my travel dates.

So, stranded with no Euro, I wound up calling my bank (thank goodness I had my Italian cell phone with me, which I rented before leaving) and spoke to them. They had no logical explanation as to why the machine was rejecting my card. One lesson is that not all ATM's in Italy will accept your card at any given moment. Its not a problem once you get to where you are going - most likely there will be more to choose from.

Anyway, in the end, I worked it out. But since then, I always make sure I have €50 with me when I leave America. This guarantees me my taxi ride, so I can quickly get out of the airport and settled to where I am going. Throw in an extra
faredolce is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 04:15 PM
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That's what happens when your cat walks on your laptop.

Anyway, I was saying, that to throw in an extra €50 and you can grab a snack whever you wind up (especially handy if you took a morning flight and can't check into your hotel right away. You simply find a cafe!)

I saw two pearls of wisdom on this board recently. One poster assured us that the exchange rate on getting Euros before leaving, say, from Wells Fargo or Bank of America, means a few dollars more; really, too small of an amount of money to stress over (save that for the cost of really irresistible pair of shoes) - and isn't it well worth the peace of mind??? I believe that you choose your battles money on vacation in other ways - like being brave enough to order your cappucino at the bar and not spending €4 on sitting at a table, or wisely ordering a jug of house wine at a few meals rather than a more expensive bottle. Getting some Euros in advance is worth it to me. Vacation isn't a time to save pennies - it is what you saved your pennies for!

Also, someone wisely pointed out that theives hang out and watch tourists the airports, and can find easy targets in those of us who get off the plane and head straight to the ATM for a huge wad of cash. I prefer to get off my plane, head for a taxi and get my trip started!

So, don't fret over a few cents in difference in terms of the exchange rate. Just use Wells Fargo, or Bank of America, or even American Express...whatever. But bring some euro to start. Not a lot, just enough. Trust me, your head will spin enough with all the other things you have to figure should be the least of them.

One last tip: Bring €50 back with you if you can and you know you will hit Europe again. I keep it tucked away - it makes me feel good to know I have it already, and I feel like it is a guarantee I will return soon (my version of a coin in the fountain).

faredolce is offline  
Jul 4th, 2005, 06:32 AM
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Hi md,

Many folks get about $100 worth of foreign currency at the departure airport and then use ATM's.

ira is offline  
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