Everyone wants cash - What do we do?

Feb 19th, 2013, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,171
I always take cash to pay for apartment. I don't carry it all in one spot. I just had problems with my atm card last trip and won't go through that again. My bank has no clue why so am opening up another bank account this week to have a different atm card for my May trip.
flpab is offline  
Feb 19th, 2013, 05:47 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,138
Practically every European airport has one or more ATMs in the arrivals area. You can get cash then and there. Drivers will take you to an ATM if that is how they get paid.

ATMs have a limit on single withdrawals but you can put your card in several times. If your bank has a daily limit, pay attention to what time and day it is back home. It may be a diiferent day in Europe but not at home.

I agree, have 2 ATM/debit cards per adult. From 2 different accounts. Your card should have the symbol for an international network, one or more of PLUS, Cirrus or Maestro.

I have 2 credit union accounts I use for travel. The exchange rate is 1% over the interbank rate and there is no transaction fee.

The first time I waited until arrival to get cash I was nervous. But I've done it every time since in multiple countries. No problems.
Mimar is offline  
Feb 19th, 2013, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,266
I must say though, that I always heave a small sigh of relief the first time the ATM makes the happy sound of “cht cht cht cht” as it counts out the bank notes …
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Feb 19th, 2013, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
My locally-owned bank uses the interbank rate for ATM withdrawals, but it does charge $1 per transaction. Not much in the grand scheme of international travel.
I have my ATM/debit card, leaving husband his although I don't think he even knows how to use it. Before the last trip I got the bank to give us each a straight ATM card (no debit feature) and I took both of those and the ATM/debit so that I could make up to three withdrawals in 24 hours. I did get to Ireland to find that the new ATM cards had not been set up for international use but a phone call to the bank got that sorted out.
One grandson had a prepaid money card that his parents insisted would be best for him but we could never get it to work so Granny had to front him the little bit of money he needed.
jaja is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,160
It's highly unlikely you'll get Italians who are asking for cash to accept any kind of electronic audit trail. The French acceptance of their liability to pay tax on earnings is generally regarded as deranged by even the most respectable Italians.

By all means ask if your suppliers will accept PayPal, but the next Pope's more likely to be a Protestant lesbian.

Ignore the nonsense about "I wouldn't carry cash around my small town" May be an interesting insight into the level of crime in American small towns (or more likely the absurd paranoia most Americans invent to entertain themselves) - but bloody useless as advice for handling payments in Italy.

If you can't organise your cashcards, go to an exchange office in the US (they do exist), buy the money and put it in your pocket. I've been carrying far larger amounts of cash around Europe for close on half a century: yet to lose a penny to thieves.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,742
I hope you have asked for a discount for cash
bilboburgler is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 197
You're arriving on a Saturday night and presumably jetlagged and tired. In your shoes, I would bring enough cash to cover the first day's need plus a bit more. I know that for most of us Americans, we are not comfortable carrying that much cash but there are ways to protect your cash.

Also, why not asked your landlord to give you a couple of days to pay, giving you enough time to get enough euro from the ATM. It hasn't been a problem for us to do so.

Good luck and have a great trip.
baby2 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 02:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 40
Thanks to all of you for your excellent advise. I did ask the landlord prior to posting if she would accept paypal - unfortunately, she did not. We have decided to take enough cash with us to pay for the rental upon arrival that night. Yes -as many of you noted, the cooking class is not that night - so we can withdraw more cash the following day for the class and for the driver who will take us there - in Impruneta. After that - we've already paid for our rental in Rome, and our tours in Rome. All that we'll need is cash for groceries and lots of GELATO!

I assume we can pay for out train fare from Florence to Rome with our Visa.

Thanks again to all of you! Fodorites are simply the best!
Chinos4sons is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,266
You can use ticket vending machines (that "speak" English) for your Florence to Rome tickets. The machines accept Visa cards, and the process is very simple.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 03:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 40
Peter_S_Aus - So good to know! Thanks!
Chinos4sons is offline  
Feb 20th, 2013, 04:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,266
If possible, buy your florence / Rome tickets the day prior to travelling - sometimes the train that you want to travel on may be fully booked, and then you have to take a later train.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2013, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 122
Most of the ticket machines also accept cash, so you can avoid the foreign transaction charge that Visa will likely apply, plus their slightly higher conversion rate.
imaginaryjazz is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2013, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,329
You save hugely on train fare by booking in advance on Trenitalia site with your US credit card. Very easy, and you can use your printout (or just reservation number) as ticket and show it to the conductor. From 9 euro.
http://www.seat61.com/Italy-trains.htm for step-by-step guide.
Alec is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2013, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 344
We were also angsting about having to arrive with EUR 1000 for our VRBO apartment in Rome, in November ... but, surprisingly, the owner was quite happy to take USD or GBP at that day's internet rate. So much easier, upon arrival, and we still saved the cash vs. credit card price! All I had to do, was ask.
just27 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2013, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
If you don't ask you don't get..Discounts, senior rates,free nights after 2, upgrades, specials because it's b'day, anniv.,!!!
amer_can is offline  

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