Exchange Rates

Jul 31st, 2007, 12:49 PM
  #1  
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Exchange Rates

Hello,

I will be leaving to London (then Paris) in about two weeks. What is the best way to get a good exchange rate? Would you recommend the pre-paid Visa TravelMoney card, ATM, or just take cash? By the way does anyone know if a ATM from Citibank will work in England and France?

Thanks
nd5524 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 12:58 PM
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Anyone?
nd5524 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:01 PM
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absolutely - use your ATM card.

Pre-paid money cards are realy expensive, and exchanging cash gets you the very worst exchange rates

(there are hundreds of threads on here - a search will bring more info than you couls possible want . . .)
janisj is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:01 PM
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ATM.
kerouac is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:05 PM
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Prepaid Visa Travel Money is the worst. You pay to get it, you pay to use it, and it may be difficult to use it.

Your bank's ATM card is the best way to get cash. All banks charge some kind of percentage, and some add fees, so check with your bank.

Use a credit card whenever you can, but, again, some cards charge les fees than others.

Whaeer fees your bank or credit card issuer charge, it will still be cheaper than the Travel Money card (or travelers checks).

If you search here for ATM you will find many threads that discuss this subject.
ellenem is online now  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:07 PM
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I agree ATM bank card is the best - we use Bank of America because it is a partner of Barclay's (England) and BNP (France) so you don't have to pay those pesky non-customer bank fees.
Never use your MC/Visa at the ATM as you'll be paying loan fees (some cards charge up tp 25% from the moment you get your cash)
nanabee is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:27 PM
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To the person that uses Bank of America, do you get charged commission if you use the banks that are affiliated with Bank of America, or do you just get charged the exchange rate?

Thanks.
nd5524 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:36 PM
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hi nd5524 - we can use our B of A card at B of A's "partner" banks in Europe (as I mentioned, BNP in France and Barclay's in England) we get an exchange rate which is competitive, no conversion fee and no ATM fees.
We're not big fans of B of A for our personal banking use at home but we opened it just to use for travel.
nanabee is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:38 PM
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and no commission fee as long as you use the correct "partner" banks.
nanabee is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Call the 800 number on the back of your card and ask which are the partner banks with your bank in the country(ies) you are going to.
AisleSeat is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:48 PM
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It seems nd5524 uses a Citibank card (which is also the bank we use for our personal banking in the States).
I know they don't have "partner" banks as they have ATM's world wide under their own name. However, as I recall they do have slightly higher fees.
nanabee is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:50 PM
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Make sure your pin is 4 numbers. Also, some have said that the pin shouldn't begin with a zero, but I can't verify whether that's an issue.
zooey91 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Ok thanks. nanabee do you have a checking account or savings? I'm pretty interested in maybe opening the Bank of America account just for travel. Is you card is a debit card. Right?
nd5524 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Bank of America is telling my that they will give me a Debit card associated with Visa (with Visa logo). Is this what you have? I asked them about a checking account.
nd5524 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Yes, it is a debit card.
Good luck and have a nice trip!
nanabee is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 02:01 PM
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OK. Thank you everyone! Have a great day!
nd5524 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 02:19 PM
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There are 5 London citibank locations listed on their website though I don't know how convenient any of them are.

None are listed in Paris.

If you use them in Europe there are no fees over the exchange rate. They have hefty fees, though if you use another bank's ATMs. Citibank credit cards also have among the highest exchange fees.
kathcoll is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Nanabee are the exchange rates with those affiliated banks in Europe competative? Enough to make it worth it for me to open a checking account with B of A.
nd5524 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 03:00 PM
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Hi again nd 5524:
B of A exchange rates are competitive. If there is not a fee to open an account with B of A then i would open an account and have the card handy in addition to your Citibank card. That way you are doubly covered.
Especially in Paris in case Citibank has no handy ATM's.
We have both cards. We find the B of A a little more convenient.


nanabee is offline  
Jul 31st, 2007, 03:00 PM
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Open an account with Capitol One instead - then you won't have to find the "right" ATM

Do a search as this has been recommended a few times before
alanRow is offline  

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