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Exchanging Dollars for Euros - Best before leaving or after arriving?

Exchanging Dollars for Euros - Best before leaving or after arriving?

Old Sep 16th, 2009, 05:59 AM
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kybourbon--I'm with you. Coming from the U.S., using your credit card to get cash is the last, emergency-only choice.
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 06:08 AM
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The best way to deal with cash when travelling is to use ATM's....the second best way, well there really isn't a second best way if you don't want to get ripped off.

Now you can get ripped off with ATM's too if you are dumb enough to use a bank that charges fees for accessing your money. Be away that according to the rules of the two main shared teller networks, plus and cirrus, prohibit the bank that owns an ATM machine from charges you any fees; the only fees are the ones your bank chooses to rip you off with....

If you just love your bank, even though they rip you off with ATM fees, simply open up a special travel account with any bank (it is easily done these days on the internet) that will provide you with an ATM card that charges no fees and does not boost up the usual cirrus/plus fee of 1% above the interbank rates. Lots and lots of such banks exist. Many of them even rebate the fees US banks charge US ATM holders for using their machines....keep $1.01 in the account except just before you travel transfer (again easily done with most bill paying systems) your projected amount for the trip. Should you need more money from your main account, just find an internet cafe and transfer...when you get home transfer the money back and keep $1.01 in the account to keep it open. Simple, neat and fee saving. And it ain't brain surgery, that's for sure.
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 06:48 AM
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<<The point was I recommended Fodors-not what they do on their own-xxoo>>

A lot of Fodors threads are far "harsher" than this one. Did you not read through a few threads before recommending it to your student?

If your students are in America I think they read and heard far worse than this.
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 04:44 AM
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You get the best exchange rates at ATMs and I can confirm that there is an ATM in the Dublin airport. I am not sure about Shannon. However, you can't be positive what exchange rate you are getting until you get on a computer and can check your balance again.

If you prefer to exchange before you leave I have generally found the best exchange rates at Wells Faro www.foreignexchangeservices.com. Just be sure to use your ATM card, not a credit card, when ordering to avoid cash advance fees. The service requires you to be home the next day to receive and sign for the delivery but you are guaranteed delivery the next day (at least Monday to Friday, don't know about the weekends). I have used the service any number of times without issue.
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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And just to muddy the waters...

Not all ATMs (we call 'em "Cashpoints") are equal.

All the big retail banks are the same, but you will often see smaller units in corner shops and pubs and so on. These WILL charge you a fee - often as much as £2 per withdrawal on top of whatever your bank chooses to mug you off with.

They do have to tell you this before they hand out the folding so you can decline and look for a free one (never usually that far especially in popular areas).
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Old Sep 17th, 2009, 08:09 AM
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Does knowing that an audience has been exposed to "worse" really make it ok to abandon good manners?

floridapugmom, hope you're having wonderful fee-free travels.
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Old Oct 5th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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We're leaving for Greece on Friday. Athens, Santorini and Mykonos, with a Bank of America ATM card. I've read that most of you agree that ATM is the cheapest way to go. What about this euro debit card that you "pre-load." It's insured and functions as an account debit card. Any thoughts on this?
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 09:54 AM
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You guys are very rude....(well...some of you, need some home training!)

I AM going to exchange $1200 into euros before I go...the reason being is the EURO is at its all time low this year and when I travel in May (historically speaking) its value against the dollar goes up...so for me to exchange at my local bank at $1.39 and a $5 fee will be much less than me paying $1.58 in May...now who is daft?

Common sense folks.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 10:18 AM
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>>You guys are very rude....(well...some of you, need some home training!)

I AM going to exchange $1200 into euros before I go...the reason being is the EURO is at its all time low this year and when I travel in May (historically speaking) its value against the dollar goes up...so for me to exchange at my local bank at $1.39 and a $5 fee will be much less than me paying $1.58 in May...now who is daft?

Common sense folks.

--------------------

What on earth are you taking about? Why would the Euro spike in May??? If you really believe that, go buy some Euro futures or something.

The Euro is crumbling because of the PIIGS (Southern countries) debt issues. The value of the Euro will only fall further between now and May.

Who is daft...umm, probably you.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Historically speaking, $1.59 is been the all time high of the EUR.
It was about $1.56 last May.
In May 2007, it was about $1.34.
In May 2005 and 2006, it was about $1.27.
It was about $1.22 in May 2004.
$1.15 in 2003.

And going back to 2002, it was around $0.92.
In May 2001, it was $0.88.

Do you think your tourist needs for EUR are causing a seasonal spike in EUR??? It just doesn't exist.

The Euro bubble is bursting. In May, it will more likely be $1.20 than anywhere near $1.50.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 10:47 AM
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for Elizabeth, You need to read the fine print on the preloaded cards. Most have a LOT of fees. Fees to open, fees to add money, fees to close, etc. They are really only a good value for someone who doesn't want or can't get a regular ATM card associated with a bank account.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 07:29 PM
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Speaking about ATM availability in Ireland:

There is a Cash Point (ATM) in the Baggage Claim area of SNN. There are AT LEAST two more, in the Arrivals Hall, to the left of the Car Hire Desks, as you exit Customs and face the Exit Doors.

ATMs are few and far between on the Mizen Head, around Doolin, and Inis Mor (Arans)only has 1 or 2 that I know of. There appears to be NONE, in Glengarrif.

Beyond THAT, pretty much EVERY town of any size, typically has 2 or 3.

Bob
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 07:51 PM
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Suze: "<i>for Elizabeth, You need to read the fine print on the preloaded cards.</i>"

Elizabeth's trip was 6 months ago. ma23peas topped this old thread to post that silliness . . . .

ma23peas: "<i>You guys are very rude....(well...some of you, need some home training!)

I AM going to exchange $1200 into euros before I go...the reason being is the EURO is at its all time low this year and when I travel in May (historically speaking) its value against the dollar goes up...so for me to exchange at my local bank at $1.39 and a $5 fee will be much less than me paying $1.58 in May...now who is daft?

Common sense folks.</i>"

You topped a months old thread to post that? The €/$ does not spike based on month of the year or tourist season. Trust us here. If you want to waste a lot of money - go ahead an buy € at home. But don't advise others to do the same. Now - was that rude enough for you?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 01:05 PM
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"Historically speaking, $1.59 is been the all time high of the EUR.
It was about $1.56 last May.
In May 2007, it was about $1.34.
In May 2005 and 2006, it was about $1.27.
It was about $1.22 in May 2004.
$1.15 in 2003.

And going back to 2002, it was around $0.92.
In May 2001, it was $0.88."

<<now who is daft?>>
Hmm ... three guesses.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 02:02 PM
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As of September '07 there were no ATMs on Achill Island.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 03:05 PM
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"I AM going to exchange $1200 into euros before I go...the reason being is the EURO is at its all time low this year...so for me to exchange at my local bank at $1.39 and a $5 fee will be much less than me paying $1.58 in May"

So why don't you exchange $2,400 and sell half back in May to make a profit?

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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 11:47 AM
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OOOOHH! My first experience on Fodors and you all are so much fun! I love a tell like it is crowd.

Had to respond for ma23peas - (whom I think needs some economic training!) - the Euro is now 1.32. How is your $1,200 dollars doing now?

Let's see - holding the $5 constant you would've gotten about 860E in March and today you could get 905. Was the 'peace of mind' worth the 45 E/60USD?

Basic math mapeas.
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 11:55 AM
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Brighter people than me cannot make money on currency 'guesses' so I'll not try to pretend I know better. What I do know is that when you look at what a 5% or 10% swing in currency means, converted to a daily $ amount, it's usually peanuts, at most a bag of peanuts.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 05:59 AM
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May has arrived. Instead of the Euro at $1.58, it is at $1.305 EUR/USD. The 12 month forward curve has the Euro at $1.307, so you can even lock in rates for May 2011 at this level.

We'll see where it goes from here. Further deterioration of the Euro is highly likely. Flight to safety to USD will cap the Euro for some time. I would guess that is will drop lower than $1.30 and stay that way before summer gets here.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:52 AM
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I admit to being daft. Don't the banks in Europe give the best rate when I show up with USD for exchange?
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