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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 Jul 29th, 2015, 01:42 PM
  #121  
 
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Hi everyone!!

i will be traveling to Italy in 2 weeks from today.. I've been reading all the comments and recommendations but still having trouble finding the best place to exchange USD to Euros; should I exchange in my local bank (BOA), wait till I arrive at airport in Italy, or use the ATM in Italy during my trip??

XOXO
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 02:11 PM
  #122  
 
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Welcome to Fodors Ariadna. >>I've been reading all the comments and recommendations but still having trouble finding the best place to exchange USD to Euros; anywhere except for maybe just a few if you simply must to feel comfortable.

And since you should only exchange a few -- it really doesn't matter where you do it. The easiest is at either your departure or arrival airport.

Using your ATM card is almost always the best way to get € . . .
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 09:20 AM
  #123  
 
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Janisj- thanks for the tip! I'll keep that in mind.. but once I get to Rome, it's my biggest concern since it's my first time; would you recommend using ATM, Euros,or Debit card??

Thanks
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 10:33 AM
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OK -- for this discussion 'Debit' and 'ATM' cards are the same thing. Use your debit/ATM card at cash machines (ATMs) in Rome. They will issue € currency. (Your own bank will deduct the equivalent amount in $ from your checking account.)

So then you'll have € cash to use wherever. You can also use your Visa/MasterCard/Amex to charge purchases anywhere -- just never use a credit card to get cash out of a machine.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 12:13 PM
  #125  
 
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>

I order currency in advance from Bank of America (and pay a small fee for the service). Then I use my debit card at an ATM to get more local currency as needed on the trip.

You can use an ATM at an airport but don't use the currency exchange places, as they typically have bad rates.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 01:04 PM
  #126  
 
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>>You can use an ATM at an airport but don't use the currency exchange places, as they typically have bad rates.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 01:10 PM
  #127  
 
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Not my experience, janisj.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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Much worse, in my experience.

I like to have a little local currency on hand when I arrive somewhere, because I don't want to have to juggle luggage to use an ATM at the airport (which may also have awful exchange rates, by the way, because many of them are actually operated by currency exchange companies).

I live in a rural area in Italy and can easily get US$ or British£ at a local bank,at a very reasonable exchange rate. I know that banks in the US are less likely to carry foreign currency, but in a large city it shouldn't be a problem. I used to be able to get foreign currency at a bank in Princeton NJ, although a few days' advance notice was required.

Using a bank card or debit card at an ATM is definitely the best way to get cash, not only because the exchange rate is the best, but also because you can withdraw as needed rather than carrying around a lot of money.

Use credit cards for purchases wherever possible.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 04:01 PM
  #129  
 
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>

I would only use actual BANK ATM (at an airport or elsewhere).
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