HELP! Is my bank gouging me on Euros?

Apr 27th, 2006, 05:03 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
You know the world could come to an end.. I don't plan for it. I wonder how some people go on vacation.. so busy planning for the worst to occur.

IF ALL the ATMS are dead there will probably be an open exchange place I do carry some US $. Give it to them and get some cash back. It will cost you, but....
CarolA is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 05:08 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
grantop, if I took 500€ from an ATM today, it would cost me $621.59 for the currency and $1 for the transaction (although Schwab has announced that they may begin absorbing the $1).
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 05:27 AM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 883
Thanks Robespierre, I was curious as to how it would compare.
grantop is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 05:30 AM
  #44  
Neopolitan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
grantop and others, go to

www.xe.net/ict/

and click for today's rates. I have found that the rates shown there are EXACTLY what I always pay for my ATM transactions as well as the base rate on my credit card transactions (not counting the Visa 1% or anymore the bank may add as additonal foreign charge). You can change the date going back several years and compare with what you actually had posted on the same date and you will find they are the same.

That rate BofA quoted you yesterday at 1.3079 would have been 1.2458 at a European ATM yesterday. So even if you had been in Europe and DIDN'T use a partner bank ATM and if BofA DID charge you a $5 fee for using an ATM, you still would have come out about $25 ahead.
 
Apr 27th, 2006, 07:00 AM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,429
Robes...
Although I do use an ATM card on arrival I also have a stash of Dollars and a Mastercard so if the machine eats my card I do have other means to get by.
Would never go anywhere without back up.
MarthaT is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 07:49 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Yes, that's what I said I've been doing since ATMs became ubiquitous.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 08:03 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Oh, wait. You mean entrusting your plastic to the first ATM you meet? But you would have to subsist by other means for your entire trip if it eats your card.

Nope. I use CC to buy transport to town and only withdraw cash at a bank. I also travel with two debit cards - but even that won't work if I need cash NOW and there's a network problem, hence the cash.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 08:10 AM
  #48  
Neopolitan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Robespierre, what part of my post about making a collect call to the bank and receiving a replacement ATM card within 48 hours didn't you get?
 
Apr 27th, 2006, 09:51 AM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Neopolitan, what part of my post about Why risk a lot of hassle when the antidote is so simple? didn't you get?
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 05:00 PM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
You need to know what time your bank is offline for their overnight processing. Your transaction will not be approved if your bank is offline at that time.

I'm with those who lands with sufficient foreign currency to get me from the airport to the hotel, grab a bottle of water, cup of coffee...

Before leaving, I make sure I have enough for the next trip (and don't fret over whether the exchange rate will go up or down).

The one time I didn't land with currency was at Heathrow. For sure, there were three ATM's conveniently located, but one was out of order and the other two had very long lines (no one line for the both?). The lines moved very slowly because so many folks were trying one card after another.

Also, I had my bank issue an ATM only card in addition to my debit card (for a variety of reasons).
djkbooks is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 05:29 PM
  #51  
Neopolitan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Robespierre, you misunderstand me. I take those precautions too. My statement was based on your statement that is simply NOT true -- not a matter of difference of opinons -- but simply NOT true.

"But you would have to subsist by other means for your entire trip if it eats your card." Do you not understand why this is a totally absurd statement given that you can easily get a replacement card within 48 hours if the worst should happen?
 
Apr 27th, 2006, 06:50 PM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
I don't think there are any large disagreements although Robes' presentation of the things that could go wrong are a little paranoid...they've never happened in all my travels but he and others are quite correct, there has to be a backup. Lots of backups are easy too.

One is to bring like $200 in nice crisp your currency be it CAD, AUD or USD in $20 bank notes so that if the ATM is down you can saunter over to the currency exchange and suffer the small loss for changing cash that is if it is even necessary...most public transports from the airport into town take credit cards anyway...the London Underground takes cc for fares (and there are very unbusy ATM's on the walklway from Terminal 3 to the central underground staton), the Heathrow Express takes credit cards, the RER into Paris takes credit cards so no big deal there if you don't have local currency....get a cup of coffee at the airport, most of the shops at Heathrow take USD, CAD and AUD as well as euro and GBP if you don't have local currency.....if a card gets swallowed, even at a bank, in many instances the bank will refuse to return it and I have read complaints to that regard, you can take 2 ATM cards for the main account or have several different ATM cards for different acccounts jjust in case...if worst comes to worst, in an emergency you can walk into a bank office and make a credit card cash advance..while fees are moderately high and interest on an annual basis is high, for a couple of weeks it will not break the bank, you can carry an Amex card, go to an Amex office and cash a personal check, yada yada yada.

So there is really no serious disagreements...you shouldn't rely on just one card because things happen but things don't happen all that often and in all my travels to Europe, I have never had difficulty in the slightest finding a working ATM and just don't think it is necessary to waste pre trip planning to get local currency but if that makes you happy, it's your right to throw away money for "ease of mind."
xyz123 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 07:55 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
<<So there is really no serious disagreements...you shouldn't rely on just one card because things happen but things don't happen all that often and in all my travels to Europe, I have never had difficulty in the slightest finding a working ATM and just don't think it is necessary to waste pre trip planning to get local currency but if that makes you happy, it's your right to throw away money for "ease of mind.">>

Obviously, you've been quite lucky. (Very, very, lucky considering your travels...) For those of us who've arrived at an airport where the ATM was out of order, or the line was miserably long (and you're quite exhausted and bleary after an overnight flight), or once we attempted to withdraw cash it was not successful, well, we've learned to be prepared for contingencies...

I, for one, do not believe acquiring an adequate amount of foreign currency (despite the less than favorable exchange rate and fees, if any) for having on hand upon landing, "throwing money away". For me, anyway, the "extra" (and you can "shop" to minimuze that) is well worth the convenience and not having to worry about local currency upon arrival.

Not everyone is as knowledgeable or astute as you are xyz123 (and, obviously, after much experience)...or as lucky.

On our first trip (some years ago) to Paris, for example, our bank had been "bought out" and we were issued brand new (to us) debit/ATM cards a week or two ahead of our trip, with the assurance that they could be used "world wide" for ATM withdrawals and purchases. Meanwhile, everyone was advising "don't bother with travelers checks". Neither of our cards (and we have separate accounts) "worked" in Paris throughout our stay. So, we could not have been more grateful to have brought plenty of AmExp travellers checks along in the foreign currency (through AAA with no fee and a fairly decent exchange rate). We were able to cash these at the front desk of the hotel.

djkbooks is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:49 PM.