How to Pay in Italy????

Old Apr 19th, 2007, 08:57 AM
  #41  
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Posters to this board have told horror stories of using ATMs in a convenience store and being charged $20+ in fees. That's why I always use ATMs belonging to a bank.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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"There are commercial ATMs in Europe just like there are in the US. You sometimes see them at stores or other public places"

Really? Then I just have never come across one, not in a single country. Sure, I have taken money out of a store wall but they have always been bank ATMs. They are just placed in places where people reach them conviniently.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 09:06 AM
  #43  
 
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elina - you are simply mistaken. There ARE commercial non-bank cash machines in lots of places. But as long as you only use ATMs affiliated w/ normal banks it isn't a problem.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 03:30 PM
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RE: ATMs not attached to a banking organization.

Here in NY you see these in every other deli/convenience store. I think the highest added charge I've seen is $2 - extra-annoying since usually when you duck in there needed a small amount. But when I heard a news report saying that "information theft" from coded card data is more prevalent from those machines, I had another reason to avoid them except in emergency.

I have to say I don't know anything more about that problem, if it's been fixed, etc ... I do see more and more of the independent machines, though. Like "owner-operated" pay phones of old, I assume they don't come with the same safeguards as the "financial corporation" cash machines.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 03:43 AM
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The bank I work for sold off most of its non-branch based ATMs to one of these rip-off companies who now charge £1.75 per withdrawal. The highest fee I've seen in the UK is £3.50.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 04:00 AM
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And I may be misaken but those non-bank affiliated ATMs may have a misleading name like "Banc-o-mat" or something, just so you might think they are owned by a bank.
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Old Sep 13th, 2007, 05:35 AM
  #47  
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I was looking for a forum to share this information. My suggestion is that one should NEVER take Euro traveller's checks to Italy .. don't know about other countries. Two years ago I purchased Euro travellers checks from Amex here in the USA .. of course paying their exchage rate which is not competitive. In Italy everyone including banks wanted commission to cash the checks and the merchants will not accept the checks. Finally, in Florence, I was able to find an Amex office that cashed it for me .. very inconvenient.

On this upcoming trip I had about 1000 Euros in travellers checks left so I decided that I will cash it here at the same Amex office where I purchased it so I will not have to go through the same experience. I called them and they said they will exchange my Eudo TC that they sold to me into US dollars first (thereby earning more commission for themselves) and then convert it back to Euros ( Triple dipping by this time ) .. what a rip off! I have been an Amex cardholder since 1969 and I have lost all respect for that company.

So, I will have to find an Amex office in Italy and go through the same exercise as the last time. I will never buy a TC from Amex.
 
Old Sep 13th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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ronpark, your experience echoes mine. The last time I carried TCs (AMEX) was years ago. I had some in US dollars for "emergencies". On the day before we were to return home, I decided I'd cash a $100 one at Geneva's AMEX office, so we'd have some American cash when we arrived home the next day. They'd cash the $100 one into Swiss francs at an outrageous rate, then convert those to US dollars at another outrageous rate. The bottom line was that I would get 60 some dollars for my $100 TC! Never again!
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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 07:03 AM
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And truthfully, 99% of merchants are set up to accept credit cards, but most find traveler's checks annoying. (Check issuers may cover the buyer in case of theft, but not the merchant who accepts a stolen check - not without a lot of hassle, anyway.)

You get a pretty good sense of the fate of TCs by the disappearance of advertising for them.
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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 05:05 PM
  #50  
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But AmEx traveler's checks are EXACTLY the same as cash....

AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

Those friggin' AmEx TC commercials did a good job of convincing everyone, didn't they? I cannot tell you how many people I've talked to, even in recent years, who still believe you can walk into any store or business in the world and pay with a TC. Of course this belief is based entirely on AmEx's marketing and not direct experience. Tomossocroccante now that you mention it, I haven't seen a commcercial for AMEX TCs in a very long time. But it will take time for the "TC's are cash" myth to completely disappear.
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