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"Just get cash when you get off the plane"

"Just get cash when you get off the plane"

Old Oct 29th, 2015, 04:46 AM
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"Just get cash when you get off the plane"

A bit of a rant...

While Googling for ATMs at Madrid airport, I found this article from December. I think all of us have run into those damn Travelex machines so conveniently placed at airports, but I wasn't aware that is is basically impossible to find other ATMs these days...thanks to the big banks.

Yes, I know this is minor in the scheme of things, and I can use a card, or go into town, etc. But we're always telling newbies to "just get cash when you get off the plane".
Apparently, it doesn't matter anymore.

http://www.smartertravel.com/blogs/t...ml?id=21194088
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 04:52 AM
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I can see how it can catch a newbie off guard but anyone who has dealt with Travelex before and sees an ATM right by the Travelex booth and warning bells don't go off, well, I have no sympathy.

No, that being said, it's probably worth the hit to grab enough cash from those infernal machines to get somewhere that DOES have proper bank ATMs.

We should all also adding a notice in our posts about Travelex ATMs when we school newbies on money and arriving at the airport.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 05:22 AM
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They didn't look very hard at Schiphol. ABN Amro still have a presence there and ATMs.
I think Albert Heijn also has an ATM one you get through passport control, though I could be mistaken on that.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 06:15 AM
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I don't like to use ATMs at the airport, not even those belonging to a bank. When I'm tired and laden with luggage, it's not the best time to be withdrawing money in a public place. I always get a little local cash, just enough to get me to the hotel, from my home bank. From then on I use ATMs.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 06:25 AM
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As long as one doesn't fall for the DCC option on the machine it doesn't matter at all if it is owned by Travelex, Barclays, or any other bank. The exchange rate will be determined by your own bank.

But IF you do opt to have the withdrawal calculated in US$ or whatever -- then yes, you will pay an inflated cost.

So just be sure to ALWAYS pick the local currency - then everything is the same as before . . . .
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 06:41 AM
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I recently had a connection at CDG and was hoping to use the opportunity to get some euros at an ATM while in transit. All I could find in the secured area side of terminal 2E and 2F were those infamous Travelex machines ... No bank ATMs whatsoever, grrrrrrr. (I would hope bank ATMs are still present in the non-secured areas, its been a while since I last had such opportunity)

I therefore waited until I got to my final destination to withdraw euros.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 06:42 AM
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I never advise to get money at the airport. We always try to start with about the equivalency of $200. I just went to get through customs and get to the hotel. For some reason people spend $1,000's on the trip but but get exercised over an extra $4 difference of getting a few bucks back home.

If you are in Manhattan, there is a place that has great rates. No joke, it is a plexiglass booth in the middle of tchotchke shop just south of Penn Station. The guys are quite amiable. Best rates we know.

http://www.asforeignexchange.com/


There is also a wonderful apocryphal story about Harold Reuters which now part of bigger company. It seems Harold used to have a newsstand in Times Square and he would exchange foreign currency for American dollars for the hookers in the area. And that is how he grew his business.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 06:48 AM
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>>All I could find in the secured area side of terminal 2E and 2F were those infamous Travelex machines ... No bank ATMs whatsoever, grrrrrrr.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 06:52 AM
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The article is really poor. Consider this: " But what you do pay is a really bad exchange rate—it looked to me that you'd lose about 10 to 11 percent, the same as you lose at the retail exchange counter."

That means you need to have a conversion at the ATM, not a withdrawal. Therefore the article is misleading. If you withdraw in local wampum, you get the real rate plus whatever fees your card charges, if you opt for an equivalent DCC conversion, you get effed. These options were available to us in Australia and we didn't get screwed. Why? Because we can read.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 06:53 AM
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Never at an airport for us either. We bring enough (like IMD about $200 worth of euros) for taxi fare and any emergency like if Tracy has to bail me out of a Spanish prison. The last thing I want to do after landing is try to find money.

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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 06:57 AM
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Janisj mentioned DCC or Dynamic Currency Conversion. We were in France, Belgium and the Netherlands this past summer. I was asked on several occasions if I'd like to use DCC when using a credit card.

For those who may not know, it's an option to pay your bill with a credit card in your home currency. At first blush it sounds like a good offer... you get to know the exact amount that will show up on your statement when you get home. But you'd be wrong about that. The merchant can do an exchange rate of their own choosing, not the good rate you always get with major credit cards. So you will end up paying quite a bit more. Maybe a LOT more.

On 2 occasions I was offered DCC when checking out of hotels, a Best Western in Paris and an NH in Bruges. Both times I thanked the clerk for the offer then explained that they were essentially offering to rip me off. Both were surprised... they had been told by management offering it was a courtesy to customers. The same applied in a couple of restaurants where DCC was offered.

So heads up... check the bill that you're not paying by DCC and say no when it's offered!
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 07:13 AM
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We just had a really odd incident wit the ATM at the Copenhagen airport. We requested 2000 DKK, and it spit out 2000. However, that night when we went to pay for dinner, the restaurant would not accept the money as it was not Danish. HUH??? Turns out the atm gave us 500 DKK, but also 1500 ISK (Icelandic currency). That 1500 ISK was worth a whopping $12, so very different than what the 1500 DKK would have been. When we got home I called our bank and they credited my account back for the difference. I am wondering though, how many other travelers received the wrong currency?
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 07:15 AM
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I have used a Travelex ATM at CDG without DCC. It "can" be done without DCC, but I have posted many times before, the display windows are deceptively constructed. The button to avoid DCC is written in gobbledygook that does not give you a sense that you have to push that button. It was one of the earlier page I had to go through, so if you realized something went wrong when the last page finally coughs out an outrageous rate, you have to back track many pages. On top of that, the button was dimly lit compared to the brightly lit DCC button, so you don't even realize it is something you can push. And finally, the non-DCC button was physically smaller than the DCC. You have to be a super video game player to find this hidden non-DCC button.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 07:20 AM
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"But we're always telling newbies to "just get cash when you get off the plane"."

You'll never hear that bad advice from me.

Every airline is telling its passengers to "carry-on" all electronics. They don't want the insurance claims. The reimbursement value of your lost or stolen checked bags has diminished. My backpack can weigh up to 35 lbs, if I'm on an American carrier.

The last thing I ever want to do in any airport is search for an ATM while carrying my luggage, any luggage, in tow. If you're the type who carries no luggage, then fine, you can walk to the ends of the earth to find your ATM.

I travel to the Eurozone so often, keeping a bank of 200€ at home has always made perfect sense to me. Typically, I don't visit an ATM until day 2 or 3, after I'm well rested and ready to deal with more cash in the moneybelt.

IMO, no matter what you pay to purchase 100-200 Euros before you depart, the convenience of having Euro in your purse far outweighs the potential for obstacles.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 08:08 AM
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I don't have any trouble getting cash from an ATM while I'm at the airport with a few bags. I've done it on almost every trip. I think that in 2013, when I landed in Paris, I had 10 euros on me from the last trip and used my chip-and-PIN credit card to buy a RER ticket into town, so I didn't get cash until I got into town, but usually I get cash at the airport from the ATM.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 08:21 AM
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We always have pounds or euro in our possession when arriving. Have learned the hard way. We bring enough home now and stash away for next trip. AAA sells trip pacs.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 08:23 AM
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There is a lot of superstition and fear in this thread, IMO. As janisj has patiently repeated, you can use the dreaded Travelex machine to *withdraw* money; and if you are clever enough to avoid DCC, which you should be, the rate will be the same as at a bank ATM. No need to hike all over the airport.

If you prefer to get some local currency--or wampum, lol--at home, that's fine, but using an ATM at the airport isn't difficult.

Lastly, as IMD says, have a bit of perspective. Don't spend even a second of your European vacation stressing over $5. Avoid DCC, don't exchange your home currency but rather do withdrawals, and carry on.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 08:27 AM
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"We should all also adding a notice in our posts about Travelex ATMs when we school newbies on money and arriving at the airport."

Who is we? Is this a team, or club? Or cult?
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 09:54 AM
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We as in those in the Fodors community that reaply to threads and think this kind of information would be helpful. I'll try to be more precise in my wording in the future.
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Old Oct 29th, 2015, 10:10 AM
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I thought wampum was some sort of North American money.

Good discusion and worth mentioning.

I'm in the Cult.
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