Money changing

Aug 25th, 2003, 12:02 PM
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Money changing

We used to carry travelers' checks and a bit of cash. Is it worth getting any travelers' checks at all if we will be in Paris and London? From what I can tell, it seems to be just as easy to get local money at ATM's. Are ATMs conveniently located in airports? What about in the middle of the cities?

Thanks for the help.

ZazuToo is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 12:04 PM
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No, yes, yes.
Anonymous is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 12:09 PM
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London: electricity, paved streets, banks, and ATMs
Paris: electricity, dog poop on the paved streets, banks, and ATMs
Aug 25th, 2003, 02:03 PM
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You should have some sort of an alternative to ATMs for cash in case your card is eaten by an ATM, lost, stolen, or just ceases to function properly.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 02:13 PM
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If you have an American Expres card and a checkbook, in a worst case scenario you can go to an Amex office, write a check, they give you cash. But the ATM card should be the main method of procuring money.
allovereurope is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 03:06 PM
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On our recent trip to Europe, DH and I each brought along one ATM card (for same account), and each two credit cards (for same account).

We didn't carry all cards around with us during the day, but it gave us other options to funds in case cards were eaten or the magnetic strip didn't work, as Rufus stated.

This method also helps in case you have a card stolen, you can just cancel that account and still have another to work with.

Statia is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 03:12 PM
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I am bringing 2 of the same ATM card in case one breaks or has issues.
I will keep one in my money belt and one in hotel safe.
JandaO is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 03:18 PM
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Hi - One thing you might want to keep in mind is that some ATM's in Europe have only numbers or only letters on them. For example if your pin is 4567 you will also want to figure out what letters those number relate to incase you get an ATM with no numbers or vice versa.
I've always used ATM and Credit Cards and have never had a problem.
Chablis is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 03:19 PM
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I know people say that travelers checks are dinosaurs, but they are safe, and reliable. I carry some for use as a last resort.

Twice in 5 trips I was glad I had some. Once the ATM in the Zurich airport was out of order and I needed some Swiss currency; the other time was on Sept 12, 2001. I did not know what was going to happen! The airports were shut, flights diverted, and uncertainty ruled. Would the banking system be shut down next?? When would I be able to get home?

On that date, nobody knew!! We knew it would not be September 13!

So having some backup was comforting.

Some of my checks have been over to Europe and back twice, which is good!!

bob_brown is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 03:32 PM
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How are you able to obtain 2 ATM cards for a single account? I'm not talking about husband and wife joint accounts but rather just one person. Once my bank issues a new ATM card, the old one becomes void upon making your first transaction using the new card. I know because I just did this last month.
Patty is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 03:43 PM
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I think ATMs are the way to go wherever you go. If you have a couple of different accounts, it can give you some emotional security to carry a card for one accoutn and hide another (or have a traveling companion carry it). So much is possible today with the internet. Worst case scenario, you could always take a cash advance on a credit card, then transfer cash to pay it off immediately, thus incuring minimal cost. Forget about travelers checks -- you pay to buy them, you pay to cash them -- they are just tooo inconvenient.
KathyM is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 03:49 PM
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I called my bank and said I was traveling to Europe and that I wanted a back up card in case of malfunctions. They sent me a new one within 7-10 days. No problem.
JandaO is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 04:22 PM
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While I don't use them anymore..traveler's checks are a LOT cheaper than having to use your credit card for a cash advance in an losing your ATM or having it chewed up by a machine, I have a $100.00 one with my passport that must be at least 12 years old and it's still good!
jody is offline  
Aug 26th, 2003, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for all the information. We are off to London tomorrow!

ZazuToo is offline  

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