Money changing in Italy

Mar 21st, 2007, 01:54 PM
  #1  
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Money changing in Italy

I've read that you can find banks ( Commerce is one) that will change money in Italy at ATMs for no fee. I think it has to do with the countries that they have agreements with. Bank of America charges $5. Does anyone know of other banks ( I live in Boston) that will let you use ATMs for free or less than $5.00? Also, is 2% the least interest one is charged for using a charge card outside the US? My AMEX person said it is. THANKS.
debwhite is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 01:57 PM
  #2  
J62
 
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There's a very recent thread on this same topic.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34962193
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Mar 21st, 2007, 01:59 PM
  #3  
 
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Your AMEX person is wrong. Capital One charges 0.
The real issue on the ATMs is now what rate they charge for conversion. Most now do 1%, but like credit cards it seem many are making it 3%. That may be in addition to the fees.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:57 PM
  #4  
 
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NeoPatrick is correct. The problem is that you can't get a straight answer out of either AMEX or your bank, and it may depend if your bank has offices in that country. I've gotten the best rates and the worst rates from Citibank; depending on the country I was exchanging in.

One just has to assume that whatever you have, is what you're going to get. This is just part of the expense of your trip.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Well, I did get a specific answer from Bank of America when I messaged them to find out if they are now charging 3% for ATM withdrawals as reported a couple of times. Here is the message I got back today -- clearly they are NOT --- the 3% fee is only on purchases -- not ATM withdrawals:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
"Thank you for your inquiry dated 3/18/07 regarding the fees. Your
concerns are very important to us and we will be happy to assist you.

Please note that the International Transaction Fee of 3% will be charged
for each purchase made with a Bank of America Check Card in a foreign
country. The fee will appear as a separate transaction posted on the
same date as the purchase transaction.

Also note that the the International Transaction Fee of 1% will be
charged for each cash withdrawal made with a Bank of America Check Card
in a foreign country. The fee will appear as a separate transaction
posted on the same date as the purchase transaction.

Kindly note, International ATM fee is $5. This fee is assessed for each
withdrawal, transfer or balance inquiry performed at a non-Bank of
America ATM or non-Global ATM Alliance bank located in a foreign
country.

Customers receive an additional 3% Foreign Currency Conversion
Adjustment for Check Card point-of-sale purchases made in a currency
other than U.S. dollars. The fee is assessed to help recover costs of
processing the currency exchange for Check Card purchases. The 3%
Foreign Currency Conversion Adjustment is applied to the converted U.S.
dollar purchase amount and is posted to your account on the same date as
the purchase transaction."
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 07:58 AM
  #6  
 
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NeoPatrick,
Notice it says Check Card, not Credit Card. They appear to be referring to a debit card with a Visa logo that immediately withdraws money from your account.

And in reference to your earlier post...I second the info about Capital One. My son used his Capital One MC in Spain last year and each transaction was recorded at the daily exchange rate with no other charges or fees.

Deb15July is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 09:04 AM
  #7  
 
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Ask your local credit union about its policy. We use ours for a travel account because we have only a 1% charge on credit purchases and no charges on foreign ATM withdrawals.
Michael is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #8  
 
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Deb15July -- yes, of course. This entire email was about ATM/debit cards which they also call check cards. It had nothing to do with credit cards at all.
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 02:18 PM
  #9  
 
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NP,
Apologies...I've been reading so many posts lately along the lines of this topic that I didn't catch that it had nothing to do with credit cards.

With that said...I plan to take my credit union ATM card and my daughter will also bring one from the same CU but on a different account. Plan to have a couple of credit cards too.
Deb15July is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 02:41 PM
  #10  
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Lots of help here, thanks. I know that banks have different charges for different countries,ie their Spain or England charges may be different than their Italy charges. But I will double check with BOA and not just go by the one guy I spoke with. He neglected to mention the extra 1% on each withdrawal. And as for AMEX, why am I not surprised that they said they have the lowest rate, but they don't?
debwhite is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 02:56 PM
  #11  
 
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debwhite, if I'm understanding you correctly, there is no further checking needed. BofA will charge the same 1% plus the same $5 fee from non-partner banks for ANY foreign ATM withdrawal, regardless of what country it takes place in. That is made clear in the email I received.
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 04:21 PM
  #12  
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Thanks, Neopatrick. I am also checking on opening a Commerce Bank account so I don't even have to pay the $5 plus 1%. That would be a lot of money if we want to pay our hotel bills in cash to save money!
I will also see about a Capital one charge account. Seems well worth it. What would I do without this forum?
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