money exchange

Old Mar 27th, 2007, 05:08 PM
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money exchange

I'm heading to Rome in about 10 days. I have traveled outside the country in over 20 years. What can you recommend about currency exchange? Do it in the US? In Rome? Help!
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 05:10 PM
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Take your ATM card and withdraw from a bank in Rome (or at the airport when you arrive).
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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suze is absolutely correct.

Just to add one thing, currency exchange in the U.S. is what I would call rip-off city.
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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There is no need for any currency exchange. charge as much s possible on your credit cards. Pull walking around money from ATMS (those in banks are best, no fees, as you sometimes find with commercial ATMS, and better security).

If you really want some euros before you go simply change $50 or $100 at the bureau de change at your departure airport. The rate you get will be awful - but for so little money it won;t really matter.
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 06:42 PM
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Call the customer service departments at your bank and credit card companies and tell them when you'll be in Europe. This will prevent some computer from freezing a card for what it thinks is unauthorized use. Find out what the daily withdrawal limit is on your ATM card. You may wish to increase it.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 06:18 AM
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ttt
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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Yes I agree notify your bank just before you depart that you will be using your credit card. Horror of all horrors, you have no money and your credit card is rejected because you attempt to pay a hotel bill of Eur 900!!
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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... and check with your bank their fees for ATM withdrawals in Italy. May be a flat fee or a percentage; also if there's a conversion fee. If lots of fees, consider taking as much as the daily allowance when you withdraw Euro.

And, most definitely advise your bank that you will be out of country, for ATM and credit cards.
 
Old Apr 1st, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Make sure you have a 4 number pin code on your ATM card. Won't work in Europe otherwise.
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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 09:48 AM
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Also, I was told that 4 number pin can't begin with zero.
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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 09:54 AM
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Mine begins with a zero and I've never had a problem with it anywhere in Europe or anywhere else.
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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 09:57 AM
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I took four cards on a 3 month stay in Thailand and was unable to use 2 of them, despite telling the card companies that I was doing so. They wanted me to phone them and because of abysmal phone lines I could not do so. Rome will of course be better but take the relevant phone numbers with you.

Cards often charge per transaction and more for a foreign exchange transaction. Get as much money as possible each time so you have to pay as few transactions as possible.
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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 11:06 AM
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bookmarking - thanks everyone.
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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 11:10 AM
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there's a lot to be said for using a credit card for almost everything. if you are uncomfortable with the money, you avoid mistakes of paying too much or messing up getting your change. unlike in the us, most european stores have no mimimums and don't flinch a muscle if you charge a 3 euro bottle of water.
get what you need for non-chargeables, but charge everything you can.
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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Check with your financial institution about the rates charged.

My bank does not charge me for ATM withdrawals. My Bank of America credit card has a 1% fee by Visa and a 3% fee by Bank of America.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:35 AM
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if you're doing much european travel, it's worth it to get a capital one credit card which will say you up to 3% on all your charges compared to many other cards. bankofamerica charges a total of 4% now? that's a new one. but they keep going up.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Do not forget to call your "bank" to let them know you'll be using the ATM and CC overseas and pay attention to the dreaded DCC - merchants charging your cc in USDs at a most unfavorable rate - accept the charge in local currency only.
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