Oanda: pros and cons

Old Jul 14th, 2002, 07:12 AM
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Oanda: pros and cons

I'm considering purchasing euro and pounds from oanda (about $300 to $400 total) because convenience is important to me. Can someone tell me, without a great deal of your own inconvenience, just how dearly I'm going to pay for this? (And I'll soon be off to London, Frankfurt, and Paris.)

My sincere thanks,

Old Jul 14th, 2002, 07:36 AM
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Lucinda, before you make your final purchase, you will see what the service charge and FEDEX fee is. You would actually be better off going to an American Express Travel Office that sells foreign currency. If you have an AMEX card, then you won't have to pay the $5 service charge.
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 07:44 AM
Jim Rosenberg
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Luci, you can probably figure it out right off the site by comparing the straight exchange rate for large interbank transactions against the rate you see when you would go to purchase actual currency in the traveler services portion of the site. You can also find those rates by drilling in through CNNFN.com, markets, currencies.

It's important to know those rates because that is generally the rate you will get with a good card at an ATM, minus a 2% transaction fee and perhaps a fee to use a machine outside of your home bank's network.

The spreads via Oanda are not as bad for something like U.S. dollars to Euros as you would see for something like Brazilian Reals or Thai baht, but only you can decide whether the convenience is worth the cost. Sometimes, it is. Oanda is generally better than what you will find at many currency exchange booths at airports and street exchanges at your destination can be very poor, indeed.

If you're considering $400, you will note that by going to $500, you can save an $8 shipping charge, so that's a 1.6% savings right there (of course, it is more than offset on the negative side by taking that much at the exchange rate you're being offered, too.)

On the positive side, it IS very convenient, reliable and fast. It is competitive or better than many local banks. When I've used the service, I've usually done so with a transaction for multiple currencies and purely as a matter of convenience. If you plan to return to Europe, you may want to stash 100 Euros or so for your NEXT arrival, as many of us here do.

Happy Contrails!
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 07:51 AM
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Don't forget that every purchase from Oanda, if you use your credit card, is considered as cash advancemt
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 08:01 AM
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You are wasting your money purchasing euro & pounds ahead of time. The fees alone are costly, but maybe this is of no concern to you.

Take $100.00 cash on your trip for emergencies only and get pounds & euro at the ATM. They are right there at airports once you clear customs, and they are all over town, especially the ones you are visiting. You will get the best exchange rates, and most credit/debit card companies don't charge fees. If yours does, dump it and get one that doesn't -- there are plenty out there.
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 08:04 AM
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Wow! You guys are terrific! Thanks so much for your responses. Am I assuming correctly that the only way oanda can be paid is by charge card?

Many thanks again.

Old Jul 14th, 2002, 10:21 AM
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When I go to Paris I usually get $50 or $100 converted into Francs or Euros at the Detroit airport while I am waiting for my plane. You may want to check to see if there is a place to exchange currency at the airport you will be departing from. I am sure the exchange rate is not that great, but I do have the correct currency when I get to Paris. After that I use ATM's or try to put everything I can on my credit card.
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 10:34 AM
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If you don't mind losing $4 or $5 on each $100 and you don't mind the hassle of waiting to have Fed Ex deliver the money and don't worry about in your haste to get to the airport leaving the money home, it is not a terrible idea.

Myself, I find it far far far less of a hassle just to have $200 in my wallet just in case and to rely on the ATM's at the airport or if necessary after I get into town as the trains in London and Paris all take credit cards anyway. Much much less of a hassle and I don't feel like throwing away $30 or $40 when I don't have to.

But that's just my opinion.
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 10:43 AM
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One of my nearby Bank of americas has a foreign currency window..even the other branch that doesn't keep currency in stock will order it in for you . And there is no fee if you are a customer..others pay $5.00 or so.
saves waiting for Fedex and paying shipping fees..You may want to check with your bank
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 10:58 AM
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Have to be careful with those financial institutions that claim no fee....there is always a fee on exchanging foreign currency. Sometimes it is stated explicitly other times it is buried in the exchange rate. Just to give you an idea, today the Euro is trading at about 99 US cents to the Euro. ATM's will mark it up by 1% so if you made an ATM withdrawal in Euroland today, you would basically get 1 Euro for each US dollar. With most cash exchanges, you get 1 Euro for US $1.06. So if your bank quotes you $1.06 for each Euro, you are paying a 5% commission.....
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 11:30 AM
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I said there was no fee..I do realize there is a buy / sell price..I paid something like 0.985 for euro this past week with no additional fee at my bank of America
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 08:45 PM
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