On obtaining Euros - need clarification

Mar 21st, 2007, 02:02 PM
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On obtaining Euros - need clarification

I would like to have some euros when I arrive in Paris, if it is a reasonable thing to do. I can apparently get some delivered to me by my bank at no charge before I leave, but I will need to pay a rate of about 1.4103000 (or so I am told). If I wait to get the money from the ATM in Europe, won't I be paying a similar rate to my bank then? Please help me understand this.
likeswords is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:05 PM
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The 1.41 rate is the rate to buy Euro in the US.

The banking rate you'd get at an ATM in Europe is 1.33-1.34.
J62 is online now  
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:17 PM
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If you buy 300E in the U.S. for 1.41 it will cost you $423.

In Paris if you use your ATM the rate will be (as J62) said about 1.33 - 1.34 so the total will be about $402 and even if your bank charges a per ATM transaction fee of $5 you will still save money buying your Euros in Paris.

If you will be more comfortable having some Euros on you when you arrive then get some in the US but don't buy a bunch.
ribeyefan is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:20 PM
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Prime today alone is 1.34. Who knows if your trip is a ways off you might make money!!!!
TravMimi is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Get a map of the the airport you're arriving at. They're pretty easy to find. Try something like cdg terminal map for your search....

You won't have to leave the airport to get all the euros your heart desires, within the limits of your bank agreement.

Try http://www.oanda.com/ to see the daily rate for euros, pesos, etc....
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:24 PM
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What I think you may not understand is that when you are getting them from an ATM in Paris, it isn't according to your bank's rate that they are quoting you at home for that service. I think it is really an international rate set by the general network that operates a lot of the ATMs (I think there are two -- one owned by VISA and one by someone else, not sure).

An ATM in France isn't giving you some personal rate defined by your bank at home, that's the difference. The rate is general, and your bank then takes out of your account at home that rate and then maybe some other fee they decide upon for you doing that.

But that's a different issue from the exchange rate. Banks usually want to make a considerable profit on giving foreign currency to people at home, so that's why they make you pay 1.41 at home, so they can make a profit of about 6%. That's a pretty common markup in the US for banks, AAA etc to do that.
Christina is online now  
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:28 PM
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TravMimi has a good point.

If I were going to Europe today and planning on getting my euros from an ATM or arrival, they would cost me more than if I had gotten some a month or two ago via my bank which charges a horrible rate. On the other hand if I got some from my bank today for a trip 2 months away, who knows? The ATM ones could cost me more or could cost me less.
The bottom line? Do you feel it's worth $10 or so to feel secure in having some in your hands on arrival? Then do it.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 03:56 PM
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The last time we flew into Paris from London on BA, Nov. 10, 2004, we tried 3, yes 3, ATMs in different areas of the terminal before we could get Euros. We needed enough for the bus to Montparnasse and they take only cash.

Get enough Euros from your bank or departing airport to feel comfortable and damn the minor cost.
jsmith is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 03:57 PM
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Bravo jsmith
TravMimi is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:06 PM
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Sure that may happen - but if it does you step 8 paces to the right to the Bureau de Change and give them $100 cash and they give you about €75 - and voila! you have cash . . . .

So don't stress it either way. get a few before you leave -- or don't. Either way you will be fine.
janisj is online now  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:59 PM
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The simplest and cheapest thing to do is to change about $100 into euros at the bureau de change in your departure airport. This will cost no more - and possibly less - and be easier than all the to and fro with a bank.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 05:17 PM
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I've landed in Paris when the ATM machines were all down for the count and too early for exchange bureaus to be open.

I've landed in Paris on a Sunday morning when that electronic disconnect between their banks and mine is in effect - and no cash and no exchange bureau open.

I've landed in Heathrow when no ATM was working and it was too early for the exchange bureaus to be open.

I've landed in Rome when the lines at the ATM machine were a mile long and bureau de change had no dollars.

OK, I've landed in Europe well over 100 times, and the times mentioned above were a very small percentage of those times, but still...it has alays made sense to me to land in Europe with cash on hand. I now always keep some from a previous trip so I don't have to deal with ATMs or anything else, but not so frequent travelers don't have that luxury. So what if you pay $10 or $20 for the peace of mind of landing with cash in your pocket? Compared to the price of a European vacation, it's cacaouettes!
StCirq is online now  
Mar 21st, 2007, 05:31 PM
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I always like to have a few dollars worth of the local currency when I land.

After a long flight, probably with no sleep, the last thing I want to do is buy coffee money.

$100 in euros will cost you about $5 more in the US. When you add all the the trip will cost you, that $5 isn't very significant.
Jimjim is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 05:32 PM
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I agree with St Cirq and others----this initial amount of money isn't about the exchange rate, it's about a little peace of mind. And yes, we've done it both ways and I know there truly are many ATMs in major and not so major airports.

But if you're planning a trip which in the end will cost you several thousand US dollars (or the equivalent in any currency) to quibble over a bad exchange rate from a local bank seems to me to be a little silly. Get 100 euros and be done with it!!
MaggieOB is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 05:46 PM
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I agree with the above posts -- get a 100 Euros before you leave just for the peace of mind you'll have when you land.

If you plan to travel to Europe in the future, stop at an ATM before you return from this trip and take out at least 100 Euros so you'll have it for your next trip.
MKE is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:58 AM
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Hi L,

I change about $100 into Euro at the departure airport.

Costs about $3 more than doing it in Europe.

ira is offline  

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