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Today's Euro Exchange Rate at Local Bank...Pas Mal!

Today's Euro Exchange Rate at Local Bank...Pas Mal!

Old Jun 30th, 2014, 08:27 AM
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Today's Euro Exchange Rate at Local Bank...Pas Mal!

just back from Chase, my bank, and the bloke next to me asks for $300 worth of euros - so peeked my interest as to what the bank was paying vs what he'd get if he waited to use ATMs in Europe (at any airport)... feeling smug about being in the know about what a waste of money this guy would be doing...

Voila - today's rate at Chase was $1.44 to the $, which did not sound so bad to me after all - now I see Bloomberg says right now official rate is $1.37 to the dollar - figuring that is the official rate which no one ever gets - banks make money by buying and selling - profiting from the difference - so I figure $1.39

so the guy is losing 5 cents on each buck he exchanges or $15 all told.

and to me for peace of mind to have some euros to get started - for cab ride in from airport, etc. and not have to ferret out airport bank ATMs that sounds like a good deal.

Of course changing much more would be foolish but for a starter kit of money not as bad a deal as I thought. Bank had no service charge or fees apparently.

Anyone know what the current rate at ATMs in Europe are - perhaps my $1.39 figure is too high? Plus you have to factor in the $5 flat fee most banks charge for using ATMs hooked to your checking account in Europe.

Seems not a bad deal at all.

Anything I am missing?
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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You're not missing anything (not this time, anyway - hehe). My bank does not charge the $5 fee per transaction and a 1% foreign transaction fee. But...that $15 would be important to me as I'm on a budget.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 08:35 AM
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But for someone who perhaps has never been to Europe the peace and mind would be priceless and only cost $15 in this case - maybe less if they pay ATM fees - maybe only $10.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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I too like to arrive with about the equivalency of about $200 in whatever the local currency.

The best exchange rate in Manhattan is this guy who lives in a plexiglass cage inside a gift shop. No kidding. He is two blocks from Penn Station.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 08:43 AM
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As counterfeiting of 20 euro notes is rampant be careful of who is exchanging those for you. Chase I would trust... a guy who live sin a plexiglass cage... not so sure.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 08:46 AM
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So far, so good with the guy in the plexiglass cage. I did not ask if he lives in sin. He has been there for many years.

Yeah a banks like Chase, BOA, and HSNBC only engage in criminal activities when it involves billions.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 08:57 AM
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$15 is certainly not make or break in my budget, either, and I don't think that's terrible if you want piece of mind and have some money on you. I'm satisfied with using ATMs when I arrive in non-Euro countries, and I always have some from my last trip now.

A lot of banks charge a lot more than a 5 pct markup, though (1.44/1.37=1.05), so that's not too bad for a bank. I think mine charges 7 pct as do a lot in the US I've heard about. However, it isn't clear you know what that guy really paid -- some places have an exchange rate but also charge a flat fee on top of that to exchange currency in the US. Travelex online charges 11 pct actually in the US.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 09:14 AM
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Another thing to consider is that withdrawing money at an ATM should get you to official interbank rate (at least in my experience). So you might well get the official $1.37 rate at an ATM.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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We just made another euro deposit on the villa in France for next year.

BoA charged us just under 1.42 at 1.416 per euro last Friday and a $35 dollar service charge for this bank transfer.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 01:47 PM
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Thank you PalenQ. My Amex just went fee-free on foreign transactions, so I expect to use it much more on my next trip, but I don't have and don't want an ATM card. I've always exchanged and carried a thousand euros or so before going to Europe at a very competitive rate and have never had any problem.

Everyone is always like, "Oh no you didn't. You paid five dollars apiece!" They just refuse to understand that many American banks sell euros for a five percent mark-up. A few years ago it was a four percent mark-up. For people who don't have a no-fee ATM card, getting the euros up front can actually be cheaper than paying the ATM fee plus the foreign transaction fee.

I realize that many people don't like to carry cash. Cash doesn't bother me. Having my ATM card eaten bothers me. Having to waste my valuable vacation time looking for just the right ATM machine bothers me.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 01:55 PM
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I don't think I've ever spent more than 5 minutes looking for an ATM machine in Europe. I don't spend a penny for overseas withdrawals, nor for currency conversion when I use my credit card. Carrying wads of cash is simply asking for trouble, but go for it if that's what suits you. Your "valuable time" may end up being spent at a European police station.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 01:56 PM
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I just made a purchase (ballet tickets in Paris) on line using my Amex card. The charge posted was exactly what the xe.com rate was the day of purchase.

I also do use an ATM card. We bank with a small local bank....they charge no currency conversion fees and the first 5 withdrawals are free. After that $5/transaction. We just increase our withdrawal limit and withdraw 500 euros at a time. Since we use mostly credit cards, that has always been sufficient cash so no extra charges. Never, fortunately, have had an ATM card eaten and never have to look for just the right machine.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 02:52 PM
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Really? Finding an ATM machine at an airport requires ferreting?

Alas, another of life´s many challenges.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 03:14 PM
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Getting foreign cash at a US bank often requires ordering in advance and waiting for a delivery to the local branch. And then there was the time my bank tried to sell me 100 euros as two 50's. Try breaking a 50 for anything not costing almost 50.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 05:17 PM
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This is like Housewives of Fodor's Counting
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