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Traveling to Italy

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Sep 9th, 2014, 08:28 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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Traveling to Italy

We arrive in Rome for a stay at a wonderful hotel. Should we get some euros prior to our arrival of after we get there? We will be flying in from New York. We have a debit and credit charge that charges a 1% fee and uses the money pass system. Not sure what would work best. And where is the best place to get euros, bank or ATM.

Getting excited.
Gretchen1566 is offline  
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Sep 9th, 2014, 08:38 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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This is discussed a lot so you might find past threads on the subject helpful

"Should we get some euros prior to our arrival of after we get there?"

If it makes you feel more comfortable to have some euros on hand, do so.

"We have a debit and credit charge that charges a 1% fee and uses the money pass system."

Let your banks know you are travelling to Italy and for how long.

"Not sure what would work best. And where is the best place to get euros, bank or ATM."

Use your debit to withdraw Euros as a bank ATM and also use your credit card for purchases.
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Sep 9th, 2014, 09:16 AM
  #3
 
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On the back of your debit card, is there a symbol like Plus or Cirrus? These are the big interbank networks in Europe, that operate the ATMs.

Do ask your bank about this but make sure you get somebody who really knows the answer. The average teller mostly doesn't.

For cash I wait until I get to Europe. At the airport there's always a bank of ATMs near the arrivals exit.
Mimar is offline  
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Sep 10th, 2014, 05:09 AM
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Mimar offers good advice. I also suggest you read all of the fine print on your ATM agreement. Often, fees for foreign cash transactions are higher than back home. I maintain chequing accounts at two different banks to have both Visa and MasterCard connections and provide a second chance if, for some reason, an ATM won't accept the first debit card I try.
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Sep 10th, 2014, 12:31 PM
  #5
 
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I usually take enough local currency to get me to my hotel. I don't like using those airport ATMs, withdrawing money in a crowded place while trying to keep an eye on my luggage. I prefer to withdraw money from an ATM at an actual bank, preferably when the bank is open.
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Sep 10th, 2014, 12:54 PM
  #6
 
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If you have a bank in NYC that will exchange dollars for euros, you might want to get perhaps 100e in advance. The airport ATM's have long lines and usually high fees. Taxi's sometimes take credit cards but often don't and when you're jet lagged upon arrival, haggling or finding one in the line that will take credit, is just plain crazy. Use the intial euros to pay for the taxi. There are multiple ATM's that you can use for euros each day.

Be sure to tell your bank that you will be in Italy and what days. Do this multiple times and each time, ask if they have noted it on your file/record. One call may not get the job done and its embarrassing to have your card rejected after dinner or buying something at a store. If you like for security purposes, put a daily limit on withdrawals. Just be sure to make it large enough to cover your potential daily out of pocket expenses like climbing the dome at St Peters, some small restaurants, many stands at Campo D'Fiori, etc.

Read the fine print on the agreements and make sure you're not going to get ripped off on fees. Some cards have no transaction fee, some are huge.

Enjoy the dolce vita!
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Sep 10th, 2014, 12:56 PM
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oops - almost forgot. While in the US, you can choose from savings or checking when making an ATM withdrawal, in Europe, some machines will default to checking so make sure you have funds in both accounts or the transaction will be cancelled due to 'inadequate funds' when you know darn well there is plenty to cover it.
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Sep 10th, 2014, 12:57 PM
  #8
 
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I suggest you read the post just above mine. I also suggest that there are ways to withdraw money in "crowded places" while watching your luggage: you put your luggage on the floor IN FRONT OF YOU as you use the ATM.

I have not heard of anyone being robbed at an airport ATM in a while and the only time I was disappointed as to getting cash from an airport ATM was once we arrive at Milan-Linate and the one ATM I saw on the way to the taxi stand was inoperable.
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Sep 10th, 2014, 01:16 PM
  #9
J62
 
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"The airport ATM's have long lines and usually high fees."

High fees? What fees? Bank ATMs in Europe do not have any fees, and the only ATM's i've seen at airports upon arrival are affiliated with a bank.
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