US issued Visa credit cards in Italy?

Old Jun 19th, 2004, 10:48 PM
  #1  
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US issued Visa credit cards in Italy?

I like most Americans, have Visa & MC credit cards issued in the US. A couple of questions:

1) Do they work in Italy and is there any downside in using them there (eg: fees etc)

2) I booked my hotels in Italy using the Visa card from here (all bookings were online internet). But all rates quoted & confirmed are in Euro. I know there's a exchange rate but will my credit card company charge any fee etc? Now I am worried!

Thanks for any advise
KS07078 is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2004, 11:41 PM
  #2  
 
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Yes, they do work in Italy. No, there is no downside to using them. I advise you to pay with your credit card everytime that you can, and use your ATM card to withdraw small spending cash.

Visa and MC charge a 1-3% transaction fee. Check with your credit card company for details.
Ingenieur is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2004, 10:04 AM
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Check out the following website:
http://goeurope.about.com/gi/dynamic...F20020513c.asp

It gives the charges for major banks issuing Visa and MC over the 1% obligatory exchange fee. It also shows ATM fees for using the cards.

BarbaraJ is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2004, 10:16 AM
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In fairness . . even after a 1 - 3% fee Visa may charge to use the card, you will get the best exchange rate on the day you use the card . . much better than any rate you get by exchangeing money.

Rich
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Old Jun 20th, 2004, 10:17 AM
  #5  
ira
 
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Hi KS,

Why are you worried?

Visa and MC charge 1% for currency conversion. That is a lot less than anywhere else you could change money.

Your bank might add 1 or 2 additional points. It is still cheaper than an exchange bureau.

Do not let your hotel "do you a favor" and bill you in dollars instead of euros unless you know the daily bank rates and can determine what exchange rate they are applying.

Do not use your charge card to get money from an ATM. It is a "cash advance" and accrues interest from the moment you get the money.

Have a nice trip.
ira is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2004, 10:19 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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PS, See what happened to one recent traveler.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34507899
ira is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2004, 05:51 PM
  #7  
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Thanks everyone. Very helpful advise.

Ira, I didn't know using credit cards is actually better than exchaning dollars for Euro - Would you advise I take any traveller's check at all from the US or not?

BarbaraJ - thanks for timely link. Turns out I have a card from MBNA which doesn't have a charge but was using my other card that charged 2% over what Visa/MC would! Thanks to your message I changed the reservations to use the MBNA card and saved 2%! Great
KS07078 is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2004, 05:55 PM
  #8  
ira
 
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Hi KS,

>...Would you advise I take any traveller's check at all from the US or not?<

You might want to take some TCs in dollars for emergencies. You can deposit them into your bank account when you get home.
ira is offline  
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