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What type of $$ to bring: ATM vs. Travelers Checks

What type of $$ to bring: ATM vs. Travelers Checks

Old Jul 13th, 2006, 06:22 AM
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What type of $$ to bring: ATM vs. Travelers Checks

There has been so much conflicting reports on what is the best way to get money while in Greece. We will be heading to Santorini 2 weeks from today!!!!
What I have heard is the exchange rate is the best at ATM, but to get out alot of money at a time so you don't have to pay the bank fees as much.

We are also staying at Esperas while on Santorini. To take advantage of the 10% discount, we must pay our balance in cash. Is bringing enough travelers checks in dollars good? Are there euro travelers checks? Will Esperas accept US travelers checks as cash? Just wondering what you experiences is with this.

Thanks!
Beth
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Be sure to check with your banks and credit cards respectively to verify their ATM and purchase charges. I'm traveling to Greece in a couple of weeks as well and have found out that some of my banks charge a fee ($1-$2) in addition to a percentage for an FX coversion for any ATM withdrawals. As for using a CC, my VISA charges 3.5% (ouch!) on all transactions while my AMEX charges 2%.

One of my banks only charges 1% on all ATM withdrawals with no fee so I plan on using that card over the others. I'll also be bringing some cash with me and plan to exchange it once there. I can't really comment on using travelers checks, although I don't particularly like them and so don't use them.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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Even with the 1-3% added by your bank for ATM withdrawl, you will ALWAYS get more Euro for your dollar using ATM compared to TC's or cash. ALWAYS. it's not even close.

If you need all the cash up front, then ATM limits might make that a problem. Check with Esperas to see if you can pay in cash over time.

You can ask your US bank to incresase your daily withdrawl limit if needed as well.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 08:16 AM
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If you have your bank raise your daily limit (easy and no problem for most banks) and you and your spouse each have an ATM card you will probably be able to get enough cash from machines. Plus - if you pay your bill at the end of the stay you'll have plenty of time to amass the cash.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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Just returned from Greece. I concur with advice above. Travelers checkes are almost obsolete today. Also Cambios/change offices for changing currencies are almost also obsolete with use of ATMs. I overheard many conversations of Americans with problems trying to use travelers checks in USDs. I used ATM's without any difficulties.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 01:20 AM
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If I took travellers cheques in Australian dollars to the USA, would a hotel there accept those cheques as cash? No? Then why expect a European hotel to take cheques in US dollars. (In each case, the hotel MIGHT accept them, but only at a fierce conversion rate.)
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 01:32 AM
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I couldn't even tell you how to use traveler's checks. I don't think I've ever met anyone who uses them...

Just take ATM cards/Debit cards. You get BY FAR the best exchange rates on those cards... an ATM machine won't rip you off as easily as a shady change counter...

However it's also nice to keep a 100$ bill tucked away somewhere in case you lose your cards or need some emergency cash and your card isn't working or something. I just hate changing cash though because most of the time you are getting ripped off.

Basically I use a credit card for major purchases (most Visa cards have great security guarentees) and debit cards for withdrawing money at ATM's (they have lower withdrawal fees than credit cards).


For your specific case, right when I got to Santorini I would hit the first ATM you see and withdraw all the money you need to pay the hotel and also enough money for a few days on the island. It's likely that you'll only be charged a dollar or two from your bank which isn't a big deal.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 04:03 AM
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Hi ee,

>There has been so much conflicting reports on what is the best way to get money while in Greece.<

Hmmmmmmmm, my estimate is that 87.63% of responders say to charge everything you can and get cash from ATMs.

Usually, the only fees you pay are those that your bank charges. Find out from them what their "out of network" charges are and whether they charge for currency conversion.

>...we must pay our balance in cash. Is bringing enough travelers checks in dollars good?<

TCs aren't cash. Even if you brought TCs in Euro, there would be a charge for cashing each of them.

Have a nice visit.

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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 05:23 AM
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There is no conflict--it is obvious.
ATM--ATM---ATM

You will love Esperas.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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eeliadis--If you take TCs the most likely scenario is that you will have to take them to a bank to get them cashed. This will mean a trip to Fira from Oia for this purpose. If you do this, be sure they are American Express TCs. They are the most widely recognized and a bank will not have a problem with them. Overall I agree with the others, a Debit card for the ATMs is the best way to go. If you use a Credit Card to withdraw money instead of a Debit card, you will also be charged a cash advance fee on top of any transaction fee, so be sure to use a Debit card.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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Are they still using only a FOUR diget code on non American ATMs??? If you have a Six diget code make sure the zeros are at the end of your code, then use just the four digets in on the other side of the big pond.
Like other posters I stopped using Travelers Checks YEARS ago. A debit card and Credit card is all I bring. I hit the ATM in my arrival airport. Love it.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 03:47 PM
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Herself does the same thing as myself. No traveler's checks. Very little cash. While I can afford to carry traveler's checks, I can't afford to cash them in at a bank or foreign exchange. So, why bother?
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