When to exchange US dollars to Euros

Old May 24th, 2013, 01:42 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
capital one direct banking online only offers an ATM card with accounts. I have told all my traveling family to put some dollars intheir moneymarket account. Then use the ATM all over Europe and China and Asia with no fees whatsoever. You can get checks also for the account if you need those. I have used this method for years to pay apartment rentals etc.
1234ksdmnt is offline  
Old May 24th, 2013, 02:38 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ah yes...the French ATM strike. Of course, what happened is the metro began taking credit cards for single tickets, everybody waived minimum charge amounts and if this should happen again, you simply take a few crisp US $20 bills and exchange at the change booth in the airport. Not an overwhelming problem.

But then again, everybody is entitled to their own opinion on this.
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 24th, 2013, 09:18 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,502
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Best way to handle money.

Pay for as much as you can with cash. We leave from Venice today after two months, and have put nothing on our credit cards.

Obtain cash using a debit card at an ATM.

Operate a Euro denominated bank account of some sort.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old May 24th, 2013, 11:19 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peter...Just curious. Why do you feel that way? Perhaps, I'm guessing from your posting name you're from the Land of Oz and may have a different view on this....but using cash is becoming more and more obsolete (I'm not saying it's like that movie where you have a life timer built into yourself and must never let it get to 0 or your existence is terminated but...

1. Cash must be continuously obtained or else you have to walk around with a lot of it something very tempting to thieves.

2. From a merchant's vie point, cash can disappear in the sticky fingers of employees.

3. Cash transaction take longer.

4. Cash passes through many hands and can be dirty (well I suppose credit cards can too but not as many).

Of course, as I said earlier, you're entitled but I most respectfully disagree.
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 24th, 2013, 11:24 PM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,982
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>.but using cash is becoming more and more obsolete<<

That <i>entirely</i> depends on which country(s) you are talking about. Does not apply everywhere - not even to all of western Europe . . . .
janisj is online now  
Old May 25th, 2013, 03:40 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Correction noted and logged as Captain Kirk would say...it is a bit of an over generalization but it does apply in most touristy type places at least in Western Europe although a bit less so in some countries!
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 25th, 2013, 12:11 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
IME it is all too easy on holiday to lose track of your spending if you stick it all on the credit card - the act of having to go to the ATM reminds one of how much us being spent.

OTOH for paying a hotel bill or for a dinner for several people, it's very useful. AND if you're spending more than £50 you get the c/car company's guarantee which may be worth having.
annhig is offline  
Old May 26th, 2013, 10:15 AM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 229
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is one other thing to consider on whether or not walk around Europe with just 50 cents or so in your pocket. How would you have liked to be in Cyprus a couple of months ago when the ATMs were either shut off, out of money, or else had day-long lines to get money?

We all know that the economy of Greece is a basket case and soon it will be like Cyprus. We all know that Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, among others are in dire straights. I just wouldn't want to be in these countries with no currency and no way of getting any.

I realize that many of you believe that housing prices will never decline and that ATM machines all over the world will always be full of cash with no line or problems. You are welcome to believe these things. But I personally think these is a chance, however small, of economic problems while on vacation, and just think it prudent to have some Euros on hand.

You can convert this to mathematical equation if you wish. Certainly the risk-cost should be added to any foreign exchange fee that exits on an ATM card, or to zero for those having no-fee cards.
FHurdle is offline  
Old May 26th, 2013, 11:21 AM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
annhig...Assuming you are from the USA but you can substitute your own country, what would happen if the ATM's in the USA ceased to work due to some unfortunate thing for a brief period. What would you do at home?

Everything can happen and again let me emphasize you are certainly entitled to your opinion and I respect it but what you are suggesting, in mot places, is kind of rare, n'est ce pas, and doesn't go into my thinking on this.

Of course, if it should happen for a lengthy period of time at home, god help us all!

And I don't walk around with 50¢ in my pocket...looking in my wallet right now, I see I have $12, €15 and £10 with a whole bunch of coins in different envelopes. So I'm ready!
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 26th, 2013, 05:51 PM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 229
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
xyz123,

The United States can print currency with wild abandon. It might cause some pretty terrible things but it's not going to cause the kind of banking crisis facing much of Europe.

Following the Cypress bailout it was made clear that any future bailouts might involve seizing money from peoples savings accounts. This applies especially to Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia, and a few other countries. So when people are faced with even the possibility of money being snatched out of their savings they will rush, rush, rush to the ATM to get out as much as they can. That's what happened in Cyprus.

I agree the chances of any of this happening while one is on vacation is very small. But there is a tendency to underestimate systemic risk. That's why the world economy is in such a shambles today. The risk is real. If you ignore the risk the chances are you will get away with it just fine. But the cost to insure against this risk by getting a little cash up front at low cost is negligible.
FHurdle is offline  
Old May 26th, 2013, 06:53 PM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,982
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
xyz: >>annhig...Assuming you are from the USA <<

Nope - she lives in Cornwall.

FHurdle - all your what if's still don't make carrying huge amounts of cash a good idea.
janisj is online now  
Old May 26th, 2013, 07:23 PM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,502
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Definition of "huge amount" please.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old May 26th, 2013, 07:54 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Janisj...thank you didn't read through the whole thing....

Peter...anything more than $10 or £10 or €10 to me is a huge amount!
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 02:38 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
annhig...Assuming you are from the USA but you can substitute your own country, what would happen if the ATM's in the USA ceased to work due to some unfortunate thing for a brief period. What would you do at home?>>

as jj says i live in Cornwall in the UK not that i really see the relevance of where I live to the point you make, which I have to confess that I don't really understand. I'm not saying that I won't use c/cards [or indeed a debit card] if I have to, but my preference is for a combination of cash and c/cards as set out above.

and I can tell you what happens if ATMs stop working, as it's happened in the UK twice recently:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...failure-outage

chaos and outrage in equal quantities.

which is why it's a good idea to have a variety of means of obtaining and spending money available when you travel.
annhig is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 03:11 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
because, just to make it clear, you can't bring with you all the cash you're likely to need on anything but the shortest trip, which means that you HAVE to use an ATM/credit card eventually.

don't you?
annhig is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 03:25 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,826
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
FHurdle, I like your thinking, it was interesting to see the various reactions
1) in the UK, despite warranty from the government, some people queued around the block, but most stayed home and there was no problem
2) in Cyprus the government just closed the banks and set a daily limit on individuals withdrawing money. It worked ok

The interesting thing was Cyprus tried to take money from people's bank under the Euro100k mark. This was soon stopped by the EU who pointed out that level is the standard safe deposit within the EU. This also explains why so many Europeans have so many bank accounts (100k here, 100k there etc). What of course is not see is how much of the money staying everyone's accounts is being devalued by the QE, still we hope to see that in the next 4 years as they unwind QE though I suspect Japan will be a more exciting crash before then). As a wise man once said, "don't hold any assets in things that the government can print".

Glass beads anyone?
bilboburgler is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 03:50 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ann...I'm sorry...I didn't mean to offend you or anything like that. When discussing things like banking regulations and credit cards, I almost always add that phrase as banking regulations are different throughout the world. Until very recently, just as an example, US banking regulations prohibited merchants from adding surcharges to credit card purchases (although cash discounts are allowed) and prohibited merchants from setting minimum charge thresholds (as a slap in the face of consumers, these protections were taken away a few years ago). Banking regulations in other countries did not have these consumer protections. Perhaps you did mention earlier you were not from the USA. If so, I lost track of it. Please forgive.
xyz123 is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 06:56 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
ann...I'm sorry...I didn't mean to offend you or anything like that. When discussing things like banking regulations and credit cards, I almost always add that phrase as banking regulations are different throughout the world>>


of course you didn't offend me, xyz. I was just puzzled, as you can't take all the cash you'll need on any trip, therefore you HAVE to have some means of getting more.

Even a brit can't be insulted by someone wrongly thinking they are american.
annhig is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 11:51 AM
  #59  
Hez
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 506
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So one advantage that doesn't seem to have been mentioned here for using credit cards is frequent flyer points. My Chase United card gives me 2 points per $ on hotels and car rentals and 1 point per $ on everything else. That adds up, and contributes to the airfare for the next trip!
Hez is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 04:12 PM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,502
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We arrived in Venice with a few hundred euros, retained from a previous trip. We had a few plastic ATM cards between us. We hit ATMs for 500 euro at a time, and depending on which card we used, we incurred a 2 euro fee (ANZ Bank Travel Card) or no fee (Citibank).

Paid for everything with cash - I don't have a problem carrying several hundred euro in cash. Sometimes you will receive a dsicount for paying with cash, and in Italy we see far fewer credit card transactions than we do in Australia.

We did not use credit cards at all (exception being vending machines for rail tockets).
I don't worry about cash being dirty. So are handrails on bridges, door knobs, all sorts of things are dirty.
If employees of a trader pilfer cash, that's not my problem.
Paying with cash is quick, once you are familiar with the currency and the coinage. There's no risk of skimming with cash.

Merchants have to pay the fee that Visa charge for a credit card transaction. It's probably not much for large organisations, like hotel chains. But for small traders, it will hit their margins - so many traders in Italy do not accept credit cards. There's no good reason why a trader should lose part of their margin just for my convenience - and I like the concept of completing a transaction by handing over currency, rather than transferring a debt to a credit card company. Also, if I buy something for 300 euro, and pay cash, I know exactly what it has cost me.But if I put it on a credit card, I don't know for sure, because I can't be sure of the exchange rate used.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -