When to exchange US dollars to Euros

Old May 27th, 2013, 06:07 PM
  #61  
Hez
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 506
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peter_S_Aus - If you're more comfortable with cash I totally get it - but personally I like to maximize my travel dollar as much as possible - it allows me to travel more, and therefore patronize more traders in the long run. Win, win.

Also, the exchange rate used is precisely the rate on the day - same as when you withdraw cash (assuming a card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees). I always have a smart phone with me so finding out the current exchange rate is always a few seconds away - but I rarely bother - mostly the changes aren't that large from day to day, and you have no control over them anyway.
Hez is offline  
Old May 27th, 2013, 09:42 PM
  #62  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 185
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Schwab Bank High Yield Checking--reimburses all ATM withdrawals no matter where, no foreign transaction fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred--no foreign transaction fee. Many other travel benefits including 20% off airfare booked through Ultimate Rewards site (did it myself for upcoming Spain trip and saved $220--pays for the 2nd and 3rd year when they charge for the card.) Spend $3000 in first three months and get 40,000 points toward travel booked through their site ($500 toward another trip say). I don't work for them, by the way.
samoca is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2013, 07:42 AM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have not read through all so I hope I am not repeating something that was already said. I thought you'd like to hear about my past experience with carrying no euros from home (US). I arrived in Paris and had to withdraw euros to pay my transport to the hotel. ALL the ATM machines were out of commission because of a strike.
mibrownidgirl is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2013, 08:22 AM
  #64  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,237
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
mibrownidgirl: >>ALL the ATM machines were out of commission because of a strike.<<

No big deal really. In the eventuality of something like that . . step a few feet over to an exchange bureau and buy enough € to get you by for the day. It will cost more than the ATM would have, but is still usually cheaper than buying € back home.
janisj is online now  
Old Jul 7th, 2013, 08:24 AM
  #65  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mibrownidgirl... thanks for that info. I'm heading to Paris tomorrow, ATM cards in hand, as well as $$ to exchange! You've helped to make a point here, that relying totally on ATMs is not being realistic! Be prepared with other options!! Use the hotel safe, if available, if you don't want to walk around with lots of money. Oh, and I've also got a good supply of euros left over from my March trip!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2013, 09:17 AM
  #66  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,926
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<< It will cost more than the ATM would have, but is still usually cheaper than buying € back home.>>

Not likely, although in an emergency, I think you just do what gets you by. But it probably will cost you more at the airport as they have very high markups (usually 10-12 pct). And banks in the US often charge 7 pct to get you foreign currency. I know a few people have said their banks charge less than that, but I think that is typical. But airports are usually more, if you are counting every percentage.
Christina is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2013, 09:31 AM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,237
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Most banks where I live charge up to 10% PLUS a fee. So the Exchange bureau would very likely be cheaper. But I don't play the 'what if' game. If I hear a strike is planned I might buy a few €/£ in advance. But probably not. Except for having to pay cash for a flat on arrival, one can manage just about everywhere w/ credit cards if necessary.
janisj is online now  
Old Jul 7th, 2013, 07:41 PM
  #68  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't know about the rest of Europe, but the B&Bs we use in Ireland much prefer cash and many don't take credit cards at all. Even those who do, I pay in cash as a courtesy to them so that they don't have to pay the credit card fees.

My bank, a local of many years' standing (well over 100 years in same spot; we have been customers for 37 years), uses the interbank rate and charges only $1 per withdrawal from a foreign ATM. Cost me $8 last trip, or a dollar per day.

While preparing for the trip I prepaid some tour costs and lodging at Trinity College, and Citibank shut down my MasterCard; very embarrassing at the grocery store. At least I know the Fraud Department is on its toes.

The only place I used the credit card on the actual trip was to purchase some overpriced burgers at the Toronto Airport. They would have taken American dollars but I wasn't inclined to go into my emergency bra wallet stash.
jaja is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2013, 09:47 PM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,237
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>Don't know about the rest of Europe, but the B&Bs we use in Ireland much prefer cash and many don't take credit cards at all. Even those who do, I pay in cash as a courtesy to them so that they don't have to pay the credit card fees. <<

I always pay B&Bs in cash too. But . . you don't pay a B&B when you check in, you pay them when you check out. So one would generally have lots of opportunities to get cash in time.

>>My bank, a local of many years' standing (well over 100 years in same spot; we have been customers for 37 years), uses the interbank rate and charges only $1 per withdrawal from a foreign ATM.<<

That is very unusual. Now my credit union doesn't charge me for withdrawals . . . but they also don't sell foreign currency. But w/ good terms like it seems you can get, it makes more sense to get some currency ahead of time. That doesn't work for most people.
janisj is online now  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 06:25 AM
  #70  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It certainly happens that all ATMs in a destination might not work on a given day, though it's exceedingly rare. So that in itself doesn't suggest to me that relying solely on ATMs for foreign currency is a bad strategy. In all my travels, that has never happened to me, though I've certainly had problems finding a working ATM.

Nevertheless, it does underscore that traveler must always have a contingency: mine is a new, uncreased $100 bill that I can always use in an emergency. I carry that on every trip in the lining of my luggage. But I usually bring some US$ in cash and will change that, but only if I need to.

Normally, one would know in advance if cash were needed for lodging, also a rarity except in some specific locations (a B&B in Ireland, a sobe in Croatia, etc.), but it's a useful tip for specific places.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 07:11 AM
  #71  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Doug...I hate to tell you this....many travelers have reported difficulties in various countries getting banks to take US$100 bills because they have proven to be a prime result of counterfeiting. You would be better off with two US$50.
xyz123 is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 08:54 AM
  #72  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 707
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I take $200 to Europe that is for emergency use only, which I have never had to use. I use foreign currency from the ATM machines and my Capital One credit card which has no international fee.
KL467 is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 11:06 AM
  #73  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<many travelers have reported difficulties in various countries getting banks to take US$100 bills because they have proven to be a prime result of counterfeiting. You would be better off with two US$50.>>

No, five $20s. The $20 is ubiquitous in the US, the $50 is not.
BigRuss is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Nmorales87
Europe
11
Jun 30th, 2015 07:43 AM
YellowRoseOfTexas
Europe
15
May 24th, 2012 04:36 PM
matthewl
Europe
24
Dec 26th, 2011 08:57 PM
RichardJ
Europe
14
Sep 15th, 2005 06:51 AM
MsAudie
Europe
60
Apr 13th, 2004 12:40 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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