Where is Best place to change currency?

Old Nov 2nd, 2001, 12:35 AM
  #1  
sylvie
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Where is Best place to change currency?

Can anyone please tell me whether I should change my money (british pounds) in UK before heading off to Italy (Milan/Florence) or change when I reach there?
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2001, 05:17 AM
  #2  
elvira
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six of one, half dozen of the other: exchange rates vary by establishment, not country. Soooo, if your bank in the UK will exchange foreign currency with no fees, do it there. I also like to have some currency of the country where I'm landing, so I will 'buy' some currency before I leave the U.S. If your bank account is attached to an ATM card, don't even bother to get lire before you leave; just use the ATM at the banks in Milan to get lire.

 
Old Nov 2nd, 2001, 06:08 AM
  #3  
Patrick
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I have yet to enter Italy at a train station or airport that didn't have an ATM right there where you can withdraw money from your checking account and it will give you the best rate for getting Lira (or Euros if after Jan. 1). In fact when we drove from France to Italy, we had a slight panic attack as we reached the toll booth on the border to Italy and we had no Italian money. They also did not take credit cards. Guess what. There was an ATM at a little parking area right next to the toll booth.
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2001, 06:14 AM
  #4  
RALF HARTZ
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GENERALLY FOR ALL US AND UK CITIZEN NE
VER CHANGE YOUR MONEY AT YOUR BANK OR THE AIRPORT WHEN TRA
VELLING TO EUROPE OR ASIA
CHECK THE RATES AND YOU WILL REMEBER MY WORDS
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2001, 06:33 AM
  #5  
grasshopper
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Has anyone ever run into this? Recently in London we pulled out a 10 pound note that was left over from a trip 2 years ago. We were told, "you can't use that note... it's too old. You need to get it exchanged at a bank." I recall having that happen once in France as well. I can't imagine someone in the US saying "this bill's too old!" Incidently, a cab driver took the UK bill... no problem.
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2001, 09:08 AM
  #6  
Deb
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Sylvie,
We recently returned from Italy. We assumed that we would get a better rate exchanging money in Italy than here in the States. We were very wrong. Our exchange rate turned out to be much better at home than abroad. Fortunately we had excahnged half of our money before we left the USA as we took a loss when exchanging in Italy.
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2001, 09:49 AM
  #7  
Patrick
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Deb, too bad you didn't put all that money in your checking account before you left home and gotten it out as you needed it with an ATM card. I'll bet you would have gotten a much better rate that way than exchanging it at either end.
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2001, 10:08 AM
  #8  
Dean
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In Italy, the ATM's are called bancomat. Make sure you have a 4 digit pin or you may have problems.

Bancomats are everywhere. Even in tiny Tuscan hilltown in the middle of nowhere. The only place i can remeber where there really were no bancomats nearby was at the Abbey of San Galgano which really IS in the middle of nowhere.

Most small stores will want you to pay with Lire and may offer you a better price if you do. So many times we were able to save some money by running to a bancomat. Most small artisans don't participate in the VAT-Free programs anyways.

Paying by credit card usually gets you a good exchange rate in most restaurants. Check with your provider. Most banks charge you the current interbank rate abut might put a 1% surcharge on the transactions. I have not experienced a surcharge on my ATM.

Lastly, remember you daily limits from your bank and the time difference involved. My bank resets my daily limit at 8 am and over the weekend this can cause a strain. I try to carry 2 ATM cards. mine and my wife's, plus a credit card with a 4 digit cash advance pin.
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2001, 11:21 AM
  #9  
Marilyn
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We followed Rick Steves advice in our tour book and exchanged for our Lira when we arrived in the Milan airport. It was one of the best rates. Marilyn
 
Old Nov 6th, 2001, 10:13 AM
  #10  
sylvie
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thank you , everyone! I will check with my bank if they do surcharge for such overseas transactions if I use the ATM in Italy.....
 

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