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Where is the best place to convert USD to Euros

Where is the best place to convert USD to Euros

Aug 19th, 2010, 11:58 AM
  #1  
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Where is the best place to convert USD to Euros

We are leaving for 3 week trip to Europe in September. Is it better to get Euros in the states or get them when you get to your Eurpoean destination? any help will be appreciated.
Mpphred is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 12:14 PM
  #2  
 
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Use the ATMs when you arrive. As a back-up, maybe get 50-100 euro before going.

Do not purchase euros at home.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 12:23 PM
  #3  
 
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Use your ATM card, not your credit card to withdraw money from ATMs. All airports have them. Tell your bank of your travel plans, so that your request is not rejected when traveling abroad. Do the same for your credit cards.
Michael is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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I always let my bank know I'm going; they can advise you on whether there's a preferred ATM so that you aren't paying high fees for the transaction. Also you used to have to have a 4-digit PIN, but I don't know if that is still true.
paris1953 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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There are ATMs everywhere in Europe that will take your debit card, whether it's from Visa or Mastercard, and as long as it's part of a global banking alliance, which pretty much covers every issuer of credit/debit cards. Be sure to notify your bank/credit union, etc. that you'll be using your card in Europe and be sure to notify Visa or Mastercard as well.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Aug 19th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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You might also want to check on the daily limit for your ATM card and possibly raise it if you need to.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Note that the money coming out of your bank using european ATM will be from main account i.e. you won't be able to choose checking or savings.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 01:05 PM
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Also note that the European banks won't charge to use their machines. Any transaction charges you incur will come from your own bank, and it's a good idea to find out what they will be. Sometimes it's better to make fewer withdrawals in larger amounts.
Heimdall is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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I would get a bank card from a US bank that has a sister bank in Europe that will allow you to use their ATM machine in Europe. This will allow you to take out money without fees.

I would be careful not to use a credit card in the ATM machine to get Euros.

I would not worry about getting Euros in the states prior to going to Europe - it is very expensive to do. If you have friends who have 10-20 Euros handy you might buy from them.
nanabee is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 01:23 PM
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Don't "convert". Withdraw euro after arrival from a bank ATM machine using your Debit card. IF you can find locations affiliated with your home bank, sometimes this can save the transaction fee ($0-5usd).

If you have a need (emotional security) to arrive with euro in hand, don't buy more than maybe $100 worth from your home bank or departure airport. It's never the best value.
suze is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 01:26 PM
  #11  
ira
 
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Hi mp,

Get, at most, $100 in Euro at your departure airport.

Charge whatever is chargeable.

Get cash from ATMs in Europe.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 01:27 PM
  #12  
 
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And if you are planning on returning bring some home with you!
avalon is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 03:49 PM
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Mpp, I wish you would say on your profile what state you are from ... there are some wonderful solutions that will cost you Zero... zippo ... Nada ... per transaction to get Euros with your atm card. Here are basic facts:

(1) Getting Euros with your Debit card from an ATM machine gives you the BEST exchange rate.
(2) There is a 1% charge "built-in"... its the "clearinghouse charge" of Visa/Mastercard for converting your bank bucks into Euros. Of course it doesn't really cost them much but ... lilve with it. You STILL get a much better deal than any currency bureau.
(3) No Europe ATM machine levies a charge... any charge is from YOUR bank. Here's a great website showing fees -- see which banks are reasonable and which are Highway robbery.
My local bank Wells-Fargo/Wachovia is one of the RObbers -- $5 charge per transactio PLUS 3% ... thus, to get $300 worth of Euros would cost me $14 !!!!!!!
http://www.flyerguide.com/wiki/index...d_Credit_Cards

(4) If you have 2 weeks before you go, and there's a TD bank near you... you can cut your cash-retrieval cost to ZERO. They allow up to 10 transactions overseas per month with any fee ... and if you can withdraw up to $750 per transaction, that should be enough. There are some other banks that are nearly that reasonable.
(5) If you are a couple, EACH person should have an ATM card on EACH of your accounts.
(6) Notify the bank(s) preferably in person that you'll be taking out money overseas ... don't name a country, just say Europe. WATCH the bank clerk enter into the computer. AND ask them to raise your daily withdrawal limit. just for the length of your trip. It's often $500,but they will likely raise it to $750 or $1000 at your request.

(7) I find for peace of mind, it's a good idea to use ATMs that are part of a bank, not free-standing, and I usually do it when the bank is OPEN ... just in case of a glitch. It hasn't happened for me ever, but it's peace of mind. I also have a card on my "back-up" account.

(8) If in the USA you always use a credit card to pile up "points" for cash rebates, consider this; Visa/MC charge 3% on any purchases overseas (don't ask me why), and those points are only redeemed at a rate of 1%. So there's another money-leak. BESIDES ... Europeans LOVE cash... so you can sometimes bargain with purchases in a shop -- when they name a price, ask, how much is it if I pay cash? Often, 10% off.
travelerjan is online now  
Aug 19th, 2010, 03:50 PM
  #14  
 
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Was typing too fast... item #4 should read "up to 10 transactions per month WITHOUT any fee".
travelerjan is online now  
Aug 19th, 2010, 07:16 PM
  #15  
 
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If in the USA you always use a credit card to pile up "points" for cash rebates, consider this; Visa/MC charge 3% on any purchases overseas (don't ask me why), and those points are only redeemed at a rate of 1%.

Not all credit cards. Try your local credit union for both the debit card and the credit card.
Michael is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 08:40 PM
  #16  
 
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YOu're right Michael. My back-up ATM card is my good ole credit union, and if I do ever charge it's on my CU card. But lots people aren't lucky enough to be able to get/use a CU.
travelerjan is online now  
Aug 19th, 2010, 08:45 PM
  #17  
 
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Even better than a Credit Union - Capital One. My Cap One credit cards are 0% foreign conversion fee (they eat the 1%) and 1% cash back. I just opened an Interest Online Checking Account with them - again, no foreign conversion fee, NO fees for unlimited ATM transactions, and they refund up to $10/month if another bank charges an ATM fee.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:38 AM
  #18  
 
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Lots of good options and warnings.

For the Credit Card, Capital One as pointed out by Thursday is the way to go. No transactions fees like almost every other Visa/Mastercard.

First: I think it is a good idea to have some cash when you get over there. 100 Euro or so should be fine. Depends on your level of tolerance.

Second: Most of the major banks from the US kill you when you use any old ATM over there. As travelerjan pointed out, if you are taking multiple small withdrawals, you will get killed. Bank of America is 3% plus $5 last time I checked which is brutal. However, if you use a partner bank such as Barclays in England, it is only 1%. Each country has a different partner bank, so be sure to ask your bank. Unfortunately, you may not always be near a partner bank so plan accordingly and see if the effort to find your partner bank is worth your time.

So, you can grab a smaller amount at a local place. Percentage wise you will get hit hard, but it is comforting to have some when you are there. Then hit the ATM's while there. Good luck!
Awaken is offline  

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