how to get euros

Aug 12th, 2007, 06:09 PM
Original Poster
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how to get euros

traveling through jfk via madrid to pisa. local bank wants unreal amount to exchange for euros. what is the best option? exchange at jfk or wait until pisa? atm or bank window?
thanks in advance.
i've posted on europeon board too.
virginia is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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ATM when you arrive
dgassa is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 07:14 PM
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I bank w/ Bank of America and they did not charge me any service fees so if you have an account with them you should have no problems. However, if you don't have an account w/ them - my suggestion is to exchange a small amount at your local bank (I'm assuming the larger amount, the higher the charge) and get the rest when you're over there by atm. You probably do not want to be carrying around too much currency on you anyways, so just withdraw by atm as needed.

alyap35 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 07:57 PM
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Are you saying that you exchanged dollars for euro at the Bank of America and it did not charge you anything?

I think you better look at the amount you paid for euro and compare it with the wholesale bank rate of exchange for that day.

B of A charges about 5% above the bank wholesale exchange rate. It also socks you with a $5.00 fee per ATM usage for each access to your money from a non partner bank machine. On top of that, B of A socks you with 3% on every credit card transaction.

Unless you can cite the wholesale exchange rate for the day of your trade, and compare it with what you actually paid B of A, you have no basis for ascertaining what the euro notes cost you.
bob_brown is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:19 PM
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We like to have a small amount of local currency when we arrive anywhere - enough for snack, cab - then deal with more local moeny later.

Also went to BofA for recent trip to Spain - no, I also did not research rate that day, but did not pay a specific fee for the transaction - since the amount exchanged was about $100, shopping for a few dollars in exchange rate when trip cost thousands seemed silly.

After that, used credit card for most purchases and then withdrew once from ATM.

BofA fees for everything vary by the level of account you have with them (more money, less fees for all sorts of things)
gail is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:20 PM
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alyap35: You most certainly DID pay BofA to buy your €. Unfortunately they are just too dishonest to tell you how much too much you are paying for those €. BofA gives some of the worst exchange rates - but what the hey, there was no "fee".
janisj is online now  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:21 PM
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we also use bank of america atm card in europe at their partner banks (barclay's in england - bnp in france, etc.) and they do not charge us any bank fees. when you get your end of the month bank statement there will be the exchange rate indicated on your statement.

you might also check out capital one, many fodorites have used them and seemed very happy.

just be sure you don't use your master or visa card to get euros!
nanabee is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:43 PM
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hi virginia:
you might check out this web site:
it compares all the major banks fees and you will find they are pretty much charging the same fees. capital one looks the most competitive.
nanabee is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:48 PM
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My comment was not about using a BofA ATM in Europe to get €. There the exchange rates are reasonable. It was about buying foreign currence form BofA in the States.

alyap35 stated that BofA didn't charge him any fees. The fees were built in to the lousy exchange rate.
janisj is online now  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:50 PM
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true! true! that's why we don't do our personal banking with B of A. we only use their debit/atm card to travel with.
nanabee is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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It's true that Bank of America does not give a good exchange rate, although they made me pay a fee on top of that too and I am a customer. That said, I've still used them, on occasion, when I wanted local currency upon landing to hop on a train from the airport without fussing with ATM machines after an overnight flight.
suze is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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Answser to the question first asked is as Dgassa states.
herself is offline  
Aug 13th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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Agree with herself. NO need to get euros ahead of time, when you can use an ATM at the airport.
pat is online now  
Aug 13th, 2007, 02:42 PM
Original Poster
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thanks all for the advice. will get small amount cash at jfk then use atm card as necessary in italy.
virginia is offline  
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