Ireland: Euros

Old Apr 24th, 2008, 06:14 PM
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Ireland: Euros

Going to Ireland in May. Any suggestions as to whether to acquire the Euros here in the US before going, or waiting until we get to Ireland? Where would we get the best exchange rate?

joannadee is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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There, using an ATM and withdrawing the money from your bank account with an ATM/debit card.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2008, 07:15 PM
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i agree about using ATMs, but you may get more help on the Europe board.
abram is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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You will get more responses on the European board, but having been to Europe every year since 1998 I hope I can offer a little information on my experience.

Conventional wisdom says to use your aTM card or debit card at a bank machine.

Basically this is true because at bank machines the exchange rate is the interbank rate plus 1%, BUT there are some cautions. Some banks, Bank of America in my case, charge a flat fee for using a bank card off-net. So know before you go.

In the case of B of A, I am ok as long as I go to Barclays in the UK.
I don't recall if Barclays has branches in Ireland or not.

As a related issue, do NOT use your credit card for cash. That is an expensive way to do it because extra fees apply to cash advances.

If you buy euro before you go, expect to pay about 6% above the wholesale rate.

Some people cling to the idea that travelers checks are the way to fly.
No. They are hard to use. Most merchants will not accept them even if they are in euro.

If in dollars you pay to exchage; if in euro you pay to acquire them. You lose either way.

Credit cards are a good way to go as well BUT some banks tack on 3%.

Capital One has not so far.

Beware dynamic conversion where you are given the bill in US dollars.
You pay extra for this way of doing business. Refuse it and ask for your charge in local currency.

If local currency is not available, write "Disputed. Local currency not offered." Then dispute the charge with your bank.

bob_brown is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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I also have BOA, but I don't believe Barclays has any branches in Ireland (Northern Ireland may have some). My strategy in Ireland, since I had to pay for each withdrawal, was to get out a large amount whenever I needed it and use my credit or debit card for anything I could. I think I used the ATM twice in a week.
jent103 is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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joannadee realized her mistake almost immediately and reposted on the Europe board where she has already received lots of detailed responses. I think we can let this one on the US board drop now.
NeoPatrick is offline  
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