Post # 1
I need to exchange some American money for some Euros. Is there a place that is better to go to than another place? Or should I just go to the bank? Also, is it better to do it stateside or in Europe?
Post # 3
You can just go to the bank becuase if they don’t already have them, they will order them in for you (but possibly charge you to do so, depending on bank). At the bank I work at, we use the national rate for any money exchange, so it wouldn’t make a difference where you went. They normally will just call the UBB and get the current rate for them.
Post # 4
Honestly, what we did was take cash out of our bank accounts with an ATM card (you need to notify the bank it will be out of the country). You will be charged a small fee but the rate will be better than you would get at a bank here for sure and a bank there too most likely.
Post # 5
I found that BoA would do it for me, but the exchange rate they gave was approx. $.10 higher than the rate posted, and they would be slow about it. I’ve found (going to Europe regularly) that it’s almost always cheaper to simply withdraw money from an ATM when you get there – you’ll be charged a fee from your bank for using that ATM, but the exchange rate will be better. Any major airport will have an ATM, so you’ll be set from the time you land.
Also, if you have BoA or HSBC, they have partnerships with European banks that waive these fees. Not sure if others do as well, but it’s worth looking into.
Post # 6
Yep, anywhere in the eurozone will have a fairly decent banking infrastructure. Credit cards will be taken most places, and if your debit (regular ATM card) has a Cirrus or Maestro stamp on the back then ATMs most everywhere will take that. Don’t bother carrying lots of cash, you’ll only be worrying about getting mugged. Where you going?
Post # 7
Everywhere in the world I’ve been (Europe, Asia. Africa) the best way to get money in the local currency was at the ATM.
Then you don’t have to carry large amounts of cash or worry about changing money.
Post # 8
As the ladies mentioned already it’s best to use the ATM machines. You will definitely get a better rate. I’ve been to Europe numerous times and this works best. Also, have you noticed the recent exchange rates? This is the best I’ve seen in years and with my own European trip coming up as well as a wedding there next September I hope this trend continues. They are forecasting euro-dollar parity.
Post # 9
I;m taking my little sis to Paris in July! She is graduating high school this weekend, and has never flown AT ALL! We are sooooooooo excited and have been planning and saving for years. Thanks for the advice ladies!
Post # 10
If you don’t want to take money out of the ATM or can’t get it before hand at your own bank, only use the money exchangers at the airport or the offical money exchange in a train station. Everyplace else is a ripoff.
My mom usually sends me a cashiers check with a few thousand before she comes over on holiday and I exchange it for her at my bank and let her use my pin card while she’s here. If you have a relative you trust overseas that you’re visiting, that’s the best way to go.
Oh, one note on the availability of ATMs and credit cards…
— If visiting the Netherlands, DO NOT assume you can use your credit card everywhere. You can’t use it at the grocery store, you can’t use it to buy a train ticket at the machines (only the desk and good luck catching that open in some places), and a lot of non-touristy areas won’t support it either. Heck, the ONLY thing wedding related I’ve been able to put on my CC is my rings. o_O
There are ATMs everywhere though.
— If visiting France, outside of the touristy places, DO NOT, whatever you do, assume you will have an available ATM for cash. CCs are usually only accepted in high traffic or touristy areas as well.
Fiance and I went camping in South France a few years back and we literally had to drive 40 miles and I don’t know how many villages, to find a flipping ATM for cash to get some lunch with (always check BEFORE you order if you can use your CC).
— Germany and Belgium seem relatively OK. Same with the UK.
Post # 11
I have travelled to Europe several times, and have done it every way – exchanging American money here at a bank, traveller’s checks, exchanging money at the airport, exchanging money elsewhere, and honestly, the biggest bang for your buck is to withdraw money directly from an ATM. You get the actual current exchange rate without the markup, and whatever small fee your bank charges for international withdrawls, which is still considerably less than the fee imposed by many other exchange bureaus (including at the airport). I also suggest using your credit card when possible, and carrying only as much cash as you need, then you won’t be stuck with a ton of Euros left over when you come home!
Post # 12
Just double check the fees you’ll be paying on using your ATM card abroad. You may want to withdraw a larger amount once or twice instead of multiple smaller transations. My Bank of America card charges me about 5 dollars per transation PLUS 10% of the amount.
Enjoy your holiday!
Post # 13
Ooh good point, definitely check with your bank about their fees, mine are nowhere near as large as MlleFrog’s (I think my bank just charges the 3% fee that Visa charges) so it’s always worked out the best for me!
Post # 14
Paris should be fine to just take cash out of the ATM but I second PPs with the suggestion of taking out a large ammount at once because several places won’t take cards or they will only take EC cards which is not yours. However, if you are carrying a lot of cash, be very careful with your purse, especially in touristy areas in Paris!
If you would like to exchange some money before traveling, find out what exchange rate your bank is offering and hten call AAA (if you are a memeber) and ask them what they can offer you. AAA sometimes has a better exchange rate but I’ve also found their exchange rate is behind the market a few weeks because they pas along the rate they paid and they don’t move cash as fast as a bank. It may work against you dfue to current exchange rates being low but if they go up in a week or so, it may be in your favor as well.
You can yheck http://www.xe.com for an idea of current exchangee rates but your bank will apply a buy/sell spread.
Have fun, Paris is a great city and te Eiffel Tower is awesome no matter how many times you see it!
Post # 15
We did the same… for the most part i used CCs because you get a good exchange rate that way, but i took a few hundred out with my atm card to have some cash on hand.
Post # 16
We did $500 ahead of time with Wells Fargo (you can get click to see cost online) but I wouldn’t recommend getting it shipped to you because it adds to the cost. Perhaps you have a Wells Fargo nearby you can go into. I think we should have just trusted going with the European ATM at the airport. The rates were good and the credit union we have reimburses any atm fees abroad. Still the security and having Euros in my pocket on the way over was quite nice.