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Euro Dollar Exchange Questions
Old 05-04-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
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Euro Dollar Exchange Questions

We want to gather some Euros here in the US before our flight. I see there is a Travelex booth at the airport - is that a good place? Any other good options?

Once in France - I intend to ATM for cash. What is the max you can take out each day?

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Old 05-04-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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The airport exchange will work but will be somewhat more expensive than using an ATM. There will be both an exchange charge and a "less than best" exchange rate.

Perhaps your bank can get you a better exchange rate for than you'lkl find at the airport.

When I travel I often use a source like that to change enough for a taxi and maybe lunch somewhere. I then find an ATM with the appropriate symbols so that I can use my ATM card. Another option is to use your credit card whenever posible when you land. The credit cards go accross at the "official" exchange rate less maybe 3% or so depending on your card terms.

The max per day is dependent on your banking terms and the terms of the ATM that you use. Figure maybe $500 Euros per day or so.
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:32 PM   #3
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Merci Masterblaster
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:42 PM   #4
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The airport exchange will work but will be somewhat more expensive than using an ATM. There will be both an exchange charge and a "less than best" exchange rate.

Perhaps your bank can get you a better exchange rate for than you'lkl find at the airport.

When I travel I often use a source like that to change enough for a taxi and maybe lunch somewhere. I then find an ATM with the appropriate symbols so that I can use my ATM card. Another option is to use your credit card whenever posible when you land. The credit cards go accross at the "official" exchange rate less maybe 3% or so depending on your card terms.

The max per day is dependent on your banking terms and the terms of the ATM that you use. Figure maybe $500 Euros per day or so.
This is exactly what I do. I am confident enough these days that the ATM's in the European destination will work. I also carry some $ cash with me in case of problems with the ATM then use a Travelex or equivalent at the airport, but so far I've never had a problem.

Check with your bank before leaving what your daily limit will be - it also good to warn them you are traveling overseas in case their security systems detect an unusual pattern and block the transaction. (same with credit card).
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:52 PM   #5
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Airports are expensive places to exchange currencies. I get better rates at ATMs usually. The daily limit depends on your card's terms. If you plan on using a credit card in France, don't forget to memorize your pin before leaving, you will need it.

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Old 05-04-2010, 07:58 PM   #6
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This is exactly what I do. I am confident enough these days that the ATM's in the European destination will work. I also carry some $ cash with me in case of problems with the ATM then use a Travelex or equivalent at the airport, but so far I've never had a problem.

Check with your bank before leaving what your daily limit will be - it also good to warn them you are traveling overseas in case their security systems detect an unusual pattern and block the transaction. (same with credit card).
Same here. I usually have a couple hundred euros left over from my last trip (which I keep with my passport) that I use for the airport taxi, etc. Then I use ATM's and credit cards. The exchange rate and charges at the typical airport exchange kiosk are horrendous, so I try to avoid them.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:09 PM   #7
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Get enough euros at the Minneapolis airport Travelex for getting into Paris,etc.(just printed a Travelex NO FEE coupon)

Then find an ATM and load up $300 daily limit ((Wells Fargo)

Use credit card whenever possible.

Let everybody know where I am.

Euro is sinking right now

Just hope the volcano behaves

Apprécions votre aide vous tous!
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:29 PM   #8
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Bon voyage.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:42 PM   #9
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Except for Capital one you will normally pay a far higher rate for credit cards than for ATM withdrawals. The Best is a European bank affiliated with your bank so there are no fees. I spend a lot of time in Germany. Deutsche Bank has a no Fee affiliation with Bank of America, so I get the interbank rate and no fee. Find out which French bank is affiliated with your USA bank.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:27 AM   #10
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Except for Capital one you will normally pay a far higher rate for credit cards than for ATM withdrawals. The Best is a European bank affiliated with your bank so there are no fees. I spend a lot of time in Germany. Deutsche Bank has a no Fee affiliation with Bank of America, so I get the interbank rate and no fee. Find out which French bank is affiliated with your USA bank.
Thanks for the tip Emeritus - I'm not going to use credit cards for cash just my Wells Fargo ATM card - not able to find an bank affiliate in France however. $5 a withdraw. I read on a Wells Fargo blog from 2009 that they have 2 free international withdraws a year - but I'm not counting on it.

Just read that France is going to cut their budget 5-10% a year - hope they don't have a Greece situation or strike while we're there - Iceland's volcano is enough to have on the back burner....
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:00 AM   #11
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We've been to Europe many times. There's no need to take anything but debit cards (one for backup ideally). Let your bank know you'll be in Europe and for how long before you go so foreign transactions don't cause your card to be flagged. It's also worth it to tell them you want your per day withdrawal limite to be at least $500 and of course take out the max each time until you have working funds. We put a hundred dollar bill in our money belts for insurance but have never had to use it. Forget traveler's checks - they are a relic.

You can save a ton of money staying in B & B's in Europe - they are nothing like the frou-frou $100 plus per night nightmares in the U.S. Check with the tourist office in any town or village....typically 40-60 euros per night and very easy to find farmhouse or vineyard stays as well. These will be cash-only places

If you make a habit of traveling outside the U.S. like we do, it's well worth it to make sure to have debit cards that don't ding you for ATM fees or foreign transaction fees. Schwab Bank is one of several good places to look.

Have fun!
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:26 AM   #12
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Have fun! We were in Europe in October 2008 during that meltdown and it was interesting to say the least. Will be there again this summer and hope the strong dollar continues.

This is my favorite currency calculator, by the way: Currency Converter - Yahoo! Finance
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:33 AM   #13
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We have traveled all over with just credit and ATM cards and only had trouble once: right after 9/11. We were in Bellagio (the one in Italy, not in Vegas) during cocktail hour at a bar that had become our favorite. Credit cards and ATM cards suddenly stopped working. We only had a very little cash.

The bartender said, no problem. Just pay us tomorrow when the ATMs start working again.

Wow. We had only been there a couple of times. I wonder if they are still that laid back.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:39 AM   #14
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Thanks kevink - I've got euros an atm card 3 credit cards and a roll of dollars (who knows maybe the way the euro is going they'll be asking for dollars )

We prefer B&B's too.

We have a place in the Marais that's a hotel acting like a B&B - Hotel de la Bretonnerie

A B & B on a working farm in Normandy - La Ferme Du Pressoir - noted for their home-made Calvados

and this in Brittany - link
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:56 AM   #15
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I live in Germany now - what everyone else said - use the ATMs here for cash. As for American credit cards, not all places accept them - look for the VISA or Mastercard logo. Most European banks use a smart chip card for the credit card here.

The poster who siad to use a bank that is affiliated with a bank in Europe also had a great idea - you tend to get hit with an exchange fee and then an ATM fee. I am fortunate that the ATM fee gets refunded to me, but not the exchange fee.

Have a great time - it's finally spring here and it should be beautiful. Also, there are inexpensive hotel chains like Ibis that are clean and available in most larger cities in Europe. They are part of the Accor hotel company.
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:51 PM   #16
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I live in Germany now - what everyone else said - use the ATMs here for cash. As for American credit cards, not all places accept them - look for the VISA or Mastercard logo. Most European banks use a smart chip card for the credit card here.

The poster who siad to use a bank that is affiliated with a bank in Europe also had a great idea - you tend to get hit with an exchange fee and then an ATM fee. I am fortunate that the ATM fee gets refunded to me, but not the exchange fee.

Have a great time - it's finally spring here and it should be beautiful. Also, there are inexpensive hotel chains like Ibis that are clean and available in most larger cities in Europe. They are part of the Accor hotel company.
Thanks Deserat

What is a smart chip card how is that different from US credit cards.

By the way DW returned with $400 Euros from Wells Fargo. No fee, exchange rate was 1.336 compared to the 1.276 official. Seems fair, no?
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:28 PM   #17
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Thanks for starting this thread. DD has decided to go to Paris to celebrate her birthday later this month and just called with a question about exchanging $ for euros before she leaves. I was able to read her some of the posts from this thread...further adding to her belief that I do indeed have an answer for everything!!
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:44 PM   #18
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:54 PM   #19
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Is ATM cash at the official exchange rate?
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:00 PM   #20
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Is ATM cash at the official exchange rate?
Every time I ever used one in Europe, South Africa Thailand and Bonaire I got the Interbank buying rate , if there is a fee it is stated and added. Most times no fee.
Only irritation is that in Germany you dont get a paper receipt. so I always take out the same amount (400 Euro)

Credit cards are totally different
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