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Old 06-24-2014, 11:28 AM   #181
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I preorder foreign currency online from International Currency Exchange. I find their rates competitive and there are no extra fees. For my recent trip to Europe I needed Euros, Czech Koruna and Hungarian Forints. I placed my order a week ahead. They called me a couple of hours after I ordered online to say that it would take one extra day to have Hungarian Forints delivered to my local exchange and would that be OK? No problem.

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Old 06-24-2014, 11:34 AM   #182
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I preorder foreign currency online from International Currency Exchange. I find their rates competitive and there are no extra fees. For my recent trip to Europe I needed Euros, Czech Koruna and Hungarian Forints. I placed my order a week ahead. They called me a couple of hours after I ordered online to say that it would take one extra day to have Hungarian Forints delivered to my local exchange and would that be OK? No problem.

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Thanks for the info. I'm not finding a US equivalent though, just Canada and the UK.

Actually, BofA does not charge fee for this service. They just charge a slightly less favorable conversion rate which in my mind equates to a fee.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:40 AM   #183
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I was recently in Europe with a friend. She was unable to get cash from a DeutscheBank ATM at FRA using her debit card. I had no problem. Later on, my friend was able to get cash from an ATM in Vienna. We have accounts with different Canadian banks. Both cards have chips. Go figure.
Up until this year, we could get cash from any ATM in México. Then this year with our chipped debit cards, we were rejected by my usual ATMS so I hunted out ones that accepted them. One read the stripe while another read the chip.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:45 AM   #184
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Is this the case?
Wal-Mart sues Visa for $5 billion over card swipe fees | Reuters

If so I don't see any detail about CHIP and PIN charges being more expensive than CHIP and Signature. It seems to be about swipe fees charged in the past 9 years.
ISTR that the issue is with Visa and MC branded debit cards which charge a % of the purchase rather than local debit cards that use an independent acquirer for a fixed fee to authorize. The branded cards are universal whereas the independent acquirer will only authorize selected debit cards.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:53 AM   #185
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Of course that didn't help last year when I am registered as being in England in June, and they don't flag $18k worth of fraudulent use of a clone of my card in NYC in a single day.
Yea me too. I had registered as being in Mexico and they authorized the purchase of car in New Brunswick. No problem removing it but the action had to be initiated by me! I check online regularly. Caveat emptor.
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:03 PM   #186
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We tend to take a lot of cash both in US$ and Euros.

Buying Euros in the US is not cheap. But it can work out. Order them when the $ is stronger and it might make up for the fee.
That's what we do as well. Since my debit card was eaten by a Spanish ATM back in 2008, I have tried not to rely on cards when we travel. I order foreign currency from Wells Fargo using a credit card and it gets delivered directly to my front door in about 2 days.
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:58 PM   #187
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I've never bought Euros or any foreign currency in over 20 years of going abroad.

ATMs have always worked.

First couple of times, I may have taken Traveler's checks but the exchange bureaus rip you off.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:02 PM   #188
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I've never bought Euros or any foreign currency in over 20 years of going abroad.

ATMs have always worked.

First couple of times, I may have taken Traveler's checks but the exchange bureaus rip you off.
Glad to hear that ATMs have always worked for you, but clearly many posters have had different experiences. Traveller's checks are obsolete and many establishments will no longer accept them.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:57 PM   #189
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I have never has ATM problems overseas, just credit card problems at unmanned devices. It's best to use the ATM card at a bank when it is open, in the event the card is eaten


Sent from somewhere in the world with whatever device I can get my hands on.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:59 PM   #190
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I have never has ATM problems overseas, just credit card problems at unmanned devices. It's best to use the ATM card at a bank when it is open, in the event the card is eaten
My card was eaten right before the bank closed for siesta time. Didn't think of that...
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:59 PM   #191
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I've never bought Euros or any foreign currency in over 20 years of going abroad.

ATMs have always worked.
Same here, but I only go to England, Belgium, and Germany.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:25 PM   #192
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I had my card eaten in Turin Italy last year and I went to the bank the next day and showed ID and got the card.

That was the only time.

But I did have backup ATM cards at other banks, to which I could move money if I had to.

Usually, I use credit cards whenever I can. Some places will insist on cash, including a 505 Euro bill I paid in cash in Amsterdam -- missed out on a lot of points there ...
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:49 AM   #193
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Don't your banks charge FX on ATM withdrawals? Ours all do. By the time we factor in the ATM charge, the Plus network fee and the 2.5% FX vig, we want to minimize our use of foreign ATMs.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:55 AM   #194
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Don't your banks charge FX on ATM withdrawals? Ours all do. By the time we factor in the ATM charge, the Plus network fee and the 2.5% FX vig, we want to minimize our use of foreign ATMs.
No.
Earlier this month I got Euros three times from different bank's ATMs in Belgium using my non-chip USAA debit card.
In all cases, my cost was for the exchange rate of that day, with no extra charges at all.

That has always been my experience using this account overseas.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:02 AM   #195
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I use eTrade card which refunds all ATM fees but does charge 1% FX.

I have a Schwab card which is suppose to be zero FX and no ATM fees but don't keep much money in Schwab.

Also a couple of credit union cards which I haven't used in awhile.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:38 AM   #196
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I opened a Schwab checking account this spring (based on favorable comments in this forum) to avoid ATM fees after I was appalled by the fees I was charged for my single ATM usage in Colombia a few months ago. I recently used it 5 times in Europe and there were no ATM or FX fees. The card was never rejected, either. There is no minimum balance. I am an extremely satisfied customer.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:42 AM   #197
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Fidelity offers also offers a ATM card with the same structure as Etrade--no ATM charges, and 1% currency exchange. Have used with no problem all over Europe, including Russia as well as Asia, most recently in Singapore.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:15 AM   #198
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Fidelity offers also offers a ATM card with the same structure as Etrade--no ATM charges, and 1% currency exchange. Have used with no problem all over Europe, including Russia as well as Asia, most recently in Singapore.
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I just don't like the link to my high balance brokerage account.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:15 AM   #199
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Don't your banks charge FX on ATM withdrawals? Ours all do. By the time we factor in the ATM charge, the Plus network fee and the 2.5% FX vig, we want to minimize our use of foreign ATMs.
I think this must be bank specific. I bank with Scotiabank. This spring I have withdrawn cash from ATMs in Oregon, Germany and the Czech Republic. The only service charge was for the withdrawal in the Czech Republic, and that was a third party ATM in the hotel lobby, so not unexpected. The others were at bank ATMs. I have withdrawn cash from my Scotiabank Powerchequing account in many different bank ATMs worldwide without charges. In the Caribbean in particular, it's great to be able to visit a real live Scotia branch.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:31 AM   #200
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I presume all you intrepid travellers know this, but......

One simple way to check whether you are getting a decent exchange rate (or a good price) is to use XE.com. The app can be installed on your tablet or smartphone.
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