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Foreign Currency Exchange Services
Old 07-26-2016, 04:21 PM   #1
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Foreign Currency Exchange Services

Has anyone ever heard of International Currency Express, Inc. or used its services. I'm just trying to get some feedback on the process of buying foreign currency for travel purposes. Any suggestions for reasonably priced services would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:14 PM   #2
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You will typically get the best exchange rate at an ATM in the country of your destination. A cash management account at Fidelity or online checking account with Schwab will allow you to withdraw cash worldwide and have all of your ATM fees reimbursed. We've found it best to only exchange a minimal amount of currency prior to departure (enough to get a cab ride to the nearest bank in your country of destination).
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:15 PM   #3
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We always use bank ATMs in the foreign countries. I wouldn't consider carrying more than the equivalent of a few hundred dollars in cash at a time. Never had a problem.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by candrew View Post
You will typically get the best exchange rate at an ATM in the country of your destination. A cash management account at Fidelity or online checking account with Schwab will allow you to withdraw cash worldwide and have all of your ATM fees reimbursed. We've found it best to only exchange a minimal amount of currency prior to departure (enough to get a cab ride to the nearest bank in your country of destination).
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:12 PM   #5
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Hey folks,


Thanks for the replies and suggestions, but has anyone specifically heard of International Currency Express, Inc. I'm trying to get some foreign currency before traveling out of country.
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Foreign Currency Exchange Services
Old 07-26-2016, 07:17 PM   #6
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Foreign Currency Exchange Services

Use an ATM. If you travel enough, then the Schwab Bank ATM is the best deal out there. Otherwise use a credit card with no foreign transactions fees.

Editing to add that all foreign airports have a ATM. At least the ones I've been to. When we arrive at a foreign airport, one of the first things I do is find an ATM to get some cash. You really don't need to have any cash before arriving.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:29 PM   #7
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I too use ATM's after I arrive, and only bank ATM's. Outside ATM's like Travelex will eat you alive on the exchange rate. On my end, I'm using a credit union ATM card that gives me full credit and has no charges. My regular ATM card is Wells Fargo, and they have an excessive $5 and 3% per transaction processed.

We actually carry relatively little cash on us at any time, preferring to use a 2% payback Capital One credit card any chance we get. The exchange rate is day by day, and there is no discounting.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:30 PM   #8
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A quick check of their web site shows their fees and/or poor exchange rate adds up to about 10% hit, a poor choice. I use a Schwab debit card at ATM's when overseas, all fees reimbursed.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:58 PM   #9
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At Charles de Gaulle airport the only and official ATMs are Travelex, but no fees there. I read it used to be HSBC.
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:49 AM   #10
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I've gotten foreign currency at Wells Fargo banks. You take a slight hit on the exchange rate. You can find out which branches offer foreign currency and find their current exchange rates at their website.
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:11 PM   #11
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I've gotten foreign currency at Wells Fargo banks. You take a slight hit on the exchange rate. You can find out which branches offer foreign currency and find their current exchange rates at their website.

Ok. I'll check it out. Thanks.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:53 PM   #12
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You just need to figure out how much the bank is taking due to their unfavorable exchange rate. 6.5% is not uncommon. That's pretty steep. Exchange markups for ATM withdrawals at your destination are typically 3%, less than half that. A few ATM cards are available with 0% or 1% foreign transaction fees.

Google interbank exchange rates to find out the current no fee rates.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:03 PM   #13
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I've gotten foreign currency at Wells Fargo banks. You take a slight hit on the exchange rate. You can find out which branches offer foreign currency and find their current exchange rates at their website.
Wells Fargo will messenger the currency to your local W/F branch for about $6. Well worth it
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:26 AM   #14
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Wells Fargo will messenger the currency to your local W/F branch for about $6. Well worth it

I did check out Wells Fargo and I think for the convenience it is well worth the cost. Thanks.


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Old 07-30-2016, 11:24 AM   #15
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Wells Fargo will messenger the currency to your local W/F branch for about $6. Well worth it
Wells Fargo also makes money off the exchange rate they will give you so you need to factor that into the cost.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:43 PM   #16
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The only service I have been able to find that will mail me currency is Travelex. The one I used to use is no longer operating. I agree with the others that using a local ATM is best, but...

1. Ideally you'll want an ATM card that doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee. The one for a Fidelity Cash Management account doesn't.
2. Airport ATMs are usually ok, but there may be lines.
3. I have found some European ATMs that don't make it obvious which option to pick for the withdrawal. When I was in Greece it drove me crazy until I found the right one. (Sorry I don't remember what it said!)
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:59 AM   #17
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FWIW -

Fidelity Check Card Services has told me several times that there is no foreign transaction fee if their VISA debit card is used at an ATM overseas and also any ATM fees are reimbursed.

If the card is used to purchase something overseas (non ATM transaction), then a 1% foreign transaction fee applies.

This has often been a source of confusion in online discussions.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:44 PM   #18
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I like to have a bit of destination-country cash when I arrive for cab, food, tips, etc.

TravelEx is where all the banks in my area get their currency. So I get currency a bit cheaper at TravelEx over going to my usual banks.

After arrival: ATMs.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:50 AM   #19
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I would always use an ATM for local currency after arriving in country but got burned when I flew to Argentina last year. I couldn't use any card to get any money. I had to exchange my US dollars on the blue market to get Argentine pesos. At the time, the Argentine peso was artificially inflated to 9 pesos to the dollar whereas I was exchanging my dollars for 15 pesos each. Luckily I had $200 in cash and everything is pretty cheap in Buenos Aires and I was able to spend 5 comfortable days there. FYI, I used IHG points for my hotel so there was no cost for that.

So my advice is to verify that you will be able to withdraw money from an ATM in the particular country you are going to. You will have no worries if you are an American traveling to the EU or most Asian countries but you may have issues other areas.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:08 AM   #20
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I would always use an ATM for local currency after arriving in country but got burned when I flew to Argentina last year. I couldn't use any card to get any money.
Why is that? Seems very unusual that none of the major bank ATM's would accept major credit cards.
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