Originally Posted by jkern
I have checked the fees for my CC and ATM. The CC fees are 3% and the ATM fees are around 2% to 3% plus the local fee. Is there a downside to having cash (let's say $1000) and bring a certain amount with you each day and store the remainder in the Hotel safe?
Definitely get a credit card with no transaction fees. That should be your first step. It won't take long to get the card. Your current issuer may have one, otherwise most major banks have a no transaction fee credit card available: BofA, Chase, Capital One, etc.
Taking dollars to Europe doesn't help. You'll be paying at least 3% hidden in the exchange rate, so you might as well use your 3% fee ATM card.
You can get a no transaction fee ATM card from Schwab or Fidelity if you open a checking/cash management account with either company. Maybe Capital One also offers one?
I don't use the hotel safe but leave cash in my locked luggage. It would take opening and rummaging around quite a bit to find it, and I haven't heard of people's locked luggage being broken into in the finer European hotels - not even Rick Steve's has ever had it happen.
Few local ATM fees in Europe - none in Netherlands or France, and I ran into it with one bank in Spain and went to another that had no fee.