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Best way to exchange US Dollars for Euros in Italy?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by MikeOPensacola, Apr 15, 2015.

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  1. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    My friend and his wife are soon going to Italy for two weeks. They are taking 1000 Euros with them along with US Dollars and two debit cards. I already told them to notify the bank about where they are traveling in regards to their debit cards. For those that travel abroad what is the best way for them to get the best exchange rates when they convert their dollars to Euros? Directly at the bank, ATMs? The bank told them about a $5.00 transaction fee when hitting the ATM. Thanks fellow VMBers in advance.

    :peace: :beer:
     
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  2. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    Are they planning to convert the dollars once they are in Italy?

    When I went to Paris last month, I bought euros in advance from my bank and that ended up being a better exchange rate than I received with the ATM. They need to check with their bank what the current rate is, as whether or not the bank charges a fee will depend on the bank and possibly their relationship level. I only brought a enough dollars for any incidentals at the airport, and a small reserve of about $200 US.

    Also note that any leftover euros when they return there will be less of a fee to sell the euros back to the bank than there will be to buy before the trip.
     
  3. abraxis

    abraxis Low-Roller

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    I find that exchanging prior to travel is the best, rate-wise. Also if they have a credit card without a foreign transaction fee, using the card may provide a better rate (but they should check). No real reason to take a bunch of USD, imho.
     
  4. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    For me, using an ATM when traveling is the easiest & cheapest/best exchange rate option. I usually bring a couple hundred USD in case of emergency but otherwise- I have a CapOne money market account we use as our vacation savings acct - doesn't charge ATM fees so the only fee is the fee from the ATM itself (if they charge one). No way would I exchange in advance - it costs too much around here and I usually can't figure out in advance how much/little cash I'll need - that varies for me tremendously by where I'm going and what I plan to do there.

    I've even rented an apartment -in cash - using an ATM - but that took planning & an understanding landlord (it did take me 3 days of hitting the max limit on my atm - CapOne wouldn't let me increase my limit - and it was way cheaper to do that than exchange euros at home)
     
  5. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    +1. There is absolutely no reason to take Euros to Europe. You can use the ATM as soon as you deplane.

    Using the ATM gets you the daily interbank exchange rate. My credit union does not charge me to use a non-credit union ATM, and I have never incurred a charge from an ATM in Europe. During my last trip, I used ATMs at the airport in London, at the Eurostar terminal, and on the streets of Paris. I got the best exchange rate available and paid no surcharges.

    Visit www.xe.com for the day's interbank exchange rate.
     
  6. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    Simply use a credit card that automatically converts - without additional costs. That's what my wife and I do. There's just no need for cash at the vast majority of places. Tips are another matter. We just give out dollars and let the recipient worry about the conversion.

    Bill
     
  7. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    ATM is good.

    Or use your rewards credit card with no FTF is even better.
     
  8. jaybert

    jaybert Low-Roller

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    lol that's a bit ridiculous depending on the country. It's most likely fine in the carribean or countries (Peru comes to mind) where they use the dollar as a second (or sometimes even primary) currency, but tipping in dollars in other places seems a bit crazy. How would you like it if you were working at a bar and someone tipped you $5 in euros? Given most people aren't tipping in a foreign currency it's not going to be worth the time to try and get it converted to a currency that you can actually use.

    Just take some money in the local currency out of the ATM and use that. You'll get charged 2-3% forex fee by your bank but will get essentially the spot rate which is way better than you'd get at any currency exchange place
     
  9. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I lived overseas for almost 4 years and never needed to open a local account.

    None of my US banks charged any fx fee for ATM withdrawals nor did my main credit cards. Big payments were wired. This was all Asian currencies (mostly SGD and HKD but even things like IDR). For any G7 currency like EUR it's even easier, there's barely any bid/offer spread. Some third world countries things change and you're better off buying local currency from local dealers or brokers, not banks.
     
  10. Film-Noir

    Film-Noir High-Roller

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    How to get Euros

    Mike
    In Europe use my Amex, No Foreign Transaction Fees.

    Pre trip, most banks (I use BOA) you can order Euro's to be sent to your local home branch,
    they will charge a hurry fee, if you order like within 24 Hours.

    If you must atm, there called in Italy Bancomat's
    Ciao
     
  11. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    That's fine, as long as you don't plan to return to anywhere you go :D
     
  12. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I travel in developing countries for work - credit cards NOT an option for things like cabs or food. Maybe for lodging. Cash always works :) So know what your options are where you plan to travel.....
     
  13. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    That raises a good point...what part of Italy?

    Go to Rome and you'll be able to use ATM's, cash traveller's cheques, use Visa / Mastercard etc.

    If you're going to rural Italy then you might find cash is your only bet (same as rural France or Spain).
     
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