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Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

Irvine, California
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137 posts
9 reviews
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Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

I had asked my travel agent that upon arrival in Europe, should I go to the currency exchange place that's usually located in the airport to get some euros. My travel agent told me that I should get money using the ATM in the airport instead because it will actually have the best currency exchange rate. Does anyone know if this is true?

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Houston, Texas
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357 posts
30 reviews
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1. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

Grab some Euros from an airport ATM upon arrival. The exchange rate is good, but you'll pay a transaction fee. The fees are lower once you get into the city. An ATM is really the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to get Euros. Don't bother carrying a ton of USD on the plane with you.

Le Bugue, France
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14,097 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

Yes, absolutely. Make sure to notify your bank you'll be doing foreign transactions. And get your daily limit raised if need be.

Le Bugue, France
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14,097 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

No, you won't pay a transaction fee unless your own bank charges one!

Val-de-Marne, France
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8,684 posts
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4. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

French banks don't charge any fee for ATM withdrawals, it's your bank that may charge one so inquire with your bank.

For instance Bank of America charges $5 for every withdrawal, but they waive the fee if you withdraw from their partner bank BNP Paribas.

But even if your bank has outrageous fees it is still better than exchanging cash.

Florida
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17,210 posts
11 reviews
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5. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

"..My travel agent told me that I should get money using the ATM in the airport instead because it will actually have the best currency exchange rate.."

- - what, a travel agent that actually gave good advice!!

Little Rock
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617 posts
115 reviews
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6. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

No foreign transaction fees with Capitol One debit card. The only USD I have is for emergency purposes during the initial travel otherwise just get your Euros at the airport ATM. WARNING: if the ATM won't take your card, just find a different ATM. Last year a lady lost her card after 3 attempts. Not sure if it the the card or the ATM. I kept it moving and just found another ATM at CDG.

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris
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19,030 posts
153 reviews
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7. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

Currency exchange places at airports usually offer vary poor exchange rates. So either get euros from an ATM (do inquire re possible fees from your bank and what exchange rate you can expect), or use an exchange bureau in the city.

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
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22,734 posts
4 reviews
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8. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

While French bank ATMs are free of fees, you will almost always pay a currency conversion fee of 1% to Pulse/Maestro/Sirrus for the conversion from dollars to euros. Any other charges will come from your local bank.

Florida
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17,210 posts
11 reviews
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9. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

My credit union debit card is not assessed any %, not even the 1% from Visa. No withdrawal fees either. Sweet.

Saratoga Springs, NY
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5,461 posts
144 reviews
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10. Re: Currency Exchange... at the ATM?

DO NOT allow the ATM to convert your transaction to dollars -- there are some tricky atm's owned by currency exchange companies that will offer to convert your Euros to Dollars. Don't do it. It's a bad exchange rate.