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US Dollars or Euros, or both?

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San Diego...
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US Dollars or Euros, or both?

My husband has been to Europe 12 years ago. We are planning our 10th wedding anniversary and Im concerned because I have never been our of country (except for mexico which is 15 miles from our house). He says that most Europeans, french in particular, have always accepted any type of currency passed about in resturaunts, cafes, museums, etc.... The jist that I get is that US Dollars are not widely accepted (I have heard this but don't know for sure) but I have never been to France so I do not know if that is still the case. I know that the exchange rate is not really in our favor and would like to just carry a large sum of money instead of using the cash exchange.. will I be ok or should we exchange our money before arrivals? Thank you in Advance...

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

The currency used in France is the euro. US dollars will not be accepted anywhere except currency exchange shops that charge eye-watering commission. Your husband's ideas are several decades out of date.

Before you leave the US, get maybe €100 from your bank in small bills. After that, use a debit card to withdraw euros at ATMs from your usual bank account, just like you do at home.

Don't carry large amounts of cash. If you loose it or it gets stolen, your holiday is ruined.

Cardiff, United...
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2. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

I agree with above.

One point I would like to add.. Before you leave the US please inform your bank that you will be travelling to Europe. For security reasons some banks monitor foreign transactions and might block the account should anything out of the ordinary happen, however of they know in advance then it will be fine.

Le Bugue, France
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3. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

Dear me! The currency of France is euros. Your husband's thinking is about a century old. You can't pay for anything in France with anything but euros, which you get from ATM machines with a debit card or pay for in France with a credit card. If it makes you feel better, get some euros in advance from your bank, though likely you will pay dearly for the exchange unless you belong to a credit union that has no or few charges.

Do they accept euros for payment in San Diego?

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4. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

I think he was pulling your leg. He couldn't seriously be thinking that. If he has any other wildly inaccurate ideas and opinions about European travel, you'll be encountering more than your fare share of hassle when you get here.

Bolton, United...
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5. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

Dear Anne. You husband is mistaken. Even 12 years ago the currency was not dollars. Take the advice given here.

Furthermore if you started waving dollars about , the best reaction might be they laugh and the worst is that you might be perceived as one of those stereotypical "ugly Americans" who think that American dollars and culture are superior to everywhere else and it would be taken as an insult.

There is a reason that the exchange rate is not in your favour.....think about it.

The currency in the eurozone of of Europe is Euro.( The currency in the UK is pounds BTW in case you are thinking of going to London))

Have a good trip.

Love Denise

Paris, France
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6. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

Reading a guidebook seems urgent, so as to understand that there is absolutely no reason that any standard applying in the US (be it currency, language, electric plugs & voltage, measuring units or the infamous tipping culture currently debated on another thread) should also apply in France.

On that question, debit cards for ATMs are indeed the way to go.

London, United...
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7. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

Euro is on downside recently. If you are lucky, you can have a better rare for US dollars. But you need to bear it in mind that you might lose some value considering transaction fee, bad rate, etc.

Paris, France
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8. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

Oh, please, bring us nylons and chewing gums !

Hebden Bridge...
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9. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

You could always put him to the test.

Let him take US dollars and try and spend them. Meanwhile you take Euros out of ATMs.

Separate for a day or part of the day and see who gets on best...

Saratoga Springs, NY
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10. Re: US Dollars or Euros, or both?

There's no need to land with Euros. There are ATMs at the airport and even if there weren't there are cabs that take credit cards.

The fee for getting Euros at a local bank in town is almost $10 plus about 10% overcharge on the exchange rate. So it would cost me probably $20 to get 100 Euros. Not worth it. I bank with USAA, they have no local branches