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euros, cheques or plastic ?

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euros, cheques or plastic ?

Off to disney and Paris in a 10 days, was just wondering if it would be best to change all my money into euros/travellers cheques before going over or is it easier just to use my visa card and withdraw money from the cash points?

all coments welcomed

Eastpoint, FL
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1. Re: euros, cheques or plastic ?

It is best to use an ATM card to get cash, they have the best exchange rates. You'll have to pay fees and services charges if you convert your cash or use travelers checks.

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2. Re: euros, cheques or plastic ?

Its a good idea to take your card and use an ATM but when i did that in Paris last year they charged the hell out of me. Since then when i go on holiday i always take pre converted cash, and a card if i need more money later on, but only in emergencies.

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3. Re: euros, cheques or plastic ?

our experience is that it is MUCH more expensive to

buy Euros in the states than to use an ATM card where the fees are minimal (and they originate in your own bank, so if you are getting hosed on ATM withdrawals then change banks)

it IS extraordinarily expensive to withdraw money from ATMs using a credit card of course, because you are borrowing money -- but withdrawing your own money with an ATM card is by far the cheapest way to get Euros

using credit cards for purchases may or may not be wise -- some banks e.g. CITI for one, charge big extra money exchange fees -- an abusive practice IMHO and we avoid it by using credit cards that don' t have this policy

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4. Re: euros, cheques or plastic ?

If you are using a credit card to withdraw money, I think it is considered a cash advance and they start charging you interest on that 'loan' right away. Almost anything you use will have some fees attached. There's the currency exchange rate (which changes), conversion fees (from dollar to euro), and then I think ATMs can have fees just for their use - this has been discussed a lot in this forum! Bank of America has some relationship with Banc Paribas in France that makes it relatively cheap, if not free, to withdraw funds from your home account with BOA. Other banks have similar relationships, I'm sure - best to ask at your home bank.

Above all, if you break down your spending into frequent trips to an ATM, and there are charges involved, it's going to be more expensive than doing that less frequently (or just once) just because you keep accumulating those charges.

A conservative tack is to have several things available - credit cards if you absolutely must use them (and they need a 4-digit pin to be used at an ATM) for cash in an emergency, a bank card, even travellers checks (which have certainly fallen out of favor among many travellers.) If you deal with currency, think about what you will have to do at the end of the trip to get dollars for your euros, another charge-laden and currency-rate-sensitive issue.

There's plenty to read on this forum about taking money and spending it on a trip. It can be overwhelmingly confusing but one thing you don't want to be is moneyless in Paris!

Another thing to add to the mix is planning. If you have a budget and plans, you will have an idea where you are going to be and how you're going to pay for it... then you can think about it now. But if you're just going to 'wing it' and have to come up with money as needed, it may end up costing you more.

Fort Lauderdale...
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for Fort Lauderdale
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5. Re: euros, cheques or plastic ?

If you use your credit card at an ATM anywhere they will "charge the hell out of you". You should use only a debit/ATM/ Check Card at ATM's . The difference in charges between using a Credit Card( which is considered a "cash advance" and cost about $15 a transaction) and using a Debit/ATM card ( which is withdrawing money from your own bank account and will cost from $0-3 a transaction depending on which banks) can really add up. I learned my lesson the hard way on my first trip and have never forgotten it.

6. Re: euros, cheques or plastic ?

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