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What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

Houston, Texas
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What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

As you know I am coming to Berlin late September/Early October. I asked earlier about using a Credit Card and I know from the looks of it, that many places may or may not accept them. With that in mind, how do I get cash out? Are there Chase Banks in Berlin? If not, will my same pin work in Berlin as it does in the US?

Should I just bring a 1000 US dollars and exchange for 750 Euros?

What is the best thing to do here?

Any suggestions???

Conroe, Texas
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1. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

I have always just stopped in the airport and used my bank debit card for getting cash...works almost everywhere in Europe that I have been. Check with your cards for transaction fees...some charge some do not.

Mannheim, Germany
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for Zurich, Mannheim
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2. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

>With that in mind, how do I get cash out?

1. Ensure that you use a debit/ATM card, not a credit card, or that your bank does not treat using ATMs as cash advance.

2. Walk up to an ATM and use it.

>Are there Chase Banks in Berlin?

Never heard of a bank with that name. So obviously not.

>If not, will my same pin work in Berlin as it does in the US?

A PIN is a PIN. It is integral to your card. If your card works in a given ATM your PIN will not be an issue.

>Should I just bring a 1000 US dollars and exchange for 750 Euros?

If you want to spend extra money for the fact of changing cash, and additionally risk theft or loss, go ahead...

Destination Expert
for Frankfurt
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3. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

Let's put it this way. A couple of weeks ago, a euro would cost about $1.30. On that same day, the money exchange at the airport, the rate was a $1.50, plus the fee to exchange it. So, if you don't mind paying an extra 20 cents for every euro, go ahead and use the money exchanges. Don't be fooled by the name Reise Bank either, it is the same thing. Use the Deutsche Bank ATM's or other ATM's attached to real banks.

Hanau, Germany
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4. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

Make sure you have a 4 digit PIN in case you have a word as a PIN, ATM's only have numbers on them.

I agree with others you use you debit card, when I had friends over from the US that's what they did and to my surprise the ATM knew english too, something you don't see if you put a german card in.

Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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5. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

Exchanging money at an airport is absolutely the worst exchange rate (worse than a city rate); at least whenever I have looked at euro/pound sterling rates they have been at amazingly rip-off levels) Getting money from an ATM at an airport is a different matter.

However to save the hassle when you land (jetlagged and with luggage to keep an eye on etc) I suggest you order some euros from your own bank so you land with cash. That's what I do when travelling to non-euro countries. I prefer to know I can get to the hotel and cover the first day without worrying about getting the cash. Your bank will almost certanly offer a better exchange rate than the exchange bureaux ; I am assuming no problem your getting hold of euros as the currency is used in countries whose total population is about the same as the US .

Maybe 200 or 300€ just so you have cash for the first day or so. 300€ is often the amount you are allowed to take out at an ATM in any case so it's like you have saved yourself one transaction. After that just use your debit card in ATMs and pay by credit-card at places that let you. Don't bring dollars to change, it's a security risk carrying the cash and you'll have the hassle of changing them (plus poor exchange rate)

I know many posters say just use ATMs right from landing but living in Barcelona makes me very wary of the idea of going to an ATM in an airport or station after a tiring journey and with my luggage to worry about (pickpockets and luggage-thieves love those places!) Berlin doesn't have the same level of that sort of crime but it pays to be careful. Incidentally TA forums did warn about Düsseldorf airport as a scene of luggage theft so it's not just Barcelona

I'd suggest you bring more than one ATM card if possible ( ithink you are travelling as a couple?), just in case something goes awry with the first one you use at some point.

Edited: 11 July 2013, 17:39
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6. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

Agree with Lynda!

I do the same things you suggested... I always travel with 2 ATM's... (leave 1 in the safe in the Hotel) as there's no point in carrying both of them :) if your wallet gets stolen, you know you have the other ATM in the safe in your room.

I also Always order a few Euros from my bank (which happens to be Chase as well) and their exchange rate is pretty good.

However, I do have another Checking acct. with Capital One, and that is my main ATM when I travel, because they do not charge any transaction fees, atm fees, nothing... they even refund me up to $25 per month for atm fees charged by other banks.

I take my Chase ATM just in case, and i also take my beloved Capital One Credit Card with no Foreign Trans. Fees :)

Chula Vista...
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7. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

One thing you need to do BEFORE leaving for Europe is to alert Chase (and your other credit card companies) that you will be traveling to Europe and using your card(s) there.

Their fraud department may shut you down on your first withdrawal in Europe (as a possible fraudulent transaction that's out of the norm of your regular spending pattern/locations) if you haven't notified them in advance, and then you'll have a big-time hassle of getting your card turned back on.


Houston, Texas
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8. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

Yep that is what happened when I went from USA to Niagara Falls Canada. My card got blocked. So I will make sure this time to call a day in advance and tell them the days I will be in Berlin.

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9. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

Great advice to notify your credit card and your bank of your travel dates. In addition, ask at your bank if they have an arrangement with any German Bank where it is cheaper to use their ATMs, less conversion fees.

Also I always have my bank increase my daily cash limit. My bank only allows $400 a day atm withdrawal, but they will raise it to $1000 a day while I'm abroad. At the beginning of next bank cycle it reverts to normal.

This Can be helpful if you have a cash emergency or need to pay accommodation in cash.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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10. Re: What's the best way to get Cash/Euros?

Allow your bank to exchange your USD to EUR, if you have a visa/mastercard, you'll find most EU banks will allow you to draw money up to the limit of your card (generally $1,000 a day)

That way, any discrepancies with the exchange rate you can approach your bank on your return. Also, the bank to bank exchange rate is usually the best and does not involve any commissions. If you get ripped off at an exchange, you won't have a come back!