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US money in Italy

Buffalo, New York
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US money in Italy

Anyone have any input on best/cheapest way to bring money to Italy from US for everyday items besides hotel (ie food/drink/cabs/etc)?

I have used a euro card before but was charged a significant amount so was wondering about that vs withdrawing cash directly for purchases.

Thank you!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: US money in Italy

Take a debit card and get money out of ATMs from your bank account, just like at home. For larger purchases, use a credit card.

Unless you have a bank that charges very high fees, this will cost less than a preloaded travel card.

Tell your card issuers that you will be travelling in Italy.

Saint Marys, Ohio
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2. Re: US money in Italy

As sidneynick says, the ATM is the best way. You'll get the lowest exchange rate that way, and the Italian banks don't charge fees, you own bank will though. You need to call them and find out what those fees will be; often 3-5%

Spokane, Washington
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3. Re: US money in Italy

nick, some of the banks do not charge fees for withdrawing money so check with your bank and credit card companies.

Another thing to ask your bank is if they have partner banks in the country you are visiting. For-instance BOA is partnered with Barkley bank so when I was in the UK I wasn't charged any fees if I used a Barkley bank or ATM.

Collie

Alexandria, VA
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4. Re: US money in Italy

For cash, ATM's are the only sensible way to go. But virtually all restaurants, most retail merchants, and even taxicabs take credit cards. You can use your regular US credit card with no problem. Most US credit cards charge a "foreign transaction fee" of 3%, but Capital One Bank (and many credit unions) issue credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and the best possible exchange rate too. Some travelers get a Cap One card just for use in Europe. (You can get a Cap One card that actually pays you 1% cash back on all purchases, including those abroad.)

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: US money in Italy

>>virtually all restaurants, most retail merchants, and even taxicabs take credit cards<<

Perhaps so in Rome and other places with many tourists, but even there you will find some small shops and restaurants that do not take any cards. When you visit places that are less on the international tourist path, you can find that many businesses do not take cards.

north carolina
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6. Re: US money in Italy

Ask around among local financial establishments to see if you can buy some euros before you go, and what it would cost. it is convenient to have some cash in pocket when you get off the plane. In NC, my credit union will get euros for me at a very low cost.

Alexandria, VA
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7. Re: US money in Italy

When you exit from baggage claim into the arrivals hall of every European airport I've flown into (which is quite a few), virtually the first thing you'll see is one or more ATM's that automatically will give you the most favorable available exchange rate. Your need for immediate cash has been well anticipated. I see no reason whatsoever to incur the cost (not to mention the bother) of paying for the importation of euros into the US, with markups all along the way, just so you can take them back to Europe with you.

If you feel you absolutely must have some euros in your pocket for the 50-meter (if that) walk through the arrivals hall from the baggage claim to the waiting ATM, bite the bullet this one time and, at the end of your trip, put a E10 or E20 note in your passport so you'll have it for the next one.

Edited: 06 January 2014, 23:24
Spokane, Washington
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8. Re: US money in Italy

roadgard, I did the same, my bank charges me a very low fee for a few hundred euro, yes I take mostly cash in a money belt. The more you get the cheaper it is. I've done this for years wherever I go and it works for me.

Coming off a plane after 12 or so hours of flying and arriving in an airport full of people and confusion to wait in line for an ATM does not appeal to me I tried it once and never again.

Collie

Cortland, New York
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9. Re: US money in Italy

We brought some euros with us when we went to Italy...$200 USD worth. We got them at AAA as my local bank was not able to purchase euros for us. AAA sells "$100. packs"...whatever they can buy for $100 at the time they purchase. I felt better having some euros upon arrival. After that we used ATM and it was a very seamless process. Whenever credit cards were allowed at a restaurant or shop we used them so that we could get the best rate. They even took our Discover in quite a few places. At that time Discover was running a promotion for 5% cash back when used in Italy.

The biggest suggestion that I have is not to rely on any one thing. We had debit cards, cash, credit cards, and the ATM would have also taken the credit card if for some reason the debit card had a problem. No glitches at all-but I was glad we had plenty of options!!

10. Re: US money in Italy

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