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what about money!!

madisonville...
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what about money!!

My husband and I have a trip booked for march 2 2009 and we are wondering what to do about money in Rome. Should we change our money into euros at airport in rome, or take travellers checks? Keep some american money? Any help with this would be appreciated.

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Kamloops, BC...
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1. Re: what about money!!

Travelers checks are almost impossible to cash and almost nobody will accept them for goods or services. I have been carrying the same ones for more than 15 years, and the only reason I would ever take the loss on them is if I had a grave emergency. Those few places that will cash them charge a fee for the service and also pay a dreadful rate of exchange. I've spoken to some folks who have taken a 25% loss on face value.

I use ATMs exclusively for cash when I'm traveling, and I've done so for about 15 years, in numerous cities on 5 continents. I've only ever had difficulty once, and then I had to wait about 5 minutes for the machine to be refilled, so I'm not complaining.

I withdraw the local currency from an ATM at the airport when I arrive in country and then just withdraw from other machines as I need to.

Before I travel I go into my bank branch and advise them that I"ll be traveling - when and where, and for European travel I increase my daily limit to about the equivalent of €1,500. My banks don't set a limit on the number of transactions I can make, and I keep an adequate balance to eliminate all charges for ATM withdrawals, anywhere in the world.

I do the numbers every year, and it's always the same. The rate of exchange from an ATM is so much better than anywhere else that even if I had to pay bank charges on the transactions, I would still come out a few percent ahead.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: what about money!!

I have never had a problem with ATMs either. Occasionally my husband has because his debit card is with a different type of institution, a Credit Union. I advise my bank that I am going overseas and I keep my Credit Card and my Debit card separate, as otherwise I might incur charges for a cash withdrawal from my credit card. I hedge my bets by carrying two Visa Credit Cards but it has never been an issue. These are not primitive countries but worldly sophisticated places with monetary histories that go back far before our countries were inhabited by Anglos.

Warwick, Rhode...
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3. Re: what about money!!

I just read in another thread that even though you may increase or eliminate your limit at your bank before traveling, the banks in Rome impose their own limit of say 200 euros/per day limit. Would I have to go to different banks to get around this?

Thanks,

Barb

Chorley, United...
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4. Re: what about money!!

I do agree with the view that Traveller's Checks are old news all over Europe - difficult and expensive to cash in. Nor are American dollars much use in Italy or elsewhere in Europe.

I have never had problems with the ATMs anywhere. Just make sure you let your car issuer know that you will be abroad and using your card. Check your card has a 4 figure PIN number. They all have a daily cash limit but otherwise are an efficient means of gaining euros.

Stewartsville, NJ
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5. Re: what about money!!

I always use an ATM when I am traveling.

However, it is very important to notify your bank (and credit cards) that you are traveling to Italy (or whereever) and the dates.

One thing I did notice about Rome airport (FCO)... all the carts take Euro's....and they are in baggage claim...the ATM is outside of baggage claim (unless they moved the ATM in the last year). So we always save our some of our Euro's from year to year. Last year I was able to get euro's at a local Chase bank (needed cash for the apartment). you may want to inquire a local bank....maybe they can get you 100 euro's or so at a reasonable exchange rate

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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6. Re: what about money!!

Skiman: we Europeans have the same problem at US airports! In fact, it's worse, because most European airports don't charge for baggage carts. This is something new at Fiumicino, and I'm sorry this inconvenience is arriving here!

houston
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7. Re: what about money!!

Not only notify your bank of traveling, but photocopy the front and backs of cards. If you lose card, you can call international #s printed on back of card. Last summer lost a card in Greece and was able to call from the beach and stop card. Calling bank ahead of time ups the dollar amount you can withdraw.

Kuttawa, Kentucky
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8. Re: what about money!!

I always change a modest amount of dollars (maybe $40) in the airport before arriving in another country. I realize that the airport rate is much less than what I will get at a bank or ATM, but I feel more comfortable having that small amount already in my pocket.

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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9. Re: what about money!!

I go to my bank and change enough money to get to my destination before leaving home. Just enough for cab or train fare at the airport. Then I hit the ATM after I'm safely ensconced at my destination.

Kansas
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for Siena, Montalcino
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10. Re: what about money!!

barb111,

Only your bank can impose a daily limit on your debit/ATM card. the ATM may have a transaction limit, the maximum it will dispense at one time, but you can perform multiple transactions. I have done this numerous times.