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Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

Baltimore, MD
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Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

So, here is the debate...what is the easiest to use throughout Italy? Cash via use of an ATM, Credit Cards or American Express Travelers Checks in US Dollars. Trying to find the most convenient and least expensive route to get our USD to Euro, and least likely for us to loose through theft. Thanks.

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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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1. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

Travelers Checks are a thing of the past. They are difficult to cash and carry hefty exchange fees so do not bother with them.

Use credit cards whenever possible. Use your ATM card and draw as much cash as you need for daily uses for security reasons.

Bring Amex/Visa/Mastercard and your ATM card.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

If you bank with TD Bank (previously Commerce), they do not charge any fees for international withdrawals. So this means you will ONLY be paying the exchange fee. I believe there are other banks that don't have fees (not Citibank or Chase, FYI).

Also, remember to call all the bank or credit cards to let them know you will be in Italy so they don't freeze your accounts thinking it's being used fraudulently.

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3. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

Some places accept only cash.

Austin, Texas
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4. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

Always check your local bank and see what kind of deal they can make for you before you leave. In addition, check to see what their fees are for ATM withdrawals and foreign exchange rates and also check your credit cards for that, some are better than others. We use a mix of cash, credit cards and ATM for additional cash withdrawals as we need it.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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5. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

Even if you have to pay a fee for use of an ATM, it will probably still be better than exchanging cash because the cash exchange rate is always poorer.

I get €100 before I leave home, in fairly small notes, so I don't have to look for an ATM as soon as I get off a long-haul flight. After that, I just use a debit card at ATMs.

In any case, minor differences in exchange rates or fees constitute a tiny proportion of the cost of a holiday.

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

Quite a few stores and restaurants frown upon credit card use, esp for transactions under say, 50 euro. Italy is not a credit card nation like the US.

It was a change for me, but I kept close track of my withdrawals from ATMs; accumulating enough each day to pay for some meals, souvenirs and our hotels with cash at the end of our stays in each city. I kept the cash in my money belt and wore it every time we left the hotel room.

Just be diligent and have fun!

Centennial, Colorado
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7. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

If you open a Charles Schwab High Yield Checking account and get a debit card for that account, you can use any ATM's and not have any fees and if one comes up on your account, they will reimburse you. My daughter is studying abroad and she has this card and it has worked great. You even get interest into your account.

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8. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

If you have a Capital One credit card and use it overseas, they don't charge you any fees.

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9. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

Usually credit-unions give you free ATM withdrawals world-wide.

St Paul, MN
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10. Re: Cash, credit card or travelers checks???

The Capital one card is only worthwhile until you have a problem (like being double-charged by a merchant). With the poor customer service, you can end up paying more because they won't do anything about it than all the exchange fees that you might save.

Nobody take Travlers checks in Euroep.

The least expensive as far as Fees is getting your money out of an ATM. I sue ATMs while I am in itlay, but I always exchange some money before I leave because on occasion I have had difficulties with ATMs. I carry all my euros and my credit cards in a money belt under my clothes.