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echanging american dollars for euros

Buffalo
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echanging american dollars for euros

I am going to italy in april2009 . Should i exchange american dollars and buy euros in the us before i go to italy? what is the best way to handle payment of restaurant bills; cab fares; sightseeing tours, hotels etc. Thanks so much

joan Buffalo, NY

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1. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

If you exchange currency at the street kiosks that are set up for this, you will pay an outrageous premium for exchanging either way. The banks are not much better, they might state a reasonable exchange fee, but then charge a large service fee for doing the exchange. My solution has been to buy euros at home to cover a good part of anticipated expenses, and use the credit card whenever it seems convenient. Even with the 3% credit card fee it comes out better than the other options.

Silver Spring...
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2. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

As discussed numerous times, the best way to get cash is to withdraw money from an ATM. Let your bank know you will be out of town and make sure you have enough money in your account.

Long Beach, NY
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3. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

....and don't forget to ask your bank if your PIN will work in foreign ATMs....

NJ
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4. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

if you exchange money in the airport do you need to physically have the american dollars or can you use a credit card to do this?

Long Beach, NY
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5. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

sfenmore, I believe receiving cash from your credit card would be a cash advance, not an exchange of US Dollars for euros.

Frisco, Colorado
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6. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

Most credit cards you can use like an ATM card for an advance - I have done it tons of times - call your cc company and ask for your CC pin. NO FEES! ...well except the standard ones. Plus the exchange rate is dropping (good) every day, I would wait until I get there and use ATMS - in this modern age it is frankly the only way to go IMHO.

Savannah, GA
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7. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

I usually use a combo of the methods selected. I take along some Euros for immediate expenses and to use during jet lag and until getting the lay of the land and locating my "favorite" ATM machine. DO be sure that your card has the four-digit PIN. Some small and family-run restaurants really appreciate cash...and they are the best places to absorb true

culture and best food. You can, too, often negotiate a much better deal with shopping - especially now - if you can pay in cash.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

Use ATMs to withdraw cash as needed.

To pay for various items, we use CC at restaurants, cash at a pizza joint, cash for cab fares, CC for hotels, big tours use a CC, small things like a hop on hop off bus use cash. Basically, big items use CC, small ones use cash.

No need to tip either. You can round up a cab fare or cafe bill. If leaving a small tip for good service at a restaurant do it in cash, even if you have paid by CC. IT is my memory that the CC slip does not even have a space for tips.

Some places may not use CCs, such as small B&Bs and they ask to be paid in cash. Make sure you have prepared enough in advance for this so you can have enough from the ATM to pay cash.

Durango, Colorado
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9. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

I've had good luck traveling with these two cards:

1.) Capital One Mastercard. No foreign currency transaction fees. Used for bigger purchases, or when you're short of cash.

2.) Bank Of Internet ATM/Debit card. (Believe it or not, it's a FDIC bank...) Also no currency transaction fees, and it works fine overseas, and has a 4 digit PIN. They also reimburse ATM use charges, at least they did for our last trip to Cozumel a week ago. Will find out if they do that for Italy transactions during June. I use this card for obtaining local currency to pay most daily costs--meals, cabs, etc.

Most banks charge about 3% currency transaction fee, so it's nice to save that money!

Hope this helps---

Doug, in Durango, Colorado

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10. Re: echanging american dollars for euros

I would check with your bank first. I went to Wachovia today and asked them about ATM and conversion fees in Europe. They said they charge a 3% conversion fee for any sum I withdrew from an ATM plus I would also be charged any ATM fee by the non-Wachovia ATM.