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Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

Wichita, KS
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Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

Perhaps someone can address the issue of where it is best to purchase Euros with American dollars. As of right now, the official exchange rate on the internet is: $1.32 for each Euro. I called my bank today, and they want $1.388 for each Euro. Should I buy my Euros at the bank, or am I likely to find a better rate somewhere in Athens. My suspicion is that the better deal will be at my bank (7 cents more than the official exchange rate).

Parga, Greece
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1. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

Hi pennstate,

Alpha Bank (Greece) are quoting 1.3314 as at 5.00pm Friday.

Your USD will buy 75c compared to your bank's rate of 72c

Hope you find this useful.

Anchorage, Alaska
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2. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

I think the best, and most economical way to do it, is to withdraw Euros from your bank account in Greece using an ATM. There are ATMs everywhere.

Parga, Greece
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3. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

I agree with Eleni K, but a lot depends on what charges your bank makes. However, going back to your question about exchange rates, at present (and in the foreseeable future) you will buy more euros for your USD in Greece when comparing with your own bank. The bottom line of this equation depends on charges and commissions - on today's rates you're approx 4% better off dealing in Greece but this could be wiped out by charges.

We also have the same problem in the UK trying to decide how to buy euros (not necessarily the most) and I think it's fair to say that these days most people favour using the ATM's. I'm not sure how you are affected in the US when using ATM's abroad but in the UK charges by some banks can be quite punitive. I have opened an account (with the Nationwide) primarily for travel and this attracts no charges when using ATM's abroad. Due to the fact that I pay most bills (hotels, restaurants and bars etc) in cash, on the amount I withdraw from ATM's my annual saving on exchange is about 300 euros. This brings me to another very important point about using the ATM's. When settling hotel bills let them know in advance that you'll be using cash - some of the smaller ones are quite happy to prune the bill for the good old 'Black Economy'.

Yes, the ATM's should be best but it all depends what plastic you feed them.

new york
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4. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

Here's what I found out:

Regardless of your home bank, if you use your Debit card for either purchases OR cash withdrawals an additional 3% (set by MC/Visa) is added to the transaction. In addition there is on average a $5 ATM out of network fee.

In contrast AMEX. offers a preloaded cheque card and has established a preferred partnership with Alpha Bank with ATMs readily available on the mainland AND Islands for getting cash. 1,50 euro atm fee for withdrawals up to 100 euro to a maximum transaction fee of 3,50 euro. You can preload the cheque card in USD or Euros. Although they charge $14.95 for the card, you more make up for that in transaction and fees. (The AMEX check card can be used virtually at all ATMs in Greece, but the fee varies)

If you have an American Express card, purchases are charged at +2% the interbank rate. (The others MC/Visa charge 3%).

IMO using the cheque card beats any of the banks here in the States for getting Euros in advance. You can even get your first stash of Euros at Athens airport on arrival.

Parga, Greece
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5. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

You now have your definitive answer - how fortunate we are (in the UK) to have a building society, the Nationwide, that has maintained it's equitable status whilst fulfilling the role of bank. I would stress however, that the account has got to be in credit - if you like, preloaded in anticipation.

UK
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6. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

You will get the best rate using your debit (aka checking) account, not credit card.

Parga, Greece
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7. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

I think this what a1dmpro is saying.

UK
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8. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

I reda him as saying spend a bunch of money with Amex in order to get the same you'd get from our normal checking account.

Plus, FWIW, Amex is much less widely accepted in Europe than the US, especially smaller places.

Parga, Greece
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9. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

FWW, I read him as saying spend $14.95 with AMEX for their checking card and you can avail yourself of the partnership with Alpha Bank. There will then be a charge, when using Alpha Bank ATM's, of 1.50 euros each transaction up to 100, with a max of 3.50 euros. After paying that initial $14.95 your getting a deal that more than macthes most of our checking accounts.

The Alpha Bank is not entirely small - that's why I went for their exchange rate in my first reply to pennstate.

Anchorage, Alaska
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10. Re: Euro -- USD Exchange Rate

I use a fidelity debit card, and am charged nothing in fees for making ATM withdrawals in Europe.