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Where is the best place to change currency?

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Farmingdale, New...
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Where is the best place to change currency?

We have some euro from our last trip but where is the best place to change currency? We have a citibank account in the US so does it make sense to use the citibank atm in the airport?

nc usa
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1. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

We very rarely exchange money in Greece- just use the atms. We normally take out the daily limit when we need money- the fees add up if you're constantly taking money out. I'm not sure what banks have atms in the airport.

bridgnorth
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2. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

I've used the Citibank ATM at Arrivals in Athens Airport, with a UK bank card I get the normal international exchange rate , no charges. Of course this is GBP into Euros , but I don't suppose the USA dollar would be any different.

Probably best to inform your USA bank branch that you're traveling.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

Hey again cszlaein:-) If you're coming off the direct, you'll find the Citibank ATM right in front of you coming out of formalities/luggage retrieval in the arrivals hall.. pretty much sitting by itself there.. at the left end of arrivals;-) There are about 5-6 ATMs altogether! I always use the Citi ATM first thing.. but do be aware, unlike here in the States, all the ATMs 'eat' your card.. it's not the push/pull (insert method) we have here where your hand is always on the card;-) A little freaky when the machine takes it and it's out of your hands for a few minutes while you do the transaction;-) I've yet to have my card 'swallowed up'.. then again, I usually only use ATMs attached to a bank during working hours.. just in case.. only time I've used a stand-alone is at the airport and never a problem;-)

Would call your branch and ask about fees involved with your account.. they are not fee free for the most part depending on your account.. good thing is (I use my debit card from checking), you can see your balance on the receipt so you know where you stand .. exactly how much was deducted from you account! There is also a Citibank with 2 ATMs smack on Syntagma Square.. where the X95 airport bus is located;-)

I haven't researched myself, but have heard from others that TD Bank and Schwab are excellent places to open an account for travel since they do not charge any fees! Regaradless, always inform your bank of your travel plans so they don't freeze your account thinking it's unusual activity;-) EnJOY!

Sanford, Florida
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4. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

Agree with everyone else, just use the ATM!

Athens, Greece
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5. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

If you have to exchange currency though, Kapa exchange on Fillellinon is the one I have found to usually give the best rates...

Farmingdale, New...
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6. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

My bank charges a 3% fee plus $3 for every transaction. I just wonder if I get the best rate by using the ATM or going to an exchange?

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

Hey again:-) Sounds average for the 'big boy' banks like Citi, Chase, etc.. For example, if you withdraw the equivelant of $400, you total fees are $15 ($12 for 3% conversion + $3 for every time you use an ATM) Take note that there is a daily limit on withdrawals.. usually $500 which averages out.. depending on rate at the time you're there.. to about 350-400E.. you can contact your branch and ask them to raise your daily limit in order to avoid hitting the ATM more often and adding on that fee everytime you withdraw!

Again, I haven't checked myself, but know folks who travel internationally and use TD and Charles Schwab and they do not get charged any ATM fees.. the conversion rates can vary by bank! I haven't exchanged USD for Euros in eons.. find the ATMs most convenient and FWIW, last time I did a cash exchange was last year in Warsaw and got a horrific rate for USD to zloty;-) For the most part, I find cash exchanges the costliest! I always carry some USD just in case..but find I always return with them;-) Keep us posted.. keep enJOYin'!

Farmingdale, New...
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8. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

Litsa - I am going to ask Chase to increase my limit so that I can just take out enough at one time. I hate having to get money out of an ATM in a foreign country just in case it doesnt work or it eats my card. If I can get the best rate from an ATM I will do that though. I would hate to open up an account just for travel since we dont travel to europe that often. We have 200 euros from when we went to Italy a couple of yrs ago so that will get us by the first day at least. I will feel the most comfy using the ATM that is attached to a bank so we will prob head to the citibank in syntagma.

Thanks :)

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

..I thought you had a Citi account! In that case, don't use Citi ATMs.. they may charge an addt'l fee for use of a competitor like Chase:-) Just use any of the Greek bank ATMs there since I don't believe Chase has any branches anywhere in the County.. Greek banks don't charge a fee.. you'll still be charged by Chase the $3 regardless;-) I always use Greek bank ATMs when traveling throughout the Country.. on the isles .. Citi ATMs are super limited;) Good deal on raising the limit and informing them of your travel plans;-) EnJOYin'!

Edited: 16 April 2013, 19:24
London, United...
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10. Re: Where is the best place to change currency?

You can minimise the danger of an ATM not working by using the ATMs inside the banks, rather than in the street, and always during opening hours, so that there is bank staff on duty to help if you need help. As for an ATM eating your card, it's unlikely as long as you're careful to key in your pin correctly, but it's always a good idea to have another card with you.

Alternatively, I don't know if you've got pre-loaded cash cards in the US, but that might be another idea. Mine (Fairfx, only available in the UK) charges no exchange fees and a flat 1.50 euro withdrawal fee whatever the amount of the withdrawal.