Currency Exchange

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Efilon87, Jul 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Efilon87

    Efilon87 Silver Member

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    Just wondering where you all get your foreign currency before your international trips? Ill usually stop by Chase or BofA before I leave to get some emergency local currency. However, I've noticed that the bank is taking about $20 from the rate...Oh well...Would like your thoughts. Thanks!!

    ~Efilon87
     
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  2. ariosto

    ariosto Silver Member

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    I usually just withdraw from ATM and have no issues whatsoever i do arrive with some cash $150 euros if europe as BANKS are an expensive way to Xchange..:cool: HTH
     
  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    US banks all have pretty lousy retail buy/sell currency spreads, typically >10%. Unless I'm traveling to a country without a liquid ForEx market, I usually pick up local currency from an ATM at the port of entry. That way I get the official (midpoint) exchange rate plus a small margin that varies between 0% and 3%, depending on the terms of your checking account.
     
  4. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    A forex, or multiple forexes in the airports are terrible place to exchange monies too. So I limit my transaction to minimum amount needed for taxi money and my first meal, till I find an ATM, or a favorable rate money changer.
     
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  5. Paolo Scuri

    Paolo Scuri Silver Member

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    If you happen to be in Switzerland try Migros Bank: no fees whatsoever.
     
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  6. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    Always ATM at arrival airport - back up is currency exchange at the airport. Of course there are some countries where this won't work (but none I've visited lately). In addition I have envelopes with different currencies from the places I visit most.
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    One place where the ATM strategy may be problematic is SGN because one might first need to pay for a visa on arrival (VOA) to get to the ATMs, and they take only US$ (preferred) and Viet Dongs as payment for the VOA. I found myself in a tough spot last year because I had burned all my US$ at my prior destination and had no Viet Dongs, relying precisely on the ATM strategy...I'd previously related about how I got out of it.
     
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  8. jwsky
    Original Member

    jwsky Silver Member

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    I think your experience here shows that there is no need to have currency in advance except US$ or in some places Euros. It never hurts to have some $US anywhere in the world. I try to keep some smaller bills hidden and always in good condition.
     
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  9. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I usually use an atm upon arrival that takes American Express. The rates have been extremely good for me.
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Does AmEx charge that as a cash advance? I'd be surprised if the rates were reasonable on that. :confused:
     
  11. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

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    The one thing you need to watch out is for what your home bank charges per foreign ATM transaction. If they charge $5, you might want to get out a little more than normal to avoid subsequent $5 charges. I'm fortunate to use a bank that does not charge a fee for foreign ATM transactions and tend to get around $100 each transaction for daily expenses. My last bank charged something like $1.50 and 2% so I left them as this was going to cost me hundreds of dollars a year with the amount of time I'm outside the U.S.
     
  12. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I always do ATM and also keep about $100 USD for emergencies. The only currency conversion places I like are those in BKK airport -- there's no per-transaction fee that so often makes things a horrific deal for smaller amounts.
     
  13. colt245

    colt245 Silver Member

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    The exchange rate from euro to GPB is quite low at the moment - £1.00 to 1.12 Euro, so myself and my partner are just considering using a card, or exchanging the rest of our currency once we arrive in Greece, and using the card for high transactions if we do some excursions or other activities. Not going to be a hectic holiday, mostly going to relax and have some nice meals so the money isn't a huge issue, as long as we are covered for the week!
     
  14. LizzyDragon84
    Original Member

    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

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    Like others, I hit an ATM on arrival. I also carry extra US $ in case I can't locate an ATM or if I have an issue with my bank cards.
     
  15. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    One of the banks I have a relationship with is Citibank. They have a complimentary service for some banking clients (minimum deposit and/or activity levels, don't recall them) called World Wallet. They will Fedex you pretty much any currency (or deliver it to your local branch). They charge a small fee for regular clients.

    When you return you just give them back whatever currency you have left and they exchange again.

    I've found the conversion rates to be better than FOREX in airports but have occasionally found better rates elsewhere. I've always been willing to pay a slightly higher than rock bottom rate for the convenience.
     

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