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Any input on purchasing euros now or in Germany???

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Just wondering if you guys purchased euros ahead of time in the US or just waited until you arrived. I was quoted by my bank 1euro=$1.38 plus a $7.00 fee, and they needed to be ordered ahead of time. I am not sure if just getting a few euros for the bus/taxi fare would be a good idea or just waiting until I get to the airport and just using the ATM. I am reading the Euro should be dropping but no drastically. Any comments. :dunno:
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From: http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi

Live mid-market rates as of 2005.03.03 22:07:15 UTC.
1.00 EUR
Euro = 1.31106 USD
United States Dollars
1 EUR = 1.31106 USD 1 USD = 0.762743 EUR

***k that!!

It looks lke they are charging you a margin and fees :rolleyes: Can you call the cop?? :eeps: 'cause you're getting robbed!! :p

For that kind of rate, I'd use the ATM and take the prevailing rates by set by the Star System. ;)
yamilrx said:
....... I was quoted by my bank 1euro=$1.38 plus a $7.00 fee, and they needed to be ordered ahead of time. ..... :dunno:
1.38??? :yikes:

Damn, I will sell you Euros for 1.37 ... and no service charge! :bigpimp:


.
Hey!! How 'bout $1.31 : 1 :eeps: we can get our own lil' exchange rate going and cut out the middle man :p
Patrick 520iAT said:
1.38??? :yikes:

Damn, I will sell you Euros for 1.37 ... and no service charge! :bigpimp:

.
Hey, I want some-a dat ac-shun! :D
In my opinion, the best way is to use your ATM card at the airport when you arrive in Europe. Just make sure your PIN is numerical and contain no more than 4 digits. The ATM will have an option to use English. If your bank has a partnership setup with the corresponding European Bank there is no conversion charge or charge for the transaction.
Ågent99 said:
Hey, I want some-a dat ac-shun! :D
atm is the way to go

im with him...best exchange rate and bare bones bank rate...they still get u but much less than other ways....my wife goes back every 2 months and gets the best rate w/ ATM
Use an ATM (not a credit card) card. Unless you are buying many thousands, the convenience is worth much more than what they charge.
Using my ATM card all over Europe in the last few months and my bank did the exchange rate just a couple of cents over the "real" exchange rate plus like a $3.50 charge per transaction, so I would take out a few hundred Euros at a time just to have some cash, then I would pay everything with my Amex and the rate was also pretty good.
ATMs are the way to go, in general. (learn your PIN in numbers; the letters don't match the same in Europe.) But if you want some cash to start and the ease of converting back after you return, American Express generally beats most banks and they'll deliver the Euros (cash or TCs) overnight to your home or office. Call 800-414-6914. (I don't work for them, but I have used their service for every trip in the past five years without a problem.)
Thanks for all the input. I really wanted to take some cash just in case I don't have a chance to use the ATm and need cash for the bus. Just a plan ahead type of thing. I was told by my bank that as long as you use ATM's with the logo that is in the back of the card there is would be no fee charged. That sounded good.
ATM is the way to go.
Having done my research on this (talking to banks, here on this site as well as others) I cannot but agree to everybody here. Hotels can also give you an additional discount if you pay cash.:thumbup:

Half the fun of a trip is in the planning.
Whatever you do, do NOT exchange at the little coverter next to the service center in the Munich Airport. We got SCREWED :freakdanc Stick to the ATMs and Amex cards.

Amex is really good at disputes too. If you dispute any charge under XXX dollars (I wont say the amount), they automatically credit it regardless of if you're right or not.
One other thing, call the 800 number on back of your ATM and credit cards before you go and let them know what countries you'll be visiting or else you risk being rejected because they think its fraud.
dfrith said:
In my opinion, the best way is to use your ATM card at the airport when you arrive in Europe. Just make sure your PIN is numerical and contain no more than 4 digits. The ATM will have an option to use English. If your bank has a partnership setup with the corresponding European Bank there is no conversion charge or charge for the transaction.
Firm believer in ATM here (and Visa where ever it is accepted). A few important things to note though -
1) many banks have daily ATM withdrawl limits. Make sure you know yours and before going (factoring in the exchage rates too). Most of the European ATMs have withdrawl limits of up to €1000 (about $1300), some have less but if your bank allows more, you can hit the ATM again. This maybe important to those who prefer to pay in cash for big expenses like hotel, travel, gas, etc.....
2) None of the ATMs have access to other than your primary checking account (i.e. you won't have the option of withdrawling from savings, money market etc.). The only exception is credit card cash advances. Make sure you have a sufficient amount of funds in your account that is the primary access point from your ATM card.
3) Many German banks have ATM vestibules that are secured after hours. You'll need to look near the door to find a card reader. Swipe your ATM through the card reader to unlock the doors. In some rare cases, your card will not work. Either go on to the next ATM, wait for someone else to open the door, or come back during business hours..
Good point stahlgraum3. But having travelled to Europe several times before and finding my cards are blocked I've learned my lesson. It never fails, even when I call they give me a hard time if I want to purchase a high ticket item. That is why I bring a back up card and call ahead. :dunno:
StahlGrauM3 said:
One other thing, call the 800 number on back of your ATM and credit cards before you go and let them know what countries you'll be visiting or else you risk being rejected because they think its fraud.
While I agree on the disputes aspect of Amex, they are not the best deal for foreign transactions because they charge a higher currency conversion rate. All credit cards charge something (eseentially a markup). Amex charges 2%. Visa and M/C charge 1%, but then the issuing bank charges an extra amount, from 0-3%. While I'm sure there are others, two biggies that don't mark up the rate at all are MBNA and Capital One. So you pay only 1% over the market conversion rate on the day of the charge.

Too bad Amex is higher on this--I didn't pull it out once when I took ED a couple of years ago.
icemanjs4 said:
Whatever you do, do NOT exchange at the little coverter next to the service center in the Munich Airport. We got SCREWED :freakdanc Stick to the ATMs and Amex cards.

Amex is really good at disputes too. If you dispute any charge under XXX dollars (I wont say the amount), they automatically credit it regardless of if you're right or not.
An ATM card might still be less expensive for getting cash. According to the MBNA web site, the transaction fee for Bank and ATM Cash Advances is 3% of each cash advance (minimum $10). Ouch.
definitely. if it wasn't clear, I was referring to credit transactions. No way I'd put any cash withdrawal on any credit card, except in a complete emergency.

Use an ATM to get cash; then charge everything else to MBNA or Cap. One--cheapest way to go.

BTW, Bank of America has a relationship (i.e., free atm withdrawals) with Deutschebank.
johnf said:
An ATM card might still be less expensive for getting cash. According to the MBNA web site, the transaction fee for Bank and ATM Cash Advances is 3% of each cash advance (minimum $10). Ouch.
Thanks for clearing that up. I was reading a fair amount about ATMs and then you brought up the MBNA card which I recalled was a credit card. I also always try to charge as much as possible on my credit cards, though as you discuss, you should try to use one that doesn't tack on a foreign transaction fee.

Deutsche Bank has recipricol agreements with about a half dozen banks that allows its customers to use their ATMs without fee, including those at the bright yellow Post Bank you find in just about every German town and city (at least in the west). Presumably, a Bank of America card user would also use the same machines without fee. I will ask about this the next time I am at the bank.
I called CapitolOne and BofA after reading this thread:

CapitolOne = 1% Transaction Fee
BofA = 3% Transaction Fee

I guess I'll use the C1 card.
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