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best place to get Euros in US.

carl2591

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daughter heading on europe in 2 weeks and was wanting to get euros for her to have before landing in germany..

would it be better to wait and exchange at airport in Frankfurt or do it here at airport.. credit union said it would take 2-3 weeks to get them.

thanks
 

Timeshare Von

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Carl it would be better for her to get them upon arrival in Germany, via an ATM machine. She will get a better exchange rate and if you use a bank card from here that doesn't charge the foreign transaction fee, you'll do even better.

Capital One is one such bank card that doesn't charge the foreign transaction fee. You can set up an online checking account with them very easily, and obtain ATM cards in a matter of about 2 wks.
 

Passepartout

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I second the recommendation of a BANK ATM at the Frankfurt airport. NOT the handy currency exchange booth! Use a debit card with a 4 digit PIN. Not a credit card which will treat a withdrawal as a cash advance. No need for a card with a chip. She will be paying a couple of Euros to her bank and a couple to the bank that owns the ATM, so get enough Euros to last a few days or ATM fees will mount up. If she's on an organized tour she probably won't need much- just snack/drink/souvenir/street market money. Use a credit card for major purchases. I can't stress enough, though, that Europe is very expensive now compared to prices here, so this should not be considered a shopping trip.

Be sure she has notified her card issuer of her itinerary (use the number on the back of the card) so they won't think her transactions are fraudulent and shut off the card(s).

Wishing her happy travels. This will be a wonderful experience for her.

Jim
 

carl2591

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we got a global cash points card at the credit union for atm/debit card usage.
it has it own balance and is not tied to any other accounts we have..

not sure about exchange fees, forgot to ask.

the group leader (teacher) has done this trip several time so i will get with her about how to do the need for cash.

thanks to all..
 

Passepartout

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we got a global cash points card at the credit union for atm/debit card usage.
it has it own balance and is not tied to any other accounts we have..

not sure about exchange fees, forgot to ask.

the group leader (teacher) has done this trip several time so i will get with her about how to do the need for cash.

thanks to all..

I think she is all set. There are no exchange fees on debit card ATM withdrawals. Only a small charge to her account on each end. The only place exchange fees come in is for credit card use. Like purchases and hotel payments and the like. On a tour she will have little- if any of these.

Added: She will want to spend whatever Euros she has before coming home. Unless she's going back to Euroland sometime soon the exchange of currency back to USD is horrible.

Jim
 
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ScoopKona

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Added: She will want to spend whatever Euros she has before coming home. Unless she's going back to Euroland sometime soon the exchange of currency back to USD is horrible.

Couple that with the fact that the Euro might not be worth the paper it's printed on in a few years.

As for getting Euros, Pounds, etc., the absolute best way is to change a large sum when rates are advantageous and keep it in the safe. A long time ago (2001), we bought a bunch of Euros and Pounds when the Euro rate was at parity with the dollar. We finally spent the last of it last year.

Of course, that involves knowing long-term vacation plans and being an armchair macro-economist.
 

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The Marriott Visa Platinum (Chase) credit card does not charge an exchange fee in Europe either, but should be used only for anything you want to buy on credit. As some one above said, don't use it for cash advances, like getting euros from an ATM.
KCI's wingman
 

Talent312

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Getting cash from a bank ATM upon arrival is a good idea, but I like to have some in flight, so I can head straight to the hotel. No exchange rate in the U.S. will be good, but IMHO, Wells Fargo service is better than most. There's no need for an account there, and they get it to you via FedX in a day or two.

See: https://www.foreignexchangeservices.com/
 
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Passepartout

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I like to have some in flight

Why, pray tell? There is nothing to buy on the plane that is paid for with cash. The ATM is right after the Customs/immigration area, so the OP's daughter can hit it before joining her group to depart the airport. Absolutely no reason to have a Euro stash earlier than that.

Jim
 

Timeshare Von

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Why, pray tell? There is nothing to buy on the plane that is paid for with cash. The ATM is right after the Customs/immigration area, so the OP's daughter can hit it before joining her group to depart the airport. Absolutely no reason to have a Euro stash earlier than that.

Jim

In fact some airlines (Delta for sure) will not take cash, only credit/debit cards for in-flight purchases including the $2 headsets!
 

Ken555

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Airport ATMs are the best. I agree with those above, no reason whatsoever to get euros in advance.
 

dioxide45

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You can also order Euro, (or many different currencies) at your local bank. It is unlikely that they will have it available on site, but will order it for you and you come back in in a couple days and pick it up. Exchange fees are likely the same as you would get through an ATM and it may be a good idea to have some actual Euro in hand before leaving the USA.
 

isisdave

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The auto club (california) sells prepackaged euros or pounds; I think it's approximately $100 worth. Thay're called "TipPaks".

Here, also, Wells Fargo stocks euros and pounds, although not at every branch, but within an easy distance, or you can get them and a dozen other currencies at your branch overnight. Maybe Wachovia does the same? You don't have to be a customer. I think there was a $200 minimum.

The rate isn't terrific but it's not awful on that small amount.
 

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Why, pray tell? There is nothing to buy on the plane that is paid for with cash... Absolutely no reason to have a Euro stash earlier than that.

I beg to differ. The "reasons" may not make sense to you, but to some, such as myself, arriving with local currancy in my pocket takes one item off the list of "must do's" on arrival.

I'd much rather concentrate on getting my luggage, checking into my hotel, renting a car or boarding the right train, and maybe getting something to eat. I'm not saying its necessary, either, just it provides some personal comfort and eases the stress of the moment.
 

Timeshare Von

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You can also order Euro, (or many different currencies) at your local bank. It is unlikely that they will have it available on site, but will order it for you and you come back in in a couple days and pick it up. Exchange fees are likely the same as you would get through an ATM and it may be a good idea to have some actual Euro in hand before leaving the USA.

This has not been my experience. Both times that I bought money before leaving the US, I later realized that the rate I got here was terrible vs. what I got on the ground there via ATM. Since then, I have made it a point to obtain local currency upon arrival.

More recently, my travel companions bought before leaving for Kenya. They had to replenish about half way through our trip. When they received their bank statement she commented at how much better their rate was via the ATM.

I can appreciate the hassle factor and one less thing to deal with once arriving, so then I'd consider it a convenience factor/fee to obtain currency before leaving the US.
 

dioxide45

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Here, also, Wells Fargo stocks euros and pounds, although not at every branch, but within an easy distance, or you can get them and a dozen other currencies at your branch overnight. Maybe Wachovia does the same?

Aren't Wachovia and Wells Fargo one in the same now? Wells bought Wachovia a couple years ago during the big bank collapse. Not sure if they have re-branded those Wachovia branches yet though.
 

beejaybeeohio

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Our upcoming trip requires we have lots of euros in hand on arrival- to pay for private transfer, our vrbo apt., a private tour, etc. none of which take credit cards.

My credit union limits me to 300 US withdrawal per day which equates to less than 200 euro currently so we definitely will have to exchange $$ here in the US before our trip.

Anything we can charge, we do using our Cap1 cards (although DH"s was compromised in Grand Cayman last Dec.-someone used his card data, fabricated an actual card, and must have sold it to someone in NY state because 4grand of charges were racked up at Rite-Aids, Walmarts, Wegmans grocery store and various gas stations. Luckily one store asked for idea and alerted Cap1 who then contacted DH.)
 
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