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Going to London and then flying from there to France on the same day. Need a certain amount of cash as normally prefer that to using CC's. So need euros for dollars and certainly won't be exchanging at the airport. So before I go, wondered where would be the best place in the States to do this?

Was offered at today's rate around 1 Euro for coughing up 1.21 dollars. Its about 1.13. Can I do better elsewhere? Am also informed that certain debit or CC cards offer reasonable rates at ATM machines when in France, wondered which ones you would recommend and what to look out for as never used a debit card, let alone gone to any ATM machine. But to have some Euros with me to start with, where would you suggest I go to get them over here and any tips appreciated going forward. Thx.
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Going to London and then flying from there to France on the same day. Need a certain amount of cash as normally prefer that to using CC's. So need euros for dollars and certainly won't be exchanging at the airport. So before I go, wondered where would be the best place in the States to do this?


We did this some years ago. Bought a few pounds (Hey, it was some time ago), at our bank so we didn't have to take whatever the airport exchange rate was.

We use a Citibank debit card to get Euros from ATM's in Europe. No exchange fee, at least last time we were in Europe.

CNC
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Was offered at today's rate around 1 Euro for coughing up 1.21 dollars. Its about 1.13. Can I do better elsewhere? Am also informed that certain debit or CC cards offer reasonable rates at ATM machines when in France, wondered which ones you would recommend and what to look out for as never used a debit card, let alone gone to any ATM machine. But to have some Euros with me to start with, where would you suggest I go to get them over here and any tips appreciated going forward. Thx.

I suggest learning how to use an ATM. It is dead easy, and it will save you lots of time and money.
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https://boards.fool.com/checking-account-with-charles-schwab...

I rarely to never use it as a debit card but consider it the easiest way to get cash when required. Unless something major is going on, I don't worry about exchange rates. An ATM at the airport is usually no different and it doesn't matter if the fee is higher since Schwab rebates it anyway.
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I agree with everyone else - ATM card (with chip) is the only way which makes sense. Try to use an ATM machine from a major foreign bank if you have problems with a randomly chosen ATM machine.

Jeff
(Been in Europe for a few weeks and have used about 30 Euros in cash)
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Thx everyone......god I am getting old and senile, originally asked virtually this same question on this board a few weeks ago and had forgotten that I did so!!!!!!
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I was thinking about this. If you are uncomfortable using an ATM somewhere else, perhaps you can try one close to home. It's a good idea so you can see if there are any glitches. And a reminder to file a travel notice for whatever cards you plan to use.
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All the CCs today have chips, PINs, have been really safe here & overseas. Notifying the CC vendor lets them adjust their monitoring so they have no surprises. We've been with our Credit Union for many years, low or no fees, and the monitoring is great, just set up the notification limits, we get messaged, emailed instantly on every transaction above those limits, a good record, reminder of what was going on...

Only cash needed is for tipping, and even that can be in US dollars about anywhere...

Of course aboard cruise ships, maybe an ATM, or maybe just the Purser can do whatever you need as can most Hotel desks...
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If you want, you can set an email alert for any large credit card purchase amount. I set mine to $1, figuring I'd rather have a few emails each day than be blindsided with someone using my account (actually, I have frozen my credit accounts and use every available email alert type from my credit cards).

In general, people appreciate local currency for tips as they sometimes get a haircut when they exchange USD for "real" money (exceptions being in countries like Bermuda who have linked their currency to the USD, if the local currency is failing and there is a currency black market - or in Zimbabwe where there is no official currency)

Jeff
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Once you have said currency, no need to SPEND IT ALL!

We keep envelopes of currency to give us a jump on future trips. Have loaned envelopes to friends and family with the caveat that they are returned containing similar amount of funds... We are not talking a lot of money here, just enough that we feel no real need to immediately obtain more upon arrival.

Teri ... close enough to Canada that we even keep an envelope of Canadian $.
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Once you have said currency, no need to SPEND IT ALL!

We keep envelopes of currency to give us a jump on future trips.


One caveat is that some countries do change their currency. Each of the last two years I have gone to the UK and have had at least something that needed to get changed at a bank.

(Me with my British Scotland Yard friend who review my cash when we have dinner - "My currency doesn't change." Him - "and do you know what the most laundered currency in the world is ? " ;)
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It's been several years, but we had some Mexican pesos that became useless. We weren't aware, either, and no bank would touch them.

I'm prone to getting some cash from an exchange at the airport. It may not be the BEST rate, but it's good enough. I generally use cards for everything. It's rare that I actually need cash.

Right now we have some Yen from last year. Also some euros from a few years ago.
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One caveat is that some countries do change their currency. Each of the last two years I have gone to the UK and have had at least something that needed to get changed at a bank.


Ya we got burned on the pound thing too. I think we did ultimately manage to exchange them tho...

We never keep much currency...just enough to grab a taxi or something if necessary...

Easy answer...go frequently!

Teri
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Easy answer...go frequently!

Once a year has seemed to be enough for the UK, New Zealand, Europe and Canada...
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