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Old 06-04-2015, 09:31 AM
 
Location: NoVa
2,125 posts, read 2,909,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prospectheightsresident View Post
Great advice, graceC

OP: ignoring what graceC wrote, and adding to my post above, if you're going to use the ATM abroad and are concerned about getting the best deal (if fees aren't of concern to you, then do whatever is most convenient to you), check with your bank first.

Using ATM's overseas is not guaranteed to be cheaper than going to a currency exchange place (especially one that doesn't charge a user fee if you're exchanging more than $200, etc.) before you travel. Consider these articles:

Currency Exchange Rates at ATMs - London Forum - TripAdvisor

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...chine-atm-tips

https://transferwise.com/blog/2012-1...t-foreign-atm/

One common piece of advice I'm finding, however, is to try avoiding exchanging currency at a bank, as they generally have very high rates.
Like someone posted above, few banks in the US have foreign currencies in stock so they will have to order it for you with a tacked-on fee. Add to that the hassle of making that special trip back & forth just to collect the money. No thanks.

Withdrawing from destination country's ATM is still better.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:41 AM
 
1 posts, read 505 times
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change in UK bank its more safe and fast way to exchange money
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:37 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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I always get enough cash for the first 2-3 days from my local bank before I leave. My ATM card wouldn't work the last time I was in Europe until I called the bank and got it straightened out. Yes, I had told them my travel dates before I left, and it actually worked for a withdrawl a couple days after I arrived.

If you get to the airport and try to take funds and can't, you're kind of screwed if you don't have some starter money with you.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,069 posts, read 18,997,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I always get enough cash for the first 2-3 days from my local bank before I leave. My ATM card wouldn't work the last time I was in Europe until I called the bank and got it straightened out. Yes, I had told them my travel dates before I left, and it actually worked for a withdrawl a couple days after I arrived.

If you get to the airport and try to take funds and can't, you're kind of screwed if you don't have some starter money with you.
Which is precisely why we have two ATM cards from different banks. One is our regular, local checking account. The other is from Capital One who doesn't charge us a foreign or out of network ATM fee. Additionally, this allows DH to carry one, I carry the other, so if one gets lost or stolen, we have no problems beyond reporting it. We do the same with our credit cards.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:52 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Which is precisely why we have two ATM cards from different banks. One is our regular, local checking account. The other is from Capital One who doesn't charge us a foreign or out of network ATM fee. Additionally, this allows DH to carry one, I carry the other, so if one gets lost or stolen, we have no problems beyond reporting it. We do the same with our credit cards.
You assume that everyone travels with at least one other person and has accounts in different banks.
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Old 06-04-2015, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,675 posts, read 6,277,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I always get enough cash for the first 2-3 days from my local bank before I leave. My ATM card wouldn't work the last time I was in Europe until I called the bank and got it straightened out. Yes, I had told them my travel dates before I left, and it actually worked for a withdrawl a couple days after I arrived.

If you get to the airport and try to take funds and can't, you're kind of screwed if you don't have some starter money with you.
That's the problem I had when I traveled to China. I called my bank and clearly let them know that I'd be in Beijing for the Olympics. I even gave them exact dates of travel. When I arrived in China and tried to use my card, however, I was locked out. And, as I was without a phone and had limited access to the internet (not that I'd feel comfortable logging into my online banking account in China), there was literally nothing I could do. Thankfully, the bank had the sense to call my parents' house and they let them know (again) that I was traveling. Thus, the problem was taken care of within a day. Still, I could've been really screwed. That's a big reason why I always exchange money before traveling.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,444,578 times
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Literally the first mistake you can make before even leaving your country is this. NEVER use an exchange bureau; they have to gouge you. Just use the ATM locally, even at the airport, the amount you lose to conversion is negligible in comparison. Just make sure your credit card or debit companies don't have some weird policy to rip you off abroad. And always notify your banks that you are going abroad, or they will cancel for suspicious activity.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,675 posts, read 6,277,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse44 View Post
Literally the first mistake you can make before even leaving your country is this. NEVER use an exchange bureau; they have to gouge you. Just use the ATM locally, even at the airport, the amount you lose to conversion is negligible in comparison. Just make sure your credit card or debit companies don't have some weird policy to rip you off abroad. And always notify your banks that you are going abroad, or they will cancel for suspicious activity.
That doesn't have to be true. There are pretty good rates out there. And many places don't even charge a commission if you're taking out more than a certain amount.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,300 posts, read 1,094,672 times
Reputation: 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse44 View Post
Literally the first mistake you can make before even leaving your country is this. NEVER use an exchange bureau; they have to gouge you. Just use the ATM locally, even at the airport, the amount you lose to conversion is negligible in comparison. Just make sure your credit card or debit companies don't have some weird policy to rip you off abroad. And always notify your banks that you are going abroad, or they will cancel for suspicious activity.
While I agree you shouldn't use an exchange bureau, ordering from you bank is not a bad bet. Looking at bank of America's rate if you order Pounds, 1003 USD will get you $620 Pounds compared to the straight exchange rate of $953 for 620 Pounds. In addition you will have to go to the bank to pick up the currency (if you order less that $1000 there is a $7.50 delivery free but you will have the option of having the currency sent to your home). So for about $50 you have the peace of mind of having cash and don't have to worry about having about potential card problems. Plus depending on the ATM that you use that $50 difference can be eaten up by out of network ATM and foreign transaction fees.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:46 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellymdnv View Post
While I agree you shouldn't use an exchange bureau, ordering from you bank is not a bad bet. Looking at bank of America's rate if you order Pounds, 1003 USD will get you $620 Pounds compared to the straight exchange rate of $953 for 620 Pounds. In addition you will have to go to the bank to pick up the currency (if you order less that $1000 there is a $7.50 delivery free but you will have the option of having the currency sent to your home). So for about $50 you have the peace of mind of having cash and don't have to worry about having about potential card problems. Plus depending on the ATM that you use that $50 difference can be eaten up by out of network ATM and foreign transaction fees.
I bank with BofA and do this. Also if you will be going to countries using more than one currency (ie UK and France you would need pounds and Euros) you can mix the currencies to reach the $1000 threshold. They send you an email when the funds arrive in the bank--usually a day or two later--and you go in with your photo ID and pick the cash up. Couldn't be easier.
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