Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ?

Posted by: Piano World

Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/19/11 09:39 AM

We will soon be leaving for the Piano World European Piano Tour .

I'm trying to figure out the best place to purchase Euros.

Some say the post office or your own bank, here in the U.S. .
Others advise buying in Europe, either at a bank or ATM.

Any experienced travelers here have a suggestion?
Posted by: Agilita

Re: Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/19/11 11:12 AM

Have you read Rick Steves money tips?

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/moneytip.htm

I already bought some Euros so I would have them on arrival. Since I'm arriving a day early, I'll have to take cab to hotel, buy meals that day, etc. I had to go to the main branch of our bank - our local branch told me that I would have to order the Euros and it would take a week to 10 days to get them.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/19/11 12:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Agilita
Have you read Rick Steves money tips?

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/moneytip.htm

I already bought some Euros so I would have them on arrival. Since I'm arriving a day early, I'll have to take cab to hotel, buy meals that day, etc. I had to go to the main branch of our bank - our local branch told me that I would have to order the Euros and it would take a week to 10 days to get them.


Thanks Agilita, good suggestion.

I've also purchased some Euros already, but I don't like to carry a lot of cash which is why I was hoping I could buy them as needed in Europe. My bank (Bank of America) tells me Visa hits you with a 3% surcharge for using the check card in Europe.

BOA also claims I can order Euros from them and have them in a couple of days (Kathy ordered some a couple days ago, so we'll see).
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/19/11 07:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Piano World
Originally Posted By: Agilita
Have you read Rick Steves money tips?

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/moneytip.htm

I already bought some Euros so I would have them on arrival. Since I'm arriving a day early, I'll have to take cab to hotel, buy meals that day, etc. I had to go to the main branch of our bank - our local branch told me that I would have to order the Euros and it would take a week to 10 days to get them.


You'll get the best deal by changing dollar bills when you get there. And hotels etc. will be happy to accept dollars directly.

Thanks Agilita, good suggestion.

I've also purchased some Euros already, but I don't like to carry a lot of cash which is why I was hoping I could buy them as needed in Europe. My bank (Bank of America) tells me Visa hits you with a 3% surcharge for using the check card in Europe.

BOA also claims I can order Euros from them and have them in a couple of days (Kathy ordered some a couple days ago, so we'll see).



Posted by: Piano World

Re: Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/19/11 10:07 PM

I ordered some Euros from BOA this afternoon, they will be in Monday.

I'm still having a little bit of a hard time spending $600.00 to get $400.00
Reminds me of my experience at the casinos :-)
Posted by: tnew

Re: Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/19/11 11:09 PM

There are plenty of bank machines in europe, so you can always withdraw as needed using a debit card. Another alternative is you can take dollars with you and exchange them at many hotel concierges or local banks as needed. (additional risk of theft though) The bank exchange rates are usually ok. There are also exchange booths at airports and train stations.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/19/11 11:36 PM

My concern with ATMs is, Visa adds a surcharge of 3% to start with, then the ATMs charge their own fee. These fees can add up pretty quickly.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/20/11 02:02 AM

If you do use the ATMs, be aware that here they often have only numbers, not letters, so if you are used to using a word, you'll have to be sure of the numbers corresponding to your letters!!

We tend to use the credit card for meals and things, and debit card for getting cash for lunch and incidentals thus minimizing the cash withdrawls. We're based in Europe and travel in both Europe and Canada /USA - this system words well for us and the fees we pay are less than what you pay in commissions for conversions at banks or other institutions.

I wouldn't ever use the visa for cash withdrawls, only the debit card.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/20/11 02:03 AM

If you do use the ATMs, be aware that here they often have only numbers, not letters, so if you are used to using a word, you'll have to be sure of the numbers corresponding to your letters!!

We tend to use the credit card for meals and things, and debit card for getting cash for lunch and incidentals thus minimizing the cash withdrawls. We're based in Europe and travel in both Europe and Canada /USA - this system words well for us and the fees we pay are less than what you pay in commissions for conversions at banks or other institutions.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Best Place to Buy Euros in U.S. or ... ? - 05/20/11 08:38 AM

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
If you do use the ATMs, be aware that here they often have only numbers, not letters, so if you are used to using a word, you'll have to be sure of the numbers corresponding to your letters!!

We tend to use the credit card for meals and things, and debit card for getting cash for lunch and incidentals thus minimizing the cash withdrawals. We're based in Europe and travel in both Europe and Canada /USA - this system words well for us and the fees we pay are less than what you pay in commissions for conversions at banks or other institutions.

I wouldn't ever use the visa for cash withdrawals, only the debit card.



Thanks casinitaly,

My Visa is a check (debit) card, so it should work.