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post #1 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 7:51 am Thread Starter
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Travel to germany and buying Euros

Ok Wife and I are traveling to germany in July to visit her family. They are very old so we have to go. We could not have picked a worse time to go. The dollar ain't worth a damn. On Friiday the exchange rate was $1.56 to buy a euro. I called my bank and they will sell me euros for $1.71. At airport it is $1.69. This sucks! Some people have said just use debit card in germany and take out euros.
Anybody got any ideas as to the best way to travel to europe and deal with the exchange rate so I don't lose my ass on the conversion? How have others dealt with this dillema?

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post #2 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 8:49 am
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Re: Travel to germany and buying Euros

Absolutely check with your bank regarding fees, maximum daily draw against the debit card, etc. I've personally always found it better to use the debit card when I need cash, and AMEX/Visa when it can be charged. You'll get the days rate plus a small transaction fee. Trading paper for paper is always riddled with expensive fees, and unless you can safely predict the market for Dollars v. Euros, always always use plastic. And plastic can be canceled & replaced if stolen. With paper, you're SOL. This all holds true whether Canada, Portugal, Germany, England, Mixico, etc...

Mark
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post #3 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 9:44 am
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Re: Travel to germany and buying Euros

I just got back from Scotland where the dollar is even worse against the pound. I found the exchange rates were better here at my bank than when I got to Glasgow, which is the exact opposite of what everyone was telling me before I went. Using your debit or credit card for most purchases is probably the right thing to do. Lokoing at my credit card statements (corporate and personal) they gave better exchange rates than any I saw while traveling.

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post #4 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 9:50 am
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Re: Travel to germany and buying Euros

I wouldn't bring over much cash. Trav. Checks for a couple hundred bucks, VISA/MC for the rest. FWIW

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post #5 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 11:05 am
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Re: Travel to germany and buying Euros

I'll just add a couple of things:

Our credit union ATM card worked in Europe, but only if enabled for international use, so glad we mentioned it to the teller when we were getting ready to buy travelers checks.

Traveler's checks have been made obsolete for the most part by the Euro. We found it a real problem to cash even Euro denominated travelers checks. But there are ATM's everywhere.

Get yourself a credit card that doesn't charge for foreign exchange, such as Capital One. Most credit cards will stick on an additional charge of about 3%.

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post #6 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 11:15 am
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Re: Travel to germany and buying Euros

Have lived in Germany and traveled back there several times. Your best bet is credit cards but you'll still need cash. Germany still is not a credit card society and many shops and restaurants will not accept any card. I found ATM's to have the best rates when cash was my only option. As others have stated, changing money directly is the most expensive option.

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post #7 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 12:22 pm
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Re: Travel to germany and buying Euros

Use Credit cards where you can. But be careful some of the cradit card companied such as USBank charge extra fees for conversion. I think Citibank is one of the best for credit cards for international use.

ATM machines are great for exchange rate both in Europe and in Mexico. But, check with your bank for transaction fees. You may want to withdraw the highest amount for one transaction fee.

Matt Kas

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpillis
Ok Wife and I are traveling to germany in July to visit her family. They are very old so we have to go. We could not have picked a worse time to go. The dollar ain't worth a damn. On Friiday the exchange rate was $1.56 to buy a euro. I called my bank and they will sell me euros for $1.71. At airport it is $1.69. This sucks! Some people have said just use debit card in germany and take out euros.
Anybody got any ideas as to the best way to travel to europe and deal with the exchange rate so I don't lose my ass on the conversion? How have others dealt with this dillema?

Matt Kas

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post #8 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 1:10 pm
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Re: Travel to germany and buying Euros

As a former very frequent traveler to Germany:

Open a Charles Schwab account and get a Schwab VISA card. Accepted all over, including every ATM I ever tried, best exchange rate, and no additional fees.
I was told by former colleagues that other brokerage firms offer similar deals.

Wolfgang

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post #9 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 3:00 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Travel to germany and buying Euros

Thanks to everyone for the great answers

Marc Pillis- MSF Rider Coach
Union, Kentucky
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2004 R1150GS Adventure
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post #10 of 10 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 4:47 pm
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Re: Travel to germany and buying Euros

Have a Safe trip! Enjoy the family! And I'll bet you get fed real good, well enough to put the pilsners down by the litre !!

Mark
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