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      07-17-2009, 11:17 AM   #1
kloh
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Foreign Currency Exchange in Orange County for Euro Delivery

Hi all,

I'm doing Euro Delivery in about 2 weeks and was wondering if anyone knew of a good place to exchange dollars to euros in OC.

Thanks,

-Ken
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      07-17-2009, 12:37 PM   #2
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Can't help with locations, but I would ask how much physical euro cash do you expect to use, and do you have a good reason to bring cash euros with you?

Personally I would charge as much as you can on a credit card (Visa/MC). You can use your ATM card to withdraw pocket cash while in Europe (subject to daily limits). Check with your bank to make sure that will work, and also be aware your PIN needs to be only 4 digits. Generally speaking you will get better exchange rates this way. Sometimes foreign banks may not work with your home bank, so if an ATM rejects the transaction, try a different bank.

You can exchange currency at the airport (departure or arrival in Europe) at various counters/kiosks. Expect to see a pretty big buy/sell spread (up to ~10%) at the counters, plus additional transaction fees though. If you exchange at departure in the US, some counters offer "buyback" guarantees so you can convert excess euros back to $ when you return. Overseas, the exchange rates for traveler's checks are better than for cash, plus with the added loss/theft protection I'd definitely recommend bringing travelers checks over cash. I've never really compared rates, but I would think you would generally get better counter exchange rates converting foreign currency in the country, instead of here in the US.

The worst exchange rates are at the hotels since they are only doing it as a convenience for guests.

But overall, I think the best rates are "electronic" transactions (ATM/credit card), even including any fees incurred. Hope that helps.
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      07-18-2009, 01:51 AM   #3
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definitely helps...thanks for the tips
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      07-18-2009, 11:54 AM   #4
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No prob, have fun on the ED trip!
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      07-19-2009, 04:12 AM   #5
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+1 on just getting Euro in Europe. We live in Germany as military members, and I just pull from the ATM on and off-post when I need it. I've never had a problem with an ATM in the 3.5 years that we have been here. You can get hit with daily limits and the exchange rate is in the toliet now. Truthfully I try to use the credit card for any major purposes for convenience.

If you must take some Euro with you, most banks can do a currency exchange for you in the us (even our little credit union did it back on the east coast). Either way, enjoy the trip!
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      07-19-2009, 04:27 PM   #6
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Whenever I go to europe (2-3 times a year) I don't even bother taking euros from the US. Use ATMs and credit cards. Make sure what the fees are.

ATM:
For example my Credit Union has much lower withdrawal fees than Bank of America unless you withdraw from a cooperating bank with you BofA card. In Germany they work with Deutsche Bank so BofA would not charge anything for withdrawal from Deutsche Bank ATMs. I used BofA in France with BNP and it was really convenient with no charges.

Credit Cards:
Credit Union credit cards usually charge lower fees. Mine charges 1% per transaction. BofA charges 5%, so I don't use it.

In any case call about the fees on the cards you plan to use.

Have fun in Europe.
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      07-20-2009, 01:45 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I will be bringing a couple off backup ATM cards just in case, but the BofA will likely be the one I use the most. I need to call ING tomorrow to find out whether or not they have any affiliations with German banks since that's another account I use often.

The wait is killing me...
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