Buying euros onboard

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#1
Lancashire
293 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
When buying euros from reception do they just charge your onboard account or do you need to take your debit card?


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#2
Vale of Glamorgan
3,378 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
They charge your account. From the Cunard website

"You may exchange your money into local currency for most ports of call, however there are certain ports when the ship is unable to carry the currency. In such cases, the ship will advise which currency is best to take ashore. Please remember that we can only accept back the currencies we sell on board and only in the denominations that we sell.

Please see*What is the currency in...?*for details of*local currencies.

Foreign currency can be charged to your account if you have a credit card registered or if your account has sufficient cash credit to cover the transaction. There is a daily limit on all currency transactions of US$500 against a registered credit card. This is to ensure that we comply with money laundering regulations. We are unable to accept either personal cheques or travellers cheques. We are also unable to accept €500 notes at any time for currency exchange transactions.

If you require cash for any reason whilst you are on board you may charge this to your account. There is a daily limit of US$500 against a registered credit card.

All foreign currency transactions are converted using US$, using the daily exchange rate as detailed on board."
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#3
Nottngham, UK.
805 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
So, you could get hit for the Euro-Dollar conversion cost, then Dollar-Pound when you settle the bill, it would seem, There's never a "free conversion". I use a UK credit card which makes no charge for foreign currency transactions, and no extra charge for cash withdrawals, and use it to buy things or to withdraw Euros from ATMs.

Stuart
#4
Pennsylvania
5,554 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Bank exchange a rates aren't very good (at least in the US) but mid have to think you'd get a better rate at your hometown bank than you'd get onboard.

We just use the first ATM we encounter.
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#5
Staffordshire
1,891 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Tangoqueen
When buying euros from reception do they just charge your onboard account or do you need to take your debit card?


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I would certainly consider getting them before you get onboard from UK because thew rate you will get onboard will be very poor.
#7
Oakland, CA USA
1,733 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
I always recommend using an ATM when one arrives. Just gave that advice to a neighbor who is planning her first trip to Europe in 20 years.
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#8
Pennsylvania
5,554 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
One caveat on ATMs, and airport ATMs in particular, is that I've seen an increase in the occurrence of them offering you the "convenience" of charging your card in your home currency (using an exchange rate 10-20% in the bank's favor, of course). The first time I saw this was at a Travelex ATM in Heathrow (inbound en route to Southampton) and I canceled the transaction before l found a button for "no thanks, charge me in £." Later in Shannon at a smaller ATM kiosk I was more easily able to find the button to decline the currency conversion.
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#9
Chicago
252 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by Underwatr
One caveat on ATMs, and airport ATMs in particular, is that I've seen an increase in the occurrence of them offering you the "convenience" of charging your card in your home currency (using an exchange rate 10-20% in the bank's favor, of course). The first time I saw this was at a Travelex ATM in Heathrow (inbound en route to Southampton) and I canceled the transaction before l found a button for "no thanks, charge me in £." Later in Shannon at a smaller ATM kiosk I was more easily able to find the button to decline the currency conversion.
I saw that at the first ATM I saw at Heathrow (a Travelex ATM) and went to find another one. Turned out they were all offering that option. We have a Capital One 360 checking account with no currency conversion fees or fees to use an ATM, so that option isn't advantageous to us.

Amazon also offers the option to bill your credit card in USD if you're shopping at Amazon UK and paying with a card with a billing address in the US. Again, we have a Barclays card that doesn't charge currency transaction fees, so no need to select that option.
#10
Chicago
252 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by tv24
I always recommend using an ATM when one arrives. Just gave that advice to a neighbor who is planning her first trip to Europe in 20 years.
That was the recommendation 20 years ago, too.
#11
Magnolia, Texas
1,319 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
The worst possible rate you will get is from the Purser's Office. Next worse would be The Cambios on the streets of large cities. I recommend the ATM route or ordering the foreign currency from your local bank branch. In the US. it some times takes a few days for the branch to get the money from a central office, so give yourself plenty of time. See if your bank has reciprocal ATM agreements with foreign banks and they will usually waive the ATM fee. For example BofA has arrangements with Barclays in the UK, Deutsche Bank in Germany and Italy, and BNP Paribas in France. There is a foreign conversion fee for this. And a caution. ATMs in foreign countries have different dispense rules. in the US often $20s, in the UK 20,10,5 GBP, in France 100 and 50 Euros. I made a taxi driver at the Gare du Nord very happy paying for a 14 Euro ride with a 50 Euro bill, thinking it was a 20.

The best bet is to use a credit card, not only will you get the best exchange rate, but if your issuer (Amex , some Chase cards and others for example) doesn't charge a foreign currency fee its even better.

Another thing to watch out for is a foreign merchant hearing your accent or some how identifying you as an American and offers to do your transaction in USD. Not only will you pay a conversion fee the merchant splits with his bank more than a 'pure' exchange rate, you will pay the foreign transaction fee on the transaction to your issuer.
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#12
Staffordshire
1,891 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Think everyone is forgetting that the original poster was asking about buying Euros onboard and he lives in the UK so a lot of the information would only apply to Americans buying Euros. He has 3 options 1) buy in UK prior to cruise 2) buy onboard or 3) use ATM when arriving in European port of call. I would favour buying Euros in advance prior to cruise because onboard rate would be very poor and the last thing I would want when arriving in port is wander around trying to find an ATM when you have such a short time in ports.
#13
Nottngham, UK.
805 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Every time I visit the Eurozone, I use ATMs. keep around 50 Euros for my next visit, to avoid a panic as I arrive, and there's no problem!

Stuart
#14
Lancashire
293 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Thanks for the replies......I had taken euros with me but had forgotten to pack one of my last euro purchases so thought I may be a little short. I also have a Halifax clarity card for overseas purchases but only wanted about €20 more to take out on our last day as a back up. As it happens I didn't need it anyway.

We had obc remaining and I wondered if I withdrew euros at the pursers desk whether it would come off the obc. I asked the receptionist and she said it would be taken from the credit card I had registered on boarding and as this wasn't my Halifax one decided against it anyway.


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#15
Vale of Glamorgan
3,378 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Thanks for letting us know, it's good to know especially if you only need a small amount.
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#16
Pennsylvania
5,554 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by Wiltonian
keep around 50 Euros for my next visit, to avoid a panic as I arrive, and there's no problem!
You should see my drawer full of £5 notes and £1 coins!
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#17
Nottngham, UK.
805 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by Underwatr
You should see my drawer full of £5 notes and £1 coins!
Beware that older pound coins - single metal - cease to be legal tender next month, although banks may still accept them. The new coins are made of two alloys, and are subtly 12-sided.

Stuart
#18
3,495 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by Wiltonian
Beware that older pound coins - single metal - cease to be legal tender next month, although banks may still accept them. The new coins are made of two alloys, and are subtly 12-sided.

Stuart
And don't work in our hospital parking machines.

David.
#19
Pennsylvania
5,554 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by Wiltonian
Beware that older pound coins - single metal - cease to be legal tender next month, although banks may still accept them. The new coins are made of two alloys, and are subtly 12-sided.

Stuart
Exactly. In actuality I only have one obsolete fiver and two or three pound coins, but it's irritating to assume you've planned for next time only to learn that "your money's no good here "

I tried to spend a few old-format UK coins (new pence) in a shop a number of years ago. It didn't work.
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#20
Magnolia, Texas
1,319 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
That is interesting news on the GBP pound coins. I have a couple, I will have to go around to Barclays and swap them when I am in London next month. Thanks for the information. By the way have there been any changes to paper money lately (the last two years)? Thank you, Mike
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