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RBKL

Best Place To Get Euros

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We are booked on the Explorer in May out of Rome to Malta and Greece with a few days pre-cruise in Rome.

 

We're trying to determine the best place to get Euros for the trip.

 

Most of the tours we're booking require payment in cash Euros and over the two weeks it adds up to well over 4000 Euros.

 

Too much to try to rely on ATMs to purchase. Plus we'd prefer not to risk not having them in advance.

 

We read that the ship has some foreign currency. Not sure if they support the large amounts we need or if there are high fees. Plus

that doesn't help us for the pre-cruise time in Rome.

 

What have others done?  I found an national travel place that let's you order theme on line and they mail them to you. It seems odd to get

cash in the mail.

 

Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

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Thanks. That might be our best option. Do they take back unused Euros?

 

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18 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Find tours that take credit cards. 

+1.  And ATM's when needed.  The EU is much more into a cashless society than the US is.

 

BTW, AAA will NOT buy back Euros- I've looked into it.  Nor will your local bank.  On that note, check with your bank to find their U$ to Euro exchange rate.  

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Even ATM’s shouldn’t be a problem. You won’t need all 4000 at once, hit an ATM at every stop, if needed. 

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The best rate will be a bank ATM in the port city.  I'd get a couple of hundred Euros at home, before you leave, and get the rest in Europe.

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Use a combination.  I always get my foreign currency before I leave at my local Wells Fargo bank.  I live in a rural area so I pay $7 postage to get it mailed to my local bank from the main bank. [not a bad price to pay]   I use my CC for everything else.  However, that is a lot of cash. 

 

Start out with some euros and then use ATMs to get more.  One problem is sometimes you are limited in the amount you can get per day.   People will say you get a better exchange rate at ATMs.  Likely true, but my bank charges an ATM fee out of network and they didn't have any in London. . . . so I was glad I took euros along. YMMV. 

 

 

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Thanks for the feedback.


The RCI site says that they can provide foreighn currency. Is there a limit or high fees?

 

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4 minutes ago, RBKL said:

Thanks for the feedback.


The RCI site says that they can provide foreighn currency. Is there a limit or high fees?

 

Yes,Yes.

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Personally, I wouldn't want to be running to an ATM at every port stop to be taking out Euros.  Not only is it time consuming, but if the ATM is down or your card stops working you could find yourself in a mess.   

 

I order Euros at my bank before leaving.  I am in Canada and obtaining Euros at a bank is the norm here.  Banks in Canada do buy back Euro but if we have extra we just save them for our next trip.   The rate I get at my bank is comparable to the ATM rate.   When using an ATM in Europe I pay $5 per transaction so I try to minimize how often I use the ATM overseas.

 

For that amount, I'd request large bills and make sure to have them in a money belt or hidden pocket while in transit.  Once on the ship you can visit guest relations to exchange the large Euro notes for smaller denominations.

 

Most restaurants, museums/attractions and train/metro stations accept credit cards so you should only need cash for the private tours that are requesting it, taxis and for smaller purchases like gelato.  

Edited by lovemylab

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Bank of America and Well Fargo once had the best exchange rates.  At one time you could use either bank to by foreign currency, even if you didn't have accounts with them.  Now, you must have an account.  Since my Wife has a BOA credit card, we gave purchased currency from them.   We usually wait to by currency at an ATM in country (Bank ATM, not the airport ATMs).

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Thanks for all the feedback.

 

The RCI credit card is from Bank of America so maybe we could use them.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, RBKL said:

Thanks for the feedback.


The RCI site says that they can provide foreighn currency. Is there a limit or high fees?

 

 

I would not depend on the ship providing you with thousands of Euros. 

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25 minutes ago, RBKL said:

Thanks for all the feedback.

 

The RCI credit card is from Bank of America so maybe we could use them.

 

 

We just got 2,000 Euros from our B of A. (ordered online for a bank pickup...so easy) for our Med cruise on Vision this past May. I got a great rate as a preferred customer and easily returned the ones we didn't need to B of A to be deposited back into my account.

Many prefer to use foreign ATM's but I'm not interested in looking for one or taking the chance of having possible problems that can and do happen with them.

Your choice of what option works for you.

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As others before me have mentioned, Wells Fargo and B of A both have foreign exchange services for people who have accounts with them and the rates are very competitive.  Travelex has a reputable online ordering service with good (not great) rates.  They will FedEx the money to your home or business and you must be there to sign for the delivery, it will not be left on your doorstep.  If you travel to Europe frequently, consider opening an account in a bank in the European Union.  Once the account is open you can wire transfer money from your US bank to the foreign bank and interbank exchange rates are the best you can find.

 

For all those who say use credit cards and ATMs and you don't need much cash, I doubt you have gambled in the casino in Monte Carlo.

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We also order ours ahead of time from Bank of America.  No fees if the order (can be mixed currency) is over $1K.  Always easy and they will take them back if you want.  We always keep our leftovers as there is always another cruise around the corner.

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4 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

The best rate will be a bank ATM in the port city.  I'd get a couple of hundred Euros at home, before you leave, and get the rest in Europe.

The only down with the ATM is you get charged a fixed amount so small withdrawals work out expensive.

In the UK we don't have any problems getting currency with buyback if necessary and where we get ours from.

There are often travel bureau shops or banks where they exchange dollars in tourist areas in Europe.

Best rates are if you exchange larger amounts usually $150 or above.

If you pay by credit card get bills charged in Euro's so your own US bank can exchange back to dollars as you will get a much better rate of exchange.

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9 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

The only down with the ATM is you get charged a fixed amount so small withdrawals work out expensive.

In the UK we don't have any problems getting currency with buyback if necessary and where we get ours from.

There are often travel bureau shops or banks where they exchange dollars in tourist areas in Europe.

Best rates are if you exchange larger amounts usually $150 or above.

If you pay by credit card get bills charged in Euro's so your own US bank can exchange back to dollars as you will get a much better rate of exchange.

 

I agree, we use a credit card with no foreign transaction fee whenever we can.

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15 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

 

I agree, we use a credit card with no foreign transaction fee whenever we can.

We also use our Capital One for hotels and at large establishments where we feel comfortable doing so...Otherwise it's local currency we've brought from home. I ran out of local currency (Yuan) on my first trip to Shanghai and had to go to a bank (using my passport for ID) to change US$ into more Yuan....Oh the shopping I tend to always do in that city.

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 My local bank rate was as good as BOA , took about 1200 euros, many of our trip we were able to prepay with credit cards. We were on a 12 day cruise with 5 stops in Italy, and 4 other ports.

  All our excursions were with fellow roll call members and had between 6 and ten passengers, much cheaper than excursions on our own.

Edited by George C

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For a South America cruise where we needed lots of cash, and everyone wanted US dollars, was able to get traveller's checks from AAA.  The ship will cash more of those than if using a regular check.   $900 I think.  Also needed fresh US $20s for tour guides.  Had our bank get us fresh/new currency from the Fed bank.  This was in 2015/2016 when Argentina's currency was crazy.  

 

I also ask our bank or AAA for local currency before we travel.   Want to make sure I have money to tip a porter or pay a taxi if necessary. 

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10 hours ago, alfaeric said:

+1.  And ATM's when needed.  The EU is much more into a cashless society than the US is.

 

BTW, AAA will NOT buy back Euros- I've looked into it.  Nor will your local bank.  On that note, check with your bank to find their U$ to Euro exchange rate.  

 

AAA in Colorado sells currency packs and they come with a form to mail the excess back.  Actually comes from BofA.

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If you get foreign currency from your bank or AAA, you are paying extra, sometimes a LOT extra to do so.

 

ATM is the way to go.  If you have two cards, you can get 600 Euro per day.  You want cards that have no foreign transaction fees.

 

And I am starting to see more and more, ATMs that offer to do the conversion for you, to your home currency.  DECLINE THIS.  The rate is HORRIBLE.

 

But in most cases, by buying from a bank or AAA, you could be paying more than 10% more than using an ATM.

 

I just checked AAA for their rate, and they are using TravelEx.  Today's rate is .8456 Euro to $1.  Bank rate is .9068.

 

So you change $1000 with AAA/TravelEx and you get 845.60 Euro.  Get it out of an ATM and you will get 906.80.

 

If you want to give away 51 Euro, go for it.

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