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Old 08-17-2006, 10:23 AM   #1
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Say I go to an ATM and pull out $200.... that will be in Euros if I am in a country which uses the Euro as its currency. Is there an exchange rate involved in ATM withdraws?

If I go to a place and convert plain money (not from ATM) to another currency, what type of exchange rate should I expect? Are we talking a few cents per dollar or like A huge chunk of money per dollar? Just curious so the first time I am in Europe and attempt to pull out $200 and am charged $100 for doing so I dont have a heart attack!

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Old 08-17-2006, 10:28 AM   #2
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(PHAT MATT @ Aug 17 2006, 01:23 PM) [snapback]135384[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
Say I go to an ATM and pull out $200.... that will be in Euros if I am in a country which uses the Euro as its currency. Is there an exchange rate involved in ATM withdraws?

If I go to a place and convert plain money (not from ATM) to another currency, what type of exchange rate should I expect? Are we talking a few cents per dollar or like A huge chunk of money per dollar? Just curious so the first time I am in Europe and attempt to pull out $200 and am charged $100 for doing so I dont have a heart attack!

Thanks
Matt
[/b]

There are some variables there.

First off, the ATM will give you whatever the local currency is. When you look at your balance it will be in their currency as well. I remember in Aus, I was like "Woah, I have way more in there than I thought." then When I got back to the states I realized what I did hehe.

Second, the rate you get for exchange can vary too. I know some small stores might do it, but lets say for a 10% charge, while a local bank might charge 3%. It just dpeends who you go to.
if your doing Hostels or hotels, ask around for where gets the best. Some places if large enough, will even do some conversions for you.

Also, double check with your bank here before you go. Some charge big fee's some don't charge at all. If your going long enough and the fees are high enough, it might be worth switching banks before you go.

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Old 08-17-2006, 10:30 AM   #3
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The exchange rate is simply the ration of Euros:Dollars (or whatever other currency)

What you're talking about is the commission/fee, which can be up to a few percent at various money changers, or waived totally. At the places with no fee/commission, though, expect to get a crappier exchange rate. So whereas putting down $100 will get you 77€ at today's exchange rate, some office might just give you 70€ - therefore you're losing money, even if they're not charging you commission.

Your absolute best bet is to just use your ATM. Your bank may charge you a $2 fee for making a withdrawal out of network, but you'll get the wholesale exchange rate (that is, the whole 77€ for your $100). Naturally, you'll withdraw in the local currency - say, 200€ at a time, and your bank will do the conversion and pull it from your account accordingly.
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:30 AM   #4
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Oh yeah, I forgot to add, that when taking money out, if your getting nickel and dimed at ATM's or at conversion places, it is usually worth it to take out larger amounts than needed so that you can pay the fee's less often.

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Old 08-17-2006, 10:49 AM   #5
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Also:

You can open an account at an online bank, such as Netbank (that is who I use!). And they charge $0 for ATM usage anywhere in the world. They also pay interest on COMPLETELY FREE checking. I have a visa debit card for the account and it has worked all over Europe and South America as well.

Another tip: If you can find an HSBC bank, USE IT! They print the exchange rate on the receipt and it is always the wholesale rate. They also have English one every machine. They do not charge a fee for using their machines either. Different banks can give different rates at the ATM! HSBC is in 79 countries so check it out.

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Old 08-17-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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Thanks guys! I just walked over to my bank as I am at lunch right now and got a copy of extra fees, etc... it says their "foreign transaction fee" is 1% of the transaction amount.... so thats not that bad... Also they said they wont charge me to use the ATM around the world... but as yall said some stores might charge... I think I will just take out big chunks of currency and try and use my debit card as little as possible.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:06 PM   #7
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(PHAT MATT @ Aug 17 2006, 02:36 PM) [snapback]135394[/snapback]</div>
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Thanks guys! I just walked over to my bank as I am at lunch right now and got a copy of extra fees, etc... it says their "foreign transaction fee" is 1% of the transaction amount.... so thats not that bad... Also they said they wont charge me to use the ATM around the world... but as yall said some stores might charge... I think I will just take out big chunks of currency and try and use my debit card as little as possible.
[/b]

Glad you were able to get pointed in the right direction.

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