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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:52 AM
luv2cruise luv2cruise is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 509
Default Re: Credit Card and ATM

Forgot to answer your question about fees--check with your bank. We were charged $2 per transaction for overseas ATM transactions, but it was worth it to us because we got such a good exchange rate. Generally (everyone's situation is a little different), I would recommend getting a small amount of each currency from your bank before you leave the U.S. so that if you have to take a cab or need to purchase something small or tip or whatever before you use the ATM, you'll have some. Then I think it's best to use your credit card everywhere you can, but check with your credit card company before you leave to determine their markup over the wholesale rate. It's usually about 2-3% and that's customary. Your goal should be to avoid exchanging money several times. Every time you switch from dollars to Euros or whatever, you'll pay a fee. On the Baltic cruises where there are many different currencies, you can lose a lot by converting small amounts. If you have less than $10, you might as well buy yourself a little something nice because you'll lose most of it in the exchange. Whatever you do, don't exchange money on the ship; you should go to a bank in the port. On the ship, you will be charged a fee (usually about $6 US) AND the exchange rate is not good. You also have the option of buying traveler's checks in Euros instead of dollars. Richard suggested on another post that you might consider buying Euros now since the dollar is so weak, so that's another strategy too (and assumes that the dollar will continue to weaken against the Euro).
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