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  #31 (permalink)  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 10:05 AM
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It is a bit overwhelming for a newbie, when so many well seasoned travlelers have different takes on how to handle it. I was a bit supsect about using dollars,and they could tell anyone whatever they want to!

We are lunching this weekend with my cruisemate, so, we will discuss it,and if I ever get well enough to go to the bank, without coughing in their faces, I will discuss things there too.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 10:29 AM
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Trip,

No wonder you are overwhelmed. Additional bank accounts with multiple debit cards? not for me and I am a seasoned money-savvy traveller.

Was it Kuki who suggested 50 euros/day - and any leftover spend in dutyfree?

For a simple life, I'd go with that.

When I travel to the US, that is what I do - calculate an average spend x no of days and take the dollars (bills and tcs). What I don't spend - I hoard for my next trip. My cc are a back up. I never use a debit card in US.

I suspect that part of your question was how much will you need for daily expenses? As Kuki (?) says, the answer is dependent upon lifestyle choices. In Venice, you can eat in Piazza San Marco and spend a fortune or eat in a local trattoria for a lot less.

Whatever enjoy your cruise.

A
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 08:06 PM
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It's not only Trip who is overwhelmed ! I've been watching to see what to do on our cruise in the fall. I only use my debit card at home, so that's not a problem. I have two credit cards and, considering the price of the cruise, air fare, etc., I'm not going to be upset if I'm charged a $3.00 fee when I use a CC.

I don't think we'll need many Euros. I think we'll go with Kuki's advice and take 50 Euros a day, which we'll get from our bank before we leave. When we've cruised the Caribbean, or other non-US areas, we've always used a CC and haven't seen big fees.

I'll keep watching for more info ,
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Trackypup View Post
Marc, why no euros in advance? A big city like Boston should have some good currency exchange places. I'm in Vancouver and can do better across the street from me than using my Debit Card, even using an ATM with no fees
If you want some for peace of mind; go for it. Just realise that the exchange rate will be terrible. An ATM overseas gives the best exchange rate. I am lucky that my bank does not charge any ATM fees and they refund to me any ATM fees charged by the foreign bank. They also have a $500 per day limit which limits damage done by someone that swipes the information.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old March 24th, 2011, 09:03 AM
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I want to clarify that what a few of us are saying is that the Debit/ATM card should not be used for purchases but is required to get currency from the Bank ATM machines. Use it to obtain currency but after that leave it in the cabin.

Take care,
Mike
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old March 24th, 2011, 09:11 AM
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So, you cannot use a credit card to get euros frorm these machines or money echange places...My gf has decided to only use a cc...she has never used an atm machine.

I forward her all these posts, so she will be informed.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2011, 02:49 PM
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I want to clarify that what a few of us are saying is that the Debit/ATM card should not be used for purchases but is required to get currency from the Bank ATM machines. Use it to obtain currency but after that leave it in the cabin.

Take care,
Mike
Exactly! I have been doing this for years. Credit card fro purchases.

ATM/debit card to get cash at bank ATM's.

It works out very well.

TM
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc View Post
If you want some for peace of mind; go for it. Just realise that the exchange rate will be terrible. An ATM overseas gives the best exchange rate. I am lucky that my bank does not charge any ATM fees and they refund to me any ATM fees charged by the foreign bank. They also have a $500 per day limit which limits damage done by someone that swipes the information.
That was the point I was trying to make though, not all local establishments give terrible rates.

Canadian to US: Current exchange rate on XE.Com is 98.183. My bank's rate is $1.005. The currency exchange place across the street from me is 99.250. Not that big a difference to the actual XE rate. I realize that not all cities will have this, but some do. If I can't find a bank on my bank's network, it's a $5 ATM fee plus they're going to charge a percentage on the exchange rate.

Euro comparison:

XE Rate: 1.382
My Exchange Place: 1.403
Bank: 1.426
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2011, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
So, you cannot use a credit card to get euros frorm these machines or money echange places...My gf has decided to only use a cc...she has never used an atm machine.

I forward her all these posts, so she will be informed.
Trip:
Most credit cards can be used in ATM machines worldwide. They need to be set up with a four digit PIN. Check to see if it has the Plus or Cirrus emblem on the back.

Now here's the kicker: If you use a Credit Card to get cash from an ATM machine you will be charged about 22% to 30% interest "FROM TIME OF WITHDRAWAL". There may be a few credit cards that have better rates for ATM withdrawal but I don't know of any. ATM use is treated like a cash advance.

Use the debit card for ATM withdrawals and then put it in the safe.

Take care,
Mike
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old March 25th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Thanks Mike, this would be of concern to my gf, so I am sending her this info now..xox
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2011, 08:06 PM
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I know there are many variables, but what has been your experience?
I read where someone bought euros here,and the they were charged a $10.00 transaction charge for the purchase..is this an average price, high/low? Is there a charge when you use an atm to get them over there as well?

If you use a credit card..is there a fee by the CCC for the exchange rate?

Sorry for all these questions, but you are my smarty pals
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2011, 08:22 PM
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Trip... the answer is, it depends. There is no set standard.

You need to ask your bank, because each bank would have their own policies and fees. The same is true of the credit card company of the card you use.

With currency exchange I think pretty much every bank would charge some % commission on the exchange, based on what the prevailing exchange rate that day on the world market ( a rate a small investor would never be able to get anywhere anyway). Call a few banks and simply ask what their exchange rate is... and go with the best rate you find. You don't have to bank there to exchange currency.

With the credit card you use, ask the company if they charge a foreign exchange transaction fee as well as what rate of exchange they use on purchases.

That's the only way you're going to get accurate information for your situation. It's likely that everyone at cruisemates has had different experiences depending on their banks and credit cards, and those experiences aren't likely true for you.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2011, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Is there a charge when you use an atm to get them over there as well?

If you use a credit card..is there a fee by the CCC for the exchange rate?

Sorry for all these questions, but you are my smarty pals
The answer to all of your questions is: Maybe

As Kuki said: It all depends on your bank, credit card company and the type of card you have. Contact those providers to determine what charges and fees are associated with your cards.

Take care,
Mike
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2011, 10:03 PM
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Thanks,and I will be doing that this week,and of course there are so many variables, I was just curious what our Cruisemates have encountered.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2011, 10:16 PM
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Linda,

I have no foreign exchange fee with Capital One. Amex Platinum and Centurion cards no longer have a fee.

I do not have a foreign ATM charge with my Wells Fargo PMI debit card. I am subject to whatever the fee is from the bank that owns the ATM I am withdrawing money from. This can be anything from 2 to 5 Euros per transaction.

Take care,
Mike
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2011, 12:10 PM
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And mine's the opposite of Mike. Using my ATM card incures a 2.5% surcharge on the exchange rate, but my bank has lots of European partners so I can bypass the $5 ATM fee.

Definitely check with your bank.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2011, 06:40 AM
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I have just flown back from the US and was appalled at how long a simple bank transaction took - 30 minutes? I ended up sitting down and brought out a book.

BTW on a different note, if you pay $2 for something in Starbucks in US - expect to pay 2.50 Euros. I don't if that helps Trip.

I am so glad UK is not part of the Euro system.

Annie
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Old April 5th, 2011, 06:44 AM
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What kind of bank transaction takes half an hour??
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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Cashing Amex TCs to the value of $100.
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