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Old March 19th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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Default Money,money money

How many Euros do you think my GF and I should buy for our Magic cruise?We will be dining on our own, in Venice, then boarding the next day.

I am thinking incidentals over the 9 days, will demand we buy some, am I off base? We plan to use debit/credit cards, for most eveything, but for tips, maybe a bus ride,, we would need some, or we charge even the tiniest of purchases?

In Croatia, I am reading they will take euros, even though they are not part of European Union...Needless to say we are confused. Every time I use my debit card, will there be an additional charge over and above the purchase of, whatever?
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Old March 19th, 2011, 06:04 PM
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Croatia's money is the "Kuna" however they do take euro too.
Your better deal is Kuna vs euro. You will get more Kunas then euros for the dollar.

I go with american dollars and do the exchange once there. There are money exchange places all over plus the post office.

You can by all means go with the Euro for the whole cruise however the Kuna will save you some money.

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Old March 19th, 2011, 07:37 PM
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Trip, you need to check with the issuer of your credit and debit cards to see if they charge a "foreign" fee.

I'm interested in the answers about how many Euro's to bring, too.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 07:51 PM
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I wouldn't recommend using a debt card in Europe. A regular credit card is fine, and ATMs are readily available, but I'd use the ones in front of banks.

Using street-side money exchanges you'll find the rates high. The signs of their rates might seem low, but then they add a service fee.

Don't use the ship's "bank" for exchange either, because they're also high.

I also would try and avoid using the credit card for small purchases, without knowing exactly what transaction fees your bank will charge you.

So, the question... how much to take? Just like the caribbean, it depends on how much you plan to spend

If I remember, you're going on a 10 day cruise. If your bank at home has a decent exchange rate, I'd take 50 Euro/day in cash; 500 Euro. each. I'm betting you'll have it spent by the end of the trip. And if you happen to have a few left you can spend it at the duty free shop at the airport on your way home
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Old March 19th, 2011, 07:54 PM
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Curious as to why not use a debit card? Friends of my gf told her to charge everything....My head is whirling
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Old March 19th, 2011, 08:14 PM
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Debt cards do not have the same consumer protections as regular credit cards.

Different credit card companies also have different policies on their foreign transaction fees. You have to find out what the fees are for the credit card you use.

There are safes in the cabins, to store your extra cash.

No fraud can be perpritated when you use cash '

Use ATM cards at banks, get any xtra cash as you need or use a regular Credit Card (knowing how much the transaction is going to cost you).
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Old March 19th, 2011, 08:16 PM
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Thanks Kukala, I guess a trip to my bank is in order next week.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 08:31 PM
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In all my trips to Europe, I have allways used a credit card for my puchases except small amounts. I only use debit cards to get cash at ATM's.

We have made 17 trips to Europe in the last 15 years and never had a problem.

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Old March 19th, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Will a bank give me a conversion chart for dollars to euros, so, if we go into a shop,and say something we like is 100 euros, we can glance at the chart, to make sure it's a price we want to pay for it.

I hate to ask silly questions but....
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Old March 19th, 2011, 09:38 PM
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isn't there an 'app" just for this task of the daily conversion rate?
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Old March 19th, 2011, 09:47 PM
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Old March 19th, 2011, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Will a bank give me a conversion chart for dollars to euros, so, if we go into a shop,and say something we like is 100 euros, we can glance at the chart, to make sure it's a price we want to pay for it.

I hate to ask silly questions but....
Right now 100 Euros would be about $142.

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Old March 20th, 2011, 01:24 AM
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Triplet:

Do not use a Debit card for purchases. If for some reason someone clones your card they can, depending on your daily purchase limit, drain your bank account in a few days. You can probably recover it but it is a PIA. Use your credit card. The worst that will happen is that they will max it out but you will only be responsible for $50 of those transactions.

Don't sweat getting Euros too much. You can go to your bank and get a $150 worth of Euros. That would give you cab fare or incidental expense money. What I do is just hit a bank ATM at the airport when I land. I take out a couple hundred Euros and go on my merry way. My bank account (Wells Fargo PMA) does not charge a foreign transaction fee. I don't walk around with hundreds of dollars in my wallet at home. Why would I do it in Europe. As Kuki said, use a bank ATM when you need to get additional money.

Also: Forget about travelers checks. Many places no longer accept them and there is usually a charge for cashing them.

Have fun,
Mike
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Old March 20th, 2011, 07:01 PM
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Trip, here's a currency converter I found:

Currency Converter - Yahoo! Finance

You can Google "euros to dollars" and find lots of different sites. I've used it when buying things on eBay.

At this point you can add about 1/2 again as much to figure it out. For instance if something is 100 euros, count on it being about $150.00. I think.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 09:37 PM
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As of today 100 Euros is $142. But the last couple of weeks the dollar has been dropping, and I certainly hope that things change. I have a trip to Europe this fall.

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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:15 AM
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Trip,
I'm on the wagon with Mike and Kuki about the debit card, don't use it but I must say I also don't use my credit card either. I am one of those unfortunate ones that on 4 different trips to Europe has had my card "compromised" and had the message from the cc company waiting on my answering machine when I returned home. Getting a new account each time is a real time consuming adventure especially if you have things set us to pay automatically while you travel. I pre-pay anything I can before leaving like the hotel and transportation or shuttle services. My bank allows the ordering of foreign currency online with home delivery and I don't even have to leave the house. If I have any left when I return (depending on the amount) I either stash it away for my next trip or the bank will buy back any paper currency. One bitten, twice shy but four times is ridiculous. Guess I have a "hit" or contract out on my credit card or am one unlucky individual. Regardless of what you do, have a great time!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:31 AM
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Linda, that is just awful..what a pain! What if we bought a prepaid Visa, would that make life easier?
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:52 AM
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Hi Trip

I don't know if I am going to help here.

In the UK we are advised to inform our cc providers of foreign travel and dates. I always travel with 2 cc - just in case one is stolen (better safe than sorry). BTW I keep the 2 ccs separate - I carry two wallets too.

I have travelled from America to Asia and all places in between and I have NEVER had any issues with my cc.

I totally agree with Mike and Kuki - I leave my debit cards at home.

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Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:30 PM
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I have to agree with the debit card sentiments. My business cards have been cloned twice and they relieved me of a substantial amount of money in less than 24 hours time (the amount of time it took for my bank and I to figure out the charges were fraudulent) Of course it took 10 days to 2 weeks to get the money put back into my account and I was simply thankful to get the money back at all. Both times the fraud occurred in Europe ( I wasn't in Europe at the time though).
Now my bank did not assess any extra charges for the currency exchange process when I did use the card in Europe and it worked seamlessly in Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Spain, France etc... with no issues other than the only ATM at the Ciampino airport was broken and we couldn't get cash there and we really needed it then (so I wish I had brought some Euros with me at that point)lol.

I was very mindful of pickpockets though and the cash I did have, I wore in a money belt or neck pouch. I have successfully used traveler's checks with no problem. They are always very happy to cash them on board the ship. However, you'd need to find out if the ship will be cashing them into Euros or USD. Traveler's Checks are more difficult to find these days. My local bank no longer provides them, but my credit union still carries them at no charge to it's members.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 12:44 PM
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I didn't even know my Debit card would work in Europe (other than ATMs). It think Kuki's suggestion of 50 Euro a day is a good one. I usually aim for that amount in cash. And then can withdraw more if needed.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 01:03 PM
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So you would all exclude a prepaid credit card as well?
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
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So you would all exclude a prepaid credit card as well?
I would not carry a prepaid credit card.

BTW B/W story reminded me that a cc of mine was suspended because someone attempted to use it in US. Really silly small amounts but because I had not advised the company of any travel plans - the transactions were blocked. I was resident in Scotland.

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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:29 PM
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I have used a credit card in Europe many times in several different countries.
Never had a problem.

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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
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I wouldn't recommend using a debt card in Europe. A regular credit card is fine, and ATMs are readily available, but I'd use the ones in front of banks.

I strongly disagree. I have used a debit card literally hundreds of times in Europe and around the world. It is the best way to get money. One safety precaution is to have the bank put a daily limit on the card; that will limit the damage that a thief could do. Also, as all financial institutions that I am familiar with will cover any loss; you are not damaged in the long run.

Trip, do not buy Euros in advance. When you get off the plane in Venice, go to ATM machine and get a couple hundred Euros; that should cover a few days and you can get a good idea of how many you will need for entire trip.

I have never used a debit card to make purchases in USA and would never use for purchases overseas; I am just stating that you should use ATM Debit card to get cash overseas.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 10:05 PM
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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
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
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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
In the US, you never get a good exchange rate, but it is good to have few Euros on hand before you go.

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Old March 23rd, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
In the US, you never get a good exchange rate, but it is good to have few Euros on hand before you go.

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That gets my vote too - I always like to have some local currency to hand wherever I travel.

A
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 09:00 AM
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The latest I was told by a friend, is that they used dollars at restaurants, shops and tourist attractions...this astonished me, anyone else have this experience as well?
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
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The latest I was told by a friend, is that they used dollars at restaurants, shops and tourist attractions...this astonished me, anyone else have this experience as well?
Truth be told Trip, most places will accept any major currency; but I would be wary of the exchange rate they would use.

Annie
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
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The latest I was told by a friend, is that they used dollars at restaurants, shops and tourist attractions...this astonished me, anyone else have this experience as well?
I suppose in some areas they might, but I know in areas of Italy and France they were not the least bit interested in USD.

After reading all of this I would be very confused lol, but I would probably go to my bank (I am lucky I guess in a small town bank I can have a lot more control over this stuff than if I banked with a big bank like Wachovia or Chase) and open a checking account (with 2 debit cards, with different debit account numbers, so if one is lost or stolen, you have a back up ) and deposit a reasonable amount of cash I thought I might need. I would also get a couple hundred Euro to take along. I would also set up a system with my bank where if I needed more money in that account, I could phone or email to transfer funds into it from another account. I would also ask them to cap how much money can be withdrawn daily without an email or phone call from me. My bank would allow all of these things without issue, but I don't know if you would have that flexibility with a big city bank.

This way you have access to as much money as you need, but are not exposing your main account. You have a back up plan should you have an emergency. You can cancel the account when you get home, or keep it for future travels. Do be sure to let your bank know you will be out of the country.
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