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Marco Polo
06-10-2009, 10:17 AM
I'm leaving Sunday for my first vacation in years! I'm going to backpack in Italy (will also be in Barcelona for a few days) for two and a half weeks. That being said, I've never been to Europe. What I'm wondering about is how to obtain Euros. Do you recommend I purchase Euros when I get into Barcelona or with a bank in the states in advance? If the answer is the former, do you recommend me getting them in the Barcelona airport or some other random bank in the city? Thanks for your help in advance!

MIAdragon
06-10-2009, 10:20 AM
Id get them at the AP/or bank here in the states

BigRedChief
06-10-2009, 10:32 AM
Id get them at the AP/or bank here in the states
Or at the airport but I always found someone to trade with within the locals and got a much better deal. But needlless to say that increases your risk of something bad happening.

Saggysack
06-10-2009, 10:44 AM
I've always recieved the best rates from aATM using my regular ATM card. Same day rates. Too many dodgy currency exchangers. No need having to carry large amounts of cash. Just make sure your bank is compatible with ATM's there. I don't see why they wouldn't though. It is Italy. And let them know will be using an ATM out of the country. Bump up your daily amount you can withdraw, if you have to.

wazimo
06-10-2009, 10:48 AM
I often use my ATM card in Europe. Check with your bank to figure out the fees. I have a Platinum account with one of the major banks and find it cheaper and easier.

Malcolm

Saggysack
06-10-2009, 10:49 AM
Everything you need to know.

http://goitaly.about.com/od/planningandinformation/qt/ATM-bancomat.htm
Look for an Italian Bancomat with the affiliations you need (cirrus, plus, etc.) In Italy, Bancomats are clearly marked (see the picture with the blue Bancomat sign) and are found outside banks, or in behind a door that opens when you swipe your card. You can also find Bancomats in airports and at train stations.
Using the ATM or Bancomat in Italy


http://goeurope.about.com/od/moneymatters/a/atm-card-fees.htm
Experienced travelers find that ATM cards are the best way to deal with getting money in Europe. In general, getting cash from an ATM machine is cheaper than getting it from travelers checks (and much faster), and is usually cheaper than charging your small purchases on a credit card.

Marco Polo
06-10-2009, 11:05 AM
Thank you guys! Much obliged.

Miles
06-10-2009, 11:13 AM
Agreed that ATMs are the way to go for cash. Definitely don't bother with travelers checks because they are a huge pain in the ass to cash in and you will probably get a mediocre exchange rate.

I also found that I got pretty good exchange rates when I used my credit cards.

Slainte
06-10-2009, 11:14 AM
Hi Marco,

I'm an ex-pat living in Spain and I've found the best way is to use your debit/atm card (with visa or Mastercard logo) to take Euros from ATM machines. Also, use the card for buying stuff as well. All stores, restaurants, bars, etc..take plastic. Call your bank and see if they refund the ATM service charges overseas. Some do, some don't.

Have a great time and be careful of that group of ATM machines in the arrival area at the Barcelona airport. Somestimes they don't dispense but will register a withdrawl on your bank account. Just watch what other folks are doing and if there's amachine that no-one's using--avoid it.

Oh, $1.41 to 1 Euro right now so be prepared to be kinda raped on the exchange rate...

Old Dog
06-10-2009, 11:33 AM
Well kind Sir you happens to be in the luck. Send me your US dollares and I will exchange it at a 1 to 1 rate.
Of course I will need all of your personal and bank account information and rekwire you to xchange at least $1000.


or just use an ATM with your credit card

Rain Man
06-10-2009, 01:58 PM
The ATM thing is probably good, but if you're in a large city some banks will give you a good rate if you pick it up in the U.S. I think it's better for them to do that than ship the money back somewhere. When I went to South Africa, one of our banks gave us a good rate and also an agreement to buy back any unused currency at either the same rate or no fee or something that was a pretty good deal. I think it was a no-fee deal.

AustinChief
06-10-2009, 03:28 PM
Hi Marco,

I'm an ex-pat living in Spain and I've found the best way is to use your debit/atm card (with visa or Mastercard logo) to take Euros from ATM machines. Also, use the card for buying stuff as well. All stores, restaurants, bars, etc..take plastic. Call your bank and see if they refund the ATM service charges overseas. Some do, some don't.

Have a great time and be careful of that group of ATM machines in the arrival area at the Barcelona airport. Somestimes they don't dispense but will register a withdrawl on your bank account. Just watch what other folks are doing and if there's amachine that no-one's using--avoid it.

Oh, $1.41 to 1 Euro right now so be prepared to be kinda raped on the exchange rate...

Where are you living in Spain?

Slainte
06-10-2009, 03:38 PM
Where are you living in Spain?

Seville

alpha_omega
06-10-2009, 03:45 PM
In my experience....get it from your bank before you go (if you can). My bank charges no fees for the exchange (as a long-time customer). It was a little bit of a hassle because only the main bank could make the exchange, but there were no fees.

DO NOT exchange at the airport if you can avoid it.

alpha_omega
06-10-2009, 03:46 PM
Seville

Nice...Kansas City's sister city!

CrazyPhuD
06-10-2009, 03:48 PM
Seville

You're not a barber are you?



Sorry sorry had to be said! :)

AustinChief
06-10-2009, 03:52 PM
Seville

Nice. I prefer Catalonia but I really enjoyed my time in Seville as well.

Cool that there is an Avenida de Kansas City as well.

Slainte
06-10-2009, 03:56 PM
You're not a barber are you?

No I'm actually the tax-accessor-for-every-sad-cliche of Seville. If you'll just send your credit card number, expiration date and that 3-digit security code from the reverse side, I can complete our transaction.

:)

Slainte
06-10-2009, 04:00 PM
Nice. I prefer Catalonia but I really enjoyed my time in Seville as well.


I was in the Barcelona/Cadeques/Figueres region for a holiday back in April. Very, very nice. Hoping to spend more time up there.

wild1
06-10-2009, 04:01 PM
Just use the ATM. If you go to any of those money-changers you're going to get ripped off.

AustinChief
06-10-2009, 04:08 PM
I was in the Barcelona/Cadeques/Figueres region for a holiday back in April. Very, very nice. Hoping to spend more time up there.

I lived in Tarragona back in 01. Absolutely loved it. next year if ya get a chance go to Valls in the spring and attend a calcotada... fun times.

Bwana
06-10-2009, 04:09 PM
Hey, have fun!

Sandyskc
06-10-2009, 04:51 PM
I used the ATMs while I was in Spain and it worked out great. Daily exchange rates and I didn't need to carry a lot of cash.

stlchiefs
06-10-2009, 04:56 PM
A name like Marco Polo and you've never been to Europe?

MIAdragon
06-10-2009, 05:22 PM
I've always recieved the best rates from aATM using my regular ATM card. Same day rates. Too many dodgy currency exchangers. No need having to carry large amounts of cash. Just make sure your bank is compatible with ATM's there. I don't see why they wouldn't though. It is Italy. And let them know will be using an ATM out of the country. Bump up your daily amount you can withdraw, if you have to.

Yea I did this till an ATM in Portugal ate my ATM card, talk about being fucked!

stlchiefs
06-10-2009, 07:10 PM
Make sure you inform your bank ahead of time before you travel if this is your plan. Sometimes banks will see foreign transactions and lock an account, especially if it's not normal for such transactions to appear on the account and they are for large amounts.

Saggysack
06-11-2009, 12:48 AM
Yea I did this till an ATM in Portugal ate my ATM card, talk about being ****ed!

That's what you get from having 1 bank account. I have 7. Don't ask.