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Iceland and money exchange.

So I accidentally took way to much money out of a ATM in Iceland, about 450 USD to much... Whoops.... And I am currently in Norway, however they want to give me 350 USD equivalent. Should I just cut my loss and go for it, or should I plan on going back through Iceland on the way home and exchange it there? Would it be wise to do it this way (Iceland most likely my layover). Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Posted by
16464 posts

Tough call. If your return is also via Iceland, and you have the time between flights, you might see if you get a better rate into USD there. Or you might try a regular bank instead of a currency exchange. I think the spread would be narrower if changing into a major currency like the USD, Euro, or GBP. If your travels take you a country that uses those currencies, I'd hang on until then.

Edit- Or stop at the duty free in Iceland and pick up a couple of those really nice hand knit Icelandic sweaters.

Posted by
5534 posts

Don't know for sure, but I stongly suspect that even currency exchanges at Keflavik Airport in Iceland would offer a better exchenge rate than you're being offered in Norway. As Sam indicated, a regular bank outside of the airport would offer even better rates, if that's an option.

Or, if sweaters aren't your thing, if you ever wanted to walk into a bar and buy a round for the house, at Keflavik, this could be your chance.

Posted by
55 posts

I was in Iceland in June and exchanged ISK into USD at the airport before returning to the States. The bank inside Keflavik had REALLY good rates for an airport exchange. If you are going to layover there anyhow, definitely wait. If you MIGHT layover there, I think if it were me I would still wait and worst case scenario exchange at a US bank--my parents did the latter the summer before last and while they didn't get amazing rates it wasn't as bad as what you describe!

Posted by
5775 posts

Exchanging one non-reserve currency (e.g. Icelandic Kroner) to another non-reserve currency (e.g. Norwegian Kroner) is not efficient. Currency exchanges will do an intermediate conversion to a reserve currency (USD or EUR), then convert from the reserve currency to the other non-reserve. The double conversion is a double hit.