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Best way to exchange leftover Euros to Dollars

I am wrapping up a semester of studying in Italy, and the school I was at set me up in dorm. The dorm required a 120 euro security deposit. I am due to get that money back soon, and I want to get the most out of it. I would just spend it here in Italy, but I am getting it my last day in Europe as I head back stateside. That being said, I would like to get the best exchange rate possible. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get cash for cash without losing a large sum of it to scam artists like currency exchangers in the airport. I know that there will be some losses taken, but I am just looking for the cheapest way to get USD for Euro cash. Thank You

Posted by
16763 posts

Is there someone within your circle of aquaintances who might be planning a trip to the euro zone? He or she would probably be happy to buy your leftover currency at around the official bank rate. It would be a good deal for both of you. Someone heading to Europe for the fall semester, perhaps?

Posted by
6749 posts

We always keep 100-150 euros for the next trip. That way when get off the plane the following trip, we have some euros to get started without having to exchange at the airport.

Posted by
2941 posts

Betty, I am guessing a college student might need the money for living expenses.

Posted by
15573 posts

I think after a semester in Italy, taking a small hit on the currency exchange is OK. Lets say you only got $100 US (sorry, assuming you are coming back to the States), it is still more than you had to begin with. That $30 loss spread out over an entire semester is just part of the deal.
Or spend on stuff in the duty-free at the airport.

Posted by
6542 posts

You could spend a big chunk of it in the airport McDonalds getting breakfast upon your departure. We often ration out our cash the last day or two and eat the rest.

Posted by
544 posts

The post office banks often are the best place. If that's not an option, you may look at exchanging your EU cash at your bank at home.

My recommendation is to hang on the the cash and use it. If you don't find things to spend it on before you leave, save it for another trip.

Posted by
5486 posts

Airport currency exchanges are not "scam artist". In a free enterprise capitalistic system they are offering you a service that you need not use. That said, they are an expensive way to exchange money.

Nordheim's suggestions are good. An added alternative is try to sell your Euros to another person at a mutually acceptable rate.

Posted by
17642 posts

My guess is you are coming back to the US. Where? Look at the group forum. Is there a group near you? I'm sure someone in a group is planning on going to Europe soon and would be happy to buy then from you are the current rate.

Posted by
20598 posts

Bring the excess home. Go to your university's study abroad office on campus, and post a note offering to sell at current exchange rate to the next student headed to Europe. Good deal for both parties.

Posted by
20598 posts

Not an original idea but done all the time on our campus. In fact our advisors often recommend that our students get their pocket money that way. I don't really support the idea of keeping a large amount of euro for the next trip since who knows where the exchange rate is going. Beyond keeping a hundred euro for the next trip, I would sell everything.

Posted by
17642 posts

I don't really support the idea of keeping a large amount of euro for
the next trip since who knows where the exchange rate is going.

Exactly. It really doesn't make much difference. If you don't know where the exchange rate is going, the chances are it will go down, so it would have cost less in USD to buy the same number of euro, but the chances are the same that is will go up, so it will cost more. On average, you'll break even.

I've kept track of my expenses over the last ten years, and the prices in Europe have been pretty stable. So if you need a thousand euro in 2 years, it will cost more or less to buy them depending on what the exchange rate does, but that thousand euro should buy about the same then as it will now.

In the long run, you'll be better off keeping it rather than paying ATM fees all over again.