I did some checking today as I had to make a payment in Euros. I use Bank of America ( I know I need another bank) and contrary to what has been posted, it seems more beneficial to bring Euros rather than use an ATM in Europe. What am I missing?
Bank of America makes money on the exchange rate ever I make a purchase overseas. They charge 6-8 cents over the normal rate. They also charges a 3% transaction fee. If I withdraw money from an ATM, I lose that 3% transaction fee in addition to the money I lose on the exchange rate. I can buy Euros near me for 5 cents over the quoted rate without a 3% fee. I believe most financial institutions make a percentage over the quoted exchange rate and also charge a fee similar to the 3%. If this is true, wouldn't it make sense to buy Euros as cheaply as you can stateside and bring them along?
FYI, one of the best rates I found was through PayPal. I saved $10 on a $320 transaction using my credit card and PayPal's exchange rate rather than Bank of America's exchange rate.