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Paying cash for hotel

We have booked a hotel mentioned in one of Rick's books, which included the tip to mention Rick Steves and pay for the stay in cash for a discount. Which leads me to wonder how to get $500 worth of Euros in the day after we arrive in Europe. I don't think we can withdraw that much from an ATM in one day. What do others do?

Posted by
8293 posts

"What do others do?" They go to a different ATM for a second withdrawal and if necessary, a third ATM.

Posted by
6047 posts

If the $ limit on withdrawals is from your bank, going to multiple ATMs won't help. Make sure you ask your bank to increase your daily limit on withdrawals. Then you can do as Norma suggests. I had no problem withdrawing up to $1000 (about 900€) from 2 different ATMs because I had my bank raise my limit before my trip. For something like this it can also make sense to buy € before leaving home for your first hotel. That's up to you. It will cost a bit more but give you peace of mind knowing you don't have to find one or more ATMs to get that much.

Posted by
7693 posts

I agree with Nancy in that if it will worry you, just get Euro from your local bank before you travel. The exchange rate will not be as good but it may be worth it for your peace of mind. I usually have 200€/200£ when I leave home because it makes me feel better. Now I try to plan that out but on my first few trips I got foreign currency from my local bank. You may need to check around for the best deal.

I also travel with a couple of different debit card accounts and have the limits raised on those accounts so I can get a lot of cash if I need it.

Posted by
2047 posts

Do both of you have ATM cards? if so, are they different numbers? Ours are, both from our CapOne and our Schwab accounts. The daily limit from our banks applies to each ATM card, not the account, so rather than $600, we can take $1200 from CapOne in one day, more still from our Schwab. Really, 500 Euro the day after you arrive is easy - that's two bank days in which to get the Euro.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you all. We do have two ATM cards. And, will check with our bank this week. We don't leave for another 3 weeks, so we have time.

Posted by
3442 posts

Best way to have multiple ATM cards is to set up another chequing account at a different bank. That's added protection; for mysterious reasons, sometimes one card works and another doesn't at a particular machine.

Posted by
5504 posts

Request a temporary higher daily limit from your financial institution.

Several years ago I needed 2500€ cash. I'll had BofA increase my daily
Iimit to $700USD and was able to pull 2500€ over 5 days from BNP ATMs in Paris before getting to Germany. The BNP ATMs would let me withdrawal 500€ at one time.

Some ATMs have lower (than 500€) limits. You would need to do multiple withdrawals up to your daily limit.

You could/should also have a second financial institution's ATM card.

Posted by
507 posts

I've been fairly happy with my local credit union over the years....except for my trips since about 2010, they absolutely refuse to raise my daily withdrawal limit of $400. Security reasons they tell me. Aarrgghh!

Posted by
7 posts

Good suggestion about a second account. We do have an account at a credit union and use their chip-and-pin credit card. I'll just need to put money in my checking account there and use their chip-and-pin debit card I have, but have never used.

Posted by
17659 posts

Are you staying one night in a $500/nt hotel?

In almost 300 nights in Europe, I have*** never*** paid for a hotel room before I checked out. Are you sure you have to pay them the day you arrive?

Anyway, I'm guessing that they do want full payment when you check in. $500 worth of euro is about 445€ today, but it will be more or less then you get there. Most of my banks already give me $500 in withdrawals/day, so one withdrawal might cover it. You can probably increase that with a telephone call. Have you tried?

Who is you ATM card with? Most major banks (USBank, Wells Fargo, Chase, et al) charge you about 4% for an ATM withdrawal in Europe; Wells Fargo sells euro here for 5% over, so you don't loose very much by getting the euro over here from WF before you go.

It seems you have a lot of options.

Posted by
7 posts

No, not $500/night. More like $400 for 3 nights. I have a debit card with State Department FCU and another with a small local bank in Anacortes, Wash.

Posted by
126 posts

I rented an apartment prior to an upcoming tour and they requested cash. I just purchased enough Euros to pay them upon arrival (taking no chances) and will purchase additional monies when I get there.

Posted by
672 posts

I, too, have taken advantage of a cash discount mentioned in a RS book, however I've never paid my bill on the first day of a multi-day stay. While I'm sure they wouldn't turn you down, the normal procedure is to hold the reservation with a credit card, but then (if you wish) to pay in cash upon checkout. You might want to check with the hotel about this. That would give you several days to withdraw the cash.

Posted by
7 posts

Yes, they are holding with a credit card. Makes sense to pay at checkout. Thanks...

Posted by
20638 posts

We tend to pay when it is convenient to do so. Sometimes at check in, sometimes a day or two later, it just all depends on our schedule and available cash. However, if paying cash be sure to get a receipt. We did have one questionable experience. It was a three or four day stay and we paid cash when we checked in but forgot to ask for the receipt. Remembered when we got to the room. Went back down and got the receipt with no problem. A couple of days later when returning one afternoon, the desk clerk (different from when we checked in) politely ask when we want to buy the bill. (I think we were leaving the next morning). I said we had paid, not posted on our record, returned with our receipt, Ahh! Everything is fine. I often wonder what would have happened if I did not have that receipt. Strongly reinforced that idea that a receipt is critical with cash.