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Exch. money at European banks

Is there any problem in France with exchanging USD as far as the quality of the bill is concerned? In Norway 2 yrs. ago, our bills were denied because they weren't "pristine", as in "just off the mint"! It caused problems and I want to avoid that this time throughout France. I will be exchanging USD cash at banks, not at curr. exchange companies. Merci...

Posted by
9109 posts

Most places that do currency exchanges anywhere in the world will typically only take new bills. Newer bills have the latest counterfeit protections on them.

Posted by
8700 posts

Chantelle,

Is there a particular reason that you are planning to bring a large amount of US dollars rather than getting cash as needed from ATMs in France? ATMs are open 24/7. Banks aren't.

Posted by
1167 posts

I suspect that very few people will be able to answer this question since such a large percentage of people use ATMs rather than exchanging currency. .

Posted by
23472 posts

Micheal's comments are correct. Fraud is what killed the traveler's check and counterfeiters are especially hard on US currency abroad. Also there are rumors around that when a new designed bill comes out, the old ones are no good. I doubt if a bank would believe that but having to exchange money even at banks is an expensive way to go.

Posted by
9109 posts

Something else....I doubt you would have this problem in France, but in more remote areas currency exchange places will only accept 100 and 20 dollar bills for exchange. This happened to me in China earlier this year when I had problems with my debit card.

Posted by
23472 posts

I think that is because the $50 bill is the most frequently counterfeited bill. I read a report recently that a huge amount of $50 bills in the world are counterfeit -- something like 20 or 30%.

Posted by
32272 posts

Frank,

I should be able to avoid any problems then, as I rarely have enough funds to be able to carry $50 bills!

Posted by
23472 posts

I always take a few fresh one with me when I travel.

Posted by
124 posts

We recently returned from a 2 week trip to Ireland. We took some $50.00 bills that we exchanged in major banks. They were all produced after 2004 (with the reddish color on them and were fairly crisp) No problems anywhere. Our exchange rate averaged 1.45 with cash. Our credit card statement showed an exchange rate of 1.42 and 1.43 and we were satisfied with the results. The aiport exchange rate was 1.55 in Shannon, and 1.65 in NYC and Portland. We haven't gotten our debit/bank statement yet, so it remains to be seen how that will come out. Dan

Posted by
668 posts

I was on a private tour off a cruise ship in ST. Petersburg in June and we had been asked to pay in US bills in new condition. I had bought US currency in the UK and they were brand new. When I paid the guide. she said, "I know we asked for new, but did you print these last night?"!!!!

Posted by
446 posts

"The airport exchange rate was 1.55 in Shannon, and 1.65 in NYC and Portland."

That 1.65 rate in a real ripoff! 1.50 would be a reasonable rate at a US bank, but 1.65 is ridiculous.

Your credit card and cash rates are good. You should get about the same with your debit card.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you to all who wrote to assist me in this issue. Thanks to your input, I think I have simplified things somewhat by securing a debit card.
I'll let you know how I fare!