Using ATMs for Local Curency...a Different Question

I know the ATM topic has been beaten to death....BUT....what I have not seen is the answer to my question.

In both Amsterdam and Paris, I will have to pay for my apartment rental in cash upon checking in. Amsterdam is 3 nights, Paris is a week, so there is a sizable amount of cash involved. A typical US ATM machine only lets you withdraw $200 per day. Do European machines allow you to withdraw more at once?

If not, is it advisable to take traveler's checks to exchange larger quantities at a bank?

Thank you. This forum has been a treasure trove of information.

Posted by Erika
Seattle
80 posts

I was able to take out 400 Euro's at once last year when I was in Paris. I bank with US Bank, I don't know if that makes a difference. I didn't try to take out more because I didn't want to be walking around with that much cash (even in my money belt). Maybe you should check with your bank to see if they know? Good luck!

Posted by Arn
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
215 posts

I don't know about Amsterdam or Paris, but have not
had any problems taking out larger amounts in ATMs around Rome, Prague, Krakow and all over England. I use Chase.

Posted by Norm
Ottawa, Canada
4555 posts

ATMs usually let you take out what your bank will permit you, per day. Check with your bank and check your daily limit with them, and see if that limit also applies to overseas transactions. If the limit is a problem, then you can either start back-timing your withdrawals so you will have enough (but that means carrying an increasing amount of cash around with you), or opt for travelers cheques, which are probably your only option. Visa travelers cheques might be perferrable, since any Visa-related bank is supposed to cash them....but you may be hit with a surcharge.

Posted by Jon
Portland, Oregon, USA
320 posts

I ran into this same issue - before I left on my trip I went to my bank (US Bank) and did two things. First, I bought $2000 worth of Euros so I had plenty of cash when I hit the ground. Second, I had the bank raise by daily ATM limit. It worked great! Have fun!

Posted by Tom
Newport Beach, CA, USA
756 posts

The other posters are correct - ATM limits are between you and your bank. You cand request to have it raised, as well as the daily purchase limit amount. Most have a lower 200-300 cash and 700 purchase limit, but both can be changed with a call or visit to your bank. That will solve your issue and hopefully answers your question! good luck and happy travels! - enjoy the trip!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8641 posts

If the apartment owners will accept a bank draft in euros, you could open an account with www.xe.com/fx. I've use mine to send money to relatives in the UK and to pay for a B&B where cash was required in advance to reserve the room. For security reasons, it takes some time and effort to set up an account, but things go smoothly and quickly after that. Via electronic transfer, money is taken from my checking acount and XE sends a bank draft by surface mail to Europe. The exchange rate is only slightly higher than the going rate for the day the transaction is processed and there are no other fees. If you're in a real hurry, XE will do a wire transfer to Europe, but you'll pay more.

Posted by Ellen
Livermore, California
24 posts

Thank you all very much for your insights and suggestions. I believe that my solution may eventually be be a combination of your many wonderful ideas. And I know you have helped others who have, or may one day face, the same issue.

Posted by Chris
Renton, WA, USA
81 posts

After my card was refused by one European ATM I decided it made sense to open a small account ($1000 or so) at a different bank. I have always been able to get cash since, and could access both accounts if I need a larger amount.