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Can you get a better exchange rate by waiting until you get to Italy? We're trying to save money by ordering euros now (no charge) rather than dealing with ATM's later. Also, we're thinking as we get closer to summer, rates will increase. This particular idea was not addressed in Rick's books. Thanks.

Posted by
3313 posts

Buy your Euros there. Even if a bank or tourist agency is offering you Euros at "no charge", they are likely giving you a poor exchange rate. You'll do better at ATMs in Europe. Rick's books explain the basic preparations you should make.

As far as when exchange rates go up or down, they have nothing to do with the season. International currency exchange rates are a matter of global economies. Trying to guess whether the Euro will go up or down relative to the dollar is a matter of speculation. It's not something for amateurs to try.

Posted by
23465 posts

Doug is absolutely correct. There is "NO SUCH THING" as no fees for currency exchange in the US. No fee simply means that the exchange rate has been increased by 6 to 10% to cover the fee. You will not save money. However, do buy a 100E so that you will have some pocket money when you get there. Also check with your debit card issuer for the currency conversion fees that will be change. Could range from 0 to 3%. But in the long run that will be you cheapest and most convenient way to obtain foreign currency.

The trend has been slightly downward recently so it could be lower this summer.

Posted by
891 posts

Sylvia, I know this has been said over & over, so you may already be aware, but make sure you call your bank twice and let them know that you will be using your debit card in Italy, and make sure that you have a 4 digit numerical pin, not a 5 digit one. ATM's there don't take 5 digits & there is no alphabet on the keypad.
Have a great trip!