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Best Exchange options at Fiumicino

I've been warned that the exchange booths charge high rates.

I know that I can take out several thousand dollars at an ATM in the States with my credit card.

But my USAA card said I'd have to check limits on the ATMs themselves -- and friends have said the limit is $200.

I want to get $1000 before going to the country. Best way to do that at the airport?


Posted by
2746 posts

friends have said the limit is $200.

The limit set by Italian banks is per transaction, not per day/card. Tell your bank you are travelling abroad, raise your daily limit and be ready to use the same ATM 5 times in a row.

Best way to do that at the airport?

Find a Bancomat machine. If you pick an ATM and not a Bancomat, expect higher fees. Nobody in Italy knows what an ATM is, those companies use the English word because they cater to foreigner and make money with conversion fees.

Posted by
3363 posts

Are you talking about bringing euros with you?
If so your bank or AAA is best for that.

Once in Italy use a BANK ATM ( Bancomat) during bank hours to get whatever cash you need using your debit card

Do not use
“ ATM” or exchange desk at airport, those will be at highest exchange rates and fees.

As for your daily limit, that varies so you need to check with your provder.

Posted by
5147 posts

Sally, is there a specific reason that you are going to want that much cash on your trip? The reason I ask is that most of Europe has pretty much gone fairly cashless. You will find most of your transactions will be by credit or debit card and many places prefer this to cash.

Unless there is a specific cost that you know of where the vendor will only accept large amounts of cash, I think that getting $200 at a time will be more than enough for your needs.

I would encourage you to think about using a debit card vs. a credit card for cash withdrawals at an atm. A credit card will start an immediate interest charge on a cash withdrawal at extremely high interest rates, while simply charging an expense to a credit card will not. Debit cards will not cause you to be charged interest.

If you feel that exchanging at the airport is your best option still, I don't know that it will really matter. Simply go to the exchange, pay the fee, and go on and enjoy your trip.

Posted by
478 posts

USAA told me I had their standard limit of $600 per day. I didn’t not ask about raising the limit as I didn’t need more. Some machines limit the transactions but I have found larger banks allow more. I didn’t have a problem getting €500.. I also opened an account at Capital One and they rushed me a card - I always go with more than one ATM card. Getting €1000 would be easier with two different cards.

I didn’t get cash at FCO this time but in the past there have been multiple ATMs. You could also get some at the airport and some in the city. But, I have also found many more places take cards with contactless payments using the cards or phone. It’s been 10 days and I haven’t made much of a dent in the cash until I started paying for meals with cash to break the larger bills.

If you are really worried about it, ordering from a bank before you leave might be a better exchange rate than the exchange places/ATMs.

Posted by
17 posts

Friends made the mistake of acquiring €1000 from their bank before travelling to France. They reported that almost nowhere were they able to spend them. Everyplace is cashless now, and most require a "tap" card.