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Current exchange rate in italy

We are leaving Saturday for Italy.

What is the current exchange rate there. We will be bringing cash and plan to exchange for euros at a bank when we get there. We would like to know the rate so we know what to expect.

Posted by
6236 posts

Exchange rates between any two sets of currencies are published online, along with historical data going back a few years. Just Google "USD to EUR exchange rate" and you'll see it. I use this site:
http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=USD&To=EUR

Why would you bring cash after everything that's been written here about using ATMs? Really, they work, and they'll give you the best exchange rate. I've used them all over Europe, in South America and Mexico with no issues. There is no need to bring wads of cash.

Posted by
2334 posts

Will a bank even exchange cash for a foreigner? I seem to recall hearing people struggle with this but I can't say for sure. You might be stuck with a private currency exchange business which will cost more.

Put the cash in an account in the US with an ATM card and withdraw it in euros in Italy.

Posted by
3436 posts

Most banks in Europe no longer do currency exchange for non-customers. They will simply point at their ATM and tell you to use that.

Most currency exchange booths at airports and train stations do it for a terrible exchange rate. (Last I looked at Paris, it was nearly 20 cents per Euro over the current ATM rate!)

Taking cash is a bad idea

Also, the rate varies from day to day and sometimes can change multiple times in one day if the currency markets are very volatile (like right after the Brexit vote came in). What it is today means nothing when it comes to what it might be when you get there. You can check what the current rate is by entering "USD in EUR" on Google.

While it might be too late to change your plans, talking with your bank about using your ATM Debit card would be a good idea.

Posted by
254 posts

Not bring lots of cash, but our friends forgot to get some euros to have when we arrive. We will be using arm for the most part, but just bringing enough cash to get through first day or so.

The exchange rate you get online is never the real exchange rate. Between commissions and bank profits, the actual rate is higher than what is quoted online. I'm trying to get an idea what we could expect at the bank in real time.

Posted by
8889 posts

Charlie, the exchange rate varies from day-to-day, and even from hour to hour, so what you see today will not be the rate when you get there.
As Sam says, you can just look it up on google with "USD to EUR", or for a specific amount "USD 200 = EUR".

But that will not be the rate you get. The rate shown is the "interbank rate", which you will only get if you are trading millions via the banking system.
If you are getting cash from an ATM, or using a credit card, you get a rate 1-2% worse than that. Plus any "foreign use surcharge" (% or flat rate) your bank may add.
If you change cash (notes only) in a bank or Foreign exchange office (which you are proposing to do), you could be charged 10-15% worse than the interbank rate. And not many banks will change cash unless you are a customer.

Changing cash is raw capitalism, they can charge whatever rate they want.

Posted by
3436 posts

You would have to ask the place you intent to exchange your cash at what their charges are. Since almost no one here exchanges cash in Europe, it is doubtful anyone will know. Many do get Euros from their bank in the US and that can be less expensive then actually exchange the cash in Europe. You would have to ask your bank what they charge. My bank charges about 12% over the daily rate you find on Google for the service, but it takes several days for them to get the Euros as they don't keep any in stock.

If you are planning on using the ATM anyway, why not use it when you arrive in Italy at the airport? There are plenty of ATMs in every Italian airport and all of them have the option for English display while doing your transaction. Most don't change any fees at their end (your bank might charge fees for the transaction). It would probably take less time to get whatever you need in Euros from the ATM than it would standing in line at the exchange booth.

Posted by
1771 posts

At this point...what's the difference? You are going to overpay to exchange euros regardless.

Posted by
20718 posts

Simple answer to your question you should expect an exchange at an exchange bureau in the range of 8 to 12% higher. Just use 10% as your bench mark. The probability of a bank exchanging dollars in Italy is quite low as that is not their business. Same as a US bank will not give US dollars in exchange for euro. The exchange on on-line is very, very close the the exchange rate you get using a debit card at a bank owned ATM using either the Plus or Cirrus networks. That rate will always be within one percent of the Interbank rate. After that any and all fees added will be determined by the card issuer. Depending on the internet site the list exchange rate can vary some depending on how it is present. Since the rate changes constantly during the day, the site may not update frequently or uses an average for the day. Either way it doesn't make much difference because an exchange bureau is free to use any rate that they want to apply.

At the moment the exchange rate is 1.1882 and trending down from high of 1.1920 this morning. For your planning purposes plan on an exchange rate of 1.20 as a base - ATMs in the range of 1.22 plus fees added by your debit card issuer and exchange bureaus in the range 1.31.

Anything over 10% is a little high and anything under is expected.

Posted by
2513 posts

I'm trying to get an idea what we could expect at the bank in real
time.

The PPS have been trying to tell you that

  1. No one (even the banks) can tell you what the exchange rate will be any day in the future - even tomorrow.

  2. Many (most?) banks won't exchange foreign cash for noncustomers. If they do, the rate won't be anywhere as good as what you would get by using a bank ATM.

  3. The only other way to exchange cash would be at a forex bureau, and these give horrible rates.

  4. Most of us would recommend that your friends use their ATM card to get Euros on arrival if they don't have time to get it before they leave. And make sure their bank knows that they will be using it outside the US.

Posted by
254 posts

We know better, and know the drill, but our friends didn't. Even though we suggested to them.

Thanks for all the info. I didn't realize the local banks didn't exchange. Thought we could do it that way. Will a bancomat atm be able to exchange to euros?

Posted by
6236 posts

Are your friends averse to using an ATM card and ditching this bad cash exchange idea? I would try to persuade them that ATMs are the way to go...of course I guess they're not prepared (or know) how much their bank will charge them either at the ATM, are they? Some banks have awful charges (3% plus some $5 flat fee for each transaction) and now it's too late to get a different ATM card.

Well, it's not the end of the world. If you get fleeced, you tend not to repeat the same mistake again, so maybe this is not so bad after all. Call it a learning experience.

Posted by
5899 posts

Just use a bank ATM at the airport upon arrival. Re exchange your currency wherever you obtained it.

Posted by
20718 posts

....Will a bancomat atm be able to exchange to euros? .......

No, no, no !!!! I really don't think you understand the process or comprehend what we are trying to tell you. EXCHANGING currency is not a good or cheap idea. A bancomat DOES NOT change dollars to euro. The bancomat will issue euro in the amount requested and then charge your bank account in the US the dollar equivalent of the euro withdraw -- plus fees if applicable. DO NOT carry large sums of US dollars and expect to exchange them for euro in Europe anywhere. It can be done but the fees will be expensive.

Are you saying that your friends are bring a large amount of US cash that will need to be exchange? If that is true then I some additional comments that they need to be aware of.

Posted by
2513 posts

Will a bancomat atm be able to exchange to euros?

No. ATMS do not exchange cash. You withdraw local cash (euros) from your checking account. The card issuer will convert the Euros into USD and your bank will deduct that amount, plus any bank charges from your account.

Posted by
20718 posts

Also thinking that from the tone of this discussion you and your friends need to be aware of a common practice called -- Dynamic Conversion. That is an offer, most like with credit cards but can occur with ATM withdraws, to charge your card in US dollars. DO NOT under any circumstances allow that to happen because the vendor is then determining the exchange rate and it will always be substantially in their favor. While it may sound good, it will never serve your interests. DON'T DO IT !!!

Posted by
231 posts

Charlie,

If I understand you correctly, you want to have some euros before you go, so why not just visit a currency exchange here in the US? Either way you're going to pay a service charge and at least this way you're done before you leave. We're leaving for Italy in a couple weeks and priced both TravelEx and Currency Exchange International--both available in our local malls. Currency Exchange International had the better rate, so I took the remaining cash from our Costco credit card "bonus" and bought euros. We paid about $1.13 per euro when the online rate was $1.05. This was back in February/March and ironically those look to be the least expensive euros we'll have on this trip.

Posted by
2334 posts

Let's say you have $300 in your home checking account, accessible by an ATM card.

$300 is roughly 240 euros (rough estimate here, it's an example!)
Go to ATM. Ask for 240 euros, it will give you 240 euros in cash.
Your bank account at home will subtract $300 plus any fees.
Obviously my numbers are made up - 240 euros will not be $300 even - it might be $302.54 or something, this is an example only!

Voila -you have turned your dollars into euros.

Posted by
16788 posts

Web sources that tell you the current interbank exchange rate will also usually give you the option to see the rate +1%, +2% or +3% and will use terms like "typical ATM rate" and "typical credit card rate" for these calculations.
https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/ is another one of these.

Posted by
5164 posts

Charlie, you need to think of it this way: you are not really exchanging currency, you are buying euro with dollars. The seller, whether its a bank, an ATM, a for-profit exchange kiosk, or a guy on the street, can sell euro at any price they want and you are willing to pay. Most of these places have expenses and need to make a profit, so of course it will be different rates.

Posted by
15621 posts

There comes a point when you just can't get it across to inexperienced friends and in-laws that ATM's are the way to go. They insist on bringing a big wad of dollars that they can exchange at currency booths at exorbitant rates, and happily they go on their way and enjoy their trip. It's not your job to tell them what to do with their way of spending money. Just as long as they don't run out and have to start sponging off of you. :-)

Posted by
1160 posts

The last time I went to Japan I had to leave earlier than planned (it was the week of the huge March 11th, 2011 earthquake). Going back to Italy I was stuck with the rough equivalent of US$ 500 in Japanese yens - that I had withdrawn earlier from an ATM. In spite of being a customer of two Italian banks - not the largest ones, I admit - I was not able to find a bank willing to exchange them in euros. At the end I gave them to a little change office that gave me the equivalent of US$ 350 after markup and commissions. Change offices are easy to find in tourist areas but they rates border extortion.

Posted by
4 posts

I would agree, exchange rates are WAY better when using your credit card. We have Capitol One and no extra fees. As far as atm, still WAY better than exchanging cash, check with your bank re: fees with atm, but you'll still fare better than carrying cash. Traveled in august 17

Posted by
3436 posts

I always find it interesting when people post about how great a deal they got on exchange because there was no fee charged by the exchange agent or because they are a special customer of their bank. But when asked how many Euro they got for their dollars or what rate they got ... total silence. Because the rate they got was not so great -- not even close to just OK in most cases.

Way back when, dollars were the currency of the world. You got (relatively) good rates on exchange. Banks would help you out. You could even pay for things with Traveller Cheques!! But things have changed. In reality, no one wants any foreign currency, including dollars, because it is too difficult to do anything with it. It may be difficult for some to understand this no matter how many times they are told the exact same thing. And with the world wide ATM networks allowing almost anyone to get local cash instantly anywhere, there just is no reason to plan on attempting to exchange physical cash. While some banks charge way too much (in our opinion) for that convenience, and there is nothing wrong with them charging if they want, there are multiple options (at least in the US) where you can find a bank that will issue a debit card and never charge you any fees. Plan ahead and exercise your options.

Posted by
3307 posts

I know this is a little late for your departure, but it would be good for you and your friends to read these Money Travel Tips right here on this RS website.

Posted by
631 posts

just how much cash were you thinking of bringing into Europe??? Just carrying it across borders has restrictions to crack down on money laundering.

Posted by
8889 posts

Just carrying it across borders has restrictions to crack down on money laundering.

The limit is €10 000 or equivalent, anything over that carried in cash into or out of the EU must be declared. I hope Charlie's friends are not bring anything like that amount.
Charlie, how much are we talking about?

Posted by
254 posts

Thank you all for the great info.

They took the cash back to bank, and verified her card had a travel notification on it, and we are good to go.

Keep it simple!!!!!

Posted by
1500 posts

Hey charlie
Thank gosh!! Life will be real simple and sane now!! We also are leaving tomorrow for Venice, I'll wave and give you the thumbs up as our plane cruises along!!! Happy travels
Aloha princess pupule