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Obtaining euros upon flight arrival in Amsterdam

I will be traveling to Amsterdam in late March and have a need to obtain over 700 euros upon arrival the first day in order to pay for my lodging and expenses.
I am checking with my bank to find out how much they will allow at one time/one day, but am concerned whether ATMs can even dispense that much. I know that there are lots of ATMs at the Amsterdam airport.
Will I have to find a bank? If so, where would one be located? My debit card uses the Allpoint networkI had planned to travel directly from the airport to my B&B after arriving in the AM, but need to know if I should go to the train station first in order to find a bank.
Any advise would be appreciated.

Posted by
4501 posts

There are two limits that you have to deal with:
1) Your bank will have a daily limit
2) The ATM will have a max amount that it will dispense

If your bank allows the equivalent of 700 EUR in one day, but the ATM won't let you take that amount, then split it into two transactions. Get some from the first ATM and find a different ATM for the rest.

You might consider opening an account with a second bank so that you have two ATM cards. Between two cards, you can likely get that much money. A second card also gives you backup if for some reason one card doesn't work.

Posted by
14225 posts

If you need more than the maximum your bank allows, then take cash dollars buy euros at a Change in the airport. It will still be cheaper than buying in the U.S. Many airports (not sure about Schiphol) have ATM's and Changes in the baggage collection area. I suggest you get the money then. You can easily pop into the toilet to safely tuck them away in your money belt before heading out with your bags to the bustling terminal and down to the even bustlier train station.

I would also suggest that your B&B might cut you some slack (though I have no personal experience), if you turn up with only about half the payment and get the rest the next day. Unless the €700 is for one night's stay, of course.

Posted by
2827 posts

If you are going to withdraw money at Schiphol, by all means do not use the ATMs near baggage claim, which charge hefty fees, but use, instead, regular ABN Armo and ING ATMs located on the open area (after the arrival's access gates).

Posted by
2164 posts

That actually should be a rule to follow everywhere - always go with a bank-owned ATM. Just like here in the states where privately owned ATMs have bigger fees.

Posted by
2081 posts

michael,

you have time to do something about it before your trip. i would get some Euros now or at least half just in case you cant get the whole amount.

happy trails.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks for all the great advice, esp. about using 2 different cards and the location of the "best" ATMs to use. My primary Debit card for use that I got specifically for my month long European trip is Capital One 360. They just responded to my inquiry and I have $1000 withdrawal limit per day, although they cautioned that individual ATMs may not allow that much to be withdrawn.
I'm investigating obtaining another Debit Card that is European friendly (cost effective). Any recommendations?

Posted by
2786 posts

I go to Europe every summer for a month and always wait until I land there to get European currency from an airport ATM machine using a debit card tied to a checking account. I always take two debit cards and two credit cards, with the two debit cards being from different financial institutions as are the two credit cards. This way I always have a back up in case anything bad happens which has happened only once in 13 years.

Posted by
2 posts

Get enough euro's to cover lodging and first day, before you go. This gives you time to locate a safe, reliable atm/bank of your choice. Opening a second account and carrying additional cards sounds like more trouble than it's worth. Two cards that could be misplaced, or stolen, is twice the trouble.

Posted by
9110 posts

I think the advice has gone off the darn track. Andre speaks the truth about Schiphol.

I don't mind winding up anywhere without local currency. Worst case is that you get the first little bit at a horrible rate and the rest an hour or so later.

There's no way, generally speaking, that you need to show up with a full day's worth.

There's also no sense in not having a couple cards from different institutions. I live out of foreign ATMs. At least once a trip something balks. In Scotland, for some reason, one card hardly ever works at any bank. I don't know how many times in other countries I've had to pull out the other card or look around for another machine.

You need two things to go anywhere in the world: money and a passport. Anything else is gravy. You can always get a new passport anywhere. Replacing a single card can't be pulled off in a couple of days.

Posted by
1812 posts

Michael, I recommend USAA Savings Bank for your second debit card. The checking account itself is free. In the US, they have some free ATMs and will refund up to $15 a month in fees from non-affiliated ATMs. In Europe, there is no ATM usage fee, just a 1% foreign transaction fee.

We have never had a problem with this card in 15 years of travel. And they are very easy to work with, in adding travel notifications, increasing daily limits, etc.

Posted by
3501 posts

One small tactic is to avoid withdrawing a big round number, such as 500 €, which could leave you with four 100-€ bills and two 50-€, awkward to use. Try for something like 480€.

Posted by
18 posts

hey michael,

most of the advice is spot on. find a bank owned ATM at schipol and take out as much as you can. once you get into the heart of Amsterdam, the casino is pretty easy to find and you should have no trouble getting large amounts of cash there. just be careful when you get to Centraal station. once you exit, pickpockets are everywhere!