Mark, my problem wasn’t with the ATM, it was with the bank freezing the card because they didn’t like how I used it that day. A little too much caution. My daughter didn’t have trouble with an ATM, someone in another city was using her number and the bank just froze her card as well. Two examples, two different banks; one BoA, one BBVA. So in this case Mark, you could try a 1000 ATMs and none would work.
So, just so I would be better informed I went to both the Visa site and the BoA site. Yes, 100 euro delivered to my front door in 1-3 business days does indeed cost $3.61 more than just using an ATM card in, say France. That is if the ATM machine I use doesn’t charge me a fee (my BoA card has no foreign transaction fee).
VISA (this is also the ATM rate): 100 euro = $111.18 if you pay no
foreign transaction fees
BOA (delivered to your door in 1 to 3 business days) 100 euro =
Premium for exchanging 100 euro in the states $3.61
For me the whole exercise is just that, an exercise. Sometime I get money, like a trip to Kyiv where I know the taxi will cost half as much in hryvnia than it will in any other currency and credit cards are not always an option. Sometimes I fly with nothing but a few hundred in USD for emergencies, knowing that in an emergency if I can’t use my credit card or debit card, a curb side exchange rate will be expensive for me.
But to criticize someone because they feel more comfortable with $3.61 in insurance in their pocket is just plain nutz. For anyone to feel more learned because they don’t feel the need to carry a little local cash on the flight over, is also nutz.