Euros in Knoxville Tn

Where do you purchase Euros for travel in Knoxville TN? I would even be willing to purchase leftover Euros at current rate.

Posted by Margaret
Nashville, TN, USA
451 posts

Order in advance from SunTrust, Regions Bank, and (maybe) Bank of America.......and I think First Tennessee will also order euros (and there are First Tennessee offices every few steps in Knoxville (just kidding). Most all the banks use the same foreign currency services, so the cost will be similar. And, do request various denominations when you place your order.....such as if you get E500, get mostly E20s, but also some E10s, and E5s, which will be much easier to use for immediately expenses. Once you get there, you can exchange a E5 for some euro coins (for tips/bathrooms, etc.) much easier than asking your hotel or a store to change a whopping E50 or E100.

Posted by David
Seattle, WA, USA
1414 posts

Somebody has to say it... Why bother? You will just be wasting money by purchasing Euros before you leave. When you arrive, get off the plane, and go to one of the many ATMs you will certainly encounter within a few steps. Really, in this day and age, I see no reason to go to the trouble and expense of getting Euros before you leave. Just bring your ATM card, you will be fine (just be sure to advise your bank of your trip before you leave). At least insofar as getting cash, going to Europe is no more complicated than going to the mall. They have money there waiting for you.

Posted by Lee
Oregon
1638 posts

I agree. There's absolutely no reason anymore to pay high exchange rates for euro here in the States when all you have to do is bring your VISA or Mastercard debit card with you and locate an ATM in the airport. They're everywhere. Just be sure you notify your card issuing bank that you will be using the card outside the U.S. or they will freeze your account for suspicion of I.D. theft or Fraud.

Posted by Glen
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
7 posts

Thanks for all of the "help". I guess I should have gone through the WHOLE story to let you know that my youngest son was traveling, that he would be there for 5 months, was leasing an apartment, is going to school, etc. etc. etc. Margaret, thanks for your help and yes, I finally found a bank here in Knoxville that will sell Euros to non-members. Our CU no longer sells them. When he hits the ground in Germany he is going to need close to 1500 E to get the apartment, groceries, train from Frankfurt to his destination, and school fees and supplies. So, no, hitting the ATM as soon as you hit the airport is not an option. I think my next stop will actually be Craig's list to see if I can get some at the current exchange rate.

Posted by john
columbus, nc
282 posts

AAA is another place you can get euros. But you can also take your dollars to the bank when he gets there and exchange for euros. It's easy.

Posted by Lee
Oregon
1638 posts

I agree with John, have him go to a bank once he's arrived to make the exchange. It will be a lot less expensive that way than buying euros here in the States.

Posted by David
Seattle, WA, USA
1414 posts

Regardless of how welcome the help was or is, the advice that was given is still sound. The fact is, sending your son (whether he's a young lad or a geezer) off to Europe with 1500 Euros in cash stuffed into his pockets is neither smart nor the most cost-effective. To begin with, carrying that much cash, across town or all the way to Germany is, IMHO, foolish and invites a disaster (especially so if it's someone who has little or no foreign travel experience). It's also unnecessary. They have banks in Europe. Those banks will accept other forms of payment (cashier's check, bank transfer, etc.) - do all the students showing up there really come with a shoebox full of cash to live off of for 5 months? I doubt it. While it might seem convenient to you to just stuff all his money for the next 5 months into his pocket and send him off, there are lots of other ways to conduct this business that would be a lot more safe and less risky. If you want to spend extra money needlessly to convert a pile of dollars to a pile of euros and send him off with all that cash, OK, but just be aware that there are other (and many of us would argue, much better) ways to approach it. Good luck.

Posted by Margaret
Nashville, TN, USA
451 posts

Glen, Since this is your son's first trip to Europe, I would suggest the following: 1) Order the equivalent of E500 (in the various denominations previously suggested, and I'd probably recommend E100 E in 10s and 5s). I realize there are many on this forum that would say, why bother?...just get them at the ATM when arriving. But, the cost of getting the euros in advance and being able to pre-load money belts, shirt pockets and having ready cash in small denominations is much easier and well worth the cost, in my opinion. 2) Have him keep E50 in a buttoned front shirt pocket for daily cash, and then make sure he is well advised to keep the rest and his ATM card in his money belt, along with all the warnings of when/how to access his money belt. 3) I'd suggest making sure he has a pure ATM card that also does not double as a debit card. Set up a checking account with First Tennessee, as they can give him a pure ATM card. Why? If he uses an ATM that a thief has put the skimmer technology on or if someone compromises his debit card, his account can be completely cleaned out. It is harder with an ATM card, as that card has to be used only at ATMs. 4) Get him a credit card.....maybe one with a limited line of credit....but one he can use nonetheless. If you buy him a pre-paid
credit card, make sure he realizes the difference re: it being like cash if lost. 5) I would suggest ordering both the waist and neck style money belts from Rick's Travel store. Neck style wallet is good for passport while flying. And, of course, I'm sure you and the program he will be part of with his overseas studies, will provide all the appropriate advice re: precautions for credit cards, ATM cards, cash, etc. What a wonderful opportunity you are giving him ..... traveling in Europe at such an early age will give him wonderful life-long memories!!!

Posted by Glen
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
7 posts

Margaret, thanks a ton. You are a huge help! And thank you for staying ON TOPIC as he is going as a student primarily and a tourist 2nd. We don't have the luxury of sending him over early to get "established" nor is he staying in a hotel that takes plastic.

Posted by Margaret
Nashville, TN, USA
451 posts

Another thought. I wonder if he could pay the apartment thru PayPal or some sort of "electronic check" direct transfer of funds. So many apartments in the US apparently accept those forms of payment now, and the European countries are generally well ahead of the US in terms of electronic payments.

Posted by Glen
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
7 posts

We are working out the details of the contract now.....hoping that I can actually do that and just pay from the states every month. Right now we just don't know.....and thanks for the continuing thoughts!!

Posted by Pauline
British Columbia, Canada
188 posts

Glen, You sound like a concerned parent - as it should be. There must be options to taking so much cash and making arrangements for monthly expenses (as David has suggested). When my son went off to university for a year, he opened a bank account in the foreign country and was able to transfer funds from home. Advantage was not having to pay all the ATM fees and not having to carry so much cash. I'm not sure of all the details, as my son investigated and took care of this himself. The foreign study program was helpful in giving information about financial, living in residence and other stuff before he left home. Is there a possibility your son has access to such information as well? You know how tech savvy this younger generation is!!

Posted by Glen
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
7 posts

Well, after long planning and much anxiety, my son is in Germany and settled in. Here are a few lessons learned: 1. When traveling for school in Germany, be prepared to shell out a lot of Euros very quickly. We sent him with about 1000e and he went through that nearly instantly. It was eaten by up front payment for the lodging, deposit required by the school, and school fees. All the suggestions here about just getting euros at the airport or just getting them via your atm card WHEN YOU GET THERE were way off mark. He arrived late on a Friday, everything closed except for the ATM's at the airport that are thieves. So, lesson learned, find out how much the student is going to need immediately and send them with it. 2. Set up a VISA debit/credit gift card. This card can be reloaded as many times as you like. We were able to get one from our credit union. It lasts for 3 years which is about 2.5 years longer than we will need it. Lesson learned: Separate VISA card from your bank account with a limited amount of funds decreases your liability.
3. Set up a bank account in the country that you are staying in. Spend 3 to 4 days doing max withdrawls from the US account and depositing in the Foreign account. We found this to be the smallest exchange fee. He has enough in his account to cover rent for the remainder of the school term plus ALL other monthly fees like that. This is also emergency cash if he gets his VISA card stolen. 4. Get a phone that works in Europe. We have just upgraded all of our phones to Androids and were told they were international capable. We found out they are, except for Europe. Anyway, thanks for the help and so far the trip is a success.

Posted by Kathy
Seattle, WA, USA
125 posts

Hey, Glen. Thanks for the valuable, detailed, and timely (for me) information. Advice that works for certain situations is definitely not appropriate for all. I about to encounter a similar situation and appreciate the help.

Posted by Glen
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
7 posts

Kathy, please feel free to PM me. I will do what I can to answer your questions. We are actually going to put together a travel guide for students going to the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany for the University of Tennessee. They had literally NO information that was helpful. The 3 students going over this semester nearly went over there blind.

Posted by Glen
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
7 posts

So after everything, we ended up with 150 euros. If you are in the knoxville area, we will sell them for current exchange. PM me if interested.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2696 posts

Hi, I agree with the advice of keeping the extra Euro for the next trip. When I come back from a trip, I intentionally take Euro for the next trip, esp. if the exchange rate is advantageous.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

When I go on a trip, I leave with no money and I come home with no money. It's almost comical the last two or three days budgeting meals where we'll have zero our pockets. Sometimes it even requires eating at a McD's. And by the way, your local bank resembles a loan shark on his return on investment with their exchange rates charged. And any time you use a person at American Express to purchase euros from, they're even worse. Cash advances on credit cards discount euros and charge transaction fees, and they too should be avoided. And nobody carries travelers checks anymore. Local bank ATM's in Europe are the easiest and least expensive way to withdraw traveling cash. You've just got to have a four number password, and you must notify your bank of where and when you're traveling. They will turn down your card unless notified.