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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For all the serial travelers out there, where do you get the best rate if you'd like to exchange cash in foreign currency into the local currency (Euros to Dollars here in the US in my case). In a bank? in an American Express office?

Clues would be highly appreciated :)
 

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Lord of Legoland
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I usually just withdraw cash from a random ATMs - it's by far the easiest and the exchange rate is usually really good..

You do see service fees in the US ( and maybe elsewhere ) but a buck is little compared to the hassle and time it would be to go inside the bank you aren't a member in and try to communicate with the foreign language speaking clerk..

Echange shops ( like FOrex ) never pays - they need to cover rent and wages where banks already get that from customers..

So my advice would be ATMs - it's easy, cheap and available everwhere..



Edit - misunderstood you - well since you want to exchange back to your own currency I would use my own bank, just make a deposit with it to your own account..
 

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oh my buddha
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The only real choice out there is a bank. The rate is better in a bank than a foreign exchange store.

Not all banks do foreign exchange though.
This isn't always true. If you change money in a bank in Myanmar you're a moron.

In Thailand the best rates are in FOREX shops, but you have to shop around and you have to be changing a lot of money to get the best rates. If it's just a little money, ATM is probably best.
 

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Proud warmonger
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I usually just withdraw cash from a random ATMs - it's by far the easiest and the exchange rate is usually really good..

You do see service fees in the US ( and maybe elsewhere ) but a buck is little compared to the hassle and time it would be to go inside the bank you aren't a member in and try to communicate with the foreign language speaking clerk..

Echange shops ( like FOrex ) never pays - they need to cover rent and wages where banks already get that from customers..

So my advice would be ATMs - it's easy, cheap and available everwhere..



Edit - misunderstood you - well since you want to exchange back to your own currency I would use my own bank, just make a deposit with it to your own account..
ATM's overseas are not cheap. You get charged huge fees everytime you withdraw which is not worth at all. They charge me $5 everytime i do that :nuts:
 

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Keep your head
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From my experience the exchange rates in the US (a country with little FOREX market) are very bad and not convenient

So for an American my suggestion is to travel with a good quantity of us dollars with them and change them at destination in a bank/forex change. Besides, in several countries they would accept dollars anyway

Don't forget to pay with credit card (if the country is trustable): the credit card change is the most convenient one

Forget travel checques...they are not accepted almost anywhere and by far the worst in exchange rate / feees

American express offices are an alternatives only in the US, where banks often do not have the FOREX service. In most of the world however they do

ATMs in reality have pretty high fees attached to them, usually higher than a bank exchange. They shall be used only if the cash runs out
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you guys for your answers :) When traveling overseas I thought the best option was to use a credit card whenever possible and have some emergency cash. My credit cards didn't have service fees but charged you 3% on transactions. But well, I didn't travel overseas much and when I did I usually had some family to exchange the cash for me.

But my question was about exchanging foreign currency into US Dollars within the US. My bank does offer foreign currency deposit but I was curious to know if there were other places with better rates. In Morocco for example I think you get a better rate than the bank's if you go to bazaars in touristic spots.
 

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Moderator
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ATMs are usually the most expensive, but most convenient way to withdraw cash. I tend to use credit cards as much as I can, and exchange larger bills in local currency so I don't need to carry a whole stack of cash with me. I will then lock up a large chunk of the cash and ask the hotel to exchange me some smaller bills.

I tend to exchange at banks back home prior to flying out. The money-changers at airports and tourist sites charge quite a hefty premium on the FX rate even if they do not charge commission. If I try a local bank, they will likely impose a huge surcharge since I do not hold an account with them.
 

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depends on whch country, but here: definitely the Forex shops.

And the location should be in low profile places like backstreets or low-profile malls. Then you get the best exchange rate.
FOREX at Airports or Megamalls must be avoided.

Banks ? That's the worst place to exchange.
 

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Bring Constantinople back
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For all the serial travelers out there, where do you get the best rate if you'd like to exchange cash in foreign currency into the local currency (Euros to Dollars here in the US in my case).
There is a golden rule: "always buy foreign currencies". So, you should change in your own country before travelling. Generally, the cheapest is the national bank. An other golden rule: avoid black market...
 

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Use an ATM or debit card for what local currency you need and put major expenses on a credit card. You are right about the airport exchange rates. If an ATM is not convenient, foreign banks often are the next best choice for obtaining local currency. Shop around.
 

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Same old me
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MoroccanChica, I use my debit card everywhere I can to avoid paying fees... last time I was in the US I made the mistake of withrawing money from an ATM a couple of times and the fees were pretty bad... I don't know how it happened, since the previous time I had been there I had only paid a couple of bucks... but oh well, I don't risk it anymore and I use debit/credit as much as I can.

Besides the advantage of avoiding fees, you also get the best exchange rate.
 
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