Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.
While anyone can comment on regular blog post, registration is required in order to post a question in this space. Creating your account is free, and you'll be able to see when your question is answered, as well as like comments from other users. And of course, you'll earn status points for offering helpful answers!
This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so please jump in and share tips!
Curious to get opinions on getting cash ahead of time for diff countries or just do it once i arrive? I was planning on just waiting until I arrive. Airport or hotel as far as where to do it? I’d like to just use my CC the whole time and get points but i know some things will require having cash on hand..
Going to London, Rome/Florence, Prague, Berlin & Copenhagen so i guess i will end up needing Pounds, Euros, Cz Crowns & Danish Krones to get me through the 5 countries..
Almost always better to buy the currency in the particular country whose currency you would need. US bank have terrible rates (I used to regularly check) compared to particularly Money Exchanges which are all over the places in European, Asian and South American countries. Also, in my experience you get a better rate by avoiding exchanging money at airports. Finally, again in my experience, you can often negotiate an even better exchange rate than the displayed one if you exchange a considerable amount of money. I did that in Turkey, Hungary, Vietnam, Cambodia, Argentina just to name a few.
[QUOTE=”Daniel B, post: 67079, member: 1592″]Almost always better to buy the currency in the particular country whose currency you would need. US bank have terrible rates (I used to regularly check) compared to particularly Money Exchanges which are all over the places in European, Asian and South American countries. Also, in my experience you get a better rate by avoiding exchanging money at airports. Finally, again in my experience, you can often negotiate an even better exchange rate than the displayed one if you exchange a considerable amount of money. I did that in Turkey, Hungary, Vietnam, Cambodia, Argentina just to name a few.[/QUOTE]
Awesome thanks. Def wont exchange in US then or at airports upon arrival. Will check out the rates at the hotels but will likely just do it at the money exchanges..
Hoping to not need to exchange too much though, i much prefer to use my Master Card. London i am there for some Indian food and to see a couple friends for 1 night thats all. I figure i may not even need Pounds but i will need some cash in the other 4 countries for sure
To be clear, don’t carry US Currency for exchange in foreign countries unless you don’t care about being gauged by a poor exchange rate. Do not go to a currency exchange place. Use ATMs. I use local currency sparingly in Europe and on my current three week trip through Italy, Austria and Germany I’ve only drawn €100 in cash from an ATM on a debit card and used cards for everything else. The things I use cash for are coffee shops and tips and small food like pizza by the slice or gelato. Everything else can be paid by card. And if you decide to take a cash advance from a credit card at a foreign ATM, you will need a PIN for your credit card. Make sure you take care of this before you leave the States.
[USER=1566]@Gia[/USER]. His question was [U][B]NOT[/B][/U] whether to use cash or credit card when in a foreign country, but where (in the US or the foreign country) to get the local currency when he needs it.
Whilst I too do use credit card everywhere I go, I do need local currency particularly when I visit my home country, because we have been financially supporting our elderly and poor relatives there. And for that in many countries particularly for elderly people, cash is the preferred.
Gia mentions an idea i hadnt thought of though.. using a debit card once i am in the country i am going to. Although, wont i get hit with a fee by B of A for using my ATM card not at a B of A bank, and one not even in the USA. Also, the credit card pin i can get that and use my credit card but in that scenario arent i going to get charged a cash advance fee as technically removing cash on the credit card is a cash advance. Is it still cheaper/better doing that as opposed to switching the currencies at one of the various money exchanges?
If you’ve got time, open up a Charles Schwab free checking account and transfer a bit of money there. They’ll reimburse any ATM fees anywhere in the world and don’t charge a forex fee. And it’s even an interest-bearing account!
I was just in CPH in August and while I got a bit of cash, I really didn’t need it at all though I chose to spend it on some very small purchases just to get rid of it.
Cool thx for the tip… Was getting taxi’s easy there? I hear they dont have Uber/Lyft
Yes, taxis were easy. Look for an app you can download. My co-workers did this and we had no problem getting around. There is also an easy train system, depending on where you want to go. We took a canal cruise with a company (Hey, Captain) that used smaller boats and would recommend that. If you’re going anytime soon, the new ski slope on top of the energy plant is now open! Might be worth looking at even if you don’t ski. Free walking tours available in front of the City Hall, near the Hard Rock and TIvioli Gardens.
I imagine it’s quite cold this time of year. We were there the first week of August and while restaurants offered patio dining at dinner, as it was getting dark they would turn on the outdoor heaters – not just at tourist places but at locals’ spots too.
I can also recommend ILLUM which is a series of restaurants on the top floor of a department store. There are a number of different sit-down restaurants from pizza/Italian to a steakhouse. Lots of choices all in one place (far nicer than a typical mall food court). But be aware that at least for my CSR the registers are coded to the department store and not as restaurants. I was able to contact Chase and the credited me the 3x points when I returned. That was a relief because I’d bought dinner for about 8 people!
Awesome. Thanks for all of that info… And yes i think its going to be freezing, will be there over Xmas. No sitting outside thats for sure lol
+1 on the schwab card
About a potential debit card fee with a cash withdrawal, check with your bank to be certain. My credit union doesn’t charge a fee no matter where I draw cash. And if you can get a debit card with a chip your funds are less vulnerable to fraud.
Def will check thanks Gia..