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Euros, Euros & more Euros

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by corky441, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. corky441

    corky441 I've got Venice in my soul

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    As time draws near for our Viva Italia trip - 40 days and counting - I have been consumed with Euros and exchange rates and the how and where's and why's of it all.

    I'm exhausted and I have a headache :headache:

    I have come to the conclusion that no matter what I do ahead of time, will somehow be to either my advantage or disadvantage. Sometimes too much information is a bad thing... :scared1:

    All week-long I have been monitoring Euros. I've been checking the a.m. And p.m. Exchange rates for Wells Fargo, Travelex and eFX. All three are well respected online exchange companies. Wells Fargo seems to have the lowest exchange rate overall. The rates have roller coastered this week in line the stock market.
    Unfortunately, shipping must be to the billing address on your credit card. This means that someone has to be home to sign for the money package. It can't be shipped to my office... Bummer :sad2:
    Travelex has locations in various parts of the country, sadly not here n Western NY :sad2:
    We do have two eFX exchanges here though. One at our Galleria Mall and another up in Niagara Falls :thumbsup2

    What I've decided to do, is watch the Euro market on Monday and Tuesday.
    Then I'm going to go and purchase some Euros in person so we have funds to begin with.
    Then I'm going to purchase a prepaid Euro card from Travelex and have it preloaded not with American funds but Euros. That way I won't have to be concerned with the exchange rates while traveling. The card is the Europe standard with a chip in it( no magnetic strip) and I'll also have a pin # to use with it. It will act as either a debit or credit card for purchases and ATM and there is NO FEE imposed by Travelex. Plus, if needed, I can reload the card online while traveling if I start to run short of spending $ :rolleyes1

    Well, that's it for now --- time for another aspirin for my Euro-headache :sick:
     
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  3. Mirthrindr2

    Mirthrindr2 Mouseketeer

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    Great information corky, it was very helpful for me since I to have been needing to start thinking about the same exact thing.

    Sorry about the headache. Maybe next time it will be Vino induced making just a tad more justified. ;-)
     
  4. Tozzie

    Tozzie DIS Veteran

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    The first time I went on an ABD to Europe, I wanted to get a few euros before hand and I got them through my bank and was able to pick them up at the local branch, it only took a day. I then used the ATM's in Europe, I knew I would be going back so I made sure I came home with some. I also use a credit card when there for most purchases, I got a Capital one Credit card just for travel outside of the US they don't charge Foreign transactions fees on their credit cards nor on ATM withdrawls (I have a bank account with them as well).
     
  5. jjb52

    jjb52 Mouseketeer

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    I too have been watching the rates and we don't leave for three weeks. I had already investigated the prepaid Euro card from Travelex the last time I was at the airport and just today talked to friends that used one last month. They recommended it. I forgot to ask them and maybe you know-do you have to have cash to buy it? I have a gift card from my travel agent and does anyone know if I can use that to convert to the travelex preloaded Euro card? Do I need to have cash to buy it or will my debit card or credit card work? I am leaving for a short trip to California and thought I get the Euros at the airport as I arrive back home so I have them for Europe in three weeks. I have quit watching the exchange rate and have told myself it hasn't varied that much over the last month. Sure wish I bought some last year when I was on my IrelandABD-rate was really good then.
     
  6. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    I'm not sure about the pre-loaded Euro card, but I know that if I would have used my credit card to purchase euros, it would have been considered a cash advance, with all the fees & higher interest rates that entails. I've also heard multiple times that the places at the airports have *THE* worst rates. You'd do much better to go to your bank, or AAA if you belong.

    Sayhello
     
  7. jjb52

    jjb52 Mouseketeer

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    My bank has fees-$20 and shipping-$12.95 and I do not belong to AAA. Does anyone know if the Traxelex places at the airport have fees? They don't online according to their website:


    "Travelex is committed to offering you the best price, commission-free, foreign currency in the United States - or we will refund the difference."

    Thanks
     
  8. justaman

    justaman Earning My Ears

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    We came back from ABD Germany last month and handled things this way - before leaving we purchased some Euros from our local bank branch. It probably wasn't the best fx rate but it was convenient. Since we are shelling out major bucks for the tour we were not going to worry about a few Euros difference by shopping around.
    We used the ATM in Germany to change some more money. It was easy and convenient and the bank offers you a reasonable rate. Everyone will charge you fees one way or another. We used a credit card (and pay an annual fee) that does not charge doing the fx per transaction for our larger purchases.
    On a previous trip we used the American Express card which charged between 2 and 3% per transaction to do the fx. (which I knew about ahead of time)
    Stopping off in London we used Travelex at the airport since we only had one night. Their offer was to waive the commission if you return to Travelex and convert the money (pounds in my case) back to your original currency (euro in this case).
    Enjoy your trip!
     
  9. pjacobi

    pjacobi DIS Veteran

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  10. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    Some people prefer to show up in a foreign country with some of the local currency, and are willing to pay a bit extra for the peace of mind that gives them. If the ATM is down, or you have an issue with your card, you could be in big trouble.

    Sayhello
     
  11. Tozzie

    Tozzie DIS Veteran

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    It is my personal experience that you should have some currency for the country you are visiting before you go, On my last ABD I arrived two days early and my car from the airport to the hotel never showed so I had to take a cab, I had some euros but wanted a few more as I didn't know what the cab ride would cost and I couldn't find an ATM in the airport, I would have had a hard time if I didn't have the Euros with me. I am not saying to get a lot but having some is a good idea.
     
  12. jlou

    jlou Mouseketeer

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    Lots of great information in the link. Thanks for posting.
     
  13. stenogoddess

    stenogoddess DIS Veteran

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    Marilee! I didn't realize you and Dino were doing this trip! I'm so excited for y'all. This trip is one of the ones on our (long) list for consideration next year. I can't wait to hear all about it. Have a super great awesome fantastic magical time! :hug:

    PS: When we did Knights and Lights I order a couple hundred from our bank here and then used the ATMs in London and Paris and it worked out fine. I did the same thing you did, studied too hard for the test and ticked my brain off! :thumbsup2
     
  14. OhioDisneyDavid

    OhioDisneyDavid Earning My Ears

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    I have also been watching the rollercoaster markets and the Euro exchange. I will be heading to my DCL/ABD cruise add-on on 8/23. :dance3:

    I looked long and hard at the Travelex travel card because of the features that have been listed including PIN debit vs. signature debit, local currency and Visa convienence. The exchange rate that I was seeing for this card was less favorable than what I could get at my local bank. :confused3

    Ultimately what I did was to use a combo of what was stated on several of the last posts. I got E210 from my local bank for roughly $300 so that I would have local currency when I arrive in Barcelona. This should get me set for some tips and street corner meals on the first day or two. When I need more cash I will go to my hotel area ATM (6 within a block) to get more with my bank ATM card, not at the airport. My purchases and nicer meals will be completed by using my Capital One credit card with no foreign exchange rates.

    There are many options but I was most comfortable with my choice so that I don't get caught with too little or too much in the Euros. I can still make the travel purchases and use the Capital One. (Don't forget to call them and tell them you are making purchases outside the USA. Otherwise they will flag and likely deny them.)

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  15. corky441

    corky441 I've got Venice in my soul

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    Hi Lauren :wave2:
    We are getting so excited as the trip gets closer and closer every day. I promise to do a trip report when we get back.
    Of course I can't begin to attain your level with scrapbook pages, but I will make sure to include lots of pictures :goodvibes

    Im really anxious to see the dates and rates :scared1: for next year's trips.
    Greece is at the top of my list for sure
     
  16. corky441

    corky441 I've got Venice in my soul

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    I wish I had the Capital One c/c. That would make things easier. Since my cards will add the 3% foreign transaction fee to my purchases, I'm planning on using them only for a major purchase if one arises - like the leather jacket I'd like to pick up in Florence :cloud9:

    I'm also pretending that the VAT is just an urban legend :lmao:
     
  17. tufbuf

    tufbuf Disney Addict!

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    You can collect the VAT at the airport on your departure date. Just have the form from the store filled out if you purchase an item with VAT on it and present it to the VAT counter (your guides will direct you) at the airport and you should be able to collect the euros paid for tax.
     
  18. corky441

    corky441 I've got Venice in my soul

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    Is the VAT refundable on all purchases or only those over a certain $ value?
    I thought I read somewhere that item value had to be at least a certain amount.
    I'd love it if it was refundable on ALL my purchases. :)
     
  19. OhioDisneyDavid

    OhioDisneyDavid Earning My Ears

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    I got the Capital One card specifically for this trip. It was rated as a top card and the bonus of no foreign fees. I am taking the Capital One, Disney Chase and my ATM card. I will use the Disney card shipboard to see if I get any "perks".:love:

    The VAT is a killer. No way around this one. You can get the money back but from what I have read, it can sometimes be a challenge. You have to keep your reciepts, wait in a long line, fill out a bunch of forms and they charge a E10 fee to file the form. It may be worth it for your $300 jacket but it is close. What is your time and effort worth? After all, you're on vacation!:yay:

    You have to make at least E100 in purchases at one location in order to qualify to file. Also the purchases have to be in the same name or you have to fill out a second form. IE Husband and wife both made purchases.
     
  20. *WDW*Groupie*

    *WDW*Groupie* Mouseketeer

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    Getting the VAT back is easy! It does involve a bit of time though. Here are a few tips:

    -When you make purchases on the ship, make sure you "save" up everything you want to reach the VAT return requirement.

    -Keep all your VAT forms together in your stateroom

    -Fill out the VAT forms in your stateroom on the last night; there isn't much info required, but it will make it a bit easier as you stand in line at the airport

    -When in line at the airport, have your passport and boarding pass with you

    -Always ask vendors for the VAT forms when you are making purchases over 100 Euros. They may grumble and complain, but it is your right to have the form; either that or they can reduce their price by 18%:rolleyes1

    -Try to get to the airport at least 2 hours ahead of your scheduled flight to allow for time in the lines (one to be stamped by the police and the other to collect your $$ downstairs)

    -If you have the time to line up for your $$ back (the second line), it is worth it; one of my purchases wasn't linked to the airport refund depot and I am still waiting for the $$ back on my credit card (I mailed the form at the airport on June 28th and was told it would take 4 - 6 weeks; I am wondering if I will ever see the credit:rolleyes1)

    My total cash back at the airport was 130 Euros. The refund on my credit card is 68 Euros. So, was my time in line worth $$$? Absolutely! Would I do it again? Yes!!
     
  21. OhioDisneyDavid

    OhioDisneyDavid Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for your input. I have yet to do it so your experience is a great addition!!

    I will likely do everything you indicated so I can get my VAT back. Our flight leaves at 10:30 am so I am hoping that this will give us enough time to get everything in order, stand in line, get the money and still make our flight. It would have been more relaxing to be leaving in the afternoon. (DCL made our flight arrangements.)

    Again, thanks for your input!! :thumbsup2
     

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