Feb 27, 2013

ItalyAdventure. . . Getting some Euros to Go.

Please Sir, can we ave some more......

How hard should it be to get your hands on some Euros in the USA to take to on your holiday? We were of the thought that in this modern day it should be easy and inexpensive. Where would one start, who to call and how much will it, should it cost?  We were about to find out. We really did not want to go to the airport exchange booth in Rome and really get dinged for fees.  One stop seemed obvious. We had to go there anyway to get our international drivers permit, AAA. We checked online with this Agency / Club, Member serving outfit only to find a rate that seemed better suited to the desperate tourist service Money Exchange at the airport. With an exchange rate of US$4000 = €2,836 (as reference the flat exchange rate on MSN is $4,000 = €3,040 used for exchanges over $1mil) and then we got this quote! Travelex was $4,000 = €2,750. Getting a queasy feeling with all this lost money we decided that next up some checking with our banks.
Chase $4,000 = €2,880 and BofA $4000 = €2,901. Neither BofA nor Chase charge an actual fee but their buy/sell rates allow for a little profit. All money ordered is available in about 24 to 48 hours. As you can see it is worth checking with your bank before just going for it from some travel related service. If you like a bit of a gamble you should be watching the rise and fall of your soon to be purchased currency on the money market and try to decide when to purchase to get the most money for your money, keeping in mind that the drop will show up slower than the rise on your exchange. Funny how that happens.

Well, there you have it.  With just a few common sources used we went from €2,750 - €2,901 which is quite a difference for all doing the exact same thing. The amount of money we chose to use as a comparison was random and not based on any actual allowance proposed or presumed and was, well, it just was. We plan on using our credit cards for the big stuff but know we would need cash for the stuff, well for the stuff you need cash for. The rates were also taken within an hour of each other on one day as the rates can change quickly. 
While keeping in mind that the rates are in constant flux the process could make you go bananas like a Queenslander during summer but hopefully we have at least covered the base line to start, to help you move ahead.

Happy Adventures,
Kiwi & Koala

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