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How do you guys do paper currency conversions


beerbaron
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Hi Guys, I'm about to leave for Europe. Being the cheapo that I am, I was trying to find the best scheme to reduce the paper currency conversion costs. Of course there are the canadian banks that charge a spread of 5%, some exchange office that charge 2% but I believe there must be even more economical ways.

 

For example  I tough to buy Euro's in my IB account, ask for a check in Euro's and cash it at a bank in Italy. Do you guys use any clever ways to save on the currency conversion?

 

Thanks

BeerBaron

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Hi beerbaron,

 

I just recently returned from a nice trip to Italy.  Prior to leaving, I got one of those international chip credit cards through Chase with no foreign exchange charge.  I have an ATM card that charges 1% conversion fee with no transaction costs that I used upon arrival at the airport for cash.

 

Enjoy your trip!

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I went to Europe last year. I used a Capital One Venture Rewards card for almost everything. The card has no foreign transaction fee and converts currency as the transaction posts to your card. I use a PNC premier checking account which charges no currency changing fees when using foreign ATMs so I could withdraw money at the daily exchange rate. I already had the PNC account before I planned on going to Europe so it was a nice perk I learned about when I was preparing to go. If I didn't already have the PNC account, I would get the Capital one card and pocket the $100 dollar bonus they give you for signing up, then pay the 2% for 1000 euros before leaving. I only withdrew 500 euros while I was over there and had to try to get rid of my last bit of currency before leaving because plastic is accepted everywhere. I went to Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Turkey.

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Don't think there's any card in Canada that offers zero forex fees.  The standard is 2.5%.  However, there's the capital one aspire cash world card that offers 1.5% cash rebate.  In addition, it gives you $100 cash bonus upon approval.  Even disregarding the $100 bonus, i think it's not too bad to pay a 1% charge (2.5-1.5) for the convenience of not carrying cash around.  Mind you though some north american cards may have trouble getting accepted in foreign countries, so I would still bring a bit of cash just in case.

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Whatever you decide you can't do any worse than I did when I went to angola.  They effectively charged me a 100% commission to change back to dollars when I left because they confiscate all the angolan currency that you are holding.

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beerbaron

 

Here's a Canadian CC with no FX conversion charges: https://www.chase.com/online/canada/amazon-ca-foreign-transactions.htm

 

We will bill you in Canadian Currency if you use your account to make a transaction in foreign currency.  We will

convert it into Canadian currency at the exchange rate set by Visa International in effect at the time we post the

transaction to your account.  This exchange rate may be different from the rate in effect on the transaction date.

We will not charge you any additional foreign currency conversion charge.

 

This is from the card agreement for the Chase Amazon card.

 

I'm pretty sure you are going to be paying a spread here.

 

--

edit:  I guess they just mean that the posting date (usually a couple days later) is the date they choose the exchange rate on.  However, I read some analysis of something like this recently, where a bank was "optimizing" something like this so that the consumer always got the worst possible rate.

 

 

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