We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Exchange USD for Euro before the trip

Chaska, Minnesota
Level Contributor
190 posts
1 review
Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

Where’s the best place to exchange? I called my bank and they don’t offer it and I called Wells Fargo

And they only do it for customers with an account with them. I prefer not to exchange at airport if at all possible.

Would it be best to wait and exchange when we arrive at a local bank?

Thanks for your help.

33 replies to this topic
Oregon
Level Contributor
3,556 posts
1. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

No need to exchange any currency, just go to a bank ATM and withdraw euros when you arrive.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
639 posts
91 reviews
72 helpful votes
2. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

We do the same as Brian; just use our debit cards to withdraw some cash from the airport ATM upon arrival.

Central Florida...
Level Contributor
8,895 posts
31 reviews
10 helpful votes
3. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

Assuming you use a bank ATM and not a private one, you won't receive any charge from the French bank, so the only thing to check is what your bank may charge of out of network ATM use.

If you have multiple banks, find out if one may have a lower/no fee. Even if there is a fee, it is usually a hiccup in the cost of the entirety of the trip and probably way less than buying €'s in the U.S.

Make sure they know you will be traveling, so they don't freeze your account for suspicious activity.

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
17,170 posts
1 review
3 helpful votes
4. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

welcome,

something to keep in mind, there other banks that may offer that service. So, if you plan to travel more in the future, you may want to look at that option. Its not like you MUST dump your current bank/card, but you can get a 2nd? card - which is good to have anyway - and just use it for travel and to get foreign money.

I hope you dont get dinged for Foreign Transaction Fees (FTF)? If so, you may want to consider getting a different card to eliminate that.

Also, "best" place is relative. Cheapest or maybe someplace that will actually offers it?

And last comment..... you may want to keep things in perspective...such as any FEES/CHARGES you may get. It maybe a small amount compared to any , lets say, CONVENIENCE!!!!!. So, just keep things in perspective when you do things.

Also, if you are going to try to save $$$, consider your time overthere and if its worth it or its the "best" use of your limited time & money to search for the lest expensive way to get the cash.

Some people are blinded by saving $$/cheapest way of doing things and miss that they are burning precious vacation time. But its theirs to waste too.

And if you use an ATM, you may want to check with YOUR bank if you get dinged for it. And same for any ATM you use overseas. Some may charge you, some may not.

good luck

Chaska, Minnesota
Level Contributor
190 posts
1 review
5. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

Thanks for the replies.

United States
Level Contributor
1,372 posts
61 reviews
99 helpful votes
6. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

If I don't have any Euros (from a previous trip), I usually exchange some US$ for Euros at a major bank that has a location at my airport. I just like to get to my destination with some local currency in my wallet, but I know that the bank's exchange rate isn't nearly as good as what I'd get at an ATM at my destination. Where I live, it's very difficult to find a bank that can exchange US$ for Euros or any other currency. They have to order it in, and that takes time. If you don't want to exchange money at your airport, then I'd just wait until you can find an ATM at your destination. And their are ATMs at CDG.

florida
Level Contributor
361 posts
69 reviews
42 helpful votes
7. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

Look into opening an Ally checking account... no maintenance fees and no minimum balance... they only charge 1% and no transaction fees (standard is 3%) I used to keep an account and put my travel spending money in the account before trips. Now I have a Chase account which refunds FTF and credits the 3% because I keep the minimum. See if your bank Wells Fargo has a similar type account. ATM is the quickest and cheapest way

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
1,08,122 posts
440 reviews
364 helpful votes
8. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

I am also used to using ATM's and paying by card whenever possible. For me it's always cheaper that way, as I get charged at something very close to the interbank exchange rate rather than the commercial rates for paper money to paper money conversions.

It is even cheaper since I got cards that don't charge any fee on foreign transactions, but even before that I was saving money and felt more secure once I ceased carrying wads of notes about with me.

Layton, Utah
Level Contributor
183 posts
5 reviews
2 helpful votes
9. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

I opened a Capitol One 360 account specifically for travel - no foreign transaction fees and a large ATM network world wide. I did it all online and linked to my primary checking account so I can just move money over as needed.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
1,08,122 posts
440 reviews
364 helpful votes
10. Re: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Save

I opened a new account just for travel some years back. Coincidentally, it was specifically for an upcoming trip to Paris! It went so well (I knew there were plenty of bank ATM's about, for example) that it gave me confidence to go cashless to other destinations as well.

Reply to: Exchange USD for Euro before the trip
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
© 2021 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in India. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.