Friday, April 12, 2013
The exchange rates and fees from dollars to euros can be killer! This is what I got for $90 at a bank in the Airport at an exchange rate of 1.44. Some banks may give lower fees if you exchange higher amounts, but of course there is greater risk in carrying around large amounts of cash.
If you plan to go abroad, do your research well in advance and consider applying for a credit card that doesn't charge any fees to use abroad. I bank with BB&T, and they charge a 3% fee on all Visa debit and credit card transactions. This does not include additional fees for ATM withdrawals, which is usually a fee charged by the bank that provides your card and the bank that owns the ATM. This seems to be pretty standard for most banks, but definitely explore your options. I waited too long to research information on credit cards to use abroad and didn't have time to apply.
If you make ATM withdrawals using your debit card, you won't know all the fees you're charged until it posts on your bank account. However, you can determine how much you'll lose from conversion rates alone by using a currency calculator (see link below).