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Old Nov 24, 04, 7:24 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
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Question Best place to buy Euros and GBP online?

Where is the best site to buy online?
With least amount of fees and shipping charges.

I want to buy some now as a hedge against the exchange rate for a trip next summer.
It looks like it is going to get worse before it gets better.

Or is this a dumb idea?

Thanks for any input.
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Old Nov 24, 04, 7:26 pm   #2
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try www.oanda.com

you don't have to buy the money and get it physically delivered to you...it can all be done electronically I would think.
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Old Nov 24, 04, 8:18 pm   #3
 
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Yes, I am looking to have the cash in hand before I leave for this trip.

That means getting it shipped to me now before the rates gets worse.

Again, is this a dumb idea, or is there a better way to go about this?

BTW......graraps I see there is a link at that site to buy cash and have it shipped to me FREE. Thanks http://www.oanda.com/products/fxdelivery/

Do some of these sites that offer this service have different exchange rates?

Thanks
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Old Nov 25, 04, 5:29 am   #4
 
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I presume we're speaking about quite a significant sum of money here otherwise it's not worth the hassle.

The most effective route is just to open a foreign currency account at your local bank. Bank accounts do not just have to be in your own national currency (many businesses have a whole range of different foreign currency accounts). Transfer across the funds, which will go at today's rate, and then just collect them when you travel.

If your bank does not normally do foreign cash over the counter you will probably have to order it a few days in advance when you are travelling. Alternatively they may be able to give you a debit card on the account which you can use at ATMs in Europe without exchange charges.

As the Pound and the Euro don't diverge a lot from each other (compared to the USD) just choose whichever currency you will make most use of, to simplify things.
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Old Nov 25, 04, 7:03 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WHBM
...The most effective route is just to open a foreign currency account at your local bank. Bank accounts do not just have to be in your own national currency (many businesses have a whole range of different foreign currency accounts). Transfer across the funds, which will go at today's rate, and then just collect them when you travel....
Generally speaking, this is a great advise. I have had a $-account at my German Bank, and I have an Euro account at a UK off-shore bank.
When he buys/exchanges $ to Euros he has to pay $1.3222 today. To get Euros (notes in hand), he has to pay $1.3722, may be more!
However, the truth is, a "ordinary" local bank in the US don't know what you are talking about. The branch of say Bank of America in Florida is not run like the BoA in SFO or NYC with international money "management".
If you want this, you have to deal with HSBC, Citi Bank, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, UBC in their international branch in MIA, NYC, SFO
BTW, some of this small banks don't even have a SWIFT address!
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Old Nov 25, 04, 8:17 am   #6
 
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If you want to hedge currency,call a broker and buy futures. That's what they are for, and they are much less expensive than tying up money.
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Old Dec 8, 04, 2:35 pm   #7
 
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most futures contracts are for about $125K. You'll spend about 2 grand to control this much currency, plus probably a $50 broker fee. You need a commodities broker.
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Old Dec 8, 04, 3:22 pm   #8
 
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I would add that while the conventional wisdom is that the dollar will continue to fall, "conventional wisdom" has been wrong before. In fact, a lot of academics have gotten tenure on expectations theory, which would suggest that the visible economic conditions that lead to a weak dollar are already "priced in". Beware of forecasters who use hindsight to try and prove their skill. There's the joke about the guy whose clock is right twice a day, or the guy who successfully predicted 17 of the last 3 recessions.

On the flip side, a forecaster I trust - Warren Buffett - has been playing the currency markets, having made a big bet on the decline in the dollar. But I'm not sure, he might have unwound that trade.

Regardless, it sounds like a lot of hassle, transaction costs and risk to try and hedge a vacation.

Caveat emptor.
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Old Dec 9, 04, 7:12 pm   #9
 
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Online forex purchasing recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by henwood
Where is the best site to buy online?
With least amount of fees and shipping charges.
<snip>
Thanks for any input.
I have used www.cashbycourier.com both last year and this (just bought some yesterday!). They will ship to USA and Canada overnight for free. They have better exchange rates for cash than www.oanda.com (which is just a portal for travelex) and no extra commission. And you can purchase with your credit card without cash advance fees.

Today's cashbycourier rates
1000 GBP = 2042 USD
1000 EUR/ECU = 1410 USD

Today's oanda rates (for USA only)
1000 GBP = 2051.92 USD
1000 EUR/ECU = 1420.20 USD

Minimum order on cashbycourier is 300 USD, free overnight shipping on all orders. Maximum order is 2500 USD.

Minimum in oanda is 200 USD, but free shipping only 500 USD and over and that is 2-day delivery. Maximum order is 1500 USD.

About the hedging? I really don't know what to say....
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Old Jan 3, 05, 2:36 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portiaeliot
I have used www.cashbycourier.com both last year and this (just bought some yesterday!). They will ship to USA and Canada overnight for free. They have better exchange rates for cash than www.oanda.com
The cost of getting foreign currency from Oanda or CashByCourier is about 7% over the interbank rate.

When I get money out of an ATM machine in a foreign country, my bank charges 3.5%.
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