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best place to exchange money

best place to exchange money

Old Apr 17, 08, 6:39 am
  #1  
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best place to exchange money

Hi,

just wondering where I can find a good deal to exchange money, I am looking to Exchange Uk pounds for US dollars, UAE dirhams and also australian Dollars as I am travelling to all three next month, I am looking at exchanging about 200 - 500 for each currency

Thanks
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Old Apr 17, 08, 7:04 am
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I always order foreign currency from my bank. They have consistently given a better exchange rate than exchange bureaus or banks at my destination. Check the rates with your bank and inquire about any fees (which may be waived depending on how much business you do with them). I just did this yesterday for a trip next week to Scandinavia.
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Old Apr 17, 08, 7:33 am
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It varies widely. There is no one consistent answer. ATM's are often good, but watch out for fees from your own bank as well as the ATM you are using. You can get hit both ways, and hit hard on smaller transactions. Usually you get the wholesale interbank rate, one of the best, less 1%. But again watch your own banks charges, as some charge 3%. Some places, you can get great rates from exchange kisoks, but in others their rates are bad. For an exchange kiosk, watch both their rate and whether they charge a commission. Generally airports are a bad place to exchange, as the exchange kiosks there do not give good rates, and often the ATM's there have high fees. I use plastic, if I can to get away from the airport to use either kiosks or ATM's,
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Old Apr 17, 08, 7:36 am
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I typically use ATMs where I'm traveling and charge on my AMEX as much as possible.

Of course, if you're trading GBP...I'm glad to offer you a 1:1 ratio for my USD.
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Old Apr 17, 08, 8:26 am
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I was in OZ last year and got a better exchange rate than anywhere in this country, same in singpaore and KL but from what I keep on hearing about the economy Im thinking it is better to change it before I go this time, usually I only change a bit in the UK and take UK currency abroad as it always gives better rates
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Old Apr 17, 08, 12:29 pm
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I usually get money from the ATM. HSBC in Canada charges 0-2% depending on which currency you are withdrawing, but it is not documented which is charged which. They also state that you should be charged a 3$ fee for every tranaction in an overseas ATM, but I find I am only charged that fee mabe 1/5 ATM's I use (I find overseas HSBC are the least likely to get hit by the 3$ charge, so I try to find them)

Once flying into TPE I found that the currency exchange for CAD was pretty much the interbank rate, so I thought I would swap some CAD for NT$. I was in the queue and an american family of 4 came up and the kid said 'dad, should we change money?'. The father walked up to the exchange board, did a cursory look and said "I have no idea what the exchange rate should be. How do we know if its any good?" This was after immigration, so they were entering Taiwan, but they had no idea what the exchange rate should be? Great planning!
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Old Apr 17, 08, 5:30 pm
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Variation on the Question

I will be going to IST next month and will need Euros to pay my one week apartment rental (required by management). Only stops en route are LHR (overnight) and CPH (3 nites). As neither use the Euro, what is the best way to change my US$ into Euros before arrival in IST? I always use ATMs for local currency, but want to avoid two transactions if I can.
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Old Apr 17, 08, 5:56 pm
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My favorite method is through an ATM once inside the destination country. Excessive ATM fees? One of the best perks of having a brokerage/bank account with E*Trade Financial: fee free ATM transactions worldwide. Anytime a fee is charged by any ATM, it is instantly credited to my account.

^
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Old Apr 19, 08, 10:11 am
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If you have to do a two currency transaction in Istanbul, I have found that a good place to find exchange houses with great rates and no commission is in and around the main bazaar in the Sultanahmed area of the city. Avoid changing at the airport - bad rates and high commission.

You might also check to see if management would accept -denominated travellers checks, and if so see if the rates for them these days are OK with AAA.
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Old Apr 19, 08, 1:55 pm
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Use ATMs and credit cards. Don't stress over 3% fees. Do you get all excited when a store advertises 3% off on your favorite pants? If 3% on your favorite pants doesn't mean enough to get you to go out of your way, then 3% doesn't mean much for currency conversion.
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Old Apr 19, 08, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Carolinian View Post
If you have to do a two currency transaction in Istanbul, I have found that a good place to find exchange houses with great rates and no commission is in and around the main bazaar in the Sultanahmed area of the city. Avoid changing at the airport - bad rates and high commission.

You might also check to see if management would accept -denominated travellers checks, and if so see if the rates for them these days are OK with AAA.
That's a good suggestion and I'll check.

Since no one has said otherwise, I guess getting Euros direct from an ATM from a US$ account just can't be done outside of a country using Euros.

I'll also check with exchange rates for Euros at my bank (WFB) and AA to make the exchange before I depart.
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Old Apr 19, 08, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by SA_robert View Post
I will be going to IST next month and will need Euros to pay my one week apartment rental (required by management). Only stops en route are LHR (overnight) and CPH (3 nites). As neither use the Euro, what is the best way to change my US$ into Euros before arrival in IST? I always use ATMs for local currency, but want to avoid two transactions if I can.
You are aware that the local currency in Turkey is not the euro, it is the Turkish Lira?
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Old Apr 19, 08, 4:10 pm
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I too use ATMs (good rates, generally secure, accurate, and my bank refunds all ATM fees) unless I'm way upcountry somewhere, in which case I'll use whatever's convenient.
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Old Apr 19, 08, 9:47 pm
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Agreed with all that suggest ATMs. I worked at a Forex house (both as a trader and manager) for a few years and I can attest that with those of us in the industry, we recommend using ATMs. If you're part of an ATM alliance (such as Bank of America-US, ScotiaBank-Canada, Barclays-UK, etc.) then you can withdraw money with those machines on the Plus sytem FEE FREE. I do that all the time in YYC - all I use are Scotia ATMs with my BofA card - not only is it fee free, the ATM rates have very little spreads on them, thus getting you as close to interbank as possible.

Of course, there was one time a Scotia ATM ate my debit card. I was SOL after that.. haha.. serves me right to count the cash and lapse on the card while the machine spit it out hanging... I didn't take it out in time and i guess it was a security feature to protect the next person from taking it in case I actually forgot to pull it out.
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Old Apr 19, 08, 11:42 pm
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my bank (USAA) refunds all ATM fees up to a certain point, so they're my choice abroad.
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