Euros vs. Local Currency

Travel Forums Europe Euros vs. Local Currency

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11. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1317 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi Amy. Welcome to TravellersPoint. You didn't put your home on your Profile Page, but you did mention the USA. If your home bank has partner agreements with banks in Europe, you won't have to worry about ATM fees. I know Bank of America is partnered with several foreign banks. Use your bank debit card to get cash in the different countries you visit. That's the cheapest way to do it. Use the credit card to pay for things like food, accommodation and transportation. You've gotten good advice above to:
1) Notify your bank and credit card companies where you will be and when. Since you're moving around a lot, you might want to call them and discuss it rather than set it up online.
2) Use the ATM machine at a bank during banking hours so if your card is eaten, you can get it back.
3) Take more than one card because you could have one stolen, lost or ours was once torn in a machine.
4) Be aware many ATM machines have a daily limit as to how much you can take out. Your bank may also have a limit so ask them and see if it will meet your needs. If not, ask them to raise it at least for the trip.
5) If you can set a 4-number (no letters) PIN for your card, it will work anywhere. If your PIN is letters, figure out what the numbers are from any telephone dial. There are not usually letters on European ATM machines.

You'll do all this once and it will be second nature even though it seems confusing now. So . . . relax and have a great trip.

12. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 865 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Depending on your itinerary if you spend a bulk of your trip in countries with the Euro and you only spend say three days in Prague then you may want to just use card payments for that portion of your trip so then you don't have to worry about currency exchanges, unless of course there is something you want that can only be procured by cash;).

13. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1115 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

>you may want to just use card payments for that portion of your trip

Whilst card payments (Mastercard & Visa) are indeed widely accepted throughout EU and many non-EU European countries (American Express is much less commonly accepted), in most you'll also need cash for smaller purchases such as bus/tram tickets, drinks, snacks and e.g. market purchases. In some countries taxis accept card payments but most don't. It's also common for smaller shops to have a minimum spend for card use because of the fees they have to pay.

Even if you're only spending a couple of days in a non-euro (or euro) country I'd very strongly advise you to have some local cash in hand.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Sep-2018, at 22:48 by leics2 ]

14. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1317 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Generally, if something is less than 10 euros (or something comparable), we use cash. It seems silly to use a card for something that small. Larger transportation tickets like weekly passes or longer-distance train tickets can be bought with a credit card (from the USA) if you go to the ticket booth. Our credit cards still don't always work in automatic machines in Europe. We have had them work in highway toll booths when there was nothing else available so someone must have figured that one out.

In larger markets, some of the merchants will take cards, but again, unless you're spending at least 10-15 euros (or equivalent), don't make the merchant pay the card fee. It's not fair to them. Most smaller stores that won't take cards have a sign place pretty prominently saying this. Look for a credit card logo with a big X or slash through it.

We've only used a taxi once so I have no idea about what they will and won't take. Use public transportation and you won't have to worry about it. Check local transportation web sites for daily or weekly passes. Don't go for the tourist passes as they are usually expensive.

Post 15 was removed by a moderator
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