Having money for your trip is important and you will need Euros. Exchanging dollars for Euros and then back to dollars at the end of your trip costs fees:
- World bank Exchange Rate – This is the exchange rate you see on the internet. Today it is $1.078 per Euro. This rate is basically impossible to get.
- Added Bank Fees – This is a higher rate added onto the World Bank Rate at your local bank. They usually pay a third-party to handle the Euros and this costs money. Today’s Wells Fargo exchange rate is $1.338 per Euro. That is $.26 per Euro higher or $260 per 1,000 euro higher fee.
- Airport Exchange Booths – Theses are the most expensive exchange places in the world. DO NOT USE THEM!
- Credit Card Cash Advances at an ATM– These can be reasonable depending on your card. They are higher than the World Bank Rates but can be lower than bank rates. There is usually an additional fee over and above the inflated rate even on cards that have no foreign fees (the no fee applies to purchases only and not cash advances at an ATM).
- Credit Card Purchases – Most cards today have a No Fee foreign transaction policy.This doesn’t get you cash in your pocket but it will be the cheapest way to pay restaurants and purchases. There is a additional exchange fee associated over an above the World Bank Rate.
Euros come in paper in denominations between 5€ and 500€. Coins are in denominations between .01€ and 2€. The 1€ and 2€ coins are the biggest of the coins so they are easy to spot.
1 Euro Coin 2 Euro Coin
Paper notes are constant across Europe but coins change by country.
Exchange your money well so you have more to spend in Italy and enjoy! Tomorrow we will talk about last-minute planning.
If you plan to return to Europe in a year or even a few years, DO NOT EXCHANGE YOUR EUROs BACK TO DOLLARS! Save them in a safe place and use them on your next trip to Europe.
George & Jo Anne