Posts Tagged With: Credit card

Exchange Rates, The Good, Bad and Ugly

Self Portrait / Exchange Rates

Self Portrait / Exchange Rates (Photo credit: Dominic’s pics)

Exchange rates can be good or bad and are usually very ugly! A vacation can suddenly cost you much more because you exchanged money at the wrong place.

Most people are unaware of how expensive exchange rates can be. The World Bank sets rates each day. These are what we see on the Internet. Everyone charges higher rates than these so they can make money. The question is how much higher. Exchange booths at the airports are the worst. DO NOT USE THESE PLACES! You could pay as much as 25% higher than the World Bank Rate. That means a Euro rate of 1 Euro costing you $1.10 would really cost you $1.38 or $.28 cents more on every dollar you spend. A $3,000 vacation becomes $ 3,840. Could use have used that extra $840? Banks are the lowest but their rates vary a lot. Shop around. Banks that don’t stock foreign currency will charge their suppliers rate plus add their own on or charge a flat fee.

On top of that many credit cards charge a fee on top of their already inflated rates. Today many credit cards are offering no fee foreign purchases. This does not include getting cash at an ATM! The extra fee is dropped  but they still inflate the World Bank Rate. These cards however, are usually your best rate for foreign purchases. Shop around for the best card.

If you are moving very large amounts of money like to buy a home beware! 100,000 euro purchase would, at the above rates, cost you $138,00. That is $28,000 over the World Bank Rate. There are brokers in the UK and some in the US that will give you World Bank Rates for large amounts of exchange and NO fees. You send them dollars and they place Euros into your foreign bank account.

Every dollar you save can help pay for your trip. Exchange your left over Euros back to dollars is very ugly. You lose another 25% on the exchange or more. These Euros cost you an amazing 50%. We go to Italy so often we never change Euros back to dollars. We just hold on to them until the next vacation. If we need a few Euros so we would have some cash in Europe, we would order money at a local bank with favorable rates. Then charge most things in Europe on our no fee credit card.

George & Jo Anne

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Categories: Dollars, Euro, Europe, Exchange Rates, General Travel, Italy, World Bank Rates | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Euros

Euro to dollar conversion rates are always changing. When the euro was about $1.40 everything in Europe was expensive. As it drops closer to $1.00, where it started, everything looks cheaper. It is currently at $1.27 which is a great rate. This is a good time to visit Europe. You will save on everything you buy in Europe including meals and hotels. If we look at $1.40 vs. $1.27 that is almost a 10% drop in rate. That means if your hotel, meals and spending for two weeks cost $4,000, you will save about $400.

Rates are on the down swing and may even get lower. You still have to be careful of where you convert your dollars to euros. The banks and currency exchange places can charge a lot on top of the $1.27. If you are careful you can plan a nice vacation and enjoy a savings.

Europe awaits you. If it is on your bucket list, now is a good time to go.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Car Rentals, Eating Italian, Euro, Europe, Exchange Rates, General Travel, Money | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business in Italy

MR - IMG_4731

We recently bought a condo in southern Italy in the town of Velina (Campania). Two weeks ago we went to open up the place and get some furniture. We found a store that sells furniture and found a love seat, two chairs and a table made of wicker. It would be perfect in the apartment as well as on our patio looking at the sea and sunsets with a glass or two of vino. They, of course, spoke no english and my Italian is very limited. We were concerned that it wouldn’t fit in our car. The man, sensing or problem, brought a truck up and loaded the furniture on board. He didn’t take any credit cards so we had to stop at a local ATM with him following us. Then he followed us up a hill to our new place. He unloaded all the furniture, took it up two flights of stairs and into our apartment. Waited for us to be pleased with it and then, and only then took the money!

Categories: Campania, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Velina, Xpats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dollar to Euro Historical Exchange Rates

Exchange rates display, seen at Suvarnabhumi I...

Exchange rates display, seen at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we travel to Europe we get hurt by the current poor exchange rates. The dollar and Euro started out equal. 1 dollar got you 1 Euro. Today the exchange rate is $1.37 gets you 1 Euro. You are loosing 1/3 of your money in exchange rates. What makes it worse is those rates are published best rates. If you exchange at an airport, as many Americans do, the rate is much worse. If you go to Europe once a year or once every two years, don’t exchange your Euros back to dollars! Keep them in your pocket for the next trip. This will protect you from an even higher exchange rate in the future. Credit cards have hidden exchange rate fees! First they usually charge higher than the published rate but not too much. Then they hit you with a Foreign exchange fee. These combined fees mean you are paying very a high rate for all you spend in Europe. Get a Credit Card that does not charge  fees. I use Bank of America’s Visa card.

Historically exchange rates look-alike the DOW Jones Market fluctuations.  This link shows you historical values.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Europe, Exchange Rates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More Tips on using your money abroad!

iPhoneJM_wallpaper_0032

iPhoneJM_wallpaper_0032 (Photo credit: IamJomo)

I have been talking about exchange rates and how to get the best deals. If you take cash and exchange it in a foreign bank, you will get a good deal but it may take time. Here are some  more tips on money from another BLOG. The biggest thing is stay out of tourist area restaurants and shops. They will rip you off and the food is not good.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Europe, Exchange Rates, General Travel, Money | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Exchange Rate Rip-Off

Self Portrait / Exchange Rates

Self Portrait / Exchange Rates (Photo credit: Dominic’s pics)

Most people are unaware of how expensive exchange rates can be. The World Bank sets rates each day. These are what we see on the Internet. Everyone charges higher rates than these so they can make money. The question is how much higher. Exchange places at the airports are the worst. You could pay as much as 25% higher than the World Bank Rate. That means a Euro rate of 1 Euro costing you $1.35 would really cost you $1.69 or $.34 cents more on every dollar you spend. Banks are the lowest buteir rates vary a lot. Shop around. Banks that don’t stock foreign currency will charge their suppliers rate plus add their own on or charge a flat fee.

On top of that many credit cards charge a fee onto of their inflated rates. Shop around again. There are credit cards that do not charge fees but they will inflate rates. If you are moving very large amounts of money like to buy a home beware! 100,000 euro purchase would, at the above rates, cost you $169,00. That is $34,000 over the World Bank Rate. Their are brokers in the UK that will give you World Bank Rates for large amounts of exchange and NO fees. You send them dollars and they place Euros into your foreign bank account.

Every dollars you save can help pay for your trip. Enjoy!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Europe, Exchange Rates, General Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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