Exchange rates can make or break your vacation. I remember years ago traveling in Italy. It was the Lira then. One trip I was walking by the street with all the designers in Milan thinking these prices are ridiculously high! The next trip the dollar was high and walking the same street, I thought prices are high but I can do that. A small swing in exchange rates can give you more money to spend or end up costing you more. The dollar and Euro has been favoring the Euro. The price of a Euro is dropping! It is expected to drop to around $1.28 (currently at $133).
You have to afford a vacation but money should not be the only criteria. What makes memories are your experiences, who you travelled with and what you saw. Enjoy your trip. Immerse yourself in the life of the country you are visiting. It is NOT America so don’t compare things. Just enjoy and have fun.
George & Jo Anne
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: Bank of America, Credit card, Credit Cards, Currency, Europe, Exchange rate, Fee, Financial Services, No Tour Touring, Visa
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: Automated teller machine, Credit card, Currency, Exchange rate, Food, Foreign exchange market, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Recreation, Romance, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Traveler's cheque
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: Bank, Business, Credit card, Currency, Exchange rate, Foreign exchange market, No Tour Touring, Recreation, World Bank
Credit cards Français : Cartes de crédit Italiano: Carte di credito Русский: Банковские карты Tiếng Việt: Thẻ tín dụng 中文: 信用卡 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Currency Conversion is a difficult and confusing area. It can be very expensive and most people don’t even realize it. Banks mark up the World Bank Rate (what you see on the internet). Some banks mark up .05 to .09 cents. If you are converting a 1000 dollars to euros the difference is:
- Internet Rate of 1.3 would give you 769.23 euros (1000/1.3)
- Bank charges 1.35 would give you 740.74 euros (a loss of 28.49 euros)
- Bank charges 1.39 would give you 719.42 euros (a loss of 49.81 euros)
Some rules to watch for:
- Never use exchange facilities at airports. They can be very high
- Hotels charge more than banks usually
- Using a foreign ATM’s can be very good but check if your debit/credit card has fees in addition to exchange
- Some Credit Cards have fees in addition to the increased exchange rate
Foreign currency exchange is a big business and very profitable. Don’t be fooled!
Categories: Exchange Rates, General Travel
Tags: Automated teller machine, Bank, Bank charge, Credit card, Currency, Exchange rate, Exchange Rates, Financial Services, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Tourism, Transactional account, World Bank