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Debit/Credit card, traveler's checks or cash for europe

5 Jan 2011 lamechi said

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Hi Everyone,
I live in the US and I am doing the London to Athens in June and debating what form of currency is best and safest. Any opinions? I know that certain credit card companies and banks charge you extra for out of country exchanges. Would it be cheaper to do ATM and have that one time charge, or easier to use your debit/credit card at the stores and restaurants? I don't want to travel with $3000 I have budgeted for a 25 day trip. I'm open to suggestions. Thanks for all and any help!
P.S. Yes, I am super excited about the trip. I will be my first Contiki.
  • 6 Jan 2011 m0lly said

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    Some people just use debit/credit cards but you do get charged a fee everytime you use it as well as currency conversion charges every transaction as well. Ive heard travellers cheques aren’t the way to go these days as they are hard to cash in.. people are using cash passports (e.g. travelex cards) instead which are prepaid cards that you load all your currency onto before your trip (therefore only being charged that currency conversion in one lump sum opposed to every transaction).. Most of these have a fee everytime you withdraw money from the atm (in new zealand this is free with travelex but not sure for the US) … From what I have heard the best way to go is either credit/debit card and/or cash passport and use atms to withdraw lots of money so you dont have to do it as often.

  • 6 Jan 2011 lamechi said

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    Thanks so much! I started looking into the cash passport and it sounds like a good way to go. Thanks for the advice!

  • 11 Jan 2011 cdm115 said

    cdm115

    I always use my ATM and take out close to the daily max a couple times during the trips. I use credit cards for larger purchases.

    You’re getting hit with conversion and fees no matter what you do. Don’t over think it to save a couple dollars or you’ll drive yourself nuts.

  • 12 Feb 2011 lady_o said

    lady_o

    from US—ended up starting a new checking account with a debit card, just for my trip. Just wanted to not be pulling from my regular account and then have too little when i got back. it was GREAT! didn’t really think about debit fees, and everyone needed an ATM at one time or another and they’re pretty much everywhere, was only difficult to find one in Greece.

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