Possible to buy Euros/credit card w/euros in advance of trip?

<p>As a non traveller to anywhere off this continent, can anyone tell me if there is a way to purchase Euros, or a credit card loaded with Euros in advance of a spring trip? I understand the Euro is pretty low right now, compared to its usual relation to dollars.
Thanks in advance for any advice.</p>

<p>Since you live near NYC, should be easy to get foreign exchange. </p>

<p>When DS did it 4 years ago, it cost him something like 10% to get the Euros currency from our local bank. I think that my NYC-banker brother eventually went downstairs and converted a couple hundred and sent it us. I'd wait until a week before leaving. </p>

<p>Kinda depends how much you will be spending and if the creditcard fees are reasonable.</p>

<p>Yes, we bought euros through our usual bank. They did not charge us any exchange fees, or if they did, it was nothing like 10%. </p>

<p>I think it's not a bad idea to get some now as the exchange rates are good. They could always get better though :D</p>

<p>Don't worry about getting a euro credit card. They take visa/mc/amex pretty much everywhere. Do check the fees however as there are some that do not charge any fees for using in Europe while I think the AmEx was almost 3%. You may want to get a credit card that does not charge a fee since you have time.</p>

<p>you should be able to get euros at your local bank. You will probably have to "order" them and come back in a few days to pick them up.</p>

<p>That said, debit cards and credit cards should generally work in Europe, though you should be wary of fees.</p>

<p>Yes, credit cards are accepted everywhere in Europe! Your bank will gladly convert your charges into good old $$ that will show up on your credit card statement. However, some small businesses in Europe only accept the new style of cc with the embedded RFID chip. Bigger places such as hotels and department stores have magnetic stripe cc readers. As far as fees go, I just went through DH's charges for his expense report. Amex charged about 2%, our Visa - less than 1%.</p>

<p>I asked folks at BofA about Euros - officially it takes 2 weeks to order them (however, usually it is less than a week). OTOH, DH had no problems getting Canadian $$ right away. :)</p>

<p>I've heard Western Union offers a competitive exchange service now</p>

<p>When are you going? Chances are the Euro will keep falling. Your credit card and ATM will work there, no need to get cash in advance.</p>

<p>If the bank issuing your ATM card does not charge outrageous fees for use in a foreign country or at some other bank's ATM, then that can be the best way to get foreign currency.</p>

<p>If you want some Euros before you depart, you may want to ask your friends who have been there if they have any leftover currency to sell to you.</p>

<p>Similarly, if your credit card does not charge outrageous fees for use in a foreign country, then it should be usable there, although there may be some difficulty with places (including possibly self-service train ticket vending machines) that only accept chip cards.</p>

<p>Just purchased some. I used an exchange house. You can but any amount or denomination. No wait. Some fees of course.</p>

<p>Wait until you go and then get some from an ATM at the airport when you arrive. You should make sure to not get too much since you'll lose on the exchange back to dollars when you're done plus you don't want to be walking around with too much cash in the event you get pick-pocketed or something (but I've been to Europe a lot and have never been pick-pocketed or robbed, but it can happen). If you start running low just hit another ATM - preferably one at a bank as opposed to a standalone unit since they're less susceptible to scamming. You can use a CC for most things.</p>

<p>You can get any foreign currency through any decent bank with a bit of lead time. It's a non issue. Personally I always like to have a couple of hundred bucks in that country's cash, and wouldn't exchange at an airport where you get ripped off. Also note that European ATMs don't always work with US account numbers/passwords. agree with UCB on the chip cards -- we had trouble in the Paris train station accessing prepaid tickets since our CC wasn't a chip card.</p>

<p>We just got back from one place that uses Euro. We went to our local bank and ordered Euro to take with us. It took about 3 days for our Euro to arrive. We also had US dollars in cash with us. There are currency exchanges in every airport in Europe and in most hotels. And as noted, you can use your credit card in most places that take a Euro.</p>

<p>I think the OP was hoping to get a preloaded card with Euro instead of US dollars. I'm not sure I see the necessity in that. Even IF you could do that, you would be paying the exchange rate for those Euro when you purchase them. If the rate continues to become more favorable, you would not benefit from this.</p>

<p>On our recent trip, we took the equivalent of $200 US dollars of currency for each of the three countries we were traveling to with us...because we just didn't want to get off the plane penniless. In Europe, we almost exclusively used our credit cards. No need to do anything else.</p>

<p>Make sure you notify your credit card company that you will be traveling abroad.</p>

<p>Also, our credit card company has a "deluxe" card that does not charge a surcharge for foreign transactions. You could look into that as well.</p>

<p>jacdad-
Go to your bankcard's website to find it's sister bank's ATMs, preferably near your hotel as starters.
Your ATM card must have a PIN with a 4 digit number only. Change it sooner than later.
Tell us your bank and cities of travel, if that is not TMI.</p>

<p>Capital One does not charge fees for their credit card use in a foreign country. We usually use that exclusively overseas. We also opened a Capital One online banking account and transfer our vacation money there. This way, we are able to use ATM's to get cash as needed and not be charged the high fees our regular bank charges. We also do not like to risk using our usual bank card in the event our card is lost or stolen or compromised by a scam. I don't want to worry about someone getting to my savings or checking and not be able to pay my regular bills. That said, we also take about $200 in local currency for any cash needs when we get off the plane. I would however, recommend using ATM's at the airport where there is a lot of security over those standalone ones in the cities. I have had no problems so far using my credit cards in Europe. However, I do prefer to pay cash in restaurants and small establishments. I leave the credit card for the hotel charges or train travel purchases.</p>

<p>If you have a Citi account, they will be able to get Euros for you within a day or so. I thin Amex travel centers can also do this for you.</p>

<p>Have fun in Europe.</p>

<p>I would disagree with the statements above the 'credit cards are accepted everywhere in Europe'. I find AmEx is only useful at hotels and US-issued MC/Visa can be problematic, as most of Europe has converted to a chip/PIN card. You will probably be OK in restaurants, but forget small retailers or grocery stores. </p>

<p>I would check into fees and exchange rates here in the US, however, I find it's typically best to take out currency from an ATM when I arrive. Try to estimate how much you will need and take out as much as you feel comfortable carrying, as most US banks will hit you with a single fee no matter if you take out Eu20 or Eu200. </p>

<p>Professionally, I'm not too worried about the Euro taking off, frankly the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece & Spain) will continue to drag it down, while US economic figures are looking up.</p>

<p>It's a good idea to call your bank and your credit card companies to tell them when and where you'll be travelling--otherwise they may not authorize charges made in a foreign country.</p>

<p>I am also one of those who gets money out of ATM when I arrive. My AmEx doesn't charge fees. When I have extra money left, I would use it to pay for my hotel bills upon departure, so no extra foreign currency to take home with me.</p>

<p>Excellent idea to call bank beforehand, esp. if there's no one at home to do it for you. I've traveled to Europe for more than 30 years and always used my ATM card with no pb. Once in a small town it took 3 tries to find one that would accept it, but otherwise no more than two tries, and usually on the first. </p>

<p>I've never had a pb using a US credit card (make sure you have a couple) in Europe. Sometimes they had to resort to another procedure because it didn't have a chip, but everyone knew what to do with it. </p>

<p>We also have a bank card from a European bank for an acct that has very little money. The only place I ever use it is to buy gas from an automated station if I don't have cash because the non-chip cards won't work. Machines are a pb without the chip.</p>

<p>AAA has a start up package of euros you can purchase and I don't remember a fee. Also we got Capital One card specifically for Europe. No problems using it anywhere.</p>

<p>2nd vote for Capital One Visa for charging in Europe. No fee and good exchange rate. - but they do charge for cash advance. For cash, it's a good idea to try to find what banks in the country you will be visiting don't generate a fee for using your US bank's ATM card - for a BofA ATM card it was Deutch Bank in Germany (but not Spain); in Spain it was Barclays. Our US Visa card worked almost everywhere except the subway ticket vending machines.</p>