How can I buy euros now to use in a few months?
November 19, 2004 10:38 AM   Subscribe

EuroFilter: I'm going to Ireland in February and am quite concerned about the US Dollar's free-fall against the Euro. What's the best way to buy some Euros now so that at least some of my cash (about half what I'll spend there) is pegged at the current rate? Should I buy cash? How hard is that to take with me? Is there a way I can open an Irish bank account (a little interest would be nice)?
I know that the whole currency futures thing is very risky and I *could* lose money, but I'm just sayin.
posted by dbmcd to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You should be able to buy travellers' cheques in euros in North America. You could then get them at today's rate, but your money would be more secure than carrying around wads of cash.
posted by occhiblu at 10:39 AM on November 19, 2004

lots of places won't take traveler's checks tho, anymore.
The only good rate is thru an ATM there.

If you buy euros here beforehand, you'll lose more in fees, etc, but investigate--it's a slow fall of the dollar so far for us. What i did last time i was there was purposely come home with a few hundred bucks in euros, so that at least some of my next trip would be at the older (better) rate of exchange.
posted by amberglow at 12:03 PM on November 19, 2004

I'm in the same boat (France in January). I've thought about this for a while, and decided to do nothing. My reasoning is that I think the "freefall" - which I fully expect to happen - is probably only going to be something on the order of a percent or two over the next couple months. Not worth it at the amounts I'm looking at - I'm not going to pick up a BMW or anything.

That said, take a look at - its a pretty useful site for currency trading, and they appear to indicate that they can handle small accounts.

Another option would be one of the bettting sites (tradesports or betfair, not sure if they have euro contracts). Also, if you have a stock account you could invest in a foreign stock mutual fund, you'll take avantage of any currency movement indirectly. That's actually what I did.
posted by true at 12:31 PM on November 19, 2004

Take a look at EverBank You can open a deposit account in any currency you would like with a $2500 minimum.
posted by tirebouchon at 1:35 PM on November 19, 2004

There are also various debit-type cards that you can get in foreign currencies, I think. Looks like AmEx's is the most recommended, but I can't vouch for it myself. And, as others have mentioned, there are a number of fees involved.
posted by occhiblu at 2:21 PM on November 19, 2004

i think the suggestions above are probably more useful and easier to implement than trying to open a bank account. it is notoriously difficult to open a european bank account.
posted by lumiere at 3:37 PM on November 19, 2004

> am quite concerned about the US Dollar's free-fall

I'd say, relax. The euro is currently up by 15% compared to its initial exchange rate against the dollar in 1999. In the last 5 years, the euro went through periods where it was down by 25% compared to its initial price. I'm no financial expert, but after 25 years of watching the dollar go up and down vs. Euro currencies,

I think it's anyone's guess where the dollar is headed tomorrow, in a month, or in a year. That's how markets work, right?

ATM machines are very handy and available everywhere in Europe. Take out a few hundred bucks at a time. Have a great time, and don't worry too much about things you can't control!
posted by Turtle at 4:31 PM on November 19, 2004

Of course, the irony of you buying Euros in advance to escape the decline of the US dollar is that you're contributing in your own small way to that decline.
posted by bruceyeah at 12:15 AM on November 20, 2004

It's a gamble in any case since we just don't know where the dollar will be in February. How much money, in the end, are you going to spend? Unless it is a huge amount, a few % here or there is probably not worth the worry. And maybe there are some costs that you could pay in advance, like a online hotel reservation for example. At least then you would know the exact amount of a substantial part of your holiday costs already and have no need to worry. And, as said, the cheapest way to get money will be to use your ATM card.
posted by keijo at 2:09 AM on November 20, 2004

« Older GRE retesting   |   I'm thinking of getting a new laptop to replace my... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.