Mo' Money
October 17, 2012 7:40 AM   Subscribe

Help me get a good exchange rate and tell me when to exchange.

I'm coming back from Europe with a lot of Euros in cash. I want to get the best exchange rate I can. The airport rates are atrocious. Any good tips on how to get a rate that doesn't make me feel like I'm getting robbed blind? Also, any insight into the future of the Euro in relation to the dollar would help. It's currently above where it was when I went to Europe, but the situation with Germany and Greece seems liable to cause trouble. I can wait to change the money, but I wonder if I should.
posted by outlandishmarxist to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Go to an actual bank, not a cash exchange booth at an airport, which is the foreign currency equivalent of a "Chex Ca$hed" bottom feeding operation.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:51 AM on October 17, 2012

Often, in the UK at least, a bank that you are an existing customer of will give you a better exchange rate compared to their regular rate.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:12 AM on October 17, 2012

Mind you if you go to a bank they will only take bills! (or at least that's how it is here in the US) Banks won't take the coins.
posted by xicana63 at 9:16 AM on October 17, 2012

any insight into the future of the Euro in relation to the dollar would help

Anyone with insight into this is already using it to make seven bajillion dollars.
posted by valkyryn at 9:56 AM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

You cannot predict the future of currency exchange rates with accuracy. Attempting to do so is financial speculation. If I had a dollar for every time some bozo told me that based on current events, the rates were surely going to head one way or another, incorrectly, I would have a lot of money.

The only thing you can do is reduce the fees you pay as much as possible and get the best rate you can. If you think you might ever go back to the eurozone, the best way to do this is to put the currency in a safe deposit box and just use it next time you go. That way you save both on the fees and spread for converting into USD and then for converting back into EUR on your next visit. Alternatively, if you know anyone else going to the eurozone soon, you could sell them your currency at the interbank rate.

If you do not like either of the above options, then you should call your bank and ask them to quote you the rates and fees, and then compare it to the rates and fees at foreign exchange booths.
posted by grouse at 10:04 AM on October 17, 2012

The best indicator of what a future exchange rate will be is what the rate is right now.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is either engaging in insider trading or trying to sell you something.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:07 AM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just go to the bank and deposit it into your account. You'll get the best rate your bank can offer and the least amount of fees.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:37 AM on October 17, 2012

As folks have said, it is what it is. Take your bills to the bank and kiss your change good-bye. Or save it for next time. I seem to lug a zip-lock full of change back and forth each time.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:48 AM on October 17, 2012

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