Turning real money into fake money
January 25, 2023 6:45 PM   Subscribe

I reside in the United States. I have a fair amount of paper euros left over from previous trips that I would like to spend with a vendor in Europe. Is there a simple and inexpensive way to convert those paper euros into a EUR-based debit card, which I can then use to make a purchase online?

Note: I do not have a currency exchange vendor located near me geographically, so exchanging EUR for USD is probably not an option at this time, unless I fly to another city.
posted by They sucked his brains out! to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Do you bank with an institution that has a physical branch in your town? As recently as a year ago my bank bought paper euros from me and credited by account. That could be your first step.
posted by minervous at 7:02 PM on January 25

Response by poster: No, I have an account with a credit union and they do not do foreign currency purchases.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:14 PM on January 25

You need someone or some institution to buy these from you. Any major bank in your town should buy paper currency, albeit at a not great Exchange rate compared to e.g. selling your Euros for dollars in Europe; you could open a free account for the purpose of doing this. Or find someone who's planning a trip and sell to them in person, in a secure public location.
posted by Theiform at 2:50 AM on January 26

I'm sorry to argue the premise of the question, but you don't need a EUR-based debit card to make an online purchase in the EU. Just use your regular US debit card.

Exchanging you Euros for dollars is a separate issue. Pretty sure you can do that at any major bank or at a currency exchange place in your nearest city.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:31 AM on January 26 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: I'm sorry to argue the premise of the question

That's okay. There is a good reason for why I'm asking about how not to, say, pay for three currency exchanges, instead of the one I've already performed.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:52 AM on January 26

Another option... if you have Europeans in your city or friends on their way to Europe, they may be happy to take those Euros off you.
posted by jander03 at 2:28 PM on January 26

Response by poster: I think I'll just have to bite the bullet and exchange this money two more times. Oh well, thanks anyway.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:26 PM on January 26

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