currency




I live in Boston and I am going to Prague. Is it cheaper for me to buy euro in the US or in Prague?;)

20:48:12 04.03.2012 lorada

Czech Republic does not have Euros! Try Czech koruns (crowns)!

21:12:15 04.03.2012 amahlert

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_koruna http://www.cnb.cz/en/banknotes_coins/banknotes/ http://www.cnb.cz/en/banknotes_coins/coins/ Perhaps the best way is to pay by credit card where accepted, and withdraw some cash from a teller machine upon arrival for lesser purchases.

22:31:20 04.03.2012 jezovec

A number of tourist shops will take Euros, as will places like McDonald's and some grocery stores, but you can't count on it, as it's not official currency here. Take jezovec's advice....

22:51:15 04.03.2012 Jen

Credit and Debit cards are the convenient and fast way to change money, but they are no longer the cheap way. Not sure how long since you did this, as it did use to be the cheapest, but it isn't any longer. Most US debit and credit cards now charge fairly significant fees for international transactions, so be in for a surprise if you haven't done it recently.

23:12:22 04.03.2012 JKG

Quote: JKGMost US debit and credit cards now charge fairly significant fees for international transactions, so be in for a surprise if you haven't done it recently.

For withdrawing cash from ATMs, or for payments in stores, too?

10:15:25 05.03.2012 jezovec

OP - Just use ATMs and pay with everything in cash IMO. When you leave be sure to exchange your extra money back.

10:27:36 05.03.2012 CzechRaiser07

If the guy really wants Euros (i.e. he's travelling onto another country where the Euro is their currency) then probably better to do it in the US. Otherwise, he'd wind up going from USD to CZK, then CZK to EUR. So 2 transactions means losing more money. For CZK, much better to change here, as it's so thinly traded elsewhere, you'd get crap rates. Check what the charges are for debit/credit card uses. My UK bank has just started charging for foreign currency transactions using the debit card. My Czech bank doesn't as yet (yes, for all the moaning about Czech bank fees, some things are better here). Withdrawing from ATMs is fast and convenient, and can work out cheaper than a poor value exchange office.

10:34:30 05.03.2012 Rob_Prague_2004

agreed- use atm, or exchange currency in Cz. DO NOT use a currency exchange kiosk!!!! if you must exchange currency- use a travel agent rather than a kiosk or bank. many offer no fee exchange with good rates.

10:53:09 05.03.2012 JIZEK

Yes Rob is right, Czech's always being behind is sometimes good. My Czech cards are still pretty good for travel, as they don't have anywhere near the fees that US cards now have. Czechraiser, Jezovec and Jen, not sure when you last used US credit cards in Europe, but they are not cheap any more. Though I have heard that there are a few providers that still offer good rates, so if you know any good ones, please let us know. But once Chase, Amex and BOA started with the heavy foreign fees most others followed. BOA will charge you a Foreign Transaction fee, a Currency conversion fee and an ATM fee. FYI I still use ATMs to get foreign currency, as I don't believe its worth my time to shop around, but in this case the OP specifically asked for "cheapest".

11:58:52 05.03.2012 JKG

Quote: JIZEKagreed- use atm, ...

Do you actually own a US debit card, and have you recently used it in a Czech ATM Machine?

11:59:58 05.03.2012 JKG

I'm just courious, if the fees you mentioned are for all transactions, or just for withdrawing cash - which is not clear from your posts so far. Sometimes my friends from US ask me for advice like the OP, and I want to provide them with correct answer. Thanks.

12:08:46 05.03.2012 jezovec

Quote: jezovecI'm just courious, if the fees you mentioned are for all transactions, or just for withdrawing cash - which is not clear from your posts so far. Sometimes my friends from US ask me for advice like the OP, and I want to provide them with correct answer. Thanks.

Sorry for not answering that. It was about two years ago that the fees started hitting normal sales, and it just recent that they are now hitting ATM transactions. It still depends on the banks, but thanks to the bail out package, Obama has basically told the banks they have a free for all to charge what they want as they virtually have a monopoly now. When I was in the US a couple of weeks ago I was discussing it with some business friends that travel a lot and they have to pick which card to use where, but seemed now to accept that very soon all the banks will start charging the same, its just a matter of time. This is what happens when you give banks 1 trillion dollars to spend as they want. They use it to wipe out competition.

12:19:17 05.03.2012 JKG

Quote: jezovecSometimes my friends from US ask me for advice like the OP,

Tell them that when they get a very small leaflet from their bank in 3pt italic light grey font. To read it in detail. The banks are not making these new charges so easy to find, until you realize that sticking your card in an ATM is your acceptance of the new charges.

12:26:02 05.03.2012 JKG

Quote: JIZEKagreed- use atm, or exchange currency in Cz. DO NOT use a currency exchange kiosk!!!! if you must exchange currency- use a travel agent rather than a kiosk or bank. many offer no fee exchange with good rates.

In general, yes. But some of them are good value. I use http://www.exchange8.cz/ to change small amounts when I'm going to the UK. They are very reasonable, especially when you buy more than 25 000 CZK at once, you get a VIP card which is valid permanently and gives you better rates in both directions (to and from CZK).

12:44:11 05.03.2012 Rob_Prague_2004

Quote: JKGDo you actually own a US debit card, and have you recently used it in a Czech ATM Machine?

donĀ“t be silly- of course not :D

13:06:52 05.03.2012 JIZEK

JKG: thanks. Yup, the fine print in light grey Enron Belzebub font. As for Czech banks not charging any fees for cash-less transactions in foreign currencies - one factor is the exchange rate they use for such transactions. I do not follow this topic closely as I do not travel abroad much, but I read somewhere that e.g. mBank that charges no fees for withdrawing cash abroad uses least favourable exchange rate (when comparing with other Czech banks) instead - thus getting the "fees" amount indirectly.

14:22:30 05.03.2012 jezovec

Quote: jezovecJKG: thanks. Yup, the fine print in light grey Enron Belzebub font. As for Czech banks not charging any fees for cash-less transactions in foreign currencies - one factor is the exchange rate they use for such transactions. I do not follow this topic closely as I do not travel abroad much, but I read somewhere that e.g. mBank that charges no fees for withdrawing cash abroad uses least favourable exchange rate (when comparing with other Czech banks) instead - thus getting the "fees" amount indirectly.

I believe that the exchange rate when withdrawing from ATMs is worse than the one used for card payments in foreign currencies, and this usually comes on top of fees. I have paid by debit card abroad in EUR, GBP, PLN and HUF. I have checked the exchange rate on my bank statement each time and it was fair, and better than anything I could have found in an exchange office (not to mention time saving and convenient). My UK debit card used to be free, but they have since introduced charges. A counter example to all those whinging about Czech bank charges... This doesn't help the OP much though, as he's accessing US funds here ;)

14:30:05 05.03.2012 Rob_Prague_2004

Quote: Rob_Prague_2004This doesn't help the OP much though, as he's accessing US funds here ;)

Yes exactly. :) Some posters seem to have missed that though.

15:52:00 05.03.2012 JKG

We have Bank of America Debit and Visa cards. For ATM withdrawals, the ATM fee is usually $5 for BoA and $5 for the foreign bank. So when we pull cash out of the ATM, we pull our the max. of $600 in koruns. For using the debit card and visa card for purchases, BoA charges a 1% transaction fee...and yes, it adds up! We used to have a Chase Visa card. They also charged 1% for foreign transaction fees.

17:23:12 05.03.2012 amahlert

Quote: JKG...but thanks to the bail out package, Obama has basically told the banks they have a free for all to charge what they want as they virtually have a monopoly now...This is what happens when you give banks 1 trillion dollars to spend as they want. They use it to wipe out competition.

JKG, please don't blame Obama for this one, please!! The republicans call him a socialist, now you're calling him a chronic capitalist. If he did not act, the banks fails and the whole sector is thrown into chaos, then he acts now he a bad guy helping his friends, jeeze!!! Mind you, the banks are paying back and if you don't like your bank charges, switch!

17:40:54 05.03.2012 Curus10

Quote: JKGCzechraiser, Jezovec and Jen, not sure when you last used US credit cards in Europe, but they are not cheap any more. Though I have heard that there are a few providers that still offer good rates, so if you know any good ones, please let us know. But once Chase, Amex and BOA started with the heavy foreign fees most others followed. BOA will charge you a Foreign Transaction fee, a Currency conversion fee and an ATM fee. FYI I still use ATMs to get foreign currency, as I don't believe its worth my time to shop around, but in this case the OP specifically asked for "cheapest".

USAA charges 1% of the transaction amount for foreign transactions or ATM withdrawals. You need to be military, former military, or a spouse or child of present or former military personnel to get a USAA account. They do offer fee-free checking and ATM transactions in the US.

09:27:43 06.03.2012 Jen