WARNING TRAVELLERS! European banks are out to get your money. There is no consistency in the rate being charged so YOUR bank is not the issue. Below are examples:
Wednesday night when paying for dinner, the waiter asked if I wanted to pay in dollars. NO!
Yesterday, at London Heathrow buying DutyFree, the clerk ASSUMED I wanted dollars and quoted me a price in dollars… I said, how much in pounds, she told me, I was about to pay 4% more if I had agreed. I said NO!
I first noticed this at the ATM of a German Bank in Zagreb, then a Brazil bank in Osijek, my gut said “no, don’t do it” I followed my gut.
Then yesterday, in Budapest, I needed cash at the last minute and the ATM offered this conversion “SERVICE” to charge my bank in USD.
The exchange rate they offered was 203HUF/1$, I said NO! I knew that was a BAD rate
When I checked the bank just now I did not get 203 HUF per 1USD… I GOT 223!!!
THEY WERE CHARGING ME 8.9% FOR THE SERVICE OF CONVERTING!
SO, when you must use cash, YES use the ATM. You get more money for your dollar (or whatever). But know the going rate (XE.COM has great apps… WIFI is almost everywhere) and PAY ATTENTION.
DO NOT use the convert to dollars service, it is a rip off.
If you don’t need the 8.9% donate it to CEO instead!