Monday, June 28, 2010

Money, Money, Money

Come on, sing it with me!  Love ABBA!!  Always sunny, in a rich man's world.
Enough silliness this morning.  I wanted to share some really important research results with you.  Given my Type A personality (defect?), I decided it was important to find the best way to exchange money for our trip.  Given that the Euro has been declining for the last few months, I thought I should probably exchange some money before we left...looking to hit the Euro at it's rock bottom.  Which meant that in addition to everything else that I was doing, I started watching exchange rates...on a daily basis (sometimes hourly).  This turned out to be just as bad as when I was trying to time buying our plane tickets. 

I called our American Express office every morning to ask what their rate was...the lady at the office got to know my voice...everyday she would tell me the rate (which was always 8 or 9 cents higher that the exchange rate I was seeing on-line) and ask me if I wanted her to reserve for me.  Everyday, I didn't like her rate and would tell her no.  It took about a week of this before I realized I was never going to get the rate I was seeing on line through our local American Express office, because instead of charging a large fee to exchange money, they just build it into their rate.  (At this point I'm realizing that my sophistication as a currency trader is on par with the caveman from the geico commercials.)

Finally, I found a great post on a Fodor's forum that explained everything I needed to know.  Basically, to get the best exchange rates, just use your ATM card to get money out at a bank in France.  The bank will give you the best rate available, and the transaction fees are relatively small.  Thank goodness...I could go back to my real life and stop pretending I was Ivan Boesky.


Sarah said...

We can change some money for you as well and I always offer a good rate! ;-) Whatever the online bank rate for the day is the one that I use when I buy dollars from friends since it is favorable to both of us. Just let us know if you'll need more cash when we come and see you and I'll bring it with me.

Steph said...

Sarah, I'll let you know. I'm sure we'll need more...we always need more. Thanks!!!