Subject: High cost of Euros at US bank
Hello Ziners,

I guess I'm not really asking for advice in this post. Usually, though, I am asking for help and I do appreciate the ideas I get from this group.

This post is to give others who may not travel overseas often, but only every few years, like myself an idea of the costs you may face when obtaining Euros in the US. Yesterday, after looking at the OANDA website, which was recommended here, and seeing that 1 Euro was equal to $1.227, I stopped in the local bank on other business and by chance asked the teller how long it would take to get Euros. She said a week to 10 days. Granted, this is Wyoming, and sometimes it feels like living in the outreaches of northern Alaska when it comes to getting supplies. So, I decided I'd better order some Euros since I'd be leaving in two weeks.

I asked the teller about the currency rate. She couldn't get Monday's rate but was told Sunday's rate which was, according to her, $1.29. I think what I read on OANDA's site on Sunday was even closer to $1.22 than $1.227. She could not give me a reason for the difference, only that it was a rate she was getting from Denver.

Then, she told me there would also be a $15.00 shipping and handling fee and that I could not get any coins. So it is going to cost me $402 for 300 Euros! And, I won't have any Euro coins to use for the S-bahn when I get there.

I wanted to fly to Germany with plenty of Euros because I may not have time the first day to go to the bank because I am planning to go on a tour to the concentration camp at Dachau only three hours after the plane is scheduled to land! I thought when I arrived in Germany I'd give myself a cushion of being able to wait at least a day or two to go to the bank or ATM machine. (I had my first use of any ATM machine this past weekend, which included a small user fee.) I suppose I might do better to try to exchange my money at the Denver airport, but I'm not sure if I'd have time between flights and I decided that I really don't want to have to organize/hide cash at the airport. If when I get to Denver for connecting flights, it looks like I have time to go to the currency exchange office, maybe I'll be able to get some coins in exchange for some bills. I'll be flying into Germany with plenty of Euros, but they are expensive Euros! I hope I'll do better at using the ATM machines!

Sincerely, majeba (Barbara) Rawlins, Wyoming, USA