Currency Exchange at ORD?


Old Jun 13, 05, 6:46 pm
#1
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Question Currency Exchange at ORD?

Hi all,

I'm flying out of ORD on AA to LHR in a few weeks (AA90). The next morning I'm flying across to Ireland.

I would like to get some pounds and euros before I leave, for taxis/hoppa buses etc when I get there. Does anyone know if there is a currency exchange in the airport at O'hare? Looks like our flight usually leaves from the K concourse, so something around this area would be great.

Thanks in advance,

James
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Old Jun 13, 05, 6:50 pm
#2
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Originally Posted by JamesF
Hi all,

I'm flying out of ORD on AA to LHR in a few weeks (AA90). The next morning I'm flying across to Ireland.

I would like to get some pounds and euros before I leave, for taxis/hoppa buses etc when I get there. Does anyone know if there is a currency exchange in the airport at O'hare? Looks like our flight usually leaves from the K concourse, so something around this area would be great.

Thanks in advance,

James
Yes there is, but the real question is WHY? pay the extortion rates at the kiosks?

Upon landing in London, insert your ATM card into the nearest machine and magically you will get BPs at a much better rate with a much lower fee.

Last edited by andrzej; Jun 13, 05 at 6:52 pm
andrzej is offline
Old Jun 13, 05, 6:58 pm
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brp
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Originally Posted by andrzej
Yes there is, but the real question is WHY? pay the extortion rates at the kiosks?

Upon landing in London, insert your ATM card into the nearest machine and magically you will get BPs at a much better rate with a much lower fee.
And, if you have an account with the bank, there will be no fee. Citibank is a good one to have (checking account, not talking about the AAdvantage card). I got Euros in Rome about 3 blocks from the hotel, less than 1% above the current rate. (Of course, that was when the euro was $1.26, and now it's $1.21, so my excess euros are overpriced )

Cheers.
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Old Jun 13, 05, 7:18 pm
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Concur with the wisdom here. Have a few USD in your pocket, and they will always be accepted in case of emergency (or you can use the just as extortionist f/x bureau at the arriving airport), but in my travels over the past 10 years without destination currency (and to far-away places like Mauritius, China, most of South America etc.) not once I have had an ATM problem.\

Save your hard-earned money for yourself--and be sure NOT to use credit cards who tripled their foreign exchange fee to 3% (see visa/mastercard forum).
hillrider is offline
Old Jun 21, 05, 6:18 pm
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Join Date: May 2005
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Currency exchange

If you're a customer at a large bank, they will have most foreign currencies available at not-bad rates at their downtown branch. Many will also (given a few days' time) have foreign currency sent to your neighborhood branch for you to pickup.

ATM rates in the foreign country are still better. I usually go to Northern Trust for about the equivalent of $100, just so I don't need to find an ATM immediately on arrival.
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Old Jun 21, 05, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by JamesF
Hi all,

I'm flying out of ORD on AA to LHR in a few weeks (AA90). The next morning I'm flying across to Ireland.

I would like to get some pounds and euros before I leave, for taxis/hoppa buses etc when I get there. Does anyone know if there is a currency exchange in the airport at O'hare? Looks like our flight usually leaves from the K concourse, so something around this area would be great.

Thanks in advance,

James
I always make sure I have at least some of the local currency with me before I arrive in the foreign country, just in case.
Now I make a point to return to the US w/ some of the currency, ready for my next trip to that country. Got quite a nice collection of bills from several countries now...Thailand, England, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico...and some Euros.
AAJetMan is offline
Old Jun 21, 05, 7:08 pm
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The last time I bothered to check, the ORD FX counter rate was 8% worse than the LHR ATM rate. Haven't bothered to check since. Almost always conversion rates, even at airport FX counters, are better in the UK than in US. However there is a surprising amount of variation and huge markups and fees in some cases.
number_6 is offline
Old Jun 21, 05, 8:09 pm
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NEVER use an airport forex counter or kiosk unless you feel you have money to throw away. Merely take an ATM card (be sure you have a FOUR DIGIT PIN, and you MAY have to contact your bank to be sure it is usable overseas and they won't have some blockhead in the bak block it,) and get cash locally. MUCH better exchange rates - even if you have to pay a foreign ATM fee (but minimize the percentage you pay by making a few larger, rather than many smaller, withdrawals.)

Just be aware that in some tourist-impacted areas, including in the USA, there are "shoulder surfers" trying to read your data, pickpocket teams with cellphone-armed surveillance members, and even ATMs have been 'jacked - if the ATM looks like it has a boxy part attached over the slot and a mirrored or glassy area next to (as opposed to a rear-view type over) the ATM, it may have been 'jacked. No reason to be paranoid, but I do stay aware - the only reason five guys ATTEMPTED to rob me last week in Istanbul after making an ATM withdrawal. I didn't let them rob me, and I won't let the airport forex people rob me either.
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