Currency Exchange in CLT


Old Feb 10, 12, 1:02 am
#1
Original Poster

Join Date: Feb 2012
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Currency Exchange in CLT

I will be flying into Charlotte in May and will be traveling to London and Paris. I will be needing the British Pound and Euro and was wondering where it would be cheapest to exchange american dollars for it. As of now I have found 10 dollars on Travelex but I am unsure if there is a store/cart in the airport.

My question is would it be cheaper to get it at an ATM in London/Paris or get ir prior to traveling over seas.

Thanks for the help!
b12r is offline
Old Feb 10, 12, 2:00 am
#2

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Someone with more recent experience can correct me - I haven't been to Europe in about 10 years - but an ATM card used to be as good a way to get foreign currency as any. I never had an ATM not complete the withdrawal in France, Italy, Germany, or the UK. Since then I understand that credit cards have gone to embedded chips but don't know if that applies to ATM cards.

As for your question, there's supposed to be a bank/currency exchange in the atrium/food court area of the terminal inside security between B & C. From the terminal diagram it looks like it's under the central stairway going upstairs. Correction, that's an ATM. On the ticket counter level outside security there's a bank/currency exchange opposite C security according to the map. Unfortunately, airports are notorious for not having the best exchange rates.

Jim

Last edited by BoeingBoy; Feb 10, 12 at 2:12 am
BoeingBoy is offline
Old Feb 10, 12, 2:46 am
#3

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There is some sort of a currency cart/booth in the D terminal.
iztok is offline
Old Feb 10, 12, 6:18 am
#4

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I've always just used an ATM in country - if you've got a credit card with no foreign transaction fee, lean on that pretty heavily, too; I often find it can make it through a week on less than 100 of local currency.

Travelex does offer a chip and pin card for "purchase", though, which you may find more convenient.

Edit: check with your bank, too; they often have partnerships so you can avoid ATM fees. Bank of America, for instance, doesn't charge fees at Barclay, Deutsche Bank or Credit Suisse ATMs (and unofficially, I've never been charged at Otto machines in Finland).
smcbride11 is offline
Old Feb 10, 12, 6:52 am
#5

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Originally Posted by smcbride11 View Post
I've always just used an ATM in country - if you've got a credit card with no foreign transaction fee, lean on that pretty heavily, too; I often find it can make it through a week on less than 100 of local currency.

Travelex does offer a chip and pin card for "purchase", though, which you may find more convenient.

Edit: check with your bank, too; they often have partnerships so you can avoid ATM fees. Bank of America, for instance, doesn't charge fees at Barclay, Deutsche Bank or Credit Suisse ATMs (and unofficially, I've never been charged at Otto machines in Finland).
I agree. The first thing I do is use my debit card in the arrival airport for local cash. My bank charges $1 and 0% for this and that is not bad. Check with your bank first and tell them you are travelling internationally.
apeortdz is offline
Old Feb 10, 12, 7:28 am
#6
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Welcome to Fly book b12r!

We have threads about the hub airports that have this information, and the CLT thread lists this--

http://flybook.biz/forum/us-ai...e-airport.html

Currency Exchange
There is a currency exchange outside the security area. Will you get a better deal with Travelex or your ATM card? Probably your ATM card...but that's really for you to determine.
I think I've seen a currency exchange airside too, but I'm trying to think where.
If anyone has info, please post in the CLT thread and I'll update it.
aztimm is offline
Old Feb 10, 12, 7:51 am
#7

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Changing money at US airports is typically the most expensive method.

Using ATMs (basically any airport in europe has them) is the second best.
Using banks at the European airports or in the country is next.
There are plenty of ATMs, most airports have several of them outside of baggage claim.

Changing in hotels usually gives you a less favourable rate, but is normally still better than changing money in the US.
Unterwegs is offline
Old Feb 10, 12, 8:14 am
#8

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There's a currency exchange in the main atrium connecting the various terminals. It's between the moving walkway and the BBQ place, whose name escapes me at the moment. Next to the bar, whose name also escapes me. It's just a small kiosk, but appears to serve all the major currencies, and the Euro is definitely included. I'm not sure of the hours, but it's been open during the day when I've connected through - although first thing it hasn't been (ie before 8am).

For all the times I've connected through there in the past few months, you'd think I'd pick up some of the names!
DCA13 is offline
Old Feb 10, 12, 1:08 pm
#9
Original Poster

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What kind of price should I expect with the exchange in any instance? I am attempting to find the best deal.

Thanks for the help so far. It has already been helpful!
b12r is offline
Old Feb 10, 12, 11:02 pm
#10

Join Date: Nov 2005
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A couple data points which may or may not be meaningful to you.

Wachovia/Wells Fargo

Ireland/U.K. 2008 - No ATM fee, 2% intl service charge
Germany 2010 No ATM fee, 3% intl service charge

I'd suspect the difference was wachovia charging 2%, and Wells 3% after buying out Wachovia (as opposed to difference in the countries) - but debit card usage was seamless in all 3 countries.

Find out what your bank charges - apeortdz obviously has a nicer bank than mine!!
LowlyDLsilver is offline
Old Feb 11, 12, 2:07 pm
#11

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Originally Posted by LowlyDLsilver View Post
Find out what your bank charges - apeortdz obviously has a nicer bank than mine!!
My bank is a small local bank. When some big bank gobbles them up, I am sure things will change!
apeortdz is offline
Old Feb 11, 12, 9:04 pm
#12

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Originally Posted by b12r View Post
What kind of price should I expect with the exchange in any instance? I am attempting to find the best deal.

Thanks for the help so far. It has already been helpful!
Keep life simple. Just use your ATM -- just like you were still in the States. The rate you get will depend (I think) on whatever system your bank is in. But, in my experience, it's not worth sweating it. A percent here or there is trivial compared to the "loss" that comes with coming back with more Euros (or pound sterling) because you exchanged too much in CLT or wherever to avoid too many transaction fees.

Don't know anything about London, but in Paris I am partial to the BRED (Banque Populaire) ATMs since they are good about paying out in 20 Euro bills, whereas BNP Paribas and others tend to stick you with 50s.

Be aware that in Paris using an American-style credit card is a hit-and-miss thing, since their cards have a chip that ours don't, not all machines enjoy ours, and so on. Not a problem with ATM cards in ATM machines, however.

One last thing: Don't drive yourself crazy converting everything to dollars all the time. Find things you like and compare prices within Paris (or London). Don't think too hard about what things would cost in CLT or wherever. Other than baguettes -- great bread at 85-90 centimes ($1.25) a loaf -- and French wine in grocery stores, pretty much everything is cheaper in CLT.

Last edited by Biggie Fries; Feb 11, 12 at 9:30 pm
Biggie Fries is offline
Old Feb 11, 12, 9:11 pm
#13
inY

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http://flyerguide.com/wiki/index...reign_Exchange

I'm using the Schwab debit card with 0% foreign fee and infinite ATM fee reimbursement. Only downside is that they'll deluge you with paper mail to open the account.
inY is offline
Old Feb 11, 12, 9:25 pm
#14

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Travelex and all of those other airport money exchanger are nothing but pure rip-offs. Not only do they charge you a fee to change money but also spank you with a large spread of the actual currency rate.
Like others have said, use your ATM card as that is usually the cheapest way to exchange currency.

Be aware that in France and a few other countries there are usually two ATMs at the bank. One is for withdraws and the other one is for deposits. I am sure you will figure it out which is which fairly quickly but I always get a chuckle when I see fellow travelers wondering why the deposit machine won't dispense cash.


And by the way.....screw you Thomas Cook....one of the biggest rip-offs going.

Last edited by fedup flyer; Feb 13, 12 at 1:57 pm Reason: spelling
fedup flyer is offline
Old Feb 13, 12, 8:23 am
#15

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Originally Posted by fedup flyer View Post
Travelex and all of those other airport money exchanger are nothing but pure rip-offs. Not only do they charge you a fee to change money but also spank you with a large spread of the actual currency rate.
Like others have said, use your ATM card as that is usually the cheapest way to
Agree, Travelex is the white collar version of a check cashing shop. Horrendous exchange, horrendous buy back rate, and commission.

Avoid unless you are on your death bed.

ATMs work perfectly fine in France and the UK.

Credit cards work at most places, but with the "chip and pin" system becoming the norm in Europe, you may find some resistance to using a US issued credit card there.
IADCAflyer is offline


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