Most European airports are full of ATMs with decent exchange rates, meaning travelers usually don't have to stock up on euros far in advance. That said, it's still possible to buy euros in the United States, if you prefer to have the local currency in hand before you get to a foreign country. Here's what you need to know.
Where You'll Need Euros
Before you place a big euro order, remember that not every country in Europe – or even in the European Union – uses the euro. You'll need euros only if you're traveling to one of these 19 countries:
- The Netherlands
If you've got one or more of those countries on your travel itinerary, then you'll need currency exchange to get you through the trip.
Get Euros From Your Bank
The best way to avoid huge currency fees when you're buying euros in the United States is to do it all through your personal bank account. Some banks allow their customers to order euros from u.s. dollars online with their debit card or checking account– Bank of America and wells fargo, for example, permits customers with checking and savings accounts to order foreign currency on the bank's website. Other times, you might have to visit a financial center, as is the case for Bank of America credit card holders who don't also have accounts with the bank.
Keep in mind that your bank probably doesn't carry euros on-hand, so you'll want to allow at least three weeks for the currency to arrive. Try to place the order a month before your trip, if you can. Also consider that most banks have a minimum amount of euros that you can order, usually €250 or more. If you can, request to have your euros delivered in small bills, as some European businesses might not be able to break larger notes.
Buy Euros From Travelex
Travelex is the biggest independent foreign exchange service in the world, providing foreign currency to thousands of customers each year. If you're looking to get euros in the United States, you can buy them online with Travelex.
The Travelex website helps you decide how many euros you'll need, giving a brief survey about your budget, how many people you're traveling with and how long your trip is. From there, the site helps calculate how much currency you might need, and you can place your euro order online from there.
be aware that there is almost always a transaction fee. With atm fees and foreign transaction fees, currency conversion can be pricey. Places with highest withdrawal and conversion fees are usually airport kiosks. Major banks tend to have the best currency exchange services and inform you of the latest currency exchange rates. Always look ahead of time to see when there is the best exchange rates.