If you plan to travel to a country in the European Union that uses euros, you may want to have a few euros on hand when first arriving. Having euros will allow you to rent a taxi or pay for a hotel room before using a local ATM. Although not every bank in the United States provides currency exchange, a few different options are available when it comes to purchasing euros.
Stop by your local bank and see if it provides currency exchange services. If the bank does not, it will be able to direct you toward a bank that does.
Monitor the exchange rate given by the bank. This is slightly lower than the daily rate (the bank takes a small cut from all exchanges made). The exchange rate changes every day and you want to change your funds when the exchange rate is in your favor (this has a lot to do with the how the U.S. and foreign economy is faring). The better the U.S. economy is, the better your exchange rate is.
Trade in your funds at the bank. Typically the more you trade, the better your rate (as some banks only charge you a flat fee per exchange). Sign off on the receipt when you receive your funds.
Tips & Warnings
- Purchase euros from a AAA location. AAA offers a wide variety of currency exchanges, including euros. You are typically going to pay a 2 percent fee on top of the amount of currency you obtain.
- Buy currency from a currency changer at your local airport before departing on your flight to Europe.